"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Spanish police arrest several priests in pedophilia inquiry

Spanish authorities have arrested four Catholic priests accused of child abuse in the southern city of Granada. The country's Interior Ministry says investigations into the case began "some time ago."

Deutsche Welle, 24 Nov 2014

The arrests came a week after a 24-year-old man wrote to the Vatican alleging a number of priests sexually abused him when he was an altar boy in a Granada church. Media reports claim that Pope Francis ordered an inquiry into the allegations and had personally called the man in August to apologize on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Police this morning arrested four priests implicated in this affair," Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters on Monday, adding that he could not divulge more details because of the nature of the case.

Francisco Javier Martinez, the Archbishop of Granada, removed several priests from their duties last week and initiated the church's own probe.

News agency AFP reported last week that Spanish officials had launched an investigation involving 12 people.

Pope Francis has pledged a zero-tolerance towards child abuse scandals related to the church since he took over from Pope Benedict XVI last year.

On Sunday, Granada's archbishop and six other priests prostrated themselves in front of the altar as a gesture to seek pardon for alleged sexual abuse.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Former Portuguese PM Socrates arrested in tax case

Former Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates has been arrested on suspicion of tax evasion. It's the second potential scandal to hit Portuguese politics in a week, after the interior minister's resignation last Sunday.

Deutsche Welle, 22 Nov 2014

Former Socialist prime minister Jose Socrates was arrested at Lisbon airport late on Friday as part of an inquiry into tax fraud, corruption and money laundering, the public prosecutor's office said.

Socrates was expected to appear in court on Saturday, local media reported. He is one of four people detained in connection with the case, following a string of police raids involving more than 60 officers.

The prosecutor's office added that the investigation centered on bank operations and money transfers from an unknown source. It stressed, however, that the case was not linked to the money laundering investigation which led to the July arrest of Ricardo Salgado, the former head of crippled Portuguese lender Banco Espitiru Santo (BES).

Socrates led the Socialists to their first majority in parliament in 2005, one year after he was elected leader of the party.

The 57-year-old served as prime minister for six years, during which time he was involved in several controversies, including his decision to approve the construction of a shopping mall on protected land near Lisbon. Questions were also raised over the authenticity of his university degree.

Socrates resigned in 2011 after the Social Democrat opposition rejected his minority government's fourth austerity package in less than a year. Just two weeks later Portugal was forced to request a bailout package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund - a move Socrates had resisted.

Second scandal in a week

Last Sunday, Portuguese Interior Minister Miguel Macedo announced that he was stepping down in the wake of a corruption scandal involving several senior government officials.

The officials were arrested as part of a probe into money laundering and influence-peddling around "golden visas" - a scheme allowing foreign investors who buy property worth 500,000 euros ($620,000) to receive residency rights in Portugal, as well as visa-free travel throughout the European Union's Schengen zone.

The program was launched in 2012 during the country's debt crisis. "Golden visas" have so far have been issued to around 1,500 people, most of them Chinese.

nm/ipj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Friday, November 21, 2014

1 ton in banknotes found in ex-Chinese military leader's home

Want China Times, CNA 2014-11-21

Xu Caihou in an undated photo. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese investigators have found one metric ton of Chinese yuan and foreign currencies during a search of the home of Xu Caihou, former vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, amid an investigation of corruption, according to a report by Hong Kong's Phoenix Weekly.

When investigators opened the basement of Xu's 2,000-square meter luxury residency in Beijing, they found one ton of bills, including US dollars and euros, in addition of piles of valuable jades, emeralds, ancient paintings and calligraphy works, the report said.

The historic art was said to date as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618-907CE).

It took 15 trucks to take the notes and antiques away, said the weekly, which is sponsored by Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television Holding and is legally allowed to circulate around China.

Xu reportedly has many properties all around China, and investigators have found at least four properties in Shanghai registered under the name of his three-year-old grandson, the weekly said.

