Bad debts rocket on moon

06.07.32: THE SCANDAL at 1st Lunar Bankcorp deepened yesterday with the disclosure of more than one trillion euro-dollars of dubious loans.

Demands grew for an investigation into the alleged failure of global financial regulators to question lunar transactions that would have been illegal on Earth.

The 1st Lunar scandal focused attention on the rapid and largely unregulated growth of the extraterrestrial finance sector. Officials have plainly been taken by surprise at the growth of a number of innovative financial products, especially a variety of exotic derivatives tied to the success of asteroid mining.

The tax advantages of extraterrestrial investment are what make lunar operations so attractive: all capital gains and inheritance tax is waived for investments occurring offshore of Earth.

Fears are growing that the moon could face its first recession as the banks come under tighter regulation. But the "Lunar Mafia" retains strong links with officials administering the moon for "the common heritage of mankind" - a UN-agreed definition that leaves much scope for a new generation of space buccaneers.

Further banking scandals are to be expected. JM