SCOTT BENNETT : CIA, SWISS BANKS FUND ISIS

October 5, 2014

The US government has covered up many things over the years.

Like the USS Liberty.  9/11 and well many other things.

I won’t go into them right now. But it is well known they have covered up many things over the years.

This however reaches, deep into the hearts and lives of everyone the world over.

This was published on October 2, 2014

Citizens the world over watch this.

The US could have cut funding to terrorist groups but instead prevented all information from going public.

The Question everyone must ask, is why was all the extremely valuable information kept hidden?

My only thought is is that the US government does not want the wars to end.

Why the cover up?

With all the information that was provided to the US government, many men,

women and children, would still be alive and well today.

That includes many Military personnel, from many different countries.

Many of the people who were injured and maimed, would be whole today.

This is a rather long interview, but is definitely worth watching.

Everyone in the world should listen to what Scott has to say.

He certainly is telling the truth.

Published on Oct 2, 2014

Discussion of the book SHELL GAME A Military Whistleblowing Report to the U.S. Congress Exposing the Betrayal and Cover-Up by the U.S. Government of the Union Bank of Switzerland-Terrorist Threat Finance Connection to Booz Allen Hamilton and U.S. Central Command

By 2LT Scott Bennett 11th Psychological Operations Battalion (retired)

Part of the reason behind Eric Holder’s immediate retirement.

BACKGROUND OF SPEAKER:

Scott Bennett is a U.S. Army Special Operations Officer (11th Psychological Operations Battalion, Civil Affairs-Psychological Operations Command), and a global psychological warfare-counterterrorism analyst, formerly with defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

He received a Direct Commission as an Officer, held a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) security clearance, and worked in the highest levels of international counterterrorism in Washington DC and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. He has worked at U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Central Command, the State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and other government agencies. He served in the G.W. Bush Administration from 2003 to 2008, and was a Social Science Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. His writings and lectures seek to enhance global awareness and understanding of modern psychological warfare, the international intelligence.

http://projectcamelotportal.com/video…

Kerry Lynn Cassidy
PROJECT CAMELOT
http://projectcamelot.org

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PDF FILE REGARDING THIS CASE

More greatest hits of Eric Holder: Monsanto, drugs, CIA spying, transparency, strip searches

Be sure to pass this on.

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Published in: on October 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm  Comments Off on SCOTT BENNETT : CIA, SWISS BANKS FUND ISIS  
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What Happened to the US and no one noticed

This is a fabulous video and a must to watch.

It starts a bit slow but be patient you will find a lot of answers you never thought of before.

It is an older video but definite worth watching.

Do take the time. You may learn a thing or two.

Economist, author, Professor emeritus UMass, Amherst, Richard Wolff, speaks about the current economic crises, its’ roots and what we can do about it.
Filmed by Paul Hubbard at Brown University, Providence RI on 12-2-9
This problem is hitting countries, around the world also.

Dead Dollar Walking: The Truth About Government Debt

Added March 23, 2014.

Another couple of  must watch video.

No Central Bank should be privately owned.

 

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Published in: on March 22, 2014 at 2:53 am  Comments Off on What Happened to the US and no one noticed  
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California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Updated July 2 2013

Update is at bottom of page.

———————————-

June 26. 2013

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that  a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free  speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or  political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand  trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also  be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank  slogans that were left using washable children’s chalk on a  sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank  of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in  interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid  to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

The Reader reports that Olson’s hearing had gone as poorly as his  attorney might have expected, with Judge Howard Shore, who is  presiding over the case, granting Deputy City Attorney Paige  Hazard’s motion to prohibit attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning  the United States’ fundamental First Amendment rights.

“The State’s Vandalism Statute  does not mention First Amendment rights,” ruled Judge  Shore on Tuesday.

Upon exiting the courtroom Olson seemed to be in disbelief.

“Oh my gosh,” he said.   “I can’t believe this is  happening.”

Tosdal, who exited the courtroom shortly after his client, seemed  equally bewildered.

“I’ve never heard that before,  that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment  rights,” said Tosdal.

Olson, who worked as a former staffer for a US Senator from  Washington state, was said to involve himself in political  activism in tandem with the growth of the Occupy Wall Street  movement.

On October 3, 2011, Olson first appeared outside of a Bank of  America branch in San Diego, along with a homemade sign. Eight  days later Olson and his partner, Stephen Daniels, during  preparations for National Bank Transfer Day, the two were  confronted by Darell Freeman, the Vice President of Bank of  America’s Global Corporate Security.

A former police officer, Freeman accused Olson and Daniels of   “running a business outside of the bank,” evidently in reference  to the National Bank Transfer Day activities, which was a  consumer activism initiative that sought to promote Americans to  switch from commercial banks, like Bank of America, to  not-for-profit credit unions.

At the time, Bank of America’s debit card fees were among one of  the triggers that led Occupy Wall Street members to promote the  transfer day.

“It was just an empty  threat,” says Olson of Freeman’s accusations. “He was trying to scare me away. To be  honest, it did at first. I even called my bank and they said he  couldn’t do anything like that.”

Olson continued to protest outside of Bank of America. In  February 2012, he came across a box of chalk at a local pharmacy  and decided to begin leaving his mark with written statements.

“I thought it was a perfect way  to get my message out there. Much better than handing out  leaflets or holding a sign,” says Olson.

Over the course of the next six months Olson visited the Bank of  America branch a few days per week, leaving behind scribbled  slogans such as “Stop big  banks” and “Stop Bank  Blight.com.”

According to Olson, who spoke with local broadcaster KGTV, one  Bank of America branch claimed it had cost $6,000 to clean up the  chalk writing.

Public records obtained by the Reader show that Freeman continued  to pressure members of San Diego’s Gang Unit on behalf of Bank of  America until the matter was forwarded to the City Attorney’s  office.

On April 15, Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard contacted Freeman  with a response on his persistent queries.

“I wanted to let you know that  we will be filing 13 counts of vandalism as a result of the  incidents you reported,” said Hazard.

Arguments for Olson’s case are set to be heard Wednesday morning,  following jury selection.  Source

Just when you think,  the US cannot get any more ridiculous, then it already is, something like this comes along.  The chalk washes off with water. Think about it.

It is the same chalk millions of children use. So are Judges going to imprison little children for their chalk drawings as well?

Unbelievable.

Words cannot describe my thoughts on this. This is beyond imagination.

Chalk Bandits. The new American enemy.

Every American should send a Chalk message to this Judge.

Chalk it up to a good idea.

How much will it cost taxpayer to keep this Chalk Bandit in jail for 13 years?

What an absolute waste of court time and tax dollars.

That money should be used for anything, but this. Education comes to mind.

The Judge needs one.

No Freedom of Speech.

Another take on this story HERE

There Really are Chalk Police in America

Seems in the UK Cops may be just as bad.

A girl aged ten was told by police that she  could be arrested for causing criminal damage – over a game of  hopscotch.

Lilly-May Allen was playing with a friend on  a grid she had chalked on the pavement in front of her home when a marked police  van pulled up.

An officer warned the girls that using chalk  on the pavement was criminal damage and they could be arrested for it, before  driving off.

But the girls did not understand what they  had done wrong and Lilly-May is now reluctant to play outside, according to her  father. For the rest go HERE Got to love some of the comments at the bottom however.

Bank of America protester acquitted of vandalism

July 1 2013

A San Diego, California man has been acquitted of vandalism charges after being threatened with 13 years in prison for scrawling anti-bank slogans on a sidewalk with chalk.

 

A jury deliberated for less than five hours on Monday before deciding to acquit 40-year-old Jeff Olson on the 13 counts of vandalism he was charged with after protesting Bank of America using children’s chalk, Reuters reported.

Under California guidelines, Olson could have been sentenced to 13 years in prison and asked to pay $13,000 in fines if convicted. When he spoke out against the absurdity of the possibility last week, Judge Howard Shore issued a gag-order to ensure Olson and others wouldn’t discuss their case further.

Judge Shore has issued a gag order prohibiting all counsel and parties from commenting or expressing opinions on the case upon penalty of criminal contempt. All I am permitted to say is that I disagree,” Olson said over the weekend in an email to RT.

Olson previously told reporters, “My chalk drawings are clearly free speech and protected by the First Amendment,” and said after his victory on Monday that the dozen jurors apparently agreed.

The jury sent a strong message that freedom of speech is alive in San Diego,” he told reporters outside of the courthouse.

I’m really relieved,” Olson added to U-T San Diego. “It’s been an incredibly stressful situation. It feels really good to know that the people of San Diego as represented by the jury are on my side.”

Olson’s supposed crimes consisted of using washable chalk to write messages such as “No Thanks, Big Banks” and “Shame on Bank of America” on the sidewalks outside of branches in the San Diego area throughout 2012 after the Occupy Wall Street movement first began gaining momentum. He told San Diego 6 News last week that he was being prosecuted in part because City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has received campaign contributions from at least two big name financial institutions and, “If I had drawn a little girl’s hopscotch squares on the street, we wouldn’t be here today.”

His purpose was not malicious. His purpose was to inform,” defense attorney Tom Tosdal told CNS News of Olson.

Source

The gag order is way out of line. One has to wonder what the Judge was thinking. a gag order over chalk comments, is beyond imagination.

The jury stood up for all Americans Free Speech. The jury also protected children from the same type of foolishness.

Congratulations to all the jurors, who sat in on this trial, for making the right derision..

The Judge on the other hand? Well, you decide.

If you thought this was ridiculous then take a look at this one.

What is happening in the US, is so off the charts, there is no description for it.

Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Related

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

Then we have Judges like this.

July 23 2010

Former Pennsylvania judge Michael Conahan has  pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge for helping put  juvenile defendants behind bars in exchange for bribes. For the rest go HERE

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The Two Samoyed’s Stella and Murphy have been returned to their owner as of June 24, 2013, Some good news for a change.

Two Missing Samoyed’s believed to be Stolen from Alberta Flood area

Secret tax-haven names released to public

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Canada: Father Dan Miller has pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault

Published in: on June 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm  Comments Off on California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk  
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Secret tax-haven names released to public

Offshore account holders

Notable names in the colossal leak of offshore financial records include, from left, banking family scion Élie de Rothschild, Imee Marcos of the Philippine political dynasty and millionaire former playboy Gunther Sachs, who married Brigitte Bardot. (CP/Reuters/Getty)

A glimpse at an enormous trove of leaked records about secret companies and accounts is being opened to the public in hope it will shed light on the murky world of offshore finance.

The information, contained in a new online database released Friday night, has the names of more than 100,000 offshore entities — mainly companies and trusts set up in locales such as the British Virgin Islands and Cook Islands — and the people associated with them.

CBC News has had exclusive Canadian access to the data for months and has determined that it names at least 550 Canadians. Media outlets worldwide have been reporting on the information leak since it came to light in early April, with far-reaching global repercussions.

The online names database was released late Friday night by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and contains a basic subset of the 260 gigabytes of leaked tax-haven files that the Washington-based group obtained and shared with global news organizations, including the CBC.

Off shore map
The web-based database of names from the leaked tax-haven records maps out links between people and secret offshore entities. (ICIJ)“What we’re doing for the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, and other offshore havens is what’s routinely done in many countries around the world — making the control and ownership of companies a matter of public record,” said Michael Hudson, a senior editor at the journalism consortium.

“This is about transparency and accountability. There is a growing consensus that no one should be able to own a company secretly. No one should be able to hide in the shadows behind a company or trusts.”

The newly released database shows the names and, where available, the shareholders and directors of offshore companies, and visually maps out links between them.

For example, a search of “Ghermezian” finds the name of Alberta businessman David Ghermezian, president of the West Edmonton Mall, and links him to a British Virgin Islands-registered company called Regal Mega Malls Development Corp . and a group of Chinese, Taiwanese and Canadian entrepreneurs.

Buying secrecy

Ghermezian has told CBC News his offshore company was a legal joint venture to develop a mega-shopping centre in China, but the project fizzled.

The names database does not contain the much vaster cache of potentially confidential information from the offshore data leak, such as bank account numbers, passport data, telephone numbers, financial transactions and emails.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said it hopes people will browse the names and tip off reporters to new revelations about people and companies doing business offshore.

“ICIJ believes many of the best stories may come from crowd-sourcing, when readers explore the database,” the organization said in a press release.

Offshore companies not necessarily illegal

Under Canadian law, it is not illegal to create an offshore company or trust as long as it is properly declared for tax purposes. There are a variety of reasons for setting one up, though all offshore entities typically enjoy strict secrecy under the laws of the jurisdictions in which they’re based.

“We’re not saying that everyone in the database has done something wrong,” Hudson said. “If you haven’t done anything wrong, however, you shouldn’t have anything to fear from this disclosure.”

CBC News has reported that the leaked files show that a Canadian senator and her husband, one of the country’s most prominent class-action lawyers, were beneficiaries of a confidential offshore trust in the Cook Islands that was used to make investments via Bermuda.

High-profile figures, from Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan to an officially bankrupt Swedish real-estate mogul to European banking dynast Élie de Rothschild, have used offshore accounts to hide wealth.

However, the leaked data also discloses dozens of cases of crooks, money-launderers and even democratically elected officials using the secrecy afforded by tax havens.

As CBC News reported recently, for example, the data shows how Russian criminals used offshore companies set up and administered by a Canadian firm in the Caribbean to launder part of a $230-million heist of the Russian treasury.

Other media outlets have found that the current or past leaders of countries such as Azerbaijan, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, Paraguay, Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia have ties to offshore companies, sometimes in cases that would present serious conflicts of interest.

“A lot of people will be panicked to wonder if their names are on that sort of list and what it’s going to mean for them,” said Raymond Baker, president of Global Financial Integrity, a U.S. non-profit that campaigns to stop illicit movements of money.

“Right now there are millions and millions of entities around the world, shell companies where we don’t know who owns those entities. This is ridiculous. If we want to curtail the flow of illicit money, step one is knowing who owns the businesses that we are dealing with,” he said.

Tax probes underway

While journalists have their hands on the full set of leaked offshore records, so do national tax agencies. Britain, Australia and the United States announced last month that they’ve launched what could be the biggest ever international investigation into tax cheats using the data. Britain said it obtained the leaked files in late 2010.

Canada was offered the data by confidential sources for a price sometime before last December, but rejected it due to the Canada Revenue Agency’s policy at the time of not paying for such information. The federal government overturned that policy in its recent budget, which ushered in a plan to pay tipsters up to 15 per cent where the CRA recovers more than $100,000 from someone using offshore accounts to dodge their tax obligations.

Hudson said the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is hoping people will use its new database to find leads on other potential abuse of tax havens.

“It’s not a panacea. It’s not going to tell you everything. But it’s a tool,” he said.

“It’s a starting place for research for average citizens, for journalists, for government officials to start seeing connections and start documenting who’s out there and who’s using offshore.”

If you have more information on this story, or other investigative tips to pass on, please email investigations@cbc.ca.

Source

Related

Data leak exposes offshore financial secrets A world wide problem

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Published in: on June 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm  Comments Off on Secret tax-haven names released to public  
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Data leak exposes offshore financial secrets A world wide problem

This will be a long ongoing story. Reporters have a couple of million document to sift through. This is just a tiny sample of what has been found so far.

Added an update for April 5th at the bottom.

April 4 2013

They sought the utmost secrecy in offshore tax havens. But now some of the world’s wealthiest citizens are having their undisclosed financial records laid bare.

An unprecedented leak of documents is revealing the closely guarded investment information of more than 100,000 people around the world, including hundreds of Canadians.

In what is believed to be one of the largest ever leaks of financial data, the Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has received nearly 30 years of data entries, emails and other confidential details from 10 offshore havens around the world.

CBC News has partnered with the ICIJ over the last seven months to gain exclusive Canadian access to the information. Thirty-seven media outlets in 35 other countries are also involved.

“This secret world has finally been revealed,” said lawyer and international tax expert Art Cockfield, a professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

“I find it absolutely fascinating to get a look at this data dump. I think this is the very first time where people like myself, and maybe even government officials, have had access to this information.”

The files contain information on over 120,000 offshore entities — including shell corporations and legal structures known as trusts — involving people in over 170 countries. The leak amounts to 260 gigabytes of data, or 162 times larger than the U.S. State Department cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010.

“What we found as we started digging in the records is a pretty extensive collection of dodgy characters: Wall Street fraudsters, Ponzi schemers, figures connected to organized crime, to arms dealing, money launderers,” said Michael Hudson, a senior editor at the ICIJ, who worked with a team for months to sort through the information.

“We just found a lot of folks involved in questionable or outright illegal activities.”

There was also plenty of information related to legal offshore dealings. Offshore investments aren’t illicit as long as they are not used to evade taxes or launder money.

As reported by CBC News yesterday, the files show that a Canadian senator and her husband, one of the country’s most prominent class-action lawyers, were beneficiaries of a confidential offshore account in the Cook Islands that was used to make investments via Bermuda.

The leaked data also contains revelations about:

  • Elite Russian scammers who stole $230 million from the country’s treasury in a deadly heist that sparked a diplomatic row with the U.S.
  • The fraudster hit with the second-biggest fine in history from Ontario’s stock-market regulator.
  • Top German, French and Swiss banks that set up thousands of secretive companies in offshore havens for such clients as Thai and Pakistani politicians.

In many cases, the leaked documents expose insider details of how agents would incorporate companies in Caribbean and South Pacific micro-states on behalf of wealthy clients, then assign front people called “nominees” to serve, on paper, as directors and shareholders for the corporations — disguising the companies’ true owners.

Often the companies were set up through intermediary law and accounting firms, as well, adding a further layer of anonymity for investors.

“These people have no idea whatsoever about the activities of the companies that they are apparently responsible for. Now, this is a complete travesty,” said John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network, an international coalition that campaigns against offshore finance.

“But it is actually crucial to this process of not revealing who the real person is behind the company.”

Sometimes these methods were used by figures with known links to organized crime, arms dealers and ex-mercenaries. In other instances, documents reveal tax dodgers funnelling money offshore, beyond the eyes and arms of their nation’s treasury.

Canadians at top

Many of the leaked records consist of emails between employees and customers of specialty firms that set up and administer tens of thousands of offshore companies.

One of those firms — Commonwealth Trust Ltd., based in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean — was founded and, until 2009, run by a Toronto native, Tom Ward. The company’s senior ranks included a number of other Canadians. It mainly sets up corporations in the BVI for the wealthy, charging around $2,000 a year per account for its services.

Another agency, Portcullis TrustNet, has offices on tropical islands around the globe, including in the Cook Islands near New Zealand, as well as the BVI, the Caymans, Mauritius, Samoa, Singapore and Hong Kong. A former senior manager at the company is a Canadian lawyer.

Not all the firms’ leaked emails are strictly business. There’s also hundreds of intra-office missives about cricket, after-work drinking plans and the latest internet memes.

“I am getting some very funny looks as I sit here crying with laughter at that one,” a TrustNet employee messages a co-worker after watching a YouTube video that was sent around.

Another colleague describes a recent Monday evening trip to the bar in an email to her mom: “What started out as being just one drink ended up being 3 double bourbons and hello?! Can I just get drunk?! Haha.”

Up to $32 trillion stashed offshore

Offshore tax havens have existed for at least 100 years. While there’s no firm definition, the International Monetary Fund says most of what it officially calls “offshore financial centres” are distinguished by:

  • A banking sector that primarily serves non-residents.
  • Low to no taxation on foreign firms and people.
  • Tight financial secrecy.

By those terms, there are up to 80 tax havens in the world, including such countries as Panama, Liechtenstein and Switzerland but also tiny island territories like Jersey, Malaysia’s Labuan, the Isle of Man and the Turks and Caicos.

Publishing decision

CBC Editor Jennifer McGuire explains why CBC News isn’t publishing all 450 Canadian names.

Worldwide, the Tax Justice Network estimates that between $21 trillion and $32 trillion of private wealth is held offshore, out of reach of national treasuries (a more conservative estimate by the Boston Consulting Group puts the figure at $8 trillion). The international organization says that translates to up to $280 billion a year in lost taxes — twice what the world’s richest countries spend combined on foreign aid.

Canada’s share of that, assuming it’s the same as the country’s proportion of global GDP, would be about $7 billion, or a quarter of the federal government’s projected 2012 budget deficit.

Countries have discussed ways to stem the tax drain to offshore havens for years, but so far have been unable, or unwilling, to fully plug the leak.

In last month’s federal budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised to set up a system for tipsters to report offshore tax cheats. Informants would get 15 per cent of the recouped tax in cases where the Canada Revenue Agency recovers more than $100,000. The government estimates it could recover hundreds of million in revenue. But the Tories also cut $47 million a year from the budget of the Canada Revenue Agency. Source

This is a fun little Interactive toy to play with. It also has the names of many of the countries used as tax havens.

Do try it out and get educated on how the rich hide their money to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us.

BUYING SECRECY Interactive: How offshore havens attract the wealthy 

France‘s former budget minister admits lying about secret offshore account

Jérôme Cahuzac plunges Hollande’s government into crisis after shock confession to hiding €600,000 for more than 20 years Source

 PM of Georgia among owners of secret firms in British Virgin Islands among owners of secret firms in British Virgin Islands

His Offshore company: Bosherston Overseas Corp

Details: Ivanishvili, a billionaire businessman, became prime minister of Georgia in 2012. Listed from 2006-9 as director of the BVI company, administered via an agent in Panama, incorporated in 2006 and still active.