In addition to Xu, his personal driver has also aggregated a large fortune for allegedly being the go-between for people offering the high-powered official bribes, the report said.

Xu, 70, and his wife were taken away March 15 from a military hospital where Xu has received treatment for bladder cancer after being told about the corruption allegations.

He was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) on June 30.

State-controlled media said Xu, who was vice chairman of the commission from 2004 to 2012, has been charged with abuse of power, accepting bribes directly or via family members in exchange for promotions, and advancing the interests of those close to him through the powers vested in his office.

He is the highest-ranking current or former military officer to be caught up in the crackdown on corruption launched by Chinese president and CPC general secretary Xi Jinping.

Related Article:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How China is reshaping global development finance

The BRICS Development Bank, the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund – recent initiatives spearheaded by China that symbolize its growing influence in development funding and potential new sources of financing, says Rajiv Biswas.

Deutsche Welle, 19 Nov 2014

Over the past couple of months, China has played a major role in launching initiatives to increase infrastructure financing for developing countries. In July 2014, China, together with the other BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa - agreed to create a new development bank (NDB) that would have initial capital of 50 billion USD.

More recently, in October, 21 Asian countries agreed to establish a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for which China will provide up to 50 percent of initial capital. The bank's aim is to provide funding for infrastructure projects such as roads in underdeveloped Asian countries. Just last week, at the APEC Leaders Summit in Beijing, President Xi also announced the creation of a new Silk Road Fund to improve connectivity in Asia, for which China will provide USD 40 billion of capital funding.

While the initiatives have been criticized by some as a way for China to simply challenge Western-backed institutions such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund (IMF) - as a result of Beijing's growing discontent with these bodies - there are others who believe the new development banks might have a positive impact on emerging economies.

Biswas: 'China wants to substantially
 increase the role it plays in multilateral
development financing'
Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at the analytics firm IHS, says in a DW interview that with the correct design, these new institutions could become important new sources of financing to address the economic development and infrastructure financing needs of developing countries worldwide.

DW: What are the main differences between these new development banks and what role does China play in them?

The NDB has been established by the BRICS, with a global remit to lend to developing countries. The AIIB is focused on Asia, with the 21 founding members all Asian countries and a mandate to provide infrastructure financing for Asian developing countries. Both banks will be headquartered in China, with the NDB headquartered in Beijing and the AIIB headquartered in Shanghai. Clearly, China will play a major role in both banks as a key source of capital, but the decision-making structure will comprise a governing board with representatives from other developing countries.

Why is China helping create all these development banks?

Although these initiatives were all launched in 2014, the decisions reflect the growing discontent which has been developing for many years amongst developing nations that the governance structure of the IMF and World Bank has not evolved to reflect the increasing weight of emerging markets in global GDP. These new institutions, if successfully implemented, could give developing nations greater influence in global development financing.

Doesn't Asia already have a development bank, the ADB?

Although the ADB does have significant representation from developing countries in its governance, the balance sheet of the ADB is relatively moderate compared to the infrastructure financing needs of Asia. Therefore, the new AIIB and other Asian financing initiatives will help to boost total development financing for Asia.

What role does China aim to play in development finance and why?

China's rapid growth has transformed it into the world's second largest economy, but its ability to play a proportionate role in development finance through the World Bank has been constrained by the low voting rights currently allocated to China. Although China has been playing an increasingly significant role in international development financing through its Chinese state-owned banks such as the Development Bank of China, it also wants to substantially increase the role it plays in multilateral development financing flows through the creation of the NDB, AIIB and the Silk Road Fund.

What influence would China have on the financial system by doing this?

China's new development finance initiatives have the potential to significantly reshape the global development finance architecture that was originally established under the Bretton Woods system established in 1944. This structure has remained largely unchanged until now, and China's new initiatives have the potential to create a revolution that will transform the shape of the global development finance architecture.

Where is the Chinese money to fund these institutions coming from?

