Wednesday, August 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Greenpeace loses $5.2M on rogue employee trading

Greenpeace Trading Loss

In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise is escorted by a Russian coast guard boat, in Kola Bay at the military base Severomorsk on the Kola peninsula in Russia, at dawn. Greenpeace has suffered a $5.2 million loss on an ill-timed bet in the currency market by an employee in its financial unit. The environmental group, which is based in Amsterdam, said Monday the employee, —who had bet the euro would not strengthen against other currencies in 2013, when it did, had acted beyond the limits of his authority. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

By
June 18, 2014 |

AMSTERDAM — Greenpeace has suffered a $5.2 million loss on an ill-timed bet in the currency market by a well-intentioned – if reckless – employee in its finance department.

The environmental group, which is based in Amsterdam, said Monday the employee – who had bet the euro would not strengthen against other currencies in 2013, when it did – had acted beyond the limits of his authority.

Greenpeace International fired the employee, whom it did not identify, but said there was no evidence of fraud.

“Every indication is, this was done with the best of intentions but not the best of judgment,” said spokesman Mike Townsley in a telephone interview from Mexico.

He said the organization was deeply concerned that the incident would offend its supporters, and apologized. Greenpeace does not accept contributions from companies or governments and is funded entirely by individuals.

Responsibility lies partly with the employee and partly with the organization, Townsley said.

The employee was a financial expert whose job included currency trades to protect the organization from fluctuations in the market. He was not qualified, however, to undertake trades on the scale he did, Townsley said. In addition, he ignored company rules, under which he should have checked with supervisors and probably hired an external expert for advice on how to manage risks, Townsley added.

“Hindsight is 20/20, but we believe if he had followed rules and procedures this wouldn’t have happened,” said Townsley.

He said the employee was fired for ignoring rules, not for the loss itself, which – although sizeable compared with donor contributions – amounts to a fraction of the organization’s annual revenues of around $406 million.

Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO Monitor, which studies accountability at nonprofit organizations, said he wasn’t familiar with Greenpeace’s finances. But he said 300 million euros is “a huge amount of money,” and it puts Greenpeace in the first rank of international non-governmental organizations in terms of size.

He said it would be normal for a nonprofit organization that large to turn to external experts to oversee at least some of the more complex aspects of its finances.

In the 1970s, human rights groups and environmental groups may have been “mom and pop operations with a lot of volunteers and limited budgets,” he said. Now any image of head offices filled with “T-shirts and jeans” should be discarded.

“It’s big business,” he said. “But what you see sometimes at an organization like this is that its ability to manage finances has lagged behind its ability to solicit and raise funds.”

Townsley of Greenpeace said the organization has already taken steps to strengthen financial controls to prevent such incidents in the future.

The group said it would absorb the loss by cutting planned investments in “infrastructure” and pledged not to reduce spending on campaigns and protest actions.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JimboJune 16, 2014 - 11:18 pm

    I picture a know-it-all-hippy who thinks it is a bother running ideas by the boss first. That type flocks to 'causes' looking for notoriety.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickJune 17, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    reminds me of Obama and his pen strokes intended to bypass congress.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2, 10 Comments

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9, 6 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 9 Comments

Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 2 Comments

Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 11 Comments

 
Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 11 Comments

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

 
Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6