Source

More than 175,000 UK companies have offshore directors

Figures raise concern about scale of offshore secrecy arrangements by British businesses

There is more on this HERE

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and family

Offshore Companies: Arbor Investments; LaBelleza Holdings; Harvard Management; Rosamund International

Three BVI entities set up in 2008 in the names of the president’s daughters, Arzu and Leyla,. They list as a director wealthy local businessman, Hassan Gozal. His construction company has won major contracts in Azerbaijan. Another BVI entity set up in 2003, lists the president and his wife Mehriban as owners. More HERE

The extraordinary range of people using offshore hideaways

Records represent the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organisation More HERE

Apparently there has been about $32 Trillion stashed in off shore sites. Then used to launder money, tax evasion or other things by many. Not all are bad people but many are.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

For the past 15 months, journalists from over 40 countries have worked together to shed light on financial secrecy jurisdictions. For much more information go HERE

April 5 2013 update

Canadian’s firm used in huge Russian tax scandal Caribbean agency helped set up offshore companies connected to $230M scam

It’s a tale with the cloak-and-dagger intrigue of a Hollywood thriller: a $230-million heist, corrupt Russian police and government officials, prison beatings, a dead lawyer, Kafkaesque trials and a diplomatic spat between international superpowers.

And now, for the first time, secret files obtained exclusively in Canada by CBC News reveal how a Canadian-run offshore company in the Caribbean enabled the transfer of some of that money into a labyrinth of shell corporations around the world in a scandal known as the Magnitsky affair. For more go HERE

 

Related

Many hid their money in Cyprus. Some must have had some inside information as apparently there has been about 175 billion Euro sent to other off shore banking havens in the Month of March. Obviously some one told them. Some reports claim the IMF warned a few of the wealthy people. Either way some how they knew enough to get their money out of the EU countries.

Cyprus Banks steal Depositors money

Many of the Rich hide their money in off shore countries and the poor foot the bill for taxes etc.

Personally the only place anyone from any country should be allowed to keep all their money is in the country, where they reside and no where else. There should not nor ever have been secret places to hide your money as a tax dodger.

 

Published in: on April 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm  Comments Off on Data leak exposes offshore financial secrets A world wide problem  
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“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

New information March 6 2012 added to the bottom of the list.

This list sure is getting long.

Why Canadians are furious with the Harper Government.

March 2 2010

Boy have they got a lot of them. So if you see and angry Canadian don’t be surprised.

Harper is taking away the Freedoms and Rights.

If there was an election tomorrow Harper and his lot would vanish.

I don’t think they would miss any one of them. One thing I will say about Canadians they are very well educated. Even the ones that did vote for Harper have turned on him. There is a very select few that still think he is a good guy. A very select few.

Harper of course thinks every thing is tickity boo.

If it were up to the majority of Canadians he and his lot would be in prison. That is after all where criminals go?

Feb 27, 2012,

by Lawrence Martin

The Conservatives have been caught up in many shady activities since coming to power. The revelation that they may have been behind a robocall operation to suppress voting for opposition parties would rank, if proven, among the more serious offences.

Stephen Harper has denied involvement in the scam in which operatives acted under the guise of Elections Canada officials. Coincidentally, another controversy, the in-and-out affair, involved Elections Canada. Some of Harper’s most senior officials took part in that operation.

In giving or not giving the benefit of the doubt on matters like these, the question of the track record figures prominently. To the misfortune of Team Harper, its record on duplicitous activities is hardly one to inspire confidence that its hand are clean.

There follows a list – is Harperland becoming Nixonland? — of dirty tricks, black ops and hardball tactics from the Conservatives’ years in power.

1. Cooking the Books
The duplicity began in the election that brought the Conservatives to power – the 2006 campaign in which they were promising a new era of transparency and accountability. Via some peculiar accounting practices, the Tories exceeded spending limits in the campaign, providing themselves with an advertising advantage in key ridings. They were later caught, had their offices raided by police and ultimately pled guilty last year to reduced charges of violating financing provisions of the Elections Act.

2. The Hidden Slush Fund
More than $40-million slated for border-infrastructure improvements instead went into enhancement projects in Tony Clement’s riding in preparation for the G-8 summit. To conceal the intent of the spending from legislators, John Baird used the border fund as a “delivery mechanism” for the money.

3. Falsifying Documents 
The document-altering scam involving Bev Oda’s office and the aid group Kairos is only one of several instances in which the Tories have been caught document-tampering. They went so far as to alter a report by Auditor General Sheila Fraser to make it look like she was crediting them with prudent financial management when, in fact, it was the Liberals to whom she was referring.

4. Shutting Down Detainees’ Probes
The Conservatives employed a number of authoritarian tactics to avoid culpability on the Afghan detainees’ file. They included an attack on the reputation of diplomat Richard Colvin, the shutting down of Parliament and the disabling of Peter Tinsley’s Military Police Complaints Commission. The Tories denied Tinsley’s commission documents for reasons of national security – even though commission members had national security clearance.

5. The Cotler Misinformation Campaign
In an act described by the Speaker of the Commons, himself a Tory, as reprehensible, Conservatives systematically spread rumours in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding that he was stepping down.

6. The Suppression of Damaging Reports
A report of the Commissioner of Firearms that showed the gun registry in a good light was kept hidden by Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan beyond its statutory release deadline. As a consequence, the report escaped the eyes of opposition members before a vote on the registry was taken. It is one of many instances in which the government has suppressed research that runs counter to its ideology.

7. Attempt to Frame the Opposition Leader.
Late in the 2011 election camapign, a senior Conservative operative leaked bogus photos to Sun Media in an attempt to frame Michael Ignatieff as an Iraqi war planner.

8. Communications Lockdown.
The government went to unprecedented lengths to vet, censor and withhold information. After denying legislators information on costs of programs, Harper became the first prime minister in history to be found in contempt of Parliament. The public service has muzzled like never before. Last week, several groups wrote Harper urging him to stop gagging the science community on the question of climate change and other issues. The Tories denied an opposition member accreditation to attend the Durban summit on climate change then lambasted the member for not being there. Journalists have faced myriad restrictions. At one point in the in-and-out affair, PMO officials fled down a hotel fire-escape stairwell, Keystone-Kops style, to avoid the media. On another, the governing party had the police clear a Charlottetown hotel lobby of scribes wishing to cover a Tory caucus meeting.

9. Intimidation and Bullying of Adversaries
The list of smear campaigns against opponents is long. Some that come to mind are Harper’s trying to link Liberal Navdeep Bains to terrorism; Vic Toews’ labelling of distinguished jurist Louise Arbour a “disgrace to Canada” for her views on the Middle East; seeking reprisals against University of Ottawa academic Michael Behiels for being critical of the government; and the dismissal of Nuclear Safety Commission boss Linda Keen who the PM decried as having a Liberal background.

10. The “Citizenship” Dog and Pony Show
As well as being muzzled, civil servants have been put to use for the government’s political benefit. In one such case, the immigration department ordered bureaucrats to act as stand-ins at a fake citizenship reaffirmation ceremony broadcast by Sun TV.

11. Writing the Book on Disrupting Committees
The Tories quietly issued their committee chairpersons a 200-page handbook on how to obstruct the opposition. The handbook recommended barring witnesses who might have embarrassing information. It went so far as to instruct chairpersons to shut down the committees if the going got really tough. The Tories have also issued an order that frees cabinet staffers from ever having to testify before committees. They are resorting more frequently to in-camera committee sessions, away from the public and media eye.

12. Leaking Veterans’ Medical Files
Colonel Pat Stogran, who was dropped as Veterans’ ombudsman after making waves, says he became the target of anonymous defamatory emails and other dirty tricks after criticizing the government. Other veterans, Sean Bruyea and Dennis Manuge, say their medical files have been leaked, going all the way back to 2002, in an attempt to embarrass them.

13. Unfixing The Fixed-Date Election Law
The prime minister brought in a fixed date election law which, he said, would remove the governing party’s timing advantage in dropping the writ. He promptly turned around and, earning Jack Layton’s lasting disdain, ignored his own law and issued a surprise election call in 2008.

14. Declaring Brian Mulroney Persona Non Grata
In the wake of the Karlheinz Schreiber cash hand-out controversy, Harper’s team, in its zest to disassociate itself, went so far as to put out the false rumour that Mulroney, who won two majorities for the party, was no longer a card-carrying member.

15. Unreleasing Released Documents
The Conservatives have resorted to the use of shady tactics to de-access the Access to Information system. In one notable instance cabinet staffer Sebastien Togneri ordered officials to unrelease documents that were on their way to the media. Freedom of information specialist Stanley Tromp has catalogued some 46 examples of the government’s shielding and stonewalling.

16. Ejecting Citizens From Rallies
Operatives hauled voters out of Harper rallies in last year’s campaign for the simple reason that they had marginal ties to other parties. The PM was compelled to apologize.

17. Hit Squad On Journalists
Operating under phony email IDs, Conservative staffers have attacked journalists in thousands of online posts in an attempt to discredit them and their work.

18. Dirty Work on Dion
The Conservatives have set records for the use of personal attack ads. In the 2008 campaign they ran an on-line ad which depicted a bird defecating on Stephane Dion’s head. Protests compelled them to withdraw it.

19. Tory Logos on Taxpayer Cheques
The economic recovery program was paid for by taxpayer dollars but the Tories tried to make political gains by putting their party logo – until they were called on it – on billboard-sized cheques. Surveys by journalists showed the money was distributed disproportionately to Conservative ridings and partisans.

20. The Rob Anders Nomination Crackdown
The prime minister has been accused of turning his own party into an echo chamber. When someone tried to exercise her democratic right to challenge Harper loyalist Rob Anders for the nomination in his Calgary riding, Harper’s men descended like a black ops commando unit, seized control of the office, seized control of the riding executive and crushed the bid.

21. The Rights and Democracy Takeover
Groups like Rights and Democracy supposedly operate at arm’s length from the government. But the Harperites, in what journalists described as boardroom terror, removed or suspended board members and stacked the board with pro-Israeli hardliners. As part of the ethical anarchy, a break-in occurred at headquarters.

22. Vote Suppression Tactics
Along with the accusation of pre-recorded robocalls sending voters astray in last election, reports of several other Tory vote suppression tactics have surfaced. They include a systematic live-caller operation in which Liberal supporters were peppered with bogus information.

The list does not include such controversies asthe Cadman affair in which the Conservatives allegedly tried to bribe independent MP Chuck Cadman for his vote; the whitewashing by Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet of 227 whistleblower complaints against the government; the allegation by eyewitness Elizabeth May that Harper cheated in the 2008 election’s televised debates by bringing in notes; and many others.

Click here to access other columns by Lawrence Martin.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/02/27/lawrence-martintrouble-in-toryland-their-dirty-tricks-catalogue/

  1. Gave CGI contracts galore
  2. CGI David Johnston now Governor General
  3. Wants Open The Door To Privatizing Health Care
  4. Want to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67
  5. Wanting to still purchase F35’s that are lemons
  6. Not reporting use of Racknine to Elections Canada
  7. Wanting to close more postal services
  8. Giving Canadian Citizens private information to privately owned Companies or Corporations
  9. Wasting a fortune on consulting agency’s
  10. Bill  C51
  11. Bill C10
  12. Bill C30
  13. G8
  14. G20
  15. Tax cuts for the rich corporations making record profits
  16. Planning Free Trade with the EU
  17. Half a trillion dollar debt
  18. Refuses to tell Canadians how much war, has cost the taxpayers
  19. Damage-control bid over MacKay chopper ride ‘stupid’
  20. Complacency about privacy violations among Veteran advocates
  21. Election Violations there are also a few others.
  22. Keeping Secrets from the public
  23. Muzzling Scientists
  24. Sleazy ad’s during campaign
  25. Don’t read the bills presented
  26. Prorogue 1
  27. Prorogue 2
  28. Cadman bribe
  29. The Emerson affair
  30. 45 riding now affected by robo calls
  31. Attempting to block the investigation by Elections Canada
  32. RMG Thunder Bay Call Center employees called RCMP got no help
  33. Signed agreements with the US to integrate policing and information sharing
  34. Attempted to privatize CBC
  35. Harper Plans 80 000 Job Cuts Towards Public Servants
  36. Vic Toews insinuates Canadians support child pornographers if they disagree with bill C10
  37. Vic Toews did not know what was in Bill C10 So he said or did he lie to cover his butt
  38. Harper Government supports Torture
  39. Young Tory staffer resigns amid robocall scandal
  40. Dangerous Liaisons: Flaherty, Carney in Synch with Bank Lobbyists
  41. Amnesty accuses Libyan militias of unbridled torture
  42. Government privacy breaches alarming
  43. Lobbyists Behind Omnibus Crime Bill Aimed at Privatizing Prisons

Harper’s Safety Minister Vic Toews Lies

Global News: Online spying bill includes ‘gag order’

Canadian backlash

Tell Vic Toews Didn’t Read His Own Online Spying Bill

The word child was not mentioned in the of the Bill at all.

An they wondered why Canadians were angry.

Now they have a revised bill of about 150 pages.

Will have to read it and get back to you on that one.

They may have a majority government but The majority of the people  did not vote for them and even their own supporters who did vote for them have turned on them.

Now there is a trail of bread crumbs leading to the fact the voters were tampered with. It may turn out this government is illegitimate and cheated to get into power. The majority of Canadians want them gone. Including their own supporters.

They have not got a leg to stand on.

Robo Calls problem growing

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

Key documents in Guelph robocalls investigation

List of First 40 Riding affected

5 more ridings report suspicious election calls

Robocalls battle fires up Commons

Election call tapes being reviewed by Conservatives

Please pass this on to all your Canadians friends. Election Fraud is a serious crime.

Council of Canadians is asking people who received fraudulent calls to join a group lawsuit, as it seeks to have election results in some ridings thrown out by the courts

Canada: Attawapiskat Citizens In Desperate Need of Housing -Some are Living in Tents

Harper went to war in Libya Canadians are angry.

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

Israel’s Netanyahu to raise Iran during visit with Harper

Canadians don’t want Harper going to war against Iran either.

The Iran you will never see on American Television

Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

New Added March 3 2012

Another “in and out” in Quebec?

Conservative candidates in Quebec have paid for calls made by the national party without knowing why

Hélène Buzzetti   March 1, 2012   Canada

Photo : Reuters

The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper pleaded guilty last November to charges of electoral fraud precisely because he had used his campaign fund and those of its candidates as communicating vessels in the election of 2005-2006, allowing in the facts to spend more than the legal limit.

To remember

RMG under investigation
, the radius of the investigation triggered by Elections Canada on misleading phone calls made outside of the ballot May 2, 2011 widens, CBC News revealed last night. The organization would interview employees of a call center based in Thunder Bay, Ontario, operated by Responsive Marketing Group. The company was hired by the Conservative Party to reach voters. It is not clear whether the talks held in Thunder Bay are directly related to the investigation by Elections Canada in Guelph. – The Gazette

Ottawa – Election expenses of some Conservative candidates in Quebec in the last general election raise questions. At least one direction of local campaign admits being asked by the national office of the Conservative Party to pay a firm calls without obtaining anything in return. Another wonders about the real value of the expenditure. campaign Bertin-Denis in Rimouski Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques paid $15 000.01 at 15 Toronto-based Responsive Marketing Group (RMG) during the last election. The catch? The local Conservative team do not know what this money was used. “It was kind of a trunk box to support it, says Le Devoir defeated the Conservative candidate, Denis Bertin. It had nothing to say about the operations of that. They did not call and no one was called. I was not part of the survey, I was not consulted. ” Mr. Denis says his riding has been targeted by the headquarters of the Conservative Party as “be beaten.” Suddenly, the PC agreed to pay more money to the district, or $ 55 000. “We did not pay [the contract with RMG], says Denis. Funding came from the National and we wrote a check. “Hence the term” mailbox “: the campaign fund of the district association has only served to channel money from the country, according to Denis Bertin . Ghislain Pelletier, official agent and as one who was responsible for approving the election expenses of Mr. Denis, confirmed the situation. “We were strongly advised to take it,” said he to Le Devoir. Who’s “they”? “The Conservative Party. The company sent us the invoice and I paid it on the recommendation of the party. “RMG or the Conservative Party he provided the local campaign results of these calls? “Absolutely, ma’am. If I were in a private company, I would have asked for a report. “Mr. Pelletier, an accountant by training, said they found this invoice salt. Another local association questioned the value of the contract calls strongly recommended by the Conservative Party: Chicoutimi-Le Fjord. Again, the contract cost $15 000.01. The candidate, former journalist Carol Nero, acknowledges that it does not really know what it was withdrawn. “I did my campaign on my side, I did not really dealt with that.” Did he see the results of this important contract phone calls? “We had reports on voting intentions, but not more than that. […] I can not really say if I got my money or not. ” In both cases, the sum of $15 000.01 is considerable: Bertin Denis spent a total $56 311 for Carol Nero and his campaign, almost $ 103 000. The contract with RMG represents 27% and 15% respectively of their total expenditures. In both cases it is the largest outflow of money. Of the 18 Quebec, 14 have paid the same amount Nobody claims that RMG did not work in this sum. The question is to know for whom the work was done: the Conservative Party or local candidates? The Electoral Law prohibits a political party to charge its candidates for election expenses he has himself made. Party and candidates are subject to separate spending limits. The Conservative Party has pleaded guilty last November to charges of electoral fraud precisely because he had used his campaign fund and those of its candidates as communicating vessels during the election of 2005-2006, in effect allowing it to spend more than the legal limit. This practice of “in and out” won the Conservative Party and the Conservative Fund four fines totaling $ 52 000. In 2011, the Conservative Party has not spent the national allowable limit of 21 million. A total of 97 Conservative candidates at the last federal election used the services of RMG to make phone calls, including 18 in Quebec. Quebecers of 18, 14 have paid the same $ 15 000.01. Two others paid $ 15 000, Larry Smith has spent $ 5,000.01 and Michel-Eric Castonguay, in Montmorency-Charlevoix-Haute-Côte-Nord, has paid $ 1,500.01. spokesman for the Conservative Party, Fred DeLory , said that “some local campaigns in Quebec have retained RMG. RMG has made calls to identify supporters and encourage them to vote in the election. ” He adds that “these contracts have been signed and paid by local campaigns.” Some campaigns have confirmed that Le Devoir that had been the case. Martin Lemire, the candidate’s official agent Peter Paul-Hus in Louis-Hébert, explains that the Conservative Party had sent documentation and had held that “it was more profitable than engaging volunteers.” He claims not to have really paid for this service. “We received money from the party and we paid the bill. It was the “in and out”. “He says the data collected by RMG were placed in a national program and the election day, volunteers for Louis-Hébert could use this program to identify supporters and encourage them to vote. Earlier this week, the Toronto Star published the testimony of three former employees of RMG who have made calls for the Conservative Party on May 2 warning voters that their polling station had been moved. The reaction of voters was so negative, because they were returned to the other side of town, one of the employees had told her supervisor, the RCMP and Elections Canada. Employees do not know if the Conservative Party had provided false information deliberately or by mistake. firm RGM was contacted yesterday to determine with whom they had signed contracts (the party or candidates), how the amount charged was established, what was the nature of services offered and if the results of the work had been communicated to local candidates. RMG did not answer, instead leaving the threat of a lawsuit. “We have not contravened the Election Act and have no knowledge that a customer could violate the Elections Act. Internet or print any article that includes any suggestion of our current involvement is defamatory or implied. We will respond to such statements slanderous with all the force of law, “reported the owner of RMG, Stewart Braddick. Mr Braddick is a life-long Conservative, who worked for Brian Mulroney, Mike Harris in Ontario as well as Tom Long and Belinda Stronach when they have tried their luck for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance and Conservative, respectively. Source

 IN and Out is illegal. This would be their 4th offense I believe.

The above was translated from French to English.

Tory pollster faces full-blown misconduct probe by industry watchdog

The market research industry’s watchdog is launching a full-blown investigation into a Conservative pollster involved in an alleged misinformation campaign against Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

Brendan Wycks, executive director of The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, said Tuesday the watchdog has received seven formal complaints of professional misconduct against Campaign Research Inc.

Campaign Research was behind a phone campaign last fall in Cotler’s Montreal riding, in which constitutents complained they were falsely told their MP was about to or had resigned and that a byelection was imminent. Source

Conservative call centre company has checkered legal history in U.S.

Elections Canada records show RMG worked on 97 individual Conservative candidate campaigns in the last election, billing $1.4 million Source

Former Liberal MP Wrzesnewskyj in court over Etobicoke Centre voting irregularities in 2011

Scaring Seniors at the polling station, stealing mail, Ballot boxes went unsealed, records of those who voted were kept inaccurately and ballots wound up in the wrong boxes,  Conservatives should be hanging their head in shame. Source

The Prime Minister tries to bluster it all away

This is from a bit earlier : Temper tantrums, Accusations, The conservatives sure were bellowing that day.