China has accumulated foreign exchange reserves of USD 3.9 trillion dollars, so the capital it is prepared to subscribe for the NDB, AIIB and Silk Road Fund would amount to only around five percent of its total foreign exchange reserves. Moreover, since these institutions will be providing infrastructure lending rather than grants, the return on capital from these investments could be significantly higher than the current returns China is getting from its foreign exchange reserves, with a large share currently invested in low-yielding US government bonds.

Development aid usually comes with some strings attached. What could these be in the case of China?

The governance structure of the NDB and AIIB will be much wider than just China, since other emerging markets are also members of both of these new development banks. However, as a major provider of capital for both banks, it is likely that China will want to have a significant role in the governance of both banks. Beijing will want to be seen as an inclusive member of both banks though, since it will not want to repeat the mistakes of the IMF and World Bank governance which became perceived by developing countries as overly dominated by the US and EU.

Nevertheless both banks will need to put in place rigorous management structures and lending processes to ensure that their infrastructure loans are subject to risk management and other lending quality controls. A key focus of the lending will be for infrastructure development in emerging markets. The NDB will have a global remit, while the AIIB will focus on Asian developing countries.

What are the reasons for China's discontent with institutions such as the IMF or World Bank?

The status quo in terms of the current distribution of voting rights remains distorted, most notably for China amongst the BRICS nations. China, the world's second largest economy, has 3.81 percent of voting rights in the IMF but it accounts for 12.4 percent of world GDP. As China continues to account for a larger share of the world economy, this disparity will continue to widen. By 2024, IHS forecasts that China will account for around 20 percent of world GDP, so unless China's share of voting rights increases dramatically, it will be heavily underrepresented in the governance and decision-making of the IMF and World Bank.

What are the main concerns about these new institutions?

The institutions will face considerable hurdles, including establishing efficient governance and a world-class prudential regulatory structure that will avoid the pitfalls of overt politicization of the new institution. However, with the correct design, the new BRICS Development Bank and AIIB could become important new sources of financing to address the economic development and infrastructure financing needs of developing countries worldwide.

Biswas: 'The institutions will
 face considerable hurdles'
Will these new banks compete with the role of the World Bank?

The establishment of these institutions at approximately the same time has the potential to generate large new sources of development funding for infrastructure projects in developing countries. In Asia alone, it has been estimated by the Asian Development Bank that eight trillion USD in infrastructure financing will be required in this decade.

A significant share of this will be funded by domestic government and private sector financing, but this still leaves a large shortfall which requires international financing from other governments, multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, or foreign private investment. The new institutions such as the NDB, AIIB and Silk Road Fund will help to raise significant new flows of development finance to help to meet this large need for infrastructure funding.

Will these new banks compete with the role of the World Bank?

The impact on development financing flows to developing countries from these initiatives could be very substantial. The NDB will have initial authorized capital of USD 100 billion and initial subscribed capital of USD 50 billion and also a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with capital of USD 100 billion. The AIIB will have initial authorized capital of USD 100 billion, with subscribed capital likely to be around USD 50 billion.

Furthermore, both the NDB and AIIB will be catalysts for other sources of government and private sector funding for infrastructure projects. Both the NDB and AIIB are likely to benefit from having good access to funding from the state-owned banks of the BRICS countries, notably from Chinese state-owned banks, which would provide a very large potential source of financing for the NDB.

Rajiv Biswas is Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at IHS, a global information and analytics firm. He is responsible for coordination of economic analyses and forecasts for the Asia-Pacific region.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Icelandic bank ex-head sentenced over market manipulation

The former boss of Icelandic bank Landsbanki has been sentenced to 12-month imprisonment by a court in Reykjavik for manipulating the market.

Deutsche Welle, 19 Nov 2014

Sigurjon Arnason, 48, was convicted of manipulating the bank's share price and deceiving investors, creditors and the authorities in the dying days of the bank between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, 2008.

Two other former executives of the bank were sentenced to nine months with three months served over the same allegations. All pleaded innocent to the charges.

