"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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Friday, March 27, 2015

Dutch finance minister delays ABN Amro sale after executive pay rise row

DutchNews.nl, March 27, 2015

Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has delayed the sale of nationalised bank ABN Amro because of the commotion over executive pay. 

Dijsselbloem had been due to announce the date for the IPO this month and insiders expected the launch would be before the summer. 

However, the row over the bank’s decision to give €100,000 pay rises to senior executives and get round the new limit on bonuses, has now prompted a rethink. In a three sentence letter to parliament, the minister said that he was delaying the sale because of that discussion. 

ABN Amro said in a reaction the timing is ‘up to the minister’. 

Fury

MPs and customers reacted furiously to the pay rises. Dijsselbloem said at the time he regretted the situation but was powerless to act. 

Commentators said the decision to delay the IPO is a sign of Dijsselbloem’s anger and a clear signal to the bank itself. 

ABN Amro was nationalised in 2008 following its takeover by a consortium of other banks. The state hopes to earn €15bn from the sale, less than half the total bill for its rescue.

Related Articles:





"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy,Recalibration LecturesGod / 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. …”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Schlumberger fined $232.7mn for breaking Iran, Sudan sanctions

Yahoo – AFP, 25 Mar 2015

French-US oil services giant Schlumberger Ltd. was fined $232.7 million
 by the Justice Department Wednesday for violating sanctions on Iran
and Sudan (AFP Photo/Fabio Bucciarelli)

Washington (AFP) - French-US oil services giant Schlumberger Ltd. was fined $232.7 million by the Justice Department Wednesday for violating sanctions on Iran and Sudan.

Fully owned subsidy Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd. admitted guilt to one count of "knowingly and willfully conspiring to violate" the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act, under which US sanctions are applied, the department said.

According to the charges, the company's Texas-based drilling and measurements unit provided services to Iran and Sudan between 2004 and 2010 and tried to hide the fact from authorities.

While Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, was allowed to work in both Iran and Sudan, the Department said the US Drilling and Measurements unit was not.

Justice authorities said the company as well tried to hide the fact that the US unit was doing the work.

"Over a period of years, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd. conducted business with Iran and Sudan from the United States and took steps to disguise those business dealings, thereby willfully violating the US economic sanctions against those regimes,” said John Carlin, US assistant attorney general for national security.

"The guilty plea and significant financial penalty in this case underscore that skirting sanctions for financial gain is a risk corporations ought not take," he said in a statement.

The penalty includes Schlumberger forfeiting $77.6 million of the unit's earnings from its Iran and Sudan business, and a $155.1 million criminal fine, the largest ever for a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Companies aiding tax evaders will be criminally liable

New offence of corporate failure to prevent tax evasion, and offshore dodgers face ‘strict liability’ criminal charge

The Guardian, Patrick Wintour, Thursday 19 March 2015

HMRC website page. Critics of the coalition’s tax evasion crackdown fear
innocent people will be snared by the new rules. Photograph: Christopher Thomond

Banks and accountants that aid tax evasion will face criminal penalties under plans unveiled by the government.

A new offence of corporate failure to prevent evasion is being created to address those who assist dodging. Such offenders could also be “named and shamed” alongside the evaders themselves.

Although crackdowns on tax evasion are a hardy perennial of politicians, Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, insisted his proposals represented a meaningful new measure.

He told MPs: “We inherited from the previous government a tax system that had more holes than a Swiss cheese and was more complex than a Rubik’s cube. The opportunities for those who wish to get away without paying were many and varied.”

A Treasury document signed by Alexander and the chancellor, George Osborne, sets out plans for raising an extra £5bn a year from tax dodgers. A consultation will be held on a new “strict liability” criminal offence for offshore tax evaders.

“It will no longer be possible to evade large sums of tax and plead ignorance in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution,” the paper says.

Alexander said: “Strict liability will bring an end to the defence of ‘I knew nothing, it was my accountant, m’lord’. The Treasury consultation document also promises we will also be increasing financial penalties, including a new penalty linked to the underlying asset for those who enable evasion; we will create a new offence of corporate failure to prevent tax evasion or the facilitation of tax evasion.

“This will complement the existing criminal offences for individuals. We will also introduce new civil penalties, exposing those who enable evasion to the same level of financial penalty as the tax evaded by the evaders themselves.”

Alexander said: “We will increase financial penalties for offshore evaders, including, for the first time, linking the penalty to underlying assets. A billionaire evading £5m of tax will not just be liable for that £5m.”

The document says both evaders and enablers of evasion will face penalties. “If someone helps someone else evade £1m of tax, they risk a penalty of £1m, or even more, themselves,” Alexander said.