Of course today we now know what the opposition was saying is rather accurate.

Source

Nature journal criticizes Canadian ‘muzzling’

A little History Lesson

The Conservative Party of Canada

Well they really aren’t the Conservative party they just took it over .

They really have a fondness for changing their name.

Election call tapes being reviewed by Conservatives -Investigators planning to interview staff at call centre

Conservatives should not be anywhere near these tapes.  They could tamper with them. But if anything does go missing Canadians will know who is responsible.

Source

Conservative MPs used U.S.-based telemarketers

Calls masked to hide Ohio origins of calls.This after the Conservatives repeated over and over they didn’t use any US companies.What can I say. They were not being truthful.

MP Dean Del Mastro, claimed in the Commons that the Liberals were the only party that used American calling firms.

“We’ve done some checking,” the PM said, and “we’ve only found that it was the Liberal Party that did source its phone calls from the United States.”

But documents show 14 Conservative campaigns enlisted the telephone services of an Ohio company called Front Porch Strategies. Source

There are Money trails from the Conservative to both American Firms.

(RMG) Research Marketing Group works exclusively with right-of-centre campaigns out of Washington, DC and Toronto Canada

http://www.rmgsite.com/

Racknine  out of Alberta Canada

They do Automated Calls/ Robo calls

http://www.racknine.com/

Front Porch Strategiesis based out of Columbus, Ohio.  Their passion is helping Republican candidates, elected officials, and conservative causes win by personally connecting them with voters and constituents.

All the calls from Ohio to Del Mastro’s riding during the election were programmed to show the telephone number of his local campaign headquarters, masking the fact the phoning was being done from Ohio.

Automated calls can also be done from there as well.

http://frontporchstrategies.us/our-front-porch/

Harper takes cautious tone over Israeli stance on Iran

Israel’s Netanyahu may have been welcome by Harper but Canadians do not support war of any kind.

Mustering up reason to go to war and fabricating evidence has been very clear over the past few years.

So in Iraq they had weapons of Mass Destruction. = Lie No WMD’s were found but over a million and half people died.

Saddam threw babies out of incubators onto the floor =Lie  Turns out the video was shot in a studio somewhere.

Libya Human Right Violations = Lie Seems the Rebel of those who are now in charge of the country were  Terrorists and have committed massive Human rights violations, Mass murders, War Crimes and they were the protesters who doing the killing.They even fabricated a video of a babysitter who said she was abused. That to was a fabrication.

Syria same as Libya =Lie

Now off to Iran I think not.  They will fabricate any kind of evidence to convince people, but do not fall for the lies.

March 4th Additions

Vancouver demonstrators protest robocall scandal

Elections Canada is investigating more than 31,000 report

9 BC riding have been afffected

  • Burnaby-Douglas.
  • Burnaby-New Westminster.
  • New Westminster-Coquitlam.
  • North Vancouver.
  • Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission.
  • Prince George-Peace River.
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands.
  • Vancouver Quadra.
  • Vancouver South.

Protesters are also collected signatures for a petition calling for a public inquiry into the robocall scandal. As of Saturday morning, more than 37,000 signatures had been collected.

Source

RackNine sues Pat Martin and NDP for $5 million

Veterans consider suing MP accused of dozing off

March 5 2012

Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders is accused of sleeping on the job.

Veterans attending a veterans affairs committee meeting last week said Rob Anders fell asleep at the meeting.

The Conservative MP has denied the reports and suggested those who accused him were NDP “hacks” who praised Russian strongman Vladimir Putin during the meeting.

Seems he was also texting insetad of paying attention as well.

Apparently he falls asleep a lot. This is not the first time.

The meeting was extremely important, as it was about homeless Veterans in Canada. There are approximately 1,000.

Be sure to watch the video. Source

Vets Canada

Veterans Emergency Transition Service

http://vetscanada.org/

Canada now like the US, is not taking care of their war veterans.

Tory MP says Elections Canada to blame for robocalls

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott Is doing as well as the others blaming anyone and everyone.

What is the National Register of Electors and how is it updated?

The Register contains basic information about each person (name, sex, date of birth, address) Phone numbers are not collected by Elections Canada Source

The Tory’s are now grasping st straws.

Conservatives refuse to release phone records

Liberals will release election phone records

Que., Ont. say feds will balance budget on provinces’ backs

They should worry as that is exactly the Tactic the Federal Conservatives will use.
March 6 2012

Elections Canada targets PayPal records in robo-calls probe

Elections Canada launches online complaint form

Report a Fraudulent Call To Elections Canada

Be sure to keep a copy of what you send to them in your files.

Anything can be deleted you know.

Computers can have problems and things can be lost.

Or you could mail them your complaint. Again keep a copy for your files.

I would also have a witness to the fact you did send a copy of your report.

Mailing Address, Telephone, Fax, TTY

Elections Canada, the non-partisan agency responsible for the conduct of federal elections and referendums, works hard to keep the public informed about the electoral process. Please contact us for more information at:

Elections Canada
257 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M6

Telephone

1-800-463-6868
toll-free in Canada and the United States

001-800-514-6868
toll-free in Mexico

613-993-2975
from anywhere in the world

For people who are deaf or hard of hearing:
TTY 1-800-361-8935
toll-free in Canada and the United States

Fax

613-954-8584
1-888-524-1444
toll-free in Canada and the United States

Source Elections Canada

Got to keep them honest to you know.
You even also hit Print Screen and (save a copy to your files with the use of Coreldraw, Paint, or other program you may have on your computer.) as you go through the motions and keep a pic of each step as well.
One way or the other keep a copy of your complaint in your files.
Remember
Last week “The Conservatives” denied a request by Elections Canada for the power to demand receipts for political parties’ election spending, raising the question  Why?
Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews seems to think Torture is acceptable
This page was getting to full. I deemed it necessary to start another page.
“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

Recent

Bush, Fed, Europe Banks in $15 Trillion Fraud, All Documented

Florida says NO to Private Prisons

Bush, Fed, Europe Banks in $15 Trillion Fraud, All Documented

LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH, EXPOSING “TRILLION DOLLAR TERROR”

Feb 21 2012

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

———————-

Below is one of the strangest stories in financial history, one involving the US government lying about hundreds of thousands of tons of imaginary gold, illegal wire transfers and loans totaling $15 trillion.  The video, from the House of Lords, is amazing in itself. 

What it doesn’t express is where the money came from though Lord James of Blackheath proves conclusively that an effort was made to say it came from a gold reserve in Brunei that, in fact, never existed.

At surface, it appears we have stumbled upon the largest terrorist organization in the world and have found original documents tracing its funding to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, two of the top financial officers in the US.  A cursory review of terrorism statues in the US indicate that all transactions we will learn about are, in fact, to be assumed “terrorist money laundering” and that the only thing preventing the immediate arrest of hundreds of top financial officials is their political connections alone.

We will be able to offer an alternative, more insights, some hard intelligence and some very valuable background that we hope will offer insightful and realistic perspectives on this amazing story.

On February 16, 2012, Lord James of Blackheath, member of Britain’s House of Lords presented evidence of an illegal scheme begun, he has thus discovered, in 2009.  His documents including originals signed by Alan Greenspan and Timothy Geithner, show the illegal “off the books” transfer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of $15 trillion to, initially, HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) London and then to the Bank of Scotland.

The Bank of Scotland, under royal charter but restricted from involvement in any such transactions, simply “gave” the money to 20 European banks to use in a highly profitable scheme of co-trading “fresh cut” MTN’s (mid-term notes), generating trillions of dollars in profits over 3 years, none of which is shown on books, none has been taxed or has benefited shareholders in those banks.

As Blackheath outlines, the “deception and cover” for this transfer is the imaginary seizure of 750,000 tons of gold by agents of an unspoken entity (confirmed by the highest official sources as the Bush family and CIA), the listed “source” of the money.

The government of Indonesia confirms this to be an utter fabrication and that the individual named had 700 tons of gold (about half of what Gaddafi was holding), not 750,000.  It is noted that only 1,500 tons of gold have ever been traded in world history, as stated in the House of Lords.

The issues that are initially brought out, issues inconsistent with international convention and starting the reader on what is only the surface discovery of two decades of crimes involving dozens of governments are as follows:

  • At no time has the Federal Reserve Bank of New York been authorized to hold the funds indicated
  • However, documents held by Lord Blackheath prove, conclusively that they did hold such funds and transfer them in a manner as to obscure their origin by using HSBC and the Bank of Scotland.  This process, seemingly involving Alan Greenspan, Timothy Geithner and others would appear to be “money laundering” until some other explanation were found.  None has been offered.
  • The “collateralization” of these funds, being 750,000 tons of gold, is proven to be fantasy.  These funds then, in no way or manner, are related to Brunei.  The presentation of this false transaction has been conclusively proven to be a “cover and deception” project such as an intelligence organization would use.
  • The transfer of these funds, all done without any authorizations, governmental or otherwise, particularly without agreements, payment of interest to the United States and without knowledge and approval of congress makes every aspect of this criminal in nature, a violation of innumerable statutes.
  • The receipt and use of these funds by the 20 banks, two of which are Wall Street’s largest, and the use of these funds to generate profits while the funds themselves are held “off the books” and the profits hidden and laundered, themselves the earnings of funds received through criminal acts makes any and all involved part of a criminal enterprise.

WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM

There is no record of the Federal Reserve being authorized to “create” $15 trillion, equal to the entire national debt of the United States.  There is, however, proof that funds that totalled, at one time, $27 trillion had been earned surreptitiously, disposed of as part of an intelligence operation against the Soviet Union and then later stolen with accusations made against George H. W. Bush as being the perpetrator.

I have spoken with two individuals, one President Reagan’s intelligence coordinator and the other Chief Legal Cousel for the Central Intelligence Agency regarding these funds.  Both have indicated that former President Bush had asked that these funds, totalling $27 trillion, be transferred to his control, that threats were made by Bush and that many involved in this operation suffered, issues including murder, illegal arrest, torture and detention among them.

The individuals I am speaking of repeatedly met with President  Bush over these funds, disputed his claim to them, and indicate that the majority of the funds are the property of the people of the United States.

These funds are the mysterious “Wanta” funds, monies earned through years of currency trading aimed at collapsing the Soviet Union, a plan originated by President Ronald Reagan, then White House Intelligence Coordinator Lee Wanta and CIA Director William Casey.  I have been told that, while this operation went forward under President Reagan, he had ordered that his successor, George H. W. Bush not be “briefed” out of “mistrust” for Bush.

The funds themselves were earned through a scheme of trading Soviet roubles at enormous profit, a practice that eventually collapsed their government.  A portion of the profits are subject to current litigation in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge Lee presiding.  I have over 2,000 pages of documents on this case which shows a remainder of the original funds had been transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by the Bank of China, a party to the rouble trading practice, in 2006 and is claimed as totally owned by Ameritrust Corporation.  That amount was $4.5 trillion of which we hold the SWIFT transfer documents.

The other monies, which “likely” make up from the unspent portion of the missing $27 trillion, may well constitute all that is recoverable.

Wanta, sole shareholder in Ameritrust, has offered his companies share, valued by the court now at $7.2 trillion, entirely to the American people as intended by President Reagan.

The origin of the additional funds, issued by the Federal Reserve during the 80s and 90s, totalling nearly $8 trillion is unknown.   High ranking sources within the US government indicate that this can only be either the remainder of funds Wanta raised or profits made from them after the majority of funds were stolen.

Stories, some quite good actually, and personal interviews plus my own review of documents would place the theft or conversion of these funds initially with:

  • The Bush family
  • The “P2,” a Masonic lodge operating out of Switzerland involved in dozens of terror bombings tied to “Operation Gladio”
  • People around Wanta himself including the CIA

What is lacking is a source for half of these funds.  Technically, they don’t exist as there is no record of them being originated by nor transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York though there are clear and discernible records of them being transferred out of that institution which never possessed them, according to their 2010 audit, in the first place.

WANTA MONEY

The transfer of Wanta funds, they can be assumed to have no other origin as they track into the Federal Reserve banking system while in escrow and are currently awaiting payment based on the orders of President Obama in accordance with findings of the federal court, is complicated by the Scottish transfer.

Either Wanta has claim to the entire amount or it is the property of the US government.  That no effort has been made to secure the funds or enforce criminal and civil remedies to recover enough money to pay the entire US national debt and more, as with earnings, we are nearing well over $30 trillion by this time, is an indication that a criminal conspiracy with enough influence to overrule our own government is involved.  Whether that “conspiracy is, as noted, the Bush family, rouge sections of the CIA or a secret society such as P2, one we can prove or others we only suspect exist, is another story.

The lack of action, here or as requested by Lord James in Britain, is, in itself, proof of both the seriousness and actuality of these events and the powers that can prevent any inquiry when irrefutable documents such as SWIFT transfers are available.  In fact, Lord James has offered a wealth of documents which, when combined with the 2000 pages of Wanta “discovery” from the Federal Court, constitutes more than prima facia evidence of money laundering, conversion, terrorism or worse.

Thus, the inaction in the face of overwhelming and unquestioned proof is inexplicable.

FLOOD OF WANTA LITIGATION AND INDICTMENTS COMING

Currently, Wanta’s legal status is as technical conservator and owner of $7.2 trillion.  However, as nearly half that is owed in taxes and the court settlement required Wanta to purchase $1 trillion in treasury bonds, the federal government should show positive interest other than President Obama and a few others.  More are being obstructionist with the payout and exercise of $3 trillion in US debt reduction.

This is, not only illegal but an indication of conspiracy.

In addition, Russian Prime Minister Putin has communicated that he awaits the agreed upon 3% payment of Russian taxes, initially on the $7.2 trillion.  Will Putin want to be paid on the entire $15 trillion plus interest and will Russia and/or the US have interest in why the Bank of Scotland transferred these funds to 20 European banks to trade in MTN’s (mid term notes) without any authorization or agreement, any participation or sharing of profits.

As the funds, at least the half which the US government can claim ownership of, combined with the interest and earnings of, would quickly put the US “in the black,” again we look at, not just the press blackout on the Wanta litigation of the last 6 years but the press blackout on Lord James of Blackheath and the wealth of damning documentation he submitted to Parliament.

Nothing has been done since, it is as though the proof submitted was so dangerous that those moments in time have been erased by a mysterious g-dlike power.

What makes Wanta dangerous is that he has begun to distribute funds, some to government entities, counties and states, law enforcement agencies, giving them standing, not just in recovering funds intended for their use but in helping prosecute anyone involved in interfering with or attempting to divert funds.

One grand jury is being formed to investigate diversion of Wanta funds even at this early date.  It is likely that Wanta/Ameritrust funds earmarked for border protection could lead to the indictment of high ranking US officials.  This is only the beginning.

If the Royal Bank of Scotland doesn’t think it should be expecting the biggest chargeback in the history of the world, they are in for a shock. Source

Globalization has made it much easier to steal, as have Free Trade agreements.

I have faith, this is just a very small portion of fraud world wide.

I also think the World bank, IMF, and the EU should be audited as well all privately owned Central banks such as the one in Greece.

So now who are the real terrorists?

Related

Election Fraud is also a problem in the US.

 

FEDERAL RESERVE OWNERS AND HISTORY

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New leaders in Greece, Italy are BANKERS

New leaders in Greece, Italy call for united front to combat debt crisis

Respected economic experts have stepped into the political vacuum created by the collapse of partisan governments in Athens and Rome, raising the hopes that they can build a broad coalition to combat the debt crisis.

November 15 2011
Non-partisan technocrats slated to take the reigns of power in Greece and Italy are seeking to consolidate their political support ahead of upcoming parliamentary confidence votes, while opposition continues to simmer in Athens and Rome over austerity measures aimed at reducing national debts and stabilizing the eurozone.

Mario Monti, nominated by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to succeed Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister, said it was “premature” to discuss whether or not Italy would have to adopt further austerity measures to dig itself out from under 1.9 trillion euros ($ 2.6 trillion) of sovereign debt.

“Blood no, tears no, but maybe sacrifices,” said Monti, an economist and former EU official famous for pursuing trust-busting cases against Microsoft and General Electric during his tenure as Europe’s commissioner for competition.

Several members of Berlusconi’s conservative PDL party have said that Monti should only stay in power long enough to implement economic reforms. Monti, however, opposes any timeline imposed by parliament that would force his prospective government to dissolve before the 2013 national elections.

“If a date before (2013) is set, this haste would take away credibility from the government’s actions,” Monti said.

Monti, who is currently seeking support among Italy’s political parties, has not announced a deadline for the formation of a cabinet. President Napolitano said he hoped a new government would be approved by a vote of confidence this week.

Simmering opposition

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos called on members of his national unity coalition – made up of socialists, conservatives and nationalists – to sign a written pledge to implement the austerity measures demanded by Brussels in exchange for the latest rescue package.

But Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party, has refused to sign the pledge, saying that he “agrees with the goals to cut government spending” but opposes “whatever stunts growth.”

Papademos, former vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), came to power after former Greek prime minister George Papandreou resigned in the aftermath of an aborted call for a referendum on the latest EU rescue package. Papademos is scheduled to face a vote of confidence on Wednesday.

The so-called troika – the ECB, EU Commission, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) – are expected to visit Athens on Friday to assess whether or not Greece has met the conditions for the next tranche of 8 billion euros in bailout out money, which has been frozen since August. Greece currently has enough reserves to last until December 15.

Author: Spencer Kimball (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Mark Hallam Source

Max Keiser: Gold & silver stake for Wall St. zombie bankers!

Mario Monti

He is  a leading member of the Bilderberg Group.

Monti is also an international adviser to Goldman Sachs.

Lucas Papademos

He has served as Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1980.

Previously, he was Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 to 2002.

Was Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002 to 2010.

Nothing like deliberately putting the Foxes in the Hen house.

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Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 9:43 am  Comments Off on New leaders in Greece, Italy are BANKERS  
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Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece

Oct. 19 2011

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of rioting youths smashed and looted stores in central Athens on Wednesday during a big anti-government rally against painful new austerity measures that erupted into violence.

Outside parliament, demonstrators hurled chunks of marble and gasoline bombs at riot police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Police said at least 14 officers were hospitalized with injuries. At least three journalists covering the demonstrations sustained minor injuries.

The violence spread across the city centre, as at least 100,000 people marched through the Greek capital on the first day of a two-day general strike that unions described as the largest protest in years.

Police and rioters held running battles through the narrow streets of central Athens, as thick black smoke billowed from burning trash and bus-stops.

Wednesday’s strike, which grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down shops and schools, came before a parliamentary vote late Thursday on new tax increases and spending cuts.

International creditors have demanded the reforms before they give Greece its next infusion of cash. Greece says it will run out of money in a month without the C8 billion ($11 billion) bailout money from its partners that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund.

Most of the protesters who converged in central Athens marched peacefully, but crowds outside of parliament clashed with police who tried to disperse them with repeated rounds of tear gas. A gasoline bomb set fire to a presidential guard sentry post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Parliament, while running clashes broke out in several side streets near the legislature and the capital’s main Syntagma Square.

Nearby, groups of hooded, masked protesters tore chunks of marble off building fronts with hammers and crowbars and smashed windows and bank signs. Scuffles also broke out among rioters and demonstrators trying to prevent youths from destroying storefronts and banks along the march route.

Vendors sold swimming goggles to rioters, who used them to ward off the tear gas.

Thousands of people watched the skirmishes, some standing on kiosk roofs to get a better view. Trash was strewn around the streets, and some protesters set clumps of it on fire.

In Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki, protesters smashed the facades of about 10 shops that defied the strike and remained open, as well as five banks and cash machines. Police fired tear gas and threw stun grenades.

All sectors — from dentists, hospital doctors and lawyers to shop owners, tax office workers, pharmacists, teachers and dock workers — walked off the job before a parliamentary vote Thursday on new austerity measures which include new taxes and the suspension of tens of thousands of civil servants.

Flights were grounded in the morning but some resumed at noon after air traffic controllers scaled back their strike plan from 48 hours to 12. Dozens of domestic and international flights were still cancelled. Ferries remained tied up in port, while public transport workers staged work stoppages but kept buses, trolleys and the Athens subway system running to help protesters.

In Parliament, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers that Greeks had no choice but to accept the hardship.

“We have to explain to all these indignant people who see their lives changing that what the country is experiencing is not the worst stage of the crisis,” he said. “It is an anguished and necessary effort to avoid the ultimate, deepest and harshest level of the crisis. The difference between a difficult situation and a catastrophe is immense.”

About 3,000 police deployed in central Athens, shutting down two subway stations near parliament as protest marches began. Protesters banged drums and chanted slogans against the government and Greece’s international creditors who have pressured the country to push through rounds of tax hikes and spending cuts.

“We just can’t take it any more. There is desperation, anger and bitterness,” said Nikos Anastasopoulos, head of a workers’ union for an Athens municipality.

Other municipal workers said they had no option but to take to the streets.

“We can’t make ends meet for our families,” said protester Eleni Voulieri. “We’ve lost our salaries, we’ve lost everything and we’re in danger of losing our jobs.”

Demonstrations during a similar 48-hour strike in June left the centre of Athens convulsed by violence as rioters clashed with police on both days while deputies voted on another austerity package inside Parliament.