"This sentence is a big surprise to me as I did not nothing wrong," Sigurjon Arnason told news agency Reuters after the sentencing. He and his attorney had not yet decided whether to appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court, Arnason added.

Iceland's banks had gone on an international buying spree in the early 2000s fuelled by cheap foreign loans.

But the global financial crisis in 2008 froze credit markets and Iceland's banks quickly foundered. Landsbanki was one of three banks that racked up $75 billion (59.8 billion euros) in debt before collapsing and crashing the country's economy in 2008.

The fallout from the 2008 crisis continues to this day. Earlier this week, Landsbanki and its successor Landsbankinn agreed to extend a deadline to restructure bonds to the end of the year. If a deal is struck, it will help the government lift capital controls which were imposed due to the crisis.

sri/cjc (AFP, Reuters)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Italy captures mafia initiation rites on film, 40 arrests

Yahoo – AFP, Ella Ide, 18 Nov 2014

Rome's National Anti-Mafia headquarters on February 11, 2014 (AFP Photo/
Filippo Monteforte)

Rome (AFP) - Secret mafia initiation rites have been caught on camera for the first time by Italian police, who on Tuesday arrested 40 suspected gangsters in raids across the north of the country.

The arrests, on charges of criminal association, illegal arms sales and extortion, followed a two-year investigation using wire-taps and hidden cameras in locations known to be frequented by mobsters, police said.

"For the first time the swearing-in ceremonies have been recorded live," Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told journalists at a press conference following raids which saw 37 people landed behind bars and another three placed under house arrest.

Italian prosecutor Ilda Boccassini 
gestures during a press conference
 in Milan on December 1, 2011 (AFP
Photo/Giuseppe Aresu)
"For the first time we heard it from the voice of the mafia," instead of relying on details from police informants, she said.

Those arrested are believed to belong to three clans based near Milan but affiliated with the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, an organised crime group made up of networks of hundreds of family gangs even more feared and secretive than the Sicilian Mafia.

Police said the arrests were fresh proof of the deadly southern group's expansion into the rich industrial north of the country. Those in handcuffs include a 17-year old boy and boss Giuseppe Larosa, known by the nickname "Peppe the Cow," according to Italian media reports.

The video and audio recordings revealed the swearing in of 'Ndrangheta mobsters to an elite membership known as "Santa".

New members swore allegiance "in the silence of the night and under the light of the stars and splendour of the moon" to "safeguard my wise brothers".

Bullet with your name on it

An unnamed boss leading the rite in police videos published on Italian newspaper websites can be heard telling the new Santa that they are now expected to be their own executioners should they stray from the 'Ndrangheta's code.

"From now on it will not be other men who judge you, you will judge yourselves," the man says.

In what he describes as the "oath of poison", he says there are two alternatives open to the disloyal: "Either you poison yourselves or you take this (gun) which shoots. There must always be a bullet reserved; one for you."

Boccassini said the Santa's affiliation "is in their DNA and under their skin and they can leave the 'Ndrangheta either by collaborating with the state or through death".

The name 'Ndrangheta comes from the Greek for courage or loyalty. Its tight clan structure has made it famously difficult to penetrate.

She referred to a conversation wiretapped in July last year, where boss Michelangelo Chindamo was heard saying that "the music may change but the rest remains... we can never change".

He warned mobsters with him that "having a mobile phone in your pocket... is like having a policeman in your pocket," and cited anti-mafia magistrate Boccassini and police wiretaps as exactly the sort of threat the clans faced.

Notebooks were discovered during the police raid which detailed the rites, investigators said.

Boccassini said the proof gathered by the police was so solid that those arrested would be dealt with under a fast-track trial procedure which would do away with preliminary hearings.

288 economic fugitives nabbed in China's Fox Hunt 2014

Want China Times, Xinhua 2014-11-18

One of the suspects escorted by police in Beijing, Sept. 27. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese police have seized 288 suspects in an international manhunt beginning in July targeting corrupt officials and economic criminals that have fled the county, China's Ministry of Public Security said Monday.