The document also “proposes to extend the scope for HMRC to publish their names, exposing them to public scrutiny”.

Chris Leslie, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, broadly welcomed the proposals but expressed scepticism that extra money would be raised without extra staff at HMRC. Officials at HMRC have been roundly criticised for failing to prosecute anyone in light of the tax allegations involving HSBC’s Swiss bank.

The document claims the coalition raked in an extra £100bn revenue over the past five years from tackling tax evasion, avoidance and non-compliance.

The sum included £31bn from big businesses and £1.2bn extra from the UK’s 6,000 richest people, who each have a net worth of at least £20m.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation said that while tax evasion was a serious crime, the government’s proposal that “intent to evade tax” would not be necessary for a conviction could catch innocent people.

“UK and international taxation is a minefield of complexity and, while some taxpayers do actively seek to hide their income by intentionally failing to declare it, there are others who simply make mistakes in their financial affairs without intending to act wrongly,” said the institute’s tax policy director, Patrick Stevens. “A taxpayer may fall within the ambit of the offence without any intention or knowledge on their part.”

Farage 'deeply shocked' over expenses fraud claim involving Ukip MEP

Ukip leader say Janice Atkinson’s future in party hangs in balance after staff member is filmed accepting falsified restaurant receipt

The Guardian, Rajeev Syal, Friday 20 March 2015

Nigel Farage said he had spoken to Janice Atkinson about the incident but had
not received a clear answer about what had happened. Photograph: Suzanne
Plunkett/Reuters

Nigel Farage says he is astounded by footage that appears to show an aide of a Ukip parliamentary candidate requesting a falsified receipt for more than £3,000 in order to claim it as official EU expenses.

The Ukip leader told LBC on Friday that the political future of Janice Atkinson, who is an MEP and the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Folkestone and Hythe, hung in the balance after a sting by the Sun newspaper.

Atkinson was immediately suspended by the party and would face a disciplinary meeting on Monday, Farage said.

Atkinson’s claim allegedly related to a lunch costing £950 attended by a number of senior Ukip figures during the party’s spring conference in Margate. The Sun said it had filmed a member of Atkinson’s staff (paywall) asking for and accepting an invoice for £3,150 at the restaurant the next day.

The newspaper said this would have allowed Atkinson’s office to claim the higher total on expenses from a group funded by the European parliament to boost Ukip’s finances. The Sun said it had passed on details of the incident to Kent police.

Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson faces a disciplinary meeting next week.
Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Atkinson has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Farage said: “I was deeply shocked when I saw it. One of the most incredibly stupid and dishonest things I have ever seen in my life.

“It was a member of staff, as you rightly say. What exactly the relationship between that member of staff asking for a false bill and Janice Atkinson is, I don’t know.”

Farage said he spoke to Atkinson in the early hours of Friday, but did not yet understand what happened and would wait for the inquiry to conclude.

“It was gone midnight, she was in bed. I said: ‘What on earth is going on, what is this?’ and she said there was confusion, there was a mess-up; I didn’t get a clear answer. We will wait for the inquiry. On the evidence of what we have seen, it does not look very good.”

He said the disciplinary hearing would be chaired by a member of the legal profession. 

A senior Ukip source said the party was “absolutely aghast” at what is alleged to have happened, especially given it was just 48 days away from the general election. The source said it was possible that Diane James, the Ukip MEP who recently stood down as a candidate for family reasons, could be drafted back in to stand in Folkestone, which is considered an important seat for the party.

Atkinson has previously been forced to apologise for referring to a Thai constituent asa “ting-tong”. Farage stood by her on that occasion, saying it was a mistake and apologising to the constituent, Fa Munday, in person.

Atkinson played a high-profile role in the Margate spring conference, giving a speech in which she railed against “Guardianista feministas”. She also told the audience she believed she would beat the Conservative MP Damian Collins, who holds a majority of around 10,000.

The decision to withdraw the whip from Atkinson comes less than two months after Ukip suspended Amjad Bashir, also an MEP, over financial matters just before he defected to the Conservative party. He denied any wrongdoing.

Ministers, unions condemn ‘greedy’ bank pay rises as ‘wrong signal’

DutchNews.nl, March 20, 2015

Ministers and banking unions on Friday were quick to criticise news that three big Dutch financial services firms have increased the basic pay of senior executives by up to 46%. 

ING and insurance company NN said on Thursday they had put up executive pay by between 28% and 46%. State-owned ABN Amro said on Friday it had increased the pay of six senior staff by €100,000, or around 17%.