Piles of garbage festered on Athens street corners despite Tuesday’s government order to garbage crews to end their 17-day strike. Earlier in the week, private crews removed some trash from along the planned demonstration routes, but mounds remained on side streets, along some of the march routes and in city neighbourhoods.

Protesting civil servants have also staged rounds of sit-ins at government buildings, with some, including the Finance Ministry, under occupation for days.

Most stores in the city centre, including bakeries and kiosks were shut Wednesday. Several shop owners said they had received threats that their stores would be smashed if they attempted to open.

The measures to be voted on come after more than a year and a half of repeated spending cuts and tax increases. They include new tax hikes, further pension and salary cuts, the suspension on reduced pay of 30,000 public servants and the suspension of collective labour contracts.

A communist party-backed union has vowed to encircle Parliament Thursday in an attempt to prevent deputies from entering the building for the vote.

The reforms have been so unpopular that even some lawmakers from the governing Socialists have indicated they might vote against them.

Meanwhile, European countries are trying to work out a broad solution to the continent’s deepening debt crisis, before a weekend summit in Brussels. It became clear earlier this year that the initial bailout for Greece was not working as well as had been hoped, and European leaders agreed on a second, C109 billion ($151 billion) bailout. But key details of that rescue fund, including the participation of the private sector, remain to be worked out. Source

EU raids banks amid suspicions they colluded

Oct. 19, 2011

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union’s competition watchdog said Wednesday it conducted unannounced inspections at several banks amid suspicions they may have colluded to manipulate euro interest rate derivatives.

The European Commission said it is looking into a possible cartel by companies active in the sector of derivatives linked to the Euro Interbank Offered Rate — a key interest-rate benchmark.

The Commission said the raids started on Tuesday, but didn’t name the firms whose premises it inspected.

There are trillions of euros in derivatives whose value is based on developments in the Euribor and they make up a significant slice of the profitable business of derivatives trading, which has grown exponentially in recent years.

The Euribor is set by a group of 44 banks and is based on the interest rates they charge for lending to other financial institutions.

Inspections, during which investigators collect documents that could aid their case, are an early step in EU competition probes and happen before the Commission starts an in-depth investigation into suspected cartels and other violations of EU competition law.

The inspections are another sign that competition watchdogs are stepping up their scrutiny of the financial sector as a result of the 2008 credit crunch and the European debt crisis.

Press reports earlier this year said that the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission were looking into suspected manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, which is a benchmark rate similar to the Euribor but used much more widely.

Earlier this year, the European Commission also opened an investigation into practices of some of the world’s largest banks in the market for credit default swaps, derivatives that act as a sort of insurance against default.Source

The US should be investigating their own banks including the Federal Reserve.

They lead to the downfall of Greece.

The International Monetary Fund is basically run by the US and other rich countries. It  is a horrid creature that should be eliminated as should the World Bank. Both are nothing more then a dictatorship that imposed massive hardship on countries. The  IMF Can Only Bring Misery.

For six decades, the World Bank and IMF have imposed policies, programs, and projects that:

  • Decimate women’s rights and devastate their lives, their families, and their communities;
  • Subjugate democratic governance and accountability to corporate profits and investment portfolios;
  • Trap countries in a cycle of indebtedness and economic domination;
  • Force governments to privatize essential services;
  • Put profits before peoples’ rights and needs;
  • Abet the devastation of the environment in the name of development and profit;
  • Institutionalize the domination of the wealthy over the impoverished – the new form of colonialism; and
  • Facilitate corporate agendas through the economic re-structuring of countries enduring conflict and occupation, such as East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Check out what they do in Africa.

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

Greece Country Profile

If the US  can’t get you with the IMF, World Bank or Free Trade Agreements  — they send in the CIA.

One way or the other they will make your lives miserable and even kill you to get what they want. They even start wars to get what they want.

One has to wonder how many problems are still created by the CIA in other countries. They can  cause financial chaos to other countries as well. They manipulate elections in other countries and invent anything to overturn governments they do not like.

One has to wonder if those Masked folks in Greece that stir up violence, may be associated with the CIA.  The US does not like Socialism. That is one of their tactics they use often.

This fellow has a number of Videos that can be watched I recommend them all so you can get some insight into what the CIA is really like. They have not changed over the years only now everything they do is kept secret and always chalked up to National Security so no one can find out what they are up to.  Do take the time to watch as many of the Video with John in them.  Then maybe you will understand just how the US destroys other countries.

John Stockwell – CIA’s War on Humans

Feb 13, 2008

John R. Stockwell is a former CIA officer who became a critic of United States government policies after serving in the Agency for thirteen years serving seven tours of duty. After managing U.S. involvement in the Angolan Civil War as Chief of the Angola Task Force during its 1975 covert operations, he resigned and wrote In Search of Enemies, a book which remains the only detailed, insider’s account of a major CIA “covert action.”

Some things never change

More John Stockwell on the CIA and the Covert Action

John Stockwell on the Election of George H. W. Bush (1988)

This explains how they did many things as well, They had a lot of help from Israel in their horrific deeds against innocent people as well.

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

So look at the world around us today and you will notice nothing has changed only gotten worse and the US is still starting wars. They still interfere with other Governments. They still topple Governments they don’t like. Now they have more weapons like the IMF, World Bank, Free Trade, WTO etc.

I could bet a few dollars they have everything to do with the problems in Greece and many other EU countries deep in debt. Wars are also driving countries deep in debt.

Greek lawmakers vote in favour of new austerity bill

Oct. 20 2011

ATHENS, Greece — Greek lawmakers have passed a deeply resented austerity bill that has led to violent protests on the streets of Athens, despite some dissent from one Socialist lawmaker.

The new measures include pay and staff cuts in the civil service as well as pension cuts and tax hikes for all Greeks. The bill passed by majority vote in the 300-member parliament.

Former Labor Minister Louka Katseli voted against one article that scales back collective labour bargaining rights. She voted in favour of the overall bill, but Prime Minister George Papandreou expelled her from the party’s parliamentary group. The move whittles down his parliamentary majority to 153.

The vote came after violent demonstrations that left one person dead and 74 injured. Source

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Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 6:25 am  Comments Off on Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece  
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World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests

Wall Street Tsunami: OWS grows in force Oct 22 2011

‘OWS ain’t a war zone’ – One marine vs 30 cops in NYC Oct 22 2011

If you don’t understand the Occupy Wall Street Movement check out this Video

Occupy Wall Street Spells It Out

Updated Photos: Occupy Vancouver – global movement

Photos at link below

Thousands participated in the Vancouver leg of the financial protests.

Video on the protest in Vancover

Video Occupy Toronto protesters settle in at St. James Park 

Occupy Montreal

Close to 3000 people have joined up to Occupy Montreal

Occupy Ottawa Confederation Park Ottawa

There are numerous other videos for Occupy Ottawa on youtube

‘Occupy’ protest takes root in downtown Edmonton

There are numerous other videos on Occupy Edmonton on youtube

Occupy Calgary

There are more Occupy Calgary Videos on youtube

Occupy Winnipeg Day 1

More Videos on Occupy Winnipeg on youtube

Occupy Regina

Occupy Quebec City Short video

Rome not so peaceful

Demonstrators march past a burning car in downtown Rome on October 15, 2011. Tens of thousands marched in Rome as part of a global day of protests inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Indignant” movements, with the Italian capital under a security lockdown.
Photograph by: ALBERTO PIZZOLI, AFP/Getty Images

RAW VIDEO – Italy – Riots in Rome – Italian Indignados Protest Turns Violent.

ITALY. Riots in Milan. Students Protest Turns Violent. Assaulted Goldman Sachs Office.

ROME: Protesters torched cars, smashed up banks and set fire to a military building in Rome on Saturday in the worst violence of worldwide demonstrations against corporate greed and government cutbacks.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of the Italian capital for a march that turned violent and equal numbers rallied in Madrid and Lisbon while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange joined angry demonstrators in London.

The protests were inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the United States and the “Indignants” in Spain, targeting 951 cities in 82 countries across the planet in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

It was the biggest show of power yet by a movement born on May 15 when a rally in Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square sparked a worldwide movement that focused anger over unemployment and opposition to the financial elite.

“I think it is very moving that the movement that was born here has extended throughout the world. It was about time for people to rise up,” said 24-year-old Carmen Martin as she marched towards Puerta del Sol.

In the Portuguese capital, where some 50,000 rallied, 25-year-old Mathieu Rego said: “We are victims of financial speculation and this austerity programme is going to ruin us. We have to change this rotten system.”

The protests received unexpected support from Italian central bank governor Mario Draghi, a former executive at Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs set to take over as president of the European Central Bank.

“Young people are right to be indignant,” Draghi was reported as saying on the sidelines of talks among G20 financial powers in Paris.

“They’re angry against the world of finance. I understand them,” he added, though expressing regrets at reports of violence.

More protests were staged in Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Geneva, Paris, Sarajevo and Zurich. Thousands also rallied across Canada and in New York and Washington, where they protested outside the White House and the US Treasury.

Scuffles broke out in London, where about 800 people rallied in the financial district by St Paul’s Cathedral, raising banners saying: “Strike back!” “No cuts!” and “Goldman Sachs is the work of the devil!”

Five people were arrested, three for assaulting police officers and two for public order offences, Scotland Yard said.

Three lines of police, and one line at the rear on horseback, blocked them from heading to the London Stock Exchange and pushed back against lead marchers, some wearing masks.

“One of the reasons why we support what is happening here in ‘Occupy London’ is because the banking system in London is the recipient of corrupt money,” Assange said from the steps of St Paul’s, flanked by bodyguards.


A protestor holds a placard on the steps of Saint Paul’s cathedral in central London on October 15, 2011.
Photograph by: AFP, Getty

Occupy London clashes: Fighting erupts at UK protest

Occupy IRELAND-Dame Street, Dublin. Day 3 -4-5-AND CONTINUE 15th of October OCCUPY WORLD 2011


Police arrested 24 protesters at a bank as thousands marched in New York, where the Occupy Wall Street movement that sparked the global demos began on September 17 with activists taking up residence in the heart of the Financial District.

In Miami, a city that rarely hosts mass demonstrations, at least 1,000 people marched downtown. The crowd included youth and retirees standing up against corporations, banks and war. No police could be seen as the group approached government buildings.

Over 10,000 Canadians blew bubbles, strummed guitars and chanted anti-corporate slogans at peaceful protests in cities across the country.

“I believe a revolution is happening,” said 30-year-old Annabell Chapa, who brought her one-year-old son Jaydn along in a stroller.

The European Union also became a target for anger as the eurozone debt crisis continues, with some 9,000 protesters marching to the EU’s headquarters in Brussels and rallying outside the ECB’s headquarters in Frankfurt.

In Rome, the march quickly degenerated into running street battles between groups of hooded protesters and riot police who fired tear gas and water jets into the crowd amid a security lockdown in the Italian capital.

“Today is only the beginning. We hope to move forward with a global movement. There are many of us and we want the same things,” said one protester, Andrea Muraro, a 24-year-old engineering student from Padua.

“Only One Solution: Revolution!” read a placard. One group carried a cardboard coffin with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s name on it.

Berlusconi later condemned the “incredible level of violence” at the march.

He said the clashes were “a very worrying signal for civil coexistence.”

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said “we’ve seen the worst of Europe today in Rome.”

Seventy people were injured in the clashes and treated by medics, including three in a serious condition, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Backing from Italy’s main trade unions and student movements boosted the numbers at the protest in Rome — in contrast to most of the other rallies.

As the day began, around 500 people gathered in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district to vent their anger. About 100 demonstrators in Tokyo also voiced fury at the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Another 600 demonstrators in Sydney set up camp outside Australia’s central bank, where the plight of refugees and Aboriginal Australians was added to the financial concerns. Source

Occupy Wall Street Spain

Occupy Tokyo 2011

Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece

Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels

Wall Street/Washington Protesters an Inspiration to Behold

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Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 9:23 am  Comments Off on World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests  
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Citigroup to pay $75 million to settle SEC charges

By Maria Aspan

NEW YORK | Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:46pm EDT

Citigroup Inc (C.N) will pay $75 million to settle charges that it failed to disclose subprime exposure to investors in 2007, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.

The SEC also charged a Citigroup executive and a former chief financial officer of misrepresenting the bank’s exposure, although not with intentional misconduct. It was one of a very few cases in which financial executives have faced any kind of charges, civil or criminal, related to the 2008 credit meltdown.

Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) agreed to pay $550 million to settle civil fraud charges over how it marketed a subprime mortgage product. At the time, the SEC’s enforcement director said the agency was continuing to probe subprime deals across a wide variety of institutions.

It is unclear if he was referring specifically to the Citigroup probe, but the SEC in general has been looking at banks’ subprime misdeeds for years.

The comparatively small settlement against Citigroup came a full three years after the bank began understating its subprime exposure. To many analysts, it will prolong the financial sector’s pain.

“This is the type of stuff that erodes investor confidence,” said Matt McCormick, a portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Inc.

It is also the type of stuff that feeds other lawsuits. Steven Singer, a plaintiffs’ attorney representing bondholders who are suing Citigroup on related charges, said the SEC’s settlement would be “very helpful” to his case.

Some analysts railed against the SEC’s actions.

“If the goal of the SEC is every two or three weeks to come out and say that there’s another financial company that’s done something wrong,” the agency will drive home the belief “that the financial system in the United States is rotten, that it’s run by crooks who create fraudulent products,” said Dick Bove, analyst at Rochdale Securities.

As investors wait for more regulatory shoes to drop, “the markets will continue to act in the volatile fashion that they are right now,” he said.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY

Citigroup understated its exposure by about $40 billion, the SEC said. The agency charged Citigroup with material omission of disclosure requirements.

Failing to disclose exposure is serious business to investors, who decide how much to pay for bank stocks in part by trying to figure out the real value of the company’s assets minus its liabilities.

Under the settlement, the bank did not admit or deny the allegations. The SEC has asked a federal judge to approve the agreement.

Citigroup spokesman Jon Diat said the bank was pleased that it had reached a deal with the SEC.

Former Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden, who left the bank in 2009, agreed to pay $100,000 under the settlement.

“This is the highest-ranking corporate officer to be yet named in the still-continuing investigation of the 2008-2009 crisis,” said John Coffee, law professor at Columbia.

Arthur Tildesley Jr, Citigroup’s former head of investor relations and current head of cross-marketing, agreed to pay $80,000.

Crittenden and Tildesley “were repeatedly provided with information about the full extent of Citigroup’s subprime exposure” during 2007, but both “helped draft and then approved” disclosures to investors that under-reported that exposure, the SEC said on Thursday.

Crittenden’s lawyer, John Carroll of Skadden Arps, said via email that the former CFO “did not admit or deny any liability” and “is pleased to have resolved this matter.”

Tildesley’s lawyer, Mark Stein at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, declined to comment and referred queries to Citigroup.

Diat called Crittenden “a highly valued senior officer” who “played a critical role in helping Citi navigate” the financial crisis. He said Tildesley is “a highly valued employee” who “is making significant contributions to the company.”

MISSING $40 BILLION

In the second and third quarters of 2007, Citigroup told investors that its subprime exposure was $13 billion or less, when in fact it was more than $50 billion, the SEC said. The $13 billion figure omitted two categories of subprime-backed assets totaling roughly $40 billion of exposure.

Citigroup did not disclose its true subprime exposure until November 2007. By the end of that year, it had posted a huge writedown on subprime assets. Its chief executive, Charles Prince, resigned, in large part because of the writedowns.

Citigroup’s bad bets on subprime and other assets eventually forced the government to provide $45 billion of capital to the bank across three rescues in 2008 and 2009. The government still owns an almost 18 percent stake in the bank.

Citigroup shares closed up 3 cents at $4.12 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday..

(Reporting by Maria Aspan; additional reporting by Dan Wilchins in New York and Emma Ashburn in Washington; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz, Maureen Bavdek, Matthew Lewis and Bernard Orr) Source

Considering how much the banks received in tax payer money seems to me a few of the executives should have went to jail and lost everything they own rather then the settlements, after all the taxpayers actually payed for the settlements. Now Didn’t they? What a sham. The criminals are still free. Now that is American justice for you. The Rich swindlers walk free.

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Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 5:24 am  Comments Off on Citigroup to pay $75 million to settle SEC charges  
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Goldman Sachs profited from market crash

April 25 2010

A US Senate panel has revealed emails that show Goldman Sachs Group Inc profited massively by engaging in the sale of investments that were structured to fail.

Senators say the Wall Street giant investment bank bundled toxic mortgages into complex financial instruments. It then manipulated credit rating agencies to give excellent ratings to these products.

The head of the Senate panel, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan claims that Goldman sold the toxic securities to its investors.

In some cases, the company bet against the financial products it sold to investors and profited at the expense of its clients.

Goldman’s executives are testifying in Washington this week. The firm denies any wrongdoings.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Goldman Sachs on April 16 for civil fraud lawsuit alleging the bank didn’t tell investors in a collateralized debt obligation that hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co. helped structure the deal and was planning to bet against it.

The e-mails were released by Levin prior to the Tuesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill.  Source

Goldman Sachs insists it made $1.2bn loss on sub-prime market

Emails released by Congress sub-committee imply Goldman bankers boasted about making ‘serious money’ on mortgage defaults

Goldman received $10bn of government bail-out money and converted to a commercial bank at the height of the crisis, giving it access to cheap Federal Reserve funds: “Goldman’s been singled out because clearly there’s something of a smoking gun here and they’re top of the heap.”On Saturday, the senate committee’s chairman, Carl Levin, a veteran Democratic lawmaker, struck a combative tone by releasing a collection of internal Goldman emails that, he said, showed Goldman made “a lot of money by betting against the mortgage market”, while millions of Americans were losing their homes to bailiffs.

For the entire story go HERE

Faced with a $1bn (£650m) fraud prosecution is peanuts considering they got $10 billion from US taxpayers.  They still made a $9 billion profit even if they loose the case.  Maybe they should pay back all they stole from taxpayers.

And if they didn’t make profit one of their friends certainly did.  So if Paulson and Co made a lot of money, why not others?

Maybe the rest of the profiteers just haven’t been found yet.

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Paulson and Co. made a $3.7 billion profit on collapse of subprime mortgage market

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Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on Goldman Sachs profited from market crash  
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Paulson and Co. made a $3.7 billion profit on collapse of subprime mortgage market

The Firm Not Charged in Goldman Case Made Billions on Collapse

By Marisa Taylor

April 18 2010

WASHINGTON – New York hedge fund manager John Paulson was one of the first to predict the collapse of the subprime mortgage market – and to cash in on his knowledge.

By late 2005, he already had concluded that the subprime loans underlying high-yield bonds being sold worldwide would become worthless, even as some Wall Street firms were still ramping up their sale of related securities.

“We determined …that there was a complete mispricing of risk of mortgage securities,” Paulson testified at a congressional hearing in November 2008.

As a result, his firm, Paulson & Co., made a $3.7 billion profit by betting against the housing market as it nose dived in 2006 and 2007. On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed that $1 billion of those profits came in an insider deal in which Goldman Sachs allegedly let the company select subprime securities for a complicated offshore deal and then bet on their failure.

Paulson & Co., which was founded in 1994, manages funds that are open only to “qualified purchasers” – individual investors with $5 million in assets to invest or institutions with at least $25 million to invest. In 2004, the company registered with the SEC as an investment adviser.

The company was able to anticipate the losses because Paulson’s researchers looked at the underlying home loans, Paulson told Congress. Paulson realized they were comprised of risky mortgages – some of which were made with 100 percent financing.

Even worse, he testified, mortgages were given to borrowers who had a history of poor credit, had no verified income or whose appraisal that was typically inflated.

“It was that analysis that allowed us to buy protection on these securities, which resulted in large gains for our funds,” he said.

SEC officials said Friday that Paulson was not charged in the Goldman case because the company did not mislead investors.

In a statement, the company pointed to the SEC’s statements, saying, “Paulson is not the subject of this complaint, made no misrepresentations and is not the subject of any charges.”

The company declined to respond to questions.

Several media outlets reported Friday that former Paulson co-manager Paolo Pellegrini was cooperating with the investigation and provided the SEC with crucial information that led to the Goldman charges.

A spokeswoman for Pellegrini, who left to start his own fund, didn’t immediately comment. Source

Who was IKB, the German bank on the losing end of John Paulson’s Abacus bet?

Mike O’Rourke of BTIG explains, and points out why they’re pissed as hell about the bubble bursting.

One of the “victims” of this alleged fraud is IKB, a bank.  If any institution should know how to analyze credit, it’s a bank.  Even worse is that IKB is one of these serial carry-traders who purchased these types of instruments for the Structured Investment Vehicles and floated paper in the Asset Backed Commercial Paper market against them borrowing short and lending long (see chart).  Those are the institutions that truly put the system at risk.