Twenty-one of the suspects have been at large for more than 10 years, the ministry said.

A total of 84 suspects were seized from developed countries such as the US, Canada, Japan and Belgium.

Overall, 126 suspects turned themselves in. The ministry urged those still at large to turn themselves in as soon as possible in order to seek lighter punishment, giving a deadline of December 1 this year.

China is in the middle of an anti-corruption campaign targeting both high-ranking "tigers" and low-level "flies," the terms assigned to different officials depending on rank and level of corruption.

The Fox Hunt 2014 operation was launched in July to "block the last route of retreat" for corrupt officials after the country's crackdown narrowed the space for abuse of power.

China has also helped forge a cross-border law enforcement network to strengthen transnational anti-corruption cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region, which was adopted by APEC leaders earlier this month.

Related Article:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Belgium charges HSBC with fraud involving diamond dealers

Yahoo – AFP, November 18, 2014

Belgium charges HSBC with fraud, laundering: prosecutor

Brussels (AFP) - Belgian prosecutors charged a subsidiary of British bank HSBC on Monday with fraud and money-laundering worth hundreds of millions of euros, mainly for diamond dealers in the industry's international hub of Antwerp.

Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank SA (Suisse), which is wholly owned by the Asia-focused banking giant, allegedly helped hundreds of clients cheat the Belgian state, a statement from the prosecutors said.

HSBC said in a statement that it "will continue to cooperate to the fullest extent possible".

It is the latest in a series of international investigations into practices ranging from currency exchange rigging, Libor rigging and product mis-selling that has damaged the reputation of major banks.

Banking practices also had helped to spark the 2008 global financial crisis that led to a worldwide recession.

The Belgian prosecutor said the HSBC subsidiary was being charged with serious and organised fraud, money-laundering, criminal conspiracy and illegally functioning as a financial intermediary.

It said the allegations "date back several years and involve soliciting and managing the assets of wealthy clients, mainly from the Antwerp diamond industry."

"The Swiss bank is also suspected of knowingly favouring and encouraging fiscal fraud, giving privileged clients to offshore accounts, particularly in Panama and the Virgin Islands."

Antwerp, a port in Belgian's northern Flemish-speaking region, is home to the global dealers syndicate for diamonds.

In 2012, Belgium's justice minister ordered an inquiry into a growing controversy over possible tax fraud among diamond traders in Antwerp after French authorities handed a list of dozens of dealers suspected of placing assets in Switzerland.

HSBC apologised for its lapses, said reforms had been put in place, and
admitted it was 'horrified' by what it found. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Germany warns Uefa may quit Fifa if World Cup report not published

• German League president attacks ‘complete loss of credibility’
• Report summary clears Russia and Qatar of wrongdoing
• Investigator says his findings were misrepresented

Guardian, Owen Gibson, The Observer, 15 November 2014

Uefa has called on the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to stand down and is looking
for a candidate to take on the Swiss. Photograph: Ito Takashi/AMA/Corbis

The president of the German Football League has warned that Uefa’s 54 member nations could take the ultimate step of quitting Fifa if Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding is not published in full.

Dr Reinhard Rauball laid bare the tensions within Fifa over the split between the ethics committee judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, and Garcia, the US attorney who heads the investigatory arm and spent 18 months probing the race for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Garcia has disowned Eckert’s summary of his 430-page report, which effectively cleared Russia and Qatar.

“The result was a breakdown in communication, and it has shaken the foundations of Fifa in a way I’ve never experienced before,” said Rauball.

“As a solution, two things must happen. Not only must the decision of the ethics committee be published, but Mr Garcia’s bill of indictment too, so it becomes clear what the charges were and how they were judged,” he told the German website kicker.de.

“Additionally, the areas that were not evaluated [in the report] and whether that was justified [should be published]. It must be made public. That is the only way Fifa can deal with the complete loss of credibility.”