The sharp pay rises follow a decision by the government to slap a 20% ceiling on banking sector bonuses. 

While acknowledging the banks had remained within the letter of the law, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the increases are ‘sending out the wrong signal’.

‘This is difficult to understand at a time when banks are still recovering, in which the sector is undergoing change and lots of jobs are being lost,’ Dijsselbloem told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting. 

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said the rises ‘stuck in his throat’. 

Greedy

Banking union De Unie described the ABN Amro increases as ‘incredibly greedy’.

‘Top bankers first treated us to a system crisis that cost €28bn in taxpayers money for ABN Amro alone,’ said chairman Reinier Castelein. ‘They shamelessly steal from us with excessive mortgage rates and still persist in their old ways of, me, myself and I.’ 

Castelein also criticised Dijsselbloem for his approach. ‘Dijsselbloem, the real boss of ABN Amro, is passively looking on,’ Castelein said.

Related Articles:



"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy,Recalibration LecturesGod / 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. …”

Thursday, March 19, 2015

China politicians' tiger breeding ring busted

Yahoo - AFP, 19 March 2015

Three local politicians in China raised at least 11 endangered Siberian tigers, 
state media has reported, after one of the animals jumped to its death from a 
high-rise building ( Photo By Patrik Stollarz/AFP)

Three local politicians in China raised at least 11 endangered Siberian tigers, state media reported Thursday after one of the animals jumped to its death from a high-rise building.

The cub leapt from the 11th floor of an apartment building in the eastern city of Pingdu last month when it was spooked by fireworks set off to celebrate the Chinese New Year, officials said.

Investigations revealed that the seven-month-old cub was being raised by Yang Wenzheng, a member of a municipal People’s Congress, the Communist-controlled local legislature, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing officials.

With one of his fellow deputies, Yang had obtained two tigers from a third councillor, who had eight of the animals but found the costs of raising them -- 1,600 yuan ($260) per day in total -- too expensive to bear.

They bred at least three cubs that later died, CCTV said.

Tiger meat and bones are said to have curative properties in traditional Chinese medicine and farming them can be lucrative -- the China Daily said tigers can fetch 1 million yuan on the black market.

East Russia and China's northeast are home to the big cats, also known as Amur tigers.
Hundreds of them once roamed the lush pine and oak forests of Manchuria, but due to centuries of poaching only a couple of dozen are believed to still survive in the wild in China.

All three have resigned from the municipal People's Congress and were each fined 3,000 yuan for the "bad impact" of raising tigers without official permission, but were not prosecuted, the reports said.

CCTV reported that the surviving animals have been moved to a local zoo.


A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a
 "lawless playground" for the trade in illegal wildlife ranging from tiger meat to bear
paws, an advocacy group says (AFP Photo)

Related Articles:



A Rolex too far: Italian minister quits in corruption scandal

Yahoo – AFP, March 20, 2015

Italian minister to resign in kickbacks scandal

Rome (AFP) - Italy's transport and infrastructure minister announced his resignation on Thursday after days of revelations implicating him in a corruption scandal involving his department, his son and a 10,000-euro Rolex watch.

Maurizio Lupi, who had been resisting calls to quit since the scandal first broke earlier this week, confirmed to Italian television that he would step down on Friday after answering questions about the case in parliament.

Lupi maintained that he had done nothing wrong, saying he was stepping down purely to avoid further damage to the government's credibility.

"I believe my gesture will strengthen the action of the government," he said in a pre-recorded interview with Porta a Porta, the flagship news and discussion programme of public broadcaster Rai.

"I have not lost my honour, nor my passion," he added, saying he hoped to be able to continue his political career.

Lupi, 55, denied that he had been pressed to quit by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, as has been widely reported.

The minister, and by extension Renzi, had been embarrassed by the steady dripfeed of damaging reports following the announcement on Monday of an investigation into the suspected rigging of tenders for major public works projects worth a total of 25 billion euros ($26 billion).

Among four men arrested in a probe in which a total of 51 officials and businessmen were placed under investigation, was Ettore Incalza, a senior official in Lupi's department until the end of last year.

Lupi had been particularly embarrassed by the revelation that a businessman who was one of Incalza's alleged accomplices had given his son, Luca Lupi, a 10,000-euro Rolex watch.

Examining magistrates suspect that the same businessman, Stefano Perotti, organised a job for the recently-graduated son at an engineering firm run by his brother-in-law, at the request of the minister.

Hand-made suits

Lupi has described Perotti as a family friend and wiretap evidence leaked to the press suggests he was also close to another businessman, Francesco Cavallo, who has also been arrested in the kickbacks case.