Finally, in this scenario, the “independent” third party portfolio selection agent claimed to be unsure of the client’s intentions.  It should not matter what the related party’s views or intentions are, whether long or short.  The fact is the agent’s very job description is to be unbiased and independent.  Instead, just like the ratings agencies, the collateral managers saw the profits that loomed rather than performing the task at hand.  If ACA had simply performed its task of comprehensively and independently evaluating the underlying RMBS, the deal would not have happened.  It is hard to believe they did not know the intentions for the pool when the higher quality subprime RMBS were replaced.  In addition, if AAA ratings were not handed out to everyone who applied, this deal (like so many others) would not have been done.

The chart says it all.

Source

Related

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There is information on the Financial and housing collapse in the 2008 Archives. From September 2008 on.

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Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 6:53 am  Comments Off on Paulson and Co. made a $3.7 billion profit on collapse of subprime mortgage market  
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This Is One of the Biggest Wall Street Frauds Ever

By Porter Stansberry

February 26 2010

One of the best lessons I’ve learned over my career as an investment analyst is the myth of excellent management or “great execution” is really just that – a myth.

When I see companies in troubled industries reporting quarter after quarter of great results, while all of their peers are getting killed, I know a fraud is going on. I remember in the early 2000s, WorldCom kept reporting profits when all of the other long-distance carriers were getting killed. I knew it couldn’t last. And it didn’t. WorldCom’s accounting was revealed to be a fraud – the company was counting its network access costs as capital expenses. Once the real numbers came out, the company collapsed in what was the largest bankruptcy in American history at that point.

About three years ago, I saw Goldman Sachs reporting quarter after quarter of unbelievable results when all of the other investment banks were hurting. I spent a lot of time looking at its numbers – which didn’t make any sense. It reminded me of Enron. It kept reporting bigger and bigger profits, but lost more money every year in cash. And its debt balances kept growing.

I wrote a lot about this in The Digest, but I never officially recommended shorting Goldman in my newsletter because I literally couldn’t figure out how Goldman Sachs was doing it. I couldn’t find the smoking gun… but I knew a giant fraud would be discovered there, eventually.

In October 2008, I figured out part of the big secret: Goldman had insured all of its subprime exposure via AIG. This allowed it to book huge profits on its subprime investments long before they were actually paid off because the bonds were insured. Of course, it was all a sham – AIG didn’t have nearly enough money to pay off any of the insurance. (See the October issue of PSIA for more details.) A source close to the company even told me how big the exposure to AIG really was – $20 billion. That’s roughly 100% of the profit Goldman claimed in 2006 and 2007, at the height of the credit bubble. Goldman completely denied my report and claimed it had zero exposure to AIG.

As was subsequently revealed in the spring of 2009, my report was right on the money. Goldman had roughly $20 billion in exposure to AIG and received roughly $14 billion of money the federal government used to bail out AIG.

But I completely missed one big part of the story… And once this fact becomes common knowledge, it will probably mean jail time for several leading Goldman executives and the end of the firm. What did I miss? The entire Goldman-AIG relationship was a complete sham. Let me explain…

Goldman eventually admitted it had insured roughly $20 billion worth of subprime CDOs with AIG and had major exposure to the firm. But the New York Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs never revealed this critical fact: Goldman didn’t merely buy insurance on a bunch of random subprime CDOs. It actually bought insurance on special CDOs it had put together and sold to its own clients. In other words, Goldman knew more about these CDOs than anyone else. Goldman bought insurance on these CDOs because it knew they’d collapse.

This is tantamount to building a house, planting a bomb in it, selling it to an unsuspecting buyer, and buying $20 billion worth of life insurance on the homeowner – who you know is going to die!

These facts all came to light because of research done by the office of Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. These new documents will certainly lead to a full investigation of the Goldman-AIG dealings and the subsequent $180 billion bailout led by the New York Federal Reserve. My bet? Heads will roll. If you own Goldman Sachs, you’d better sell.
Source

No surprise there. Both AIG and Goldman Sachs rate right up there with all the bailed out companies.  They caused the Financial crisis and the taxpayer foots the bill and still no real investigation or audits have been done. Even the Fed refused to let auditors in.

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Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 5:39 am  Comments Off on This Is One of the Biggest Wall Street Frauds Ever  
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OUTRAGE AT 2,000% Interest on LOANS

By Louise Barnett
December 14 2009

GREEDY lenders are exploiting struggling families by offering Christmas loans with crippling annual interest rates of 2,350 per cent.

Families hit by the credit crunch are turning to so-called payday loans because they cannot access extra money from high street banks.

National TV adverts for one loan firm hit screens last week just as Office of Fair Trading research revealed a worrying increase in expensive short-term borrowing. And last night there were calls for the Government to clamp down on the loan firms amid fears that thousands of families could be plunged into spiralling debt.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said: “At a time when official interest rates are close to zero and inflation is very low or negative it is unbelievable that people are being charged thousands or hundreds of per cent in interest.

“Much of this can be attributed to the withdrawal of credit from struggling households who can no longer use banks and are being driven into these extreme and extortionate forms of credit.

“These findings by the Daily Express underline the need for the Government to match its rhetoric with firm action to regulate these extortionate credit markets.”

Payday loans typically charge interest at an Annual Percentage Rate of between 1,000 and 2,000 per cent. Borrowers usually pay £25 interest for every £100 cash advance which the lender redeems after 30 days via a post-dated cheque for the amount borrowed plus fees and interest.

Internet lender QuickQuid.co.uk is advertising its services this month on national and local TV channels including SkySportsNews, Dave, Channel 5 and MTV. It offers a typical APR of a staggering 2,356 per cent while another major internet lender, PayDayUK, says its typical APR is 1,737 per cent.

A person borrowing £1,000 at 2,356 per cent APR would end up paying back £3,824 over 12 months.

Damon Gibbons, chair of campaign group Debt on our Doorstep, called on the Government to impose a cap on payday loan interest rates.

“This is a market that needs to have a price cap in place. Typically, people become trapped in a dependent relationship one month to the next. They often have to borrow again to pay off the loans they’ve taken out and it becomes a spiral of indebtedness,” he warned. Payday loans were invented in America and launched in the UK just over a decade ago.

QuickQuid’s website advertises same-day cash advances up to £1,500 for existing customers and £400 for new customers in a service it describes as a “hassle-free solution” to household bills or short-term money needs.

Rival service Payday UK’s website offers loans from £80 to £750 payable within 48 hours. John Lamidey, chief executive of trade body the Consumer Finance Association which represents payday loan firms, said: “The APR isn’t the cost of the loan, the APR is the rate. What you have to look at is the cost of the credit – how much is it going to cost you and how much you will pay back.

“Typically, what you are looking at with a payday loan is £200 and one month later you might pay back £250. So you pay back one and a quarter times what you borrow.” He added that internet lenders’ fees tended to be higher than shop-based lenders’ fees because they needed to carry out rigorous expensive credit checks before handing over money.

A spokeswoman for watchdog Consumer Focus warned: “This is an area that needs a light really shining on it.”

And consumer group Which? said: “At the moment it looks as though they are preying on those people who can’t get borrowing elsewhere.”

Source

They all should be shut down. There are other countries that also have allowed these thieves in as well.  This is what you call Hy-way robbery.

They need to be regulated. This type of thing should not now or ever be tolerated. But isn’t Free Trade wonderful?

Compliments of the good old USA.  They know how to gouge customers.

Put them out of business, never use them.

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Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm  Comments Off on OUTRAGE AT 2,000% Interest on LOANS  
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Federal Reserve rejects request for public Audit

By  Stephen C. Webster

From September 21 2009

The institution which creates and oversees America’s currency wants to keep a “low profile,” according to a published report on Monday, and may willing to dodge the U.S. Treasury in order to do so.

According to Bloomberg News, the Federal Reserve Bank will not submit to a voluntary public study of its internal structure and methods of governance, as it was requested to do so by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Geithner is the former New York Federal Reserve Bank chairman. The review he requested is part of President Barack Obama’s financial regulatory reforms, which he proposed in mid-June. Part of those reforms would have studied the Fed’s “ability to accomplish its existing and proposed functions” — a proposal the bank’s board of governors appears to have flatly rejected.

“The agency also said that while the report requested by Secretary Geithner and his department has not yet been scrapped, no work has been done on the project, which is due Oct 1,” noted Reuters.

“The institution is trying to keep a low profile,” Vincent Reinhart, a former Fed monetary policy director, told Bloomberg. “To publish a report now invites comment on that report.”

And comments are the last thing the Fed wants right now.

Under fire

The Federal Reserve has been under growing political fire ever since Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) made it a frequent target during his presidential campaign. However, Paul has been a longtime opponent of the bank, openly calling for it to be abolished and the U.S. dollar to once again be backed by gold, instead of mere faith.

“From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the burst of the dotcom bubble last year, every economic downturn suffered by the country over the last 80 years can be traced to Federal Reserve policy,” Paul said in 2002, according to congressional records. “The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and an artificial ‘boom’ followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts.”

His bill, House Resolution 1207, which would subject the Fed to a complete audit, has gained significant traction in the U.S. House of Representatives, with over half its members signing on in support of the move. Though mostly Republicans, a large cross-section of Democrats reached across the aisle to support the bill, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, recently told a town hall audience that the Fed will be subjected to a complete audit soon. He predicted the House will pass Paul’s bill — or an amalgam of it, wrapped with other regulatory reforms — “probably in October.”

“A companion bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has 27 cosponsors,” noted The Hill.

The Fed has also come under fire for refusing to disclose which firms it paid massive bailouts to in 2008 and early 2009, amid the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. A particular amount of interest among lawmakers has focused on the Bank of American – Merrill Lynch & Co. merger, which the Fed facilitated.

The House Domestic Policy Subcommittee, under the leadership of Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), subpoenaed the Fed in June for records relating to the transaction. New York Attorney-General Andrew Cuomo has claimed that, in 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strong-armed BofA into buying Merrill — a move that, if true, could expose Paulson and Bernanke to prosecution. That investigation is under way.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke “has vehemently opposed the idea [of an audit], asserting that it would lead to the politicization of monetary policy by giving Congress an easy way to second-guess any decision the Fed makes,” noted The Los Angeles Times in late August.

That specific argument — that the monetary system is endangered by closer observation of Fed actions — was discounted by Judge Loretta Preska of the Manhattan U.S. District Court, in a ruling that ordered the Fed to disclose which firms received bailout dollars.

While the Fed argued that disclosing who was bailed out on the taxpayer’s dime could be detrimental to the agency’s independence from Congress, Judge Preska wrote that the claim was based merely on “conjecture” and the court remained unconvinced because the Fed had failed to provide adequate evidence to substantiate its claims.

“[The] risk of looking weak to competitors and shareholders is an inherent risk of market participation; information tending to increase that risk does not make the information privileged or confidential,” she wrote.

Source

Federal  Reserve  History

Published in: on October 8, 2009 at 1:44 am  Comments Off on Federal Reserve rejects request for public Audit  
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Banks begging for Bailouts Again Third times is a charm

UK plans new bank bailout measures

An earlier recapitalisation scheme has failed to restore confidence in UK’s banking sector Photo: AFP

Britain will unveil a package of measures in the next day or two to try to get banks to resume lending, Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, has said.

It marks a second bailout of British banks, following the 37bn pound ($54.5bn, €41bn) recapitalisation scheme in October, which has largely failed to restore confidence in the banking sector.

Speaking in Egypt on Sunday, on the sidelines of a summit on the conflict in the Gaza Strip, Brown said: “We know the essential problem is the resumption of lending.”

The package is designed to “get lending moving in the economy” to help families and businesses hit by a freeze in the global credit markets, he said.

Government officials and bank chiefs have spent the weekend in talks to try to reach a deal.

A key part of the bailout will be a huge state insurance scheme to guarantee billions of pounds of banks’ bad assets, according to local media reports.

The Sunday Times newspaper said that among the measures, up to 100bn pounds of new lending could be guaranteed.

It said the taxpayer’s stake in banks like HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland could rise further.

Brown’s remarks

“We have recapitalised the banks, we have injected money into the economy, at the same time we know that the essential problem that has been holding back banks internationally is the resumption of lending,” Brown said.

“That’s what we’re going to be doing tomorrow and that is what the package is about.

Brown said ‘what we want to do now is to get the resumption of lending’ Photo: AFP
“My first priority is hard-working families worried about whether they can get a mortgage, businesses who work hard every day. They need the banks to do the job they say they’re there for.”What we want to do now is to get the resumption of lending and you will see tomorrow there are measures taken that will ensure that banks and non-bank institutions are able to resume lending or expand lending and in some cases to start lending.

“What we want to do is see businesses get the money that they need to be able to create jobs and secure investment for the future.

“What I want to see is people who are mortgage holders having access to mortgages at prices they can afford.”

International exposure

The bailout announcement came a day after Brown told British banks that they must own up to the extent of their bad assets.

He said on Saturday in London that British banks’ exposure to international losses was the largest problem they faced and called for an internationally agreed solution.

“The international community has got to modernise and change and  reform and get to the roots of the problem that make us angry about  the way that the system is operating,” he said.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays plunged on Friday after US giant Citigroup announced a $8.29bn fourth-quarter loss and Bank of America got a $20bn state bailout.

And recession is likely to become official in Britain this week when data is expected to show that the economy contracted for a second straight quarter in the final three months of 2008.

Source

Top U.S. banks post huge losses as Bank of America  gets aid Again

Jan 16, 2009

By Jonathan Stempel and Dan Wilchins

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government extended $20 billion of new aid to Bank of America Corp hours before both the largest U.S. bank, and the country’s third largest, Citigroup, reported multibillion-dollar losses from the ongoing global credit crisis.

Bank of America posted its first quarterly loss in 17 years on the heels of the government’s midnight announcement that it would help the bank absorb its January 1 purchase of troubled brokerage Merrill Lynch & Co.

The U.S. Treasury will provide the new aid in exchange for preferred stock, and along with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, agreed to limit Bank of America’s potential losses on $118 billion in tainted assets.

Also scrambling to survive huge new losses triggered by the credit crunch was Citigroup, which unveiled plans to split in two and shed troubled assets.

The announcements came before a U.S. holiday weekend that ends on Tuesday when President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in. Obama again said that even with a wide range of measures to pull the United States out of recession, the U.S. economy will likely worsen before it improves.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, on his last full day in office, said a substantial portion of the second half of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue fund should be reserved for bank capital programs.

Top U.S. policy-makers said they are discussing setting up a government bank that would use federal funds to buy troubled assets from financial institutions to try to stem the crisis.

Paulson and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair both said an “aggregator bank” was one of several ideas U.S. regulators had discussed.

The Treasury said it will lend Chrysler LLC’s finance arm $1.5 billion to help it make new car loans as part of a broader program to revive the U.S. auto industry.

The Treasury earlier extended a $4 billion loan to Chrysler for its automotive operations and had granted $13.4 billion in operating loans to General Motors Corp.

Shares in Bank of America and Citigroup rose in early trade after tumbling sharply on Thursday, as investors believe the government will not let the two banks fail.

But the size of the losses and need for fresh aid unsettled Wall Street. The two banks’ stocks fell and pulled down shares of their two large rivals, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

“Now it’s clear that there could be more big banks coming back to the well, asking the government for money,” said Matt McCall, president of Penn Financial Group in Ridgewood, New Jersey. “When does this end and when do they say no? They just keep writing checks.”

Influential bond investor Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Co told Reuters that the worst harm to banks’ balance sheets may be over.

Fear of more bank losses spread to London, where shares in Barclays fell 25 percent and other bank stocks tumbled as worries about capital and write-downs resurfaced. Dealers said there was no single reason for their sharp slide.

After the market closed, Barclays reported it expects to report pre-tax year profit well ahead of analysts’ estimates of 5.3 billion pounds ($7.91 billion), and said it knows of no justification for the stock slide.

The Bank of England and Downing Street confirmed a meeting took place among Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Bank of England governor, finance minister and securities regulator, but neither would comment on the talks.

British ministers aim to announce yet another bank lending package, a Treasury source told Reuters, while Ireland nationalized Anglo Irish Bank, its third-largest lender, to avoid a collapse.

Bank of America, Citigroup post huge losses

Citigroup, once the world’s largest bank, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $8.29 billion and recorded $28.3 billion of write-downs and credit losses. Over the past 15 months Citigroup has amassed $92 billion in losses and write-downs.

Bank of America reported a $1.79 billion quarterly loss, while losses at Merrill Lynch were a record $15.31 billion.

Citigroup stock fell more than 8.0 percent to a session low of $3.44 after Moody’s Investors Service said it may cut the bank’s credit rating.

Moody’s cut the credit ratings of Bank of America, whose shares tumbled 13.7 percent.

After the bell, Credit Suisse cut Citigroup’s price target and earnings outlook, and almost doubled its loss estimate for the bank in 2009 to 90 cents from 50 cents per share.

The news of massive new bank losses and more aid came after the U.S. Senate on Thursday cleared the release of the remaining $350 billion of emergency funds to tackle the crisis. The Bank of America aid will come from the first $350 billion package.

With economies and credit markets worldwide yet to respond to massive bailouts and deep interest rate cuts, Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said financial conditions in the world’s second-biggest economy were tightening rapidly.

Conditions in France were also on the slide. The Bank of France estimated the French economy contracted sharply in the fourth quarter and its monthly survey of business managers showed they expect the downturn to deepen.

The euro zone trade balance swung from a surplus to a deficit in November as exports plunged twice as much as imports, data showed, underlining the fast pace at which the region’s economy was sliding deeper into recession.

New U.S. economic data raised the possibility of deflation. The pace of U.S. inflation slowed to a half-century low last year and industrial output fell for the first time since 2002.

The reports suggested the economy could take longer to pull out of a downturn that is on track to be the longest and possibly deepest since World War Two.

(Additional reporting by Joseph Giannone and Ellis Mnyandu in New York and Patrick Rucker, David Lawder and Lucia Mutikani in Washington, Steve Slater and Dominic Lau in London, Jan Strupczewski in Brussels; Writing by Herbert Lash; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source

I guess we are going on this roller coaster ride again.

All Banks should be audited, by outside professionals and find out exactly where all the money they got i the first Bailout went.

Seems to me there is a whole lot of fraud happening or something else.

Every penny should be accounted for. Tax payers are paying for the Banks BS. Why should they. I am really wondering how long this BS will continue on for. It certainly is one way of sending people into a panic however.

Maybe they are just stealing, tax dollars to line their own pockets with or line someone else’s…….

This is all to fishy at this point in time. Could be they are creating crisis after crisis just to mess with everyone’s mind, so we all live in fear.

Create a crisis and well it has been done before many times.

Create a Crisis , fix the crisis, become a hero, a  savior whatever..

What a scam.

Whatever the case these banks need someone running them, that is honest and actually knows how to run a bank. The ones who run these ones begging for money again obviously can’t do the job. They aren’t worth rescuing either.Just because your big doesn’t make you worth saving.

Seems to me Banks should only be owned and operated, by people within their own country anyway. Bank owned by anyone from another country shouldn’t even be allowed.

So where has all the money  GONE?  Did they ever  look.

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

The State of Israel: Since its Creation

Lots of posting on this subject in the Archives.

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 3:09 am  Comments Off on Banks begging for Bailouts Again Third times is a charm  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

IMF confirmed international loan to Latvia

By Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga,
December 24 2008

Yesterday evening, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) board confirmed an international loan to Latvia.

Latvia will receive EUR 7.5 billion (LVL 5.27 billion) worth of financial support, writes LETA.

The European Union plans to allocate a medium-term loan to Latvia worth up to EUR 3.1 billion (LVL 2.18 billion).

Also participating in issuing Latvia the loan is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – EUR 1.7 billion (LVL 1.19 billion), Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway – EUR 1.8 billion (LVL 1.27 billion), and the World Bank – EUR 0.4 billion (LVL 0.28 billion).

The European Reconstruction and Development Bank, the Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia will allocate Latvia another EUR 0.5 billion (LVL 0.35 billion), which is a total of EUR 7.5 billion (LVL 5.27 billion).

The loan will be issued to Latvia gradually over the next three years.

Source

Published in: on December 27, 2008 at 4:38 am  Comments Off on IMF confirmed international loan to Latvia  
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The Top Ten Ethics Scandals of 2008

December 18 2008

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released its year-end list of the “top” 10 ethics scandals of 2008. Why isn’t the recent criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on the list? Well, for one, it’s not a Washington-centered problem. But Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, adds that while the Blagojevich case may be the flavor of the week right now, she thinks the scandals on her administration’s list will have more of an impact in the long run. Here they are:

1. “Unchecked Congressional Ethics”: CREW wants Congress to have a high-powered ethics office with subpoena power. MoJo Blog covered the vote on this earlier this year; we looked at this issue last year, too.

2. “No Guarantee that Bush Administration Records will be Properly Archived”: We’ve been keeping you up to date on the ongoing missing White House emails problem.

3. “Speech or Debate Clause”: Lots of politicians who are charged with crimes seek to have their indictments dismissed under the “Speech and Debate” clause of the Constitution, which they claim protects anything in their congressional office from being used against them in court on the grounds that its “legislative material.” Sloan says that this may be the biggest of the ten scandals her organization highlighted. If Blagocevich had been a member of congress, Sloan says, he would have been protected from much of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation. Law enforcement would not have been able to tap his office phone or include anything he did in the course of his legislative work as part of an indictment, Sloan says. And both Democrats and Republicans are protecting this hard-line interpretation of the speech and debate clause. “This is a bipartisan issue of protecting members accused of corruption from investigation and prosecution,” Sloan says. Mother Jones covered this problem as early as 2006, with the raid on the offices of now ex-Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson.