He said that if the report was not published in full – and Eckert has already said that he will not do that, while Fifa argues it cannot intervene – then Uefa should consider its own position within Fifa. “If this doesn’t happen and the crisis is not resolved in a credible manner, you have to entertain the question of whether you are still in good hands with Fifa,” Rauball added. “One option that would have to bear serious consideration is certainly that Uefa leaves Fifa.”

Rauball’s intervention comes against the backdrop of Uefa’s calls for the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to stand down, as he promised to do at the end of his current four-year term. Although the Uefa president, Michel Platini, has opted against standing against Blatter in next year’s election, Uefa is continuing to cast around for an alternative candidate to take on the 78-year-old Swiss.

Before the Brazil World Cup, a series of speakers at Uefa’s congress stood up to call for Blatter to make his current term his last, while the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, denounced Blatter for claiming corruption allegations in the media were motivated by racism.

Fifa confirmed on Friday night that it had received formal notification of Garcia’s intention to take Eckert’s summary of his investigation to its appeals committee.

Meanwhile, one of the two whistleblowers discredited in Eckert’s statement, Bonita Mersiades, the head of communications for Australia’s 2022 bid, was scathing in her assessment of Fifa’s handling of the investigation. “It’s an organisation that, in terms of governance, is just a farce,” she said.

“The only people that come out well in that summary report by Eckert is Fifa. [It says] they got their decisions right in respect to Qatar and Russia, and there’s even a sentence and a reference in there that Sepp Blatter ran a wonderful process. It’s almost like high comedy.”

Related Article:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Five big banks hit with $3.2bn forex rigging fines

Yahoo – AFP, Roland Jackson, 12 Nov 2014

British bank HSBC and US peers Citigroup were among five banks fined
by regulators (AFP Photo/Facundo Arrizabalaga)

The hefty fines centred on London, the world's biggest hub for the $5.3-trillion-per-day forex market, and the British government hailed a move to "clean up corruption" in the City as the financial centre's reputation has been badly damaged in recent years.

British banks HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), US peers Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, and Swiss lender UBS have all been fined by Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

JPMorgan is one of five banks facing
 huge fines over alleged foreign exchange
rigging (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)
The FCA hit the five banking giants with a record penalty of £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion, 1.4 billion euros), while the CFTC has fined them $1.4 billion.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) also announced a settlement of 134 million Swiss francs ($139 million) with UBS over the matter.

Barclays uncertainty

However Barclays -- which was at the heart of the 2012 Libor rate-rigging affair -- was not included in the settlements and remains under investigation by authorities.

The uncertainty sent Barclays' share price sliding 2.15 percent to 229.55 pence in early afternoon deals on the falling FTSE 100 index. The bank had last month set aside £500 million for a potential fine to settle forex allegations.

In recent years, a string of scandals has damaged the reputation of major banks, which sparked the notorious 2008 global financial crisis that led to a subsequent worldwide recession.

The FCA said that it found "ineffective controls" at the five banks between 2008 and 2013, allowing traders "to put their banks' interests ahead of those of their clients, other market participants and the wider UK financial system".

"The traders put their own interests ahead of their customers. They attempted to manipulate the market and abused the trust of the public and us as regulators," FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley told reporters at a press conference in London.

The FCA said that it had proposed new rules for the 36 banks operating in the foreign exchange market.

British banks HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), US peers Citigroup
 and JPMorgan Chase, and Swiss lender UBS have all been fined by Britain's
 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Commodity Futures Trading
 Commission (CFTC) (AFP Photo)

The investigation homed in on trading in the world's top 10 currencies, known as the "G10".

Traders at the different banks "formed tight knit groups in which information was shared about client activity", the British regulator said.

It added that traders used code to identify clients without naming the them. They referred to themselves with nicknames like "The 3 Musketeers", "The Players" and "The A-team".

'Conflicts of interest'

"The banks failed to manage obvious risks around confidentiality, conflicts of interest and trading conduct," the FCA said.

At the same time, the CFTC said in a separate statement that the five banks were being punished for "attempted manipulation of, and for aiding and abetting other banks' attempts to manipulate, global foreign exchange benchmark rates to benefit the positions of certain traders."

It added that Citi, HSBC, JPMorgan, RBS and UBS had "coordinated trading with other banks in private chat rooms in their attempts to manipulate" the market.

The CFTC also ordered the banks to "cease and desist from further violations, and take specified steps to implement and strengthen their internal controls and procedures."

Bank of England governor Mark Carney expressed deep concern over the forex scandal.

Regulators say banks attempted to
manipulate global foreign exchange
benchmark rates to benefit certain traders
(AFP Photo/Scott Olson)
"We have been concerned about the circumstances around this and the conduct in markets more generally," Carney said Wednesday.

News of the FCA fine was welcomed by the British government.

"Today we take tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone," said finance minister George Osborne.

"The banks that employed them face big fines -- and I will ensure that these fines are used for the wider public good."

The total FCA fine is a record amount and eclipses the £532 million penalty it handed down over the Libor scandal.

Christopher Dembik, an economist at Saxo Bank in France, said the fines were "extremely weak and perfectly manageable" compared to the banks' holdings.

But he added that it did show a "willingness" of regulators "not to repeat the mistakes made in the last global financial crisis."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Whistle-Blowers Take Citibank to Court in Fraudulent Loans Case

Jakarta Globe, Nov 10, 2014

Whistle-blowers allege that Citibank Indonesia approved loans to consumers
based on fraudulent applications. (Reuters Photo/Yuriko Nakao)

Jakarta. Four Citibank Indonesia employees are suing the company for wrongful dismissal after they blew the whistle on the bank issuing high loans on the basis of alleged tax fraud.

Jhonry Gultom, a lawyer for the four, told Antara on Monday that they reported the allegation in order “to fix the system, but were instead suspended and are now in the process of being fired.”

The case dates back to June 2013, when the employees, described by Jhonry as “senior managers,” reportedly discovered that marketing staff at the bank were conspiring with loan applicants to manipulate the latter’s tax statements so that they would be approved for high-value loans at low interest rates.

A Citibank sales official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said separately that this was a common practice, given that the staff earned a commission pegged to the value of the loan approved.

“The bigger the loan approved by Citibank, the bigger our incentive or bonus,” the official said.

Jhonry said that one of his clients, none of whom have been named, reported the practice to their supervisor, but was transferred to another post following an internal investigation. He said the bank proceeded to target three other employees, and in July last year suspended all four whistle-blowers “without giving them the right to explain or defend themselves.”

A spokesman for the bank declined to comment in detail on the case, confirming only that there was a labor dispute currently being heard at the industrial relations court in Jakarta.

“We’re sure the judges will be able to see the case comprehensively,” said Agung Laksamana, Citibank Indonesia’s head of group communications.

“We need to emphasize that Citibank uphold integrity very highly,” Agung added. “[There is] no tolerance for any Citibank employees who violate procedures or the code of conduct.”

The Jakarta administration says it deplores the suspension and pending dismissal of the employees.

“We have issued a recommendation to Citibank not to dismiss them,” said Dwi Untoro, the head of the South Jakarta Manpower Office. “We issued the recommendation after meeting with the four employees and Citibank’s lawyer.”

He added that under the 2003 Manpower Law, the bank could only dismiss them after issuing them three warning letters each. It is not clear how many warning letters, if any, the bank issued to the employees, who worked at the bank for between four and 10 years.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Grisly Hong Kong murders spark banker backlash

Yahoo – AFP, Judy Ngao, 9 Nov 2014

Hong Kong's Wanchai district where the upmarket apartment of British expatriate 
Rurik Jutting, who has been accused of murder, is located (AFP Photo/Philippe Lopez)

Hong Kong (AFP) - The murder of two young Indonesian women in Hong Kong allegedly by a British expatriate has sparked a backlash against wealthy Western bankers accused of treating the financial hub as their own personal playground.