4. “The Pay-to-Play Congress”: You’ve heard about this from John McCain and Barack Obama, who both talked about the power of earmarks to corrupt the legislative process. Every year, CREW notes the most egregious instances of earmark abuse, when campaign donors get earmarks from the politicians who they support. We wrote about corruption expert Lawrence Lessig’s Change Congress effort and will have more with Lessig next week.

5. “Enriching Family with Campaign Cash”: CREW has released two reports on this problem, “Family Affair – House” and “Family Affair – Senate.” We noted the most recent offender, Charlie Rangel.

6. “Controversial Presidential Pardons”: The president’s pardon power is essentially unlimited, and that has CREW worried about what President Bush will do with it before he leaves office. Elizabeth Gettelman wrote about the hypocrisy of commuting Scooter Libby’s sentence but ignoring Marion Jones. And Bruce Falconer asked if pardoning “all those involved in the application of what [the Bush] administration called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques'” would be wise.

7. “VA Officials Intentionally Misdiagnosing PTSD”: CREW broke a story earlier this year about VA officials being pressed to misdiagnose Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a cost-cutting measure. In September, Bruce Falconer wrote a story for the print magazine about whether the Bush administration had “maxed out the military.”

8. “Bailout Oversight”: The government spent $700 billion and all you got was a few bank failures. We’ve covered the hearings and brought you the latest. Most recently, we looked at the Fannie/Freddie bailout and asked about Treasury’s blank check.

9. “Political Calculations Dictate Border Fence Placement”: Ray L. Hunt has land that falls on both sides of the border fence, but CREW says he’s getting special treatment because he’s a Bush “pioneer.” That kind of suction wouldn’t be unusual for Hunt: in July, Laura Rozen wrote about how Hunt seems to have almost unlimited access to the White House (and, in this case, to Kurdish oil.)

10. “A Politicized Bush Justice Department”: To prevent the abuse of the courts for political ends, the DOJ was traditionally the least-politicized of all the executive branch departments. That all changed when Bush took office. In 2007, Daniel Schulman was among the first to document how the conservative Federalist society may have influenced personnel decisions at the DOJ. Stephanie Mencimer covered another interesting aspect of this story in May when she examined the Justice Department’s reluctance to release documents from the 2002 GOP phone-jamming in New Hampshire. And Stephanie was also there for the most unsurprising moment of the DOJ politicization saga: Karl Rove’s failure to show up for a hearing on the subject in July.

It seems unlikely that the first year of the Obama administration will match up to the last year of the Bush administration in terms of ethics-scandal-potential. But we’ll be here, keeping an eye on everyone, Barack Obama included. Stick with us.

(You can find a PDF version of CREW’s full report on the “top ten” scandals here)

Source

And of course we must not forget more recent revelations.

UK: Council’s pension fund ‘caught up in Bernard Madoff’s Wall Street fraud’

Cheney admits authorizing detainee’s torture

Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns

Media Search in the US

Write your local paper and denounce any possible planned pardons for crimes committed in the “war on terror”. Here are some sample letters and talking points you can follow.

Lie by Lie:  Iraq War Timeline

Bank billions at risk from Wall Street Fraud

December 15 2008

By Kelly Macnamara

Banks lined up today to reveal billions in potential losses as a result of alleged fraud by Wall Street investment manager Bernard Madoff.

The Royal Bank of Scotland – 58 per cent owned by the taxpayer – said £400 million was at risk in the hedge funds invested with 70-year-old Madoff, who was arrested last week after police said he admitted a £33 billion scheme to defraud investors.

Spanish bank Santander, which owns Abbey and the savings business of Bradford & Bingley, said its potential exposure was more than £2 billion, while HSBC could reportedly lose up to £668 million.

Nicola Horlick, who manages Bramdean Alternatives, which had 9 per cent of its funds invested with Madoff’s scheme, said the case raised serious questions about the regulatory system in the US.

She said it had been given a “clean bill of health” by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“I think now it is very difficult for people to invest in things that are meant to be regulated in America because they have fallen down on the job,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“All through the credit crunch this has been apparent. This is the biggest financial scandal, probably, in the history of the markets.”

She said that, even if Bramdean Alternatives was forced to write off its entire investment in Madoff’s scheme, it would still only be down 4 per cent on the year while the stock market had fallen 35 per cent.

According to court documents, Madoff – a former chairman of New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange – told his employees that his operations were “all just one big lie” and “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme”.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment vehicle which pays very high returns to existing investors paid for by money put into the scheme by newcomers.

Madoff’s arrest will raise questions about the effectiveness of regulatory authorities, which failed to notice the scam.

Hedge fund giant Man Group, said: “Based on information available to date, it appears that a systematic and comprehensive fraud may have been committed, evading a range of structural controls.”

The company, which said it had approximately 360 million US dollars (£239 million) of exposure, added that Madoff Securities was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which monitors investment funds.

Madoff Securities was also a member of five self-regulatory organisations, including US independent securities regulator Finra and the Nasdaq.

The FBI said members of Madoff’s own family turned him in after he confessed his fraud to them.

A criminal complaint filed with a court in Manhattan said he told senior employees of his firm before his arrest that he had blown more than £33 billion with fraudulent financial moves.

The list of victims of the alleged fraud ranges from giant financial institutions to tiny local foundations.

Museums, hospitals, a Jewish youth charity in Boston and pensioners are all thought to be among the alleged victims.

Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the SEC, said the fact that foundations and charities could lose out is the “real tragedy”.

“There were a lot of very sophisticated people who were duped, and that happens a great deal when you’ve had somebody decide to be unscrupulous,” he said.

Reports from Florida to Minnesota in the US included ordinary investors who gave Madoff their money. Some had been friends with him for decades, others were able to invest because they were a friend of a friend.

They told stories of losing everything from £26,500 to an entire nest egg worth well over £670,000.

Other financial institutions with potential exposure include Nomura, Japan’s largest securities company, which has £204 million invested with Madoff.

Switzerland’s Reichmuth & Co said the private bank had £218 million of exposure. It told investors that they “sincerely regret” being affected.

French bank BNP Paribas estimated its exposure Madoff’s fund could lead to £311 million in losses.

HSBC’s exposure could reach 1 billion US dollars (£668 million), according to the Financial Times.

The banking giant’s exposure is understood to have come from loans it made to clients, who invested around £500 million of their own funds in Madoff’s venture.

Under the typical terms of these deals, it is thought HSBC would be reimbursed before its clients if the US authorities recover any funds.

Madoff is on £6.6 million bail.

The assets of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities were frozen last Friday in a deal with US government regulators and a receiver was appointed to manage the firm’s financial affairs.

Source

Victims of record $91bn fraud speak out

December15 2008

From a Jewish youth charity in Boston to major banks as far afield as Zurich, the list of investors who say they were duped in one of Wall Street’s biggest Ponzi schemes are streaming forward.

Around the world, investors who sunk cash into veteran Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff’s investment pool spent the weekend calculating how much exposure they might have. The 70-year-old Madoff, well respected in the investment community after serving as chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, was arrested Thursday in what prosecutors say was a $50 billion scheme to defraud investors.

One thing was clear in the fallout from his arrest: The alleged victims span from the super rich, to pensioners and powerful financial institutions, to local charities. Some investors claim they’ve been wiped out, while others are still likely to come forward.

“There were a lot of very sophisticated people who were duped, and that happens a great deal when you’ve had somebody decide to be unscrupulous,” said Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a regulator in charge of monitoring investment funds like the one Madoff operated.

“It isn’t just the big investors,” he said. “There’s a lot of charitable and foundation money involved in this, which is the real tragedy.”

Charities across the country are expected to be directly affected by the collapse of Madoff’s investment fund. The assets of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC were frozen Friday in a deal with federal regulators and a receiver was appointed to manage the firm’s financial affairs.

One of the largest financial scams to hit Wall Street has investors wondering if they’ll ever get their money back.

In Boston, the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, a charity that financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel, said on its website Sunday that the money for its operations was invested with Madoff.

“The money needed to fund the programs of the Lappin Foundation is gone,” it said. “The foundation staff has been terminated today.”

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, entrusted his family’s charitable foundation to Madoff. Lautenberg’s attorney, Michael Griffinger, said they weren’t yet sure the extent of the foundation’s losses, but that the bulk of its investments had been handled by Madoff.

Lautenberg’s foundation handed out more than $765,000 to at least 100 recipients in 2006, according to the most recent listing on Guidestar, which tracks charitable organization filings.

The foundation helps support a variety of religious, educational, civic and arts organizations in New Jersey and elsewhere, and its contributions range from a gift of than $300,000 to the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey to a $2,000 donation to a children’s program at the Hackensack Medical Center.

Reports from Florida to Minnesota included profiles of ordinary investors who gave Madoff their money. Some had been friends with him for decades, others were able to invest because they were a friend of a friend. They told stories of losing everything from $40,000 to an entire nest egg worth well over $1 million.

They join a list of more powerful investors that have come forward, all worried about the extent of their losses. The roster of names include Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and J. Ezra Merkin, the chairman of GMAC Financial Services, among others.

Beyond US hedge funds, more corporate names disclosed exposure to Madoff. Late Sunday, some of Europe’s biggest banks acknowledged they, too, were exposed to Madoff’s investment fund.

Switzerland’s Reichmuth & Co. said the private bank has $327 million at risk. It told investors that they “sincerely regret” being affected.

Other banks such as Spain’s Grupo Santander SA, Europe’s second-largest banking consortium, and France’s BNP Paribas are also left with billions of dollars in exposure, according to media reports. Both banks could not immediately be reached for comment.

Source


Cameron calls for probe into financial crisis

By Daniel Bentley

December 15 2008

Cameron has challenged Gordon Brown to call an immediate general election
David Cameron accused Gordon Brown of a “failure of moral leadership”

David Cameron called today for a thorough investigation into the causes of the financial crisis, insisting that City executives should be prosecuted for any criminal wrongdoing.

Pledging a “day of reckoning” for those behind the turmoil, the Tory leader said rooting out the culprits was essential to restore confidence in the financial services sector.

He also accused Gordon Brown of a “failure of moral leadership” for not urging the authorities to probe scandals in the City.

In a speech at Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf, home of thousands of City workers, Mr Cameron said the rich and well-connected should not be protected from the law.

While claiming the Government was most to blame for the financial crisis, he said Labour’s “economic policy mistakes” were compounded by “irresponsible” behaviour in the City.

He went on: “Doctors who behave irresponsibly get struck off. Bankers who behave irresponsibly should face professional consequences.

“And, for sure, if anyone is found to have behaved criminally they must be prosecuted.

“Of course, this requires clear evidence of wrongdoing. But that doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands and say it’s all a failure of regulation.”

The Conservative leader said there was evidence of mortgage fraud, “possible” insider trading and other misconduct investigated but not prosecuted by the Financial Services Authority.

“To send out the right message about our country’s values to help stop this crisis from happening again and to help restore the City of London’s reputation I believe it is now vital that investigations are vigorously pursued to their appropriate conclusion,” he went on.

“And the fact that the Prime Minister has not been urging our authorities to pursue financial wrongdoing, like in America, is in my view a failure of moral leadership.”

Mr Cameron said there was a lack of will in Britain to see justice done “at the highest level”, either from the Government or the FSA.

“The FSA and the Serious Fraud Office should be following up every lead, investigating every suspect transaction,” he said.

“And the Government should be urging them on, because we need to make it 100% clear – those who break the law should face prosecution.”

In the US, large financial institutions were being investigated by the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Tory leader said.

“We all know there was poor decision-making and some reckless activity in the City of London,” he added.

“But we do not know if there was wrongdoing and the nature of any wrongdoing, because we haven’t examined the issue thoroughly in the way the Americans are doing.”

He called for a bigger levy on the City to pay for the “best possible staff” for the FSA, which in turn had to force firms to hold more capital to offset high risks.

Mr Cameron added that the City would not recover from the financial crisis unless it regained confidence, and that meant holding those responsible to account.

“In the good times, some people working in the financial services industry paid themselves vast financial rewards – salaries and bonuses beyond the comprehension of most of us,” he said.

“Now, when it’s all gone wrong, they have been bailed out by the taxpayer.

“Nurses and cleaners and teachers and many millions of others, working in every part of our economy, they will foot this multibillion-pound bill.

“Well, on behalf of the taxpayer, on behalf of the nurse on £20,000 a year, on behalf of the cleaner on the minimum wage, on behalf of working families worrying this Christmas like never before about what next year will bring, I say it is fair and reasonable that those responsible are held to account for their behaviour and that we show clearly that, in this country, there is not one rule for the rich and a different rule for everybody else.”

He said that more than a million people who work in the financial services industry had had their names blackened by the crisis.

“It’s in their interests too that we make sure we root out any wrongdoing that may have happened, whoever is involved, however high or well-connected they may be,” Mr Cameron added.

Source

An investigation what an after thought.

That would have been my first thought.

A glimps into the minds of Greek Teenagers

By Nikos Raptis
December 12 2008

As always, to understand what is going on today (Dec.11, ’08) in Greece (or any place) one has to go back in time a few decades. Let us make the effort.

A few weeks after the “departure”, in 1974, of the US-supported dictatorship in Greece, I was in the luxurious ground floor of the Bank of Greece where I was filling some forms to secure the necessary exchange for the purchase of a book from a US publisher. I was sitting at a long heavy table. It was early in the day, there were not many people in the huge ground floor and the two security policemen there came and sat at the other end of the table and started chatting. I was wearing a US-made sport jacket. They took me for a foreigner and started talking freely. The older (fat) one says: “So, Karamanlis came from Paris [after the dictatorship] and instead of giving us money, the asshole bought helmets and riot gear for us”. That, Karamanlis, was the uncle of the (rather rotund) present Karamanlis, the Prime Minister of Greece. Karamanlis, the uncle, is referred to as the “Ethnarch” [the “father” of the nation]. Actually, he was a US-chosen rightist proxy to administer Greece on behalf of the US in the early 1950s. He died a few years ago and he demanded that his corpse be buried in a private lot on which a memorial building was erected mimicking the building of the usual “presidential library” of the US Presidents. The burial in a private space is illegal in Greece.

Six years after the above dialogue, between the two policemen, in November 1980, the riot police attack the demonstrators that were marching towards the US Embassy during the yearly march commemorating the 1973 uprising of the students against the dictatorship. The Karamanlis [uncle] police kill 26-year-old Iakovos Koumis and Stamatina Kanellopoulou,  young workers, by crushing their skulls.

In 1981 the “socialists” (PASOK) win the elections. Andreas Papandreou, the US educated professor of economics at Berkley, becomes Prime Minister. His first act: he DOUBLES the salaries of the policemen! Four years later, in 1985, the Papandreou police kill 15-year-old Michael Kaltezas by shooting him in the back of his head, again during the yearly demonstration of the uprising. The killer is acquitted. That same year, Catharine John Bool [spelling?], a 22-year-old American is killed by the Greek police, for refusing to have her car searched by them. Around that period a young Turkish man is beaten to death in an Athens police station. The Greek press never includes his name in the usual list of persons killed by the Greek police. This list consists of the names of about one hundred persons killed by the “socialist” or the rightist police, from 1974 to this day. Not a single policeman was ever convicted. The latest murder is that of the 15-year-old Alexis Gregoropoulos, son of an upper middle class family, six days ago in Athens.

The Greek people, early on, had adopt the “battle-cry”: “Coppers Pigs Murderers!”

For 34 years, from 1974 to 2008, the Greek politicians, both “socialists” and rightists, as expected, have stolen millions of dollars from the money of the state [that is of the Greek taxpayers]. The latest scandal, in the tune of tens of millions of Euros, involves the government of Karamanlis [nephew] and the pious monks of a monastery on the “Sacred Mount of Athos”. It is quite interesting [or quite amusing] how the “professional” Christians bestow sacredness to all kinds of material entities. For example, the above monks, besides living on a sacred mountain, they claim to have the “Sacred Belt” that belonged to the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus, the son of God.

Today these Greek politicians, mostly US-educated and some of them from Harvard or the London School of Economics, have managed to bring the young Greeks who have a university degree in engineering, or in medicine, or in law, etc to the point of a yearly income of about US $ 12,000, if they are lucky to have a job. While life in Greece is as expensive, if not more expensive, than life in Berlin or Paris.

Inevitably, the killing of the teenager was apt to cause an “explosion”. The important new development, compared to previous “explosions”, was that it spread as a revolt all over Greece. Usually, in the past, the violent demonstrations took place in Athens and Salonica.

Here is a very brief recording of what happened after the killing of the 15-year-old Alexis:

–  On Thursday, Dec. 4, there are country-wide demonstrations by students protesting the attempt of the rightist government to downgrade the state-supported public universities. The police, in Athens, beat severely a student who is hospitalized with heavy injuries. On the same day, 3,500 farmers of central Greece block with their cars and their trucks the main North-South highway of Greece, cutting the country in two, protesting the policies of the government that have turned them into heavily debt-ridden paupers.

–  On Saturday, Dec. 6, Alexis is killed 25 minutes after 9 p.m., in cold blood, according to half a dozen eye witnesses. One hour later a violent reaction by the direct-action faction of Greek anarchists is initiated in Athens and eight more cities in Greece. The fight against the police goes on all night long.

–  On Sunday, Dec. 7, around midday a crowd assembles in front of the Athens National Archaeological Museum [a building visited by millions of US citizens during the last 50 years]. The call to assemble was done through the Internet and SMSs. The crowd starts marching peacefully. After a little they clash with the police and the crowd starts burning mostly banks, car dealerships and big businesses. This goes on all night.

–  On Monday, Dec. 8, around 6 p.m.a huge crowd of thousands of people gather at the central building of the University of Athens. Even before the crowd starts to march there are violent contacts with the police. Burning and breaking of shop windows goes on all night long. The same happens in 19 more cities and towns of the country.

–  On Tuesday, Dec. 9, around 12 noon a huge crowd of pupils, students, high school teachers, university professors start to demonstrate. There are clashes with the police. Later in the afternoon the funeral of Alexis is attended by about 4,000 people. The police attacks them. Riots go on all through the night. Looting starts, mostly by immigrants, who do not take part in the riots, and by some Greeks. The same holds for most Greek cities and towns.

–  On Wednesday, Dec. 10, there is a General Strike all over the country. The rioters this time are mostly pupils and students. They attack mostly police stations hurtling, eggs, tomatoes, bitter oranges [also known as Seville oranges], and stones.

– Today, Thursday, Dec. 11, it is mostly pupils and students (14 to 17-year-olds, boys and girls) attacking police stations again with the above mentioned missiles. A few blocks from my place at Halandri, in Athens, the police station is being attacked by high school kids Also, today, there is a tally of the damage done during the riots. Around 565 shops were damaged or completely destroyed, hundreds arrested (half of them looting immigrants), an estimated US $ 1 billion plus in damages, and (most important) 4,200 units of police chemicals spent indiscriminately against Greek citizens, raising the need to buy more chemicals from…Israel!

Now let us try to find out the meaning of this revolt:

But first an important parenthesis:

[Parenthesis: In the central hall of the police station of the Athens neighborhood that I was raised, there is a huge slab of white marble fixed on one of the walls with about a dozen names engraved on it. The names belonged to policemen who were executed in the police station the very first day of the December 1944 uprising of what is known as the “Greek Civil War” after the end of the Nazi occupation of Greece. The executed policemen were anti-communist Nazi collaborators and brutal torturers of members of  the anti-Nazi Resistance, mostly communists.

To try to persuade people about the existence of police brutality is rather redundant. Recent cases as the sodomizing of the young black in a Manhattan subway station, or the revelations about the master-torturer police officer in Chicago are a minuscule recording of what is going on in police stations all over the face of the earth. So, no wonder that the first people to be punished during an uprising are the brutal policemen. The above marble slab is just a simple example.]

The groups that took part in the uprising after the murder of the 15-year-old kid are the following:

–  A minuscule part of direct-action anarchists.

–  A group of non-violent anarchists spread all over Greece, numbering in the hundreds.

– The usual police “plants” in the anarchist groups.

–  A very dangerous group of police officers, of the Blackwater-type of individuals [assisted by neo-Nazis], masquerading as anarchists. [See below].

–  The “KKE” (Communist Party of Greece), “traditional” communists, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

–  The “Coalition of the Radical Left” (“Coalition” from now on). A formerly Eurocommunist split from KKE, numbering, now, in the hundreds of thousands.

–  The “Greens”, numbering in the thousands

–  University students, numbering in the tens of thousands.

–  High school kids, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

[The numbering refers to the power of each group in general and does not refer to the number of persons that took part in the uprising.]

The burning and breaking was done by the direct-action anarchists, the Blackwater-type pigs [assisted by the neo-Nazis], and some students and pupils.

The KKE masses demonstrated in the traditional way of marching in extreme discipline and departed. They carried the usual red flags, however the flagpoles were of the size and strength of baseball bats. This was a warning to the pigs and their political choreographers, that they meant business. The pigs got the message.

The Coalition people and the Greens demonstrated in the traditional way but they were there to assist the up-risen youths.

The uprising was carried out by the students and the teenagers, especially the teenagers!

What is of paramount importance is not the journalistic reporting or the burning, the looting, etc, but the incidents, events, and statements that show what is happening in the Greek society now. Here are some of these events:

–  The head of the National Federation of Traders, Demitris Armenakis, representing the owners of the shops that were destroyed said: “No (material) damage can be compared to the life of a young man”. This moral statement, coming from a person that suffered material damage, has impressed most Greeks.

–  From some police stations the information leaked out that some of the policemen demanded and succeeded to take the guns out of the hands of their violent-prone colleagues.

–  At some point ordinary citizens of all ages who usually are fence-sitters were so angry with the behavior of the police during the demonstrations by the young that they tried to intervene and protect the kids. Some of the parents of the younger kids did the same, placing their bodies between their kids and the clubs of the pigs.

–  Today, a deputy of the Greek parliament, belonging to the Coalition, walking with two friends on a side-street of the area of the riots spotted two muscular men wearing hoods who were holding stones and carrying sticks. The deputy asked them if they were policemen. They answered angrily that they were policemen, so what. The deputy and his friends chased them, but their age did not allow them to catch the young braves. This was described, publicly, in the evening news.

–  In a very unfortunate moment, the General Secretary of KKE accused the Coalition that they “caress the ears ” of the hooded persons that burn and destroy. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the KKE and the Coalition leaderships have a decades long enmity that is based partly in personal antipathies.

– The usual 1/3 of a any given population, that consider themselves conservative, that is crypto-fascist, still consider the up-risen kids and the murdered child as “punks”, “brats”, “dirty bastards”, and regard the murderer policeman as a hero.

–  Two well known lawyers initially accepted the defense of the murderer, but after talking to him they declined to represent him. Eventually, a lawyer, by the name of Alexis Kougias, who has been in the forefront of the news for various reasons for almost a decade, accepted the job. Kougias stated publicly that the death of the kid was a “misinterpretation”, that the death was the “will of God”, and it is the job of the court to decide “if the death should have happened”. We think that the case of Kougias is of great interest not only for the Greek society but also for the international community of intellectuals, university students, and ordinary people. We suggest that the Kougias case should be followed closely by all.

The conclusion drawn from the incidents of these six days in Greece : The uprising was in reality the uprising of the Greek teenagers. It was a Greek “intifada”. The “weapons” used by the teenagers in this “intifada” were their burning anger, their maturity, and predominately… Seville oranges, the traditional Greek student weapon against the police. Their targets were the police stations. The police stations, whose historical meaning was touched briefly in the above parenthesis.

What might one expect after the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers? The rightist government of Karamanlis (the nephew) is mortally wounded. The “socialists” have been so corrupt during their two decades-long governing of the country that the young Greeks are repelled by them. What the kids are looking towards, are: the anarchists, the Coalition, and the KKE. Also, to a lesser degree towards the Greens.

A year ago the Coalition’s voting power was a little above 3%. A few months ago it rose to almost 16%. Now it is back at about 9%. The KKE for years was constantly around 5%. Now it is close to 7%. The Greens seem to reach close to 3%. It is reasonable to expect that in the next elections the Left (Coalition, KKE, Greens) could achieve a total voting power of around 20% and even much more.

If the above estimates are correct, then the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers will give a hard time to the CIA analysts in Langley. These analysts initiated the 1967 dictatorship of the colonels. The result was that in 1974 the Communist Party was legal after decades of being outlawed. The murder of Alexis by a “copy” of a US “Rambo”-policeman that initiated the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers, could give birth to a new Left in Greece. Also, this is a very good opportunity for the Parecon vision to be promoted among the Greek teens. It seems that the Coalition has an affinity to the Parecon vision.

We shall see what happens. Let us hope that my estimate is correct.

Source

Uprising in Greece: Protests, Riots, Strikes Enter 6th Day Following Fatal Police Shooting of Teen
Protests, riots and clashes with police have overtaken Greece for the sixth straight day since the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy in Athens Saturday night. One day after Wednesday’s massive general strike over pension reform and privatization shut down the country, more than a hundred schools and at least fifteen university campuses remain occupied by student demonstrators. A major rally is expected Friday, and as solidarity protests spread to neighboring Turkey, as well as Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands, dozens of arrests have been made across the continent. We speak to a student activist and writer from Athens.

Guest: Nikos Lountos, Greek activist and writer. He’s with the Socialist Workers Party in Greece and a graduate student in political philosophy at Panteion University in Athens.

AMY GOODMAN: Protests, riots and clashes with police have overtaken Greece for the sixth straight day since the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy in Athens Saturday night. One day after Wednesday’s massive general strike over pension reform and privatization shut down the country, more than a hundred schools and at least fifteen university campuses remain occupied by student demonstrators. A major rally is expected on Friday. And as solidarity protests spread to neighboring Turkey, as well as Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands, dozens of arrests have been made across the continent.

On Wednesday, two police officers involved in Saturday’s shooting were arrested, and one was charged with murder. But anger remains high over the officers’ failure to express remorse at the student’s death. The police officers claim the bullet that killed Alexandros Grigoropoulos was fired in self-defense, and the death was an accident caused by a ricochet.

The unrest this week has been described as the worst since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974 and could cost the already weakened Greek economy an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s also shaken the country’s conservative government that has a narrow one-person majority in Parliament. The socialist opposition has increased calls for the prime minister to quit and call new elections, ignoring his appeals for national unity.

I’m joined now on the telephone by a student activist and writer from Athens. He’s with the Greek Socialist Workers Party. He’s a graduate student in political philosophy at Panteion University in Athens.

We welcome you to Democracy Now! Can you lay out for us exactly when this all began and how the protests have escalated and what they’re about right now, Nikos Lountos?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Yes, Amy. I’m very glad to talk with you.

So, we are in the middle of an unprecedented wave of actions now and protests and riots. It all started on Saturday evening at around 9:00 p.m., when a policeman patrolling the Exarcheia neighborhood in Athens shot and murdered in cold blood the fifteen-year-old schoolboy Alexis.

The first response was an attempt to cover up the killing. The police claimed that they had been attacked. But the witnesses all around were too many for this cover-up to happen. So, all the witnesses say that it was a direct shot. So even the government, in just a few hours, had to claim that it will move against the police, trying to calm the anger.

But the anger exploded in the streets. In three, four hours, all the streets around Athens were filled with young people demonstrating against the police brutality. The anti-capitalist left occupied the law school in the center of Athens and turned it into headquarters for action. And on Sunday, there was the first mass demonstration. Thousands of people of every age marched towards the police headquarters and to the parliament. And the next day, on Monday, all this had turned into a real mass movement all around Greece.

What was the most striking was that in literally every neighborhood in every city and town, school students walked out of their school on Monday morning. So you could see kids from eleven to seventeen years old marching in the streets wherever you could be in Greece, tens of thousands of school students, maybe hundreds of thousands, if you add all the cities. So, all around Athens and around Greece, there were colorful demonstration of schoolboys and schoolgirls. Some of them marched to the local police stations and clashed with the police, throwing stones and bottles. And the anger was so really thick that policemen and police officers had to be locked inside their offices, surrounded by thirteen- and fourteen-year-old boys and girls.

The picture was so striking that it produced a domino effect. The trade unions of teachers decided an all-out strike for Tuesday. The union of university lecturers decided a three-day strike. And so, there was the already arranged, you know, the strike you mentioned for Wednesday against the government’s economic policies, so the process was generalizing and still generalizes.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos, when you have this kind of mass protest, even with the beginning being something so significant as the killing of a student, it sounds like it’s taken place in like a dry forest when a match is thrown, a lit match, that it has caught on fire something that has been simmering for quite some time. What is that?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Yeah, that’s true. Everybody acknowledges that even the riots, the big riots—you may have seen the videos—they are a social phenomenon, not just the result of some political incident. There were thousands of angry young people that came out in the streets to clash with the police and smash windows of banks, of five-star hotels and expensive stores. So, that’s true. It was something that waited to happen.

I think it’s a mixture of things. We have a government that’s—a government of the ruling party called New Democracy, a very right-wing government. It has tried to make many attacks on working people and students, especially students. The students were some form of guinea pigs for the government. When it was elected after 2004, they tried—the government tried to privatize universities, which are public in Greece, and put more obstacles for school students to get into university. The financial burden on the poor families if they want their children to be educated is really big in Greece. And the worst is that even if you have a university degree, even if you are a doctor or lawyer, in most cases, young people get a salary below the level of poverty in Greece. So the majority of young people in Greece stay with their families ’til their late twenties, many ’til their thirties, in order to cope with this uncertainty. And so, this mixture, along with the economic crisis and their unstable, weak government, was what was behind all this explosion.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos is a Greek activist and writer. Nikos, the protests have been picked up not only in Greece, but around the world. We’re talking about the Netherlands, talking also about Russia and Italy and Spain and Denmark and Germany. What does it mean to the workers and the students in Greece now? How significant is that? Has that changed the nature of the protests back in Greece?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: It’s very good news for us to know that many people around the world are trying to show their solidarity to us. And I think it’s not only solidarity, but I think it’s the same struggle against police brutality, for democracy, against war, against poverty. It’s the same struggle. So it’s really good news for us to hear about that.

I think you should know that the next Thursday will be the next day of action, of general action. Every day will have action, but next Thursday will be a day of general action. The students will be all out. And we’re trying to force the leaders of the trade unions to have a new general strike. So I could propose to people hearing me now that next Thursday would be a good day for solidarity action all around the world, to surround the Greek embassies, the consulates, so generally to get out in the streets and express your solidarity to our fight. And I think workers and students in Greece will really appreciate it.

AMY GOODMAN: What about the issue of civil liberties overall in Greece? Has this been a matter of controversy over time?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Yeah. This government has a really awful record on civil liberties. It all began during the Olympics of 2004, aided also by the so-called anti-terrorist campaign started by George Bush after 9/11. During the Olympic Games, we had the first cameras in the streets of Athens. And there are now proofs that many phones were tapped illegally at that period, among them the phones of the leaders of the antiwar movement here in Greece, such as the coordinators of the Stop the War Coalition.

And then came the biggest scandal of all. In 2005, tens of Pakistani immigrants were abducted from their homes by unknown men. They were hooded and interrogated and then thrown away after some days in the streets of Athens. The Greek police, along with the British MI5, had organized these illegal abductions in coordination with the then-Pakistani government of Pervez Musharraf.

During the student movements and the workers’ strikes all these years, hundreds of beatings and more police brutality have covered up. Just one month ago, a Pakistani immigrant called Mohammed Ashraf was murdered by riot police in Athens when the police dispersed the crowd of immigrants waiting to apply for a green card. And the immigrants in Greece in general are mainly from regions hit by war—Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan. And they are treated in awful conditions by the Greek state and police. Many people have died by shells in the borders or in the Aegean Sea, trying to get into Greece and then Europe. So it’s really an awful record for the government on civil liberties.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos, finally, as we travel from Sweden to Germany, one of the things we’re looking at is the effect of the US election on the rest of the world. In a moment, we’ll be joined by the editor-in-chief of Der Spiegel, the largest magazine in Europe. When President-elect Obama was elected, their headline was “President of the World.” What is the effect of the election of Barack Obama on people you know in Greece? What has been the reaction?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Well, you know, all these years we had a slogan here in the antiwar movement and the student movement that George Bush is the number-one terrorist. So, many people were happy when they learned that these will be the final days of George Bush and his Republican hawkish friends like John McCain. But, of course, people in Greece have experienced that having a different government doesn’t always mean that things will be better. If the movement doesn’t put its stamp on the changes, changing only persons will have no meaning. But people have appreciated the change in the US administration as a message of change all over the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos, I want to thank you very much for being with us, Greek activist and writer. He’s with the Socialist Workers Party in Greece and a graduate student in political philosophy at Panteion University in Athens.

Source

World Bank: Mexico’s loan approved plus an offer of another one

World Bank offer Mexico $5.5 billion in loans
December 12 2008

MEXICO CITY

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank say they will offer about $5.5 billion in loans to Mexico in 2009 to help finance infrastructure, development and anti-poverty programs.

The banks say they are helping countries like Mexico weather the current credit crisis and supporting government plans to boost economic activity during the global downturn.

Bank representatives said Thursday that the World Bank will offer as much as $3 billion for a variety of projects.

The IDB will kick in as much as $2.5 billion, with another $1 billion possible.

Much of the money will go to low-income housing, public works, transport and anti-poverty programs.

Source

World Bank Approves US $17.2 Million for Results-Based Management and Budgeting
WASHINGTON, DC,
December 11, 2008

Available in: Español

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors (WB) approved today a US$17.2 million loan to the Mexican government to implement the Results-Based Management and Budgeting Project, which seeks to improve the quality of public spending in Mexico and to help make budgeting a tool for good government.

The project seeks to promote improvement in federal public administration management, to set in motion a new framework for result-based budgeting and produce high-quality information on performance. This should encourage the administration, government officials and legislative policy makers to employ this information when making decisions, thus significantly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. It also intends to require ministries and federal entities to provide information to decision makers and the general public about spending programs in a timely, rigorous and accessible manner.

Mexico has made several economic reforms and democratic transformations in its political system since the 1980s and 1990s. However, the reform in public administration has been left pending. This project intends to support the Mexican government in accomplishing this task, with the objective of making public administration more efficient and effective for the benefit of the Mexican people. The idea is to turn quality information into a priority in public spending throughout the whole budgetary cycle, from planning and execution to evaluation and auditing,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia.

Improved management practices will be created through this program and, consequently, fiscal discipline will receive great support. Resources will be assigned more efficiently by improving the alignment between programs and government policies and focusing on the objectives of the public programs, also generating greater budget transparency and accountability at different levels of government and among those responsible for providing services.

The project consists of five components:

  • Design and implementation of a Management Improvement Program.
  • Development of an Integrated Information System for Results-Based Management and Budgeting (SISED).
  • Strengthening Financial Management for Results-Based Budgeting.
  • Consolidation of Results-Based Budgeting and the Evaluation System.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of the Performance Evaluation System (SED).

During the last decade, the World Bank has implemented different projects in Mexico which have helped strengthen the State’s capacity for and efficiency and quality of public spending. The discussions we have held with the government have been based on activities involving analysis and consultation which have given shape to the design of this operation,” said van Trotsenburg. “The challenge is to establish a mechanism that ensures that the results of the evaluations are taken into account in the government’s future plans and decision making,” he concluded.

The National Development Plan 2007-2012 establishes clear goals in improving the administration, processes and results of Federal Public Administration, and considers that accomplishing a reform based on modernizing budgeting processes will ensure that public spending is executed more efficiently and more transparently. The Performance Evaluation System (SED) is the legal framework for this initiative.

The SED will provide two types of information on the performance of programs financed by public spending.

  • Consolidation of information on results, impact or effectiveness in public spending, obtained through the evaluation of programs or other sources.
  • Information on the quality of public administration, which is the central point of the Program to Improve Management.

This technical assistance loan is a comprehensive part of the Bank’s commitment to the Mexican government to support results-based management and budgeting. The operation will support the institutional, technical and physical aspects, particularly of the Ministry of Public Administration and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, which are responsible for the SED, and will act as counterparts to the project. The World Bank will contribute its international experience and knowledge, as it did during the International Conference on Results-Based Budgeting organized together with other international institutions in Mexico City last June.

This project is consistent with the new Country Partnership Strategy that the WB signed with the Mexican authorities last April, which establishes providing support to improve the performance of the institutions and the citizenship’s perception of the public sector through several initiatives, including results-based budgeting.

Nacional Financiera (NAFIN) is the financial agent for the loan, which will be implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the Ministry of Public Administration.

It is a fixed-spread loan with a front-end fee of 0.25 percent and an 18-year grace period. The total amount is to be paid in a single disbursement in 2026.

Source

World Bank loans money to China for biogas project

By Ryan C. Christiansen

December 12, 2008

The World Bank has announced that it will invest $120 million in China’s National Rural Biogas Program to use anaerobic digestion to process waste to produce biogas for cooking. The grant will help farmers in China’s Anhui, Hunan, Guangxi and Hubei provinces and Chongqing municipality residents improve their living conditions by using anaerobic digestion to process human, livestock, plant agricultural, and organic household waste to produce biogas for cooking.

The $120 million loan from The World Bank will be used to build the digesters, which will be 2,000-gallons to 2,500-gallons (8-10-cubic-meter) in volume apiece, and to pipe the biogas to individual homes. The loan will help improve kitchens to include gas-burning stoves and the funds will also be used to build animal sheds and household toilet facilities. A portion of the funding will go to train and equip farmers and technicians to maintain and fix the anaerobic digestion and biogas delivery systems.

The World Bank said the general benefits of the project include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the combustion of methane and the reduced burning of coal and firewood for cooking. Rural Chinese households will benefit directly from a decrease in respiratory and eye ailments associated with smoke from traditional fuel stoves, as well as from a decrease in the overall quantity of pathogens in their homes. Farmers will benefit from using the effluent from the digesters as fertilizer and Chinese women, especially, will benefit from reduced labor associated with collecting firewood for cooking.

The World Bank said China has invested more than $375 million in its National Rural Biogas Program. Launched in 2001, the program has helped approximately 7.2 million rural Chinese households begin cooking with biogas. Previous biogas campaigns in the 1950s and 1970s encountered difficulties with immature technology and inadequate support systems, according to The World Bank.

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South Korean central bank slashes key interest rate

December 11 2008
By Kelly Olsen

South Korea’s central bank carried out its biggest interest rate cut ever Thursday, slashing borrowing costs by a full percentage point to a record low in a bid to stave off possible recession.

The Bank of Korea said it was slashing its benchmark seven-day repurchase rate to 3 percent from 4 percent during a regular policy meeting.

Deteriorating economic data have raised alarm bells that Asia’s fourth-largest economy could fall into its first contraction since 1997, when the country was in the throes of the Asian financial crisis. Exports fell 18.3 percent in November from the same month last year.

“It’s quite surprising,” Citibank Korea economist Oh Suk-tae said regarding the size of the rate cut, which suggests that the bank may think “growth could be zero next year” given South Korea’s export decline and neighboring China’s first fall in exports in seven years in November.

South Korea’s economy slowed in the third quarter and economists have been divided over whether it can avoid a recession. Swiss bank UBS (nyse: UBS news people ) issued a bearish forecast last month, predicting that the economy will contract 3 percent in 2009 amid worsening conditions such as increasing non-performing loans, rising corporate failures, falling housing prices and slowing exports.

Citibank’s Oh said he will likely have to lower his forecast for a 2 percent expansion for next year. He said the economy will likely still manage to grow just above 4 percent in 2008. That would be down from 5 percent last year.

“General measures of economic activity are decelerating rapidly,” International Monetary Fund official Subir Lall said in a speech Tuesday in Seoul.

Lall cited slowing consumer spending and exports as well as falling business confidence as evidence for the emerging weakness in South Korea’s economy.

Thursday’s rate cut marked the fourth time the central bank has lowered borrowing costs in the past two months and exceeded the 0.75 percentage point emergency cut on Oct. 27, previously the largest ever.

The rate has gone from 5.25 percent to 3 percent since the cycle of easing began on Oct. 9.

The previous record low for the bank’s benchmark rate was 3.25 percent last seen in October 2005.

South Korea’s benchmark stock index showed little reaction to the decision, rising 0.4 percent to 1,150.33 points in late morning trading.

The South Korean won, which has been battered this year, traded 2.4 percent higher against the dollar at 1,361.

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APTN cameraman Yong-ho Kim and APTN producer Hyun-ah Kim contributed to this report.

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Bank Of America Says It Will Cut 35,000 Jobs

By John H. Smith
December 11 2008

CHARLOTTE

Due to its purchase of Merrill Lynch and worsening economic conditions, Bank of America said it will cut up to 35,000 jobs over the next three years.

Under its leadership, Bank of America previously seemed to have weathered the financial storm compared with some other banks that have engaged in riskier lending activity that plagued other banks such as Wachovia and CitiBank.

However, in its a statement today, the Charlotte bank said it is “working on a plan to eliminate a significant number of positions over the next three years.”

The bank added that the two main factors are its pending merger with Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and “the weak economic environment.”

The bank said it would have a final plan released early next year but did say that the total number of job losses would be between 30,000 to 35,000 positions over the next three years.

“A final number will not be determined until early 2009,” said the bank.

The company said that severance packages would be offered to those who were laid off.

Bank of America continues to do business actively with all of its client segments. It continues to benefit from a flight to safety, attracting deposits and new client relationships. In addition, the company continues to actively originate loans through all of its credit product lines.

Shareholders of both companies voted to approve the transaction last week and Bank of America is currently targeting a closing on Jan. 1, 2009.

Bank of America says it serves 59 million consumer and small business customers and now has over 6,100 retail banking offices.

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Citigroup Inc, UBS AG Settle Deal on Payback

December 11 2008
By Lis Rappaport

Investors with auction-rate securities from Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG can now be sure they will get their money back if they haven’t already.