The victims were found mutilated in 29-year-old Rurik Jutting's upmarket apartment in Wanchai, streets away from the neon-lit bars of the neighbourhood's famous red-light district -- popular with expats and tourists at all hours.

Wanchai's neon-lit bars are popular 
with expats and tourists at all hours
(AFP Photo/Philippe Lopez)
Jutting, who has been charged with the double murder and will next appear in court Monday, was a regular on the strip, and the reported discovery of sex toys and cocaine in his apartment have added to the debauched portrayal of the former Bank of America Merrill Lynch securities trader.

The women's brutal murders and the accusations against Jutting have touched a nerve, triggering criticism of privileged foreign workers in the city's famous finance industry.

"Just like bankers anywhere, they earn top dollar without having many social responsibilities in Hong Kong," says C.H. Lo, 37, a jeweller who has lived in the city most of his life.

"Their disposable income and immoral lifestyle creates a demand for high-end drugs and prostitution.

"The Chinese believe the greatest virtue is to take care of one's own parents when they grow old. But expat bankers generally display a 'work hard, play hard' attitude."

English and Chinese language social media in Hong Kong has lit up with criticism of the behaviour of some Westerners in the wake of the killings.

The windows of the upmarket apartment
 of British expatriate Rurik Jutting, who is
 accused of murder, in Hong Kong's 
Wanchai district, pictured on November 7, 
2014 (AFP Photo/Philippe Lopez)
"A lot of losers from the West think they are God once they come to Asia. Too bad they give all western expats a bad reputation," said one response to a news story of Jutting's arrest posted online.

"Some expats get to Asia and develop a huge ego and superiority complex, thinking they are above the law, doing things they would never consider in their home countries," said another.

Foreigners also expressed fear for their own reputation.

"Agree, expats should behave better, I can feel our reputation going down year after year because of these scumbags," one post said.

Growing divide

With ongoing pro-democracy protests in the city spurred on by its increasing wealth disparity, there are also those who see well-paid bankers as part of that wider problem.

Hong Kong has one of the largest wealth gaps in the developed world, and a fifth of the population lives in poverty, according to charity Feeding Hong Kong.

"Expat bankers are overpaid and that has contributed to the wealth gap," said 31-year-old media worker Maggie Ho.

Hong Kong has one of the largest wealth
gaps in the developed world, and a fifth of the
population lives in poverty, according to
 charity Feeding Hong Kong (AFP Photo/
Dale de la Rey)
"I think locals have been rather wary of bankers following the Lehman Brothers crisis," she added, referring to the 2008 collapse of the US banking giant.

Jutting's case has also sparked an outpouring of confessional tales from those inside the industry -- stories which fuel its critics.

"The hardest thing to do is to ask corporations and people for money. That's the essence of banking. We had to entertain people a lot," one Hong Kong banker, who declined to be named, told AFP.

"Here, you have access to a broader range of prostitution and it's at a fraction of the price than in New York.

"At one bachelor party in a (hotel) penthouse suite, we would have prostitutes performing a soapy strip dance in the bathroom, while other prostitutes would be performing oral sex on the couch. That's the essence of being a trader -- it's a rock star fantasy and mentality," he said.

"I remember one banker who had so much money that at one recreational softball game, he was just handing out a lot of cocaine."

Wanchai's neon-lit bars are popular with
 expats and tourists at all hours (AFP
Photo/Philippe Lopez)
'Emotional and chemical' highs

The city offers an intoxicating new world for many young Westerners, but some are unable to handle the adjustment, said another Hong Kong banker who also did not want to be named.

"It's easy for the dorky kid in high school to suddenly find himself in the cool crowd at the hottest nightclub, and to keep this high -- emotional as well as chemical -- he's more than willing to throw his inflated disposable income at whoever can keep it going," he said.

But while there are those who go to extremes, bankers should not all be tarred with the same brush, he added.

"There are many bankers who choose not to be a complete jackass... Alcohol is the only thing I consume and in moderation."

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