Under final settlements announced Thursday with regulators that include the Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and state securities regulators, the two banks agreed to buy back billions of dollars of illiquid auction-rate securities from hundreds of customers. Those customers have been unable to sell the securities, which they thought were as good as cash.

Citigroup already has bought back $6.2 billion of auction-rate securities out of an estimated $7 billion covered by the settlement. The New York bank is working to clean up problems for clients that have more than $10 million at Citigroup, said a company spokesman.

On Oct. 31, UBS started to make a dent in paying back $8.3 billion of auction-rate securities held by its private clients. Thus far, the Swiss bank is buying back auction-rate securities for clients or charities with $1 million or less in money held at the firm. Starting in January, UBS will begin buying back the securities from clients with more than $1 million at the firm. UBS has until 2010 to buy back the $10.8 billion of securities held by larger clients.

UBS declined to specify exactly how much it has bought back so far.

The remaining 10 firms that have agreed with Mr. Cuomo and state securities regulators to buy back more than $40 billion of auction-rate securities from customers will finalize agreements soon as well, said a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo.

Four banks haven’t finalized deals with the SEC, including Bank of America Corp., Royal Bank of Canada, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Wachovia Corp. They have agreed to repurchase a total of nearly $25 billion in auction-rate securities.

The settlement agreements, which began in August, defused a regulatory and legal showdown about sales practices for securities that were touted as safe and tantamount to cash, but couldn’t easily be sold and lost value in some cases.

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Did being part of the EU protect them from the Financial Crisis

Turmoil Spurs US Plant Closures, EU Layoffs At ArcelorMittal

December 10th, 2008

By Alex MacDonald

In a sign of the severity of the economic downturn, ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s largest steelmaker, announced plans to close two U.S. steel processing plants and lay off several hundred workers in the European Union.

ArcelorMittal plans to close its finished steel processing plant in Lackawanna, N.Y., by the end of April and plans to close its finished steel processing plant in Hennepin, Ill., sometime in the future, although no date was disclosed. The two closures will result in 545 job losses, 260 of which are located at the N.Y. plant and 285 of which are located at the Illinois plant.

Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal rolled out voluntary redundancy programs in Europe over the past week or so that would eliminate 3,550 mostly white-collar jobs through voluntary layoffs. The company is eyeing 6,000 job cuts in Europe out of 9,000 job cuts globally.

The closures and layoffs are in line with the company’s plans to cut 35% of its global steel production capacity during the fourth quarter and saving $1 billion annually by cutting 3% of its global workforce.

Both steel plants supply the auto market, where demand has slumped so dramatically that the U.S.’s three largest car manufacturers are now seeking federal government funds to avert bankruptcy.

The closures are part of ArcelorMittal’s global restructuring program to weather the economic downturn.

The decision to close ArcelorMittal Lackawanna was “purely an economic business decision based on the extraordinary economic conditions we face today,” the company said in a statement.

The Lackawanna plant has inherent disadvantages due to its location that lead to higher costs, longer customer lead times, and higher inventory levels than other ArcelorMittal finishing facilities in the US, the company said.

Meanwhile, at Hennepin, “the company had to make the tough decision to close the…facility, consolidate operations and move production to other ArcelorMittal facilities in the U.S.” in order to remain competitive.

ArcelorMittal now has announced plans to lay off 19% of its U.S. salaried workforce of 15,543 people and has announced more than half of its planned job cuts in Europe.

The United Steelworkers union and other relevant stakeholders were notified about the plant closures and job layoffs. They are now negotiating with the Luxembourg-based company to arrive at a compromise.

Jim Robinson, the director of USW’s District 7 said the union was aware that ArcelorMittal faced operational issues at the two plants but was surprised by the company’s decision to close the plants.

“They called us before they announced but we did not know this specifically” beforehand, he said.

Robinson dismissed views that ArcelorMittal has underinvested in the plants. “I don’t think the issue is lack of investment over time, I think it’s an issue of the company’s overall strategy.” He declined to elaborate further.

ArcelorMittal is one of many steelmakers globally that have announced production cuts and layoffs. U.S. Steel Corporation (X), the world’s tenth-largest steelmaker by volume, announced last week it would temporarily idle an iron ore mining facility and two steel works. The move will affect 3,500 employees.

Corus, Europe’s second largest steelmaker by volume and the European arm of India-based Tata Steel Ltd (500470.BY) has cut production by 30% and has shed about 500 jobs from the U.K.

In Europe, ArcelorMittal is seeking voluntary redundancies equal to 1,400 jobs in France, 800 in Belgium, 750 in Germany, and 600 in Spain. Most of them are white collar jobs. ArcelorMittal’s American depositary shares recently traded up 8.9% to $25.99 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Company Web site: http://www.arcelormittal.com

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EU businesses expect 1 million job losses in 2009

Brussels – European Union businesses called Monday for a cut in interest rates amid predictions that the bloc’s economic slowdown could lead to more than 1 million jobs being lost in 2009.

BusinessEurope, which groups national business federations from 34 European countries, also called on governments to ensure a continued flow of credit and to approve structural reforms aimed at improving the continent’s competitiveness.

According to its latest Economic Outlook, EU gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to grow by just 0.4 per cent in 2009, compared to 1.4 per cent this year, with exports, imports and private consumption levels all slowing.

Unemployment is predicted to increase from 7 per cent to 7.8 per cent, with the loss of 1.1 million jobs, compared to a net job creation of more than 2 million in 2008.

“The most fundamental preoccupation of the business community is obviously the way in which the impact of the financial market turmoil will play out,” the paper said.

“Even though a fully-fledged credit crunch has not yet appeared in Europe, uncertainty about the impact for companies and consumer markets has increased tremendously.”

Source

SEMI Europe calls for investment to avoid mass job losses in semiconductor industry

December 10 2008

During the third SEMI Brussels forum, SEMI Europe declared that the decline in the European semiconductor industry could potentially put half a million European jobs at risk. SEMI Europe presented its White Paper to EU officials and urgently appealed for the EU and national policymakers to invest to support the European semiconductor industry citing the industries importance to the health and global competitiveness of the EU economy.

The equipment/materials producers and the semiconductor device manufacturers contribute around €29 billion to the EU economy and provide around 215,000 jobs. The European semiconductor industry is also a significant contributor to the GDP in EU countries such as France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK.

“If semiconductor manufacturers leave Europe, indigenous equipment & materials producers will face an uncertain future”, said Franz Richter, Chairman of the SEMI European Advisory Board. “The current economic crisis and rising unemployment underscore the urgent need to safeguard jobs in the European semiconductor industry. Supporting a robust and competitive semiconductor industry in Europe is critical to keeping jobs in Europe across all industries and supporting key European economies.”

The decline of the market share even during the increase in total volumes sold reflects that manufacturing is changing and moving away from Europe because of the unfavourable global level playing field conditions. The European equipment and materials manufacturers that supply the semiconductor industry with machinery and parts are for the most part small or medium-sized European businesses that heavily rely on the future European semiconductor industry to guarantee their own future and the 105,000 jobs they embody.

Further information on the Brussels forum is available here.

Source

Spanish auto sector highly exposed to global crisis

December 11 2008

By Robert Hetz

MADRID,

Spain’s car industry, which became Europe’s third largest, thanks to a cheap workforce, has lost cost advantage and could shrink as companies slash costs at foreign plants and save politically-sensitive jobs at home.

As executives at multinational manufacturers weigh up Spain’s ageing factories, relatively high wage costs and weak competitiveness against their own domestic markets and cheaper alternatives, the country’s plants are clear targets as the credit crunch saps demand all over the world.

“The big decisions are being taken abroad, not here, and managers in London, Paris and Detroit prefer to close a plant here and not in their home market,” said the director of one Spanish parts plant, who asked not to be named.

Unlike Germany, France or Italy, Spain’s auto industry has no nationally-owned car maker and little control over decisions on the future of its 18 foreign-owned plants, which employ around 70,000 people.

And unlike the case of Britain, Spain’s plants are older and less productive, and the country lacks a more skilled workforce or much tradition of home-grown research and development.

Global car makers, also including Peugeot, Opel and Volkswagen, built most of their Spanish plants in the 1970s when Spain was a low-cost backwater, well placed to serve Northern European markets.

Since the 70s, Spain has lost its price advantage as living standards have caught up with the European average. In 2007, per capita income overtook that of Italy. At the same time, new competitors have emerged as low-cost manufacturing centres.

Spain’s auto-sector salaries averaged 22.83 euros ($29.64) an hour last year, above the European average and around three times the 6.93 euros in Poland and 8.83 euros in the Czech Republic, Europe’s new manufacturing hubs, alongside North Africa.

NORTH AFRICA PASSES SPAIN FOR RENAULT

Renault plans to make 200,000 cars at its plants in North Africa in 2010 and double that within a couple of years, overtaking production from its Spanish operations.

The global credit crunch has hurt demand for new cars across Europe, with new car registrations in November falling 36.8 percent in the UK, 18 percent in Germany, 30 percent in Italy and 50 percent in Spain.

With some 84 percent of cars built in Spanish plants for export, manufacturers are finding fewer financial or political reasons for remaining in the country as international competition rises.

Spanish plants are ideal candidates for the inevitable cuts across Europe, head of Ford Espana Jose Manuel Machado said, as salaries rise and productivity fails to rise at a similar rate.

Machado’s comments came before the U.S. company announced production cuts of 120,000 units at its Almussafes plant in Valencia, and the temporary layoff of 5,200 workers.

Job cuts are expected from most of the major manufacturers, with more than 60 filings listing potential layoffs by private companies made to the government, which may affect up to 40,000 workers, Spain’s main union UGT said.

As Spain’s unemployment rate soars to the highest in the European Union and the economy nears recession, the government is keen to keep the industry, which accounts for around 5 percent of gross domestic product, in the country.

Spain has earmarked 800 million euros for the sector as part of measures worth a total of around 50 billion euros to stimulate the economy.

But this aid may not be enough.

“It’s a good gesture from the government, but obviously the amount of money is insufficient. It would be less than 80 million euros per manufacturer,” said Jose Antonio Bueno of consultancy Europraxis.

The sharp fall in new car sales in Spain has also affected the manufacturers’ showrooms and spare parts centres throughout the country.

Concessions for new and second-hand cars and garages employ around 278,000 people in Spain, and 16,000 of those jobs are at risk, the association for the sector, Ganvam, estimates.

“Four years ago we sold two or three cars a day, but now its not even two a week,” said Adela Benito, who has worked in a Madrid-based Renault showroom for 20 years. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Additional reporting by Tomas Gonzalez; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Rupert Winchester)

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Swedes want government bailout for Volvo

In a new survey just released, 68 percent of Swedes want to see the Swedish government bail out its beleaguered carmaker Volvo. Although Volvo is owned by US carmaker Ford, Swedes would like its government to temporarily take control of the nation’s iconic firm, as many residents fear Volvo may disappear entirely from Sweden in the near future.

The Local newspaper reports that support for government intervention is piling in from all sides of the political arena. Some 65 percent of those polled who support the bailout side with one of the governing Alliance parties, and 73 percent of all left bloc voters approve of a government bailout.

Peter Larsson of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers points out that Volvo’s current crisis is not minor. “One thing is certain, there are no dollars on their way over the Atlantic,” Larsson said, referring to the massive problems currently faced by the “Big Three” US carmakers – Ford, Chrysler, and (Saab-owner) General Motors.

Rolf Wolff, dean of the school of business at Gothenburg University, told The Local: “If Volvo Cars disappears as a base for industrial knowledge and skills, then Sweden will never again be a part of the auto industry. All the knowledge and skills would be lost, and with it all future associated development potential would be gone.”

Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s minister of trade and industry, has expressed doubts whether the government would be able to better manage Volvo than the car firm itself. For now, the issue has been placed on the political back burner, but the crisis at Volvo and Ford goes on.

Source

This is just the tip of the iceburg.  Seems no one is safe from the Financial Crisis. Not even EU members.

There are 27 member of the European Union.

austria 1. Austria
belgium 2. Belgium
UK 3. UK
denmark 4. Denmark
germany 5. Germany
greece 6. Greece
ireland 7. Ireland
spain 8. Spain
italy 9. Italy
luxembourg 10. Luxembourg
netherlands 11. Netherlands
portugal 12. Portugal
finland 13. Finland
france 14. France
sweden 15. Sweden
cyprus 16. Cyprus
czech 17. Czech Republic
estonia 18. Estonia
hungary 19. Hungary
latvia 20. Latvia
lithuania 21. Lithuania
malta 22. Malta
poland 23. Poland
slovakia 24. Slovakia
slovenia 25. Slovenia
bulgaria 26. Bulgaria
romania 27. Romania

EU members and when they joined.

1952 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands

1973 Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom

1981 Greece

1986 Portugal, Spain

1995 Austria, Finland, Sweden

2004 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

2007 Bulgaria, Romania

Source

Hungary’s Letter of Intent to the IMF

World Bank lends to Bulgaria to tackle poverty, jobless

Latvia mulling IMF loan as crisis sweeps Nordic region

EU, Iceland, Canada Suffering Fall Out, Caused By US Crisis

Europeans Angry at their Money being Used for Bailouts

The £2trillion question for British economy

Europe catches America’s financial disease

How Britain’s banks will never be the same again

Economist, deregulation and loose fiscal policies lead to Meltdown

World Leaders Must Roll Back Radical WTO Financial Service Deregulation

Ryanair to appeal EU’s ‘corrupt’ support of Alitalia takeover

Ashley Mote Revealing European Union Corruption

The EU budget is necessarily corrupt

EU leaders tear up rules of Eurozone

Starting to remind me of the Corruption in the US where the Crisis started.

Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade

Banks, Corporations and Conflict

The arms trade provides the destructive hardware used in conflicts across the world. It undermines development, contributing to the poverty and suffering of millions.

A new report by War on Want, Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade has exposed, for the first time, the extent to which the five main British high street banks are funding this violent trade.

Banking on Bloodshed

High street banks are using our money to fund companies that sell arms used against civilians in wars across the world, including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are financing an industry that sells arms to countries committing human rights abuses such as Israel, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.

Money from our savings and current accounts is being used to fund companies that produce pernicious weapons like depleted uranium and cluster bombs.

As a result of the financial crisis there are now unprecedented calls for regulation of the banking sector.

War on Want is calling on the government to ensure that all banks are made to publish the full details of their loans, holdings and other banking services to the arms trade. The government must also introduce regulation which prevents high street banks from supporting the arms trade.

Download report

Download report:
Download a PDF version of Banking on Bloodshed.

Source

Who profits from WAR?

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 11:51 am  Comments Off on Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade  
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IMF Grants Malawi $77 Million Loan

IMF Grants Malawi $77 Million Loan to Cushion Trade Shocks

By Frank Jomo

December  5 2008

The International Monetary Fund granted Malawi a one-year loan facility of 10.8 billion Malawi kwacha ($76.8 million) to help it adjust to trade shocks caused by rises in fuel and fertilizer prices in the first half of 2008.

The loan, which falls under the lender’s Exogenous Shocks Facility, will allow Malawi to draw $51.4 million immediately, the IMF said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

“The facility will help to contain the pressure on the balance of payments and rebuild external reserves,” according to the statement.

Source

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 10:23 am  Comments Off on IMF Grants Malawi $77 Million Loan  
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AIG giving “Cash Awards” (a new term for Bonus) to 130 managers

December 4 2008
Here is a copy of the letter that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a member of the Joint Economic Committee, sent Edward Liddy, President & CEO of AIG, yesterday.

December 1, 2008

Mr. Edward M. Liddy

Chief Executive Officer

American International Group, Inc.

70 Pine Street

New York, NY 10270

Dear Mr. Liddy:

I write today to request that American International Group (AIG) fully disclose to the public the extent of the payments being made to senior company executives under your employee “retention program.” The limited information that is currently available to the public about this program is insufficient to constitute the level of disclosure that the American taxpayers, who have bailed out this firm repeatedly in recent weeks, have the right to expect.

In form 8-K dated September 22, 2008, and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), AIG disclosed the following: “On September 22, 2008, a retention program of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) became effective. The program applies to approximately 130 executives and consists of cash awards payable 60 percent in December 2008 and 40 percent in December 2009.”

AIG has recently indicated that it will not provide performance bonuses in 2008. However, in what appears to be a disingenuous “slight of hand,” AIG has announced its intention to continue to provide the retention program payments (commonly known as retention bonuses) previously announced in September – albeit some executives have apparently opted to delay receipt of these payments (but not to forgo them). Thus, in form 8-K dated November 24, 2008, and filed with the SEC, AIG disclosed the following: “On November 24, 2008, the Executive Officers of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) who participate in its previously disclosed retention program, including Chief Financial Officer David Herzog and Executive Vice President Jay Wintrob, volunteered to delay payments thereunder, with the first installment being delayed from December 2008 until April 2009 and the second installment being delayed from December 2009 until April 2010. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward M. Liddy does not participate in this program.”

In September of this year (and several days prior to the SEC filing announcing the “retention program”), the U.S. taxpayers provided a bailout loan of $85 billion to keep AIG afloat; in return, the federal government received an ownership stake in the firm. Subsequent actions increased the total size of the bailout to more than $150 billion – and restructured some of the initial loans provided to the firm. Without taxpayer intervention, AIG would have ceased to exist and, to be blunt, all of its employees would have lost their jobs.

Against this background – and given the massive layoffs occurring at other major financial entities, such as Citibank – the American taxpayers have a right to know why senior executives at AIG, who are frankly lucky to still have jobs, need to receive additional bonus payments of any kind to retain them at AIG. To that end, I request that AIG disclose to the public the following information:

1. Which executives in which AIG divisions are receiving the retention payments – and how much is each executive receiving” What are the base salaries of the executives receiving the retention payments?

2. Are all executives delaying receipt of these payments until April 2009 – or, if any executive is not delaying receipt of the payments, which executive or executives is/are receiving payments in December 2008 and how much is each executive receiving?

3. Why is it necessary for any AIG executive to receive a retention payment – and why is it necessary that these be scheduled for April 2009 and April 2010?

4. What will be the source of the retention payments provided in 2009 and 2010?

AIG has previously claimed in correspondence to me that it is working “to create a transparent, accountable culture to regain the trust of the American people.” The disclosure of the information requested here will be a first step toward providing the kind of transparency that the American people have the right to expect from a private firm to which they have provided more than $150 billion in financial assistance.

Sincerely,

Elijah E. Cummings

Member of Congress

Source

AIG Should Name Staff Getting Payments, Cummings Says

December 2 2008

By Hugh Son

American International Group Inc., the insurer rescued from failure by the U.S., should name executives getting “retention” payments and explain why the awards are needed, said Representative Elijah Cummings.

AIG, which said in a September filing that 130 managers will get “cash awards” to stay through 2009, isn’t providing enough information, said Cummings, a Maryland Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in a letter to AIG dated yesterday.

“Taxpayers have a right to know why senior executives at AIG, who are frankly lucky to still have jobs, need to receive additional bonus payments,” Cummings said in the letter.

Financial firms bailed out by the U.S. Treasury’s $700 billion rescue fund are under pressure to curb executive pay and perks. AIG Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy said Nov. 25 that the insurer will freeze pay and forgo bonuses for seven top leaders. The next day, AIG disclosed that retirement services chief Jay Wintrob will still get a previously announced retention payment of $3 million.

Wintrob, 51, will get the payment in two installments, the first in April 2009 and the rest a year later, AIG said in a regulatory filing. Chief Financial Officer David Herzog, 48, will also get the payments, which will be given four months later than previously planned, AIG said. The company didn’t name any other recipients, or the size of payments apart from Wintrob’s.

Nicholas Ashooh, a spokesman for New York-based AIG, didn’t immediately return a call today. He said Nov. 26 that the retention awards are different from annual bonuses. Cummings responded in a letter the same day that called on Liddy to quit, saying that the CEO rewarded failure and misled the public.

Rescue Package

“AIG made some grand pronouncements about how they were going to change their bonus structure, but they found ways to give their people the same things,” Cummings said today in a phone interview. It’s unclear why retention pay is needed “when thousands of people would line up to take their jobs,” he said.

Finance and insurance positions in New York declined by 16,900 in the year through October, the state Labor Department said last month, as firms posting profit declines or losses seek to trim expenses.

AIG climbed 22 cents to $1.87 at 4:09 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has plunged by 97 percent this year.

The company got an expanded government rescue package last month worth more than $150 billion after being overwhelmed by bad bets on U.S. housing that led to $43 billion in losses over four straight quarters.

AIG is selling businesses, including the retirement services unit Wintrob heads, to repay a $60 billion U.S. loan. The firm also got a $40 billion capital infusion from the Treasury and more than $50 billion for two funds that will buy securities tied to mortgages.

Source

So they changed the name from “Bonues” to “Cash Award”.

How pathetic. There is no real difference. What BS. Now I have heard it all.

What a bunch of bums.

They never should not have bailed them out in the first place.

AIG Already Running Through Government Loans

Using bailout funds for bonuses, dividends and acquisitions illegal

Guess What AIG did after the Bailout? Party Time?

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 5:05 am  Comments Off on AIG giving “Cash Awards” (a new term for Bonus) to 130 managers  
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