Several recordings feature Cavallo introducing himself to business contacts as "Lupi's man."

Others appear to indicate that he arranged for hand-made suits to be made for the minister and some of his closest aides, as well as buying flights for Lupi's wife.

When the job issue first emerged, Lupi responded by insisting that he would never seek favours for his children and that to do so "would have been a grave error and, I presume, a crime."

Twenty-four hours later a recording emerged of a phone call in which he is heard telling Incalza: "You must come and meet my son."

Judges suspect Incalza asked Perotti to arrange things and, within a month, Luca Lupi was a site manager on a Milan building site which already had 17 managers.

Renzi, who has made a more effective fight against corruption in Italian life a central plank of his reforming premiership, was reported to have demanded that Lupi resign immediately.

The centre-left leader was unable to simply sack the minister as it would have risked destabilising his coalition government. Lupi is a leading member of the New Centre Right (NCD), the junior partner in a coalition dominated by Renzi's Democratic Party (PD).

The investigative judges in charge of the kickbacks inquiry believe the four arrested men were at the helm of a system which enabled them to skim off one to three percent of the value of contracts for high-speed rail links, new metro lines in Rome and Milan and other huge projects.

The scandal is the biggest of its kind since the "tangentopoli" cases of the early 1990s.

That episode led to the indictment of half the country's lawmakers but, two decades later, Italy is still struggling to shake off a reputation for corruption that economists say has cost the country billions in lost investment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

HSBC may shut Jersey accounts of UK residents

Bank asks clients to prove ID in attempt to avoid further accusations of helping tax avoidance after scandal involving its Swiss arm

The Guardian, Jill Treanor, Tuesday 17 March 2015

An HSBC branch in Jersey. Photograph: Alamy

HSBC is contacting thousands of holders of Jersey accounts who live in the UK as part of efforts to avoid accusations it is helping to shelter money from tax authorities.

Britain’s biggest bank has written to customers who hold Jersey accounts to ask them to take proof of identity to a branch on the island, or risk having their accounts closed.

The move does not affect customers who hold offshore accounts through its Jersey-based HSBC Expat operation, which is aimed at people permanently working internationally.

The bank, under fire for helping customers of its Swiss arm avoid tax, said: “We continuously review details we hold on all our customers to ensure we have the information we need to protect them, together with wider society, against fraud and other financial crime.

“With financial crime becoming more sophisticated, keeping accurate, up to date information on customers such as complete proof of identity or address, helps us monitor transactions effectively for potential fraudulent activity.”

It is the latest move by HSBC to take risk out of its business and follows its decision to shut accounts for the Vatican, embassy staff and charities in recent months following its £1.2bn fine from US authorities, in 2012, for breaching money-laundering rules and allowing Mexican drug barons to move cash around the financial system.

Last July, HSBC faced criticism after three high-profile Muslim organisations, including Finsbury Park mosque, were told their accounts would be closed.

Other banks have also been taking steps to verify the identity and residence of their account holders in Jersey.

Barclays said: “Barclays takes its responsibilities seriously, whether it is to know our clients, or through compliance with the range of agreements that Jersey has in place with tax authorities.

“We continually review our clients’ portfolios and circumstances to ensure that we remain compliant and that we are offering appropriate services.”

A spokesperson for bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland said: “RBS is committed to working with the authorities to prevent financial crime. We continually review our policies and procedures to ensure we are adhering to the rules and regulations of all the jurisdictions in which we operate. This includes reviewing our customer portfolios to make sure we are both best meeting their needs and remaining compliant.”

Revelations in the Guardian and other publications about the activities of HBSC’s Swiss operations have put a fresh focus on the tax avoidance practices of banks and their wealthy clients.

Leaked details of accounts held at HSBC’s Swiss arm showed how the bank helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions in assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities. In 2012, the Daily Telegraph exposed clients of HSBC in Jersey.

Related Article:


Monday, March 16, 2015

Anti-Rousseff protests draw 1.5 million across Brazil

Yahoo – AFP, Laura Bonilla Cal, Natalia Ramos, 16 March 2015

Demonstrators protest against the government of President Dilma Rousseff in
Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 15, 2015 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)

Sao Paulo (AFP) - About 1.5 million protesters hit the streets across Brazil on Sunday in a major show of anger against leftist President Dilma Rousseff, who faces crises from a faltering economy to a massive corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras.

Many called for the impeachment of Rousseff, less than six months after she was narrowly returned to power in the most bitterly fought presidential race since the end of a military dictatorship in 1985.

The biggest demonstration took place in Sao Paulo, where a million people rallied -- according to police estimates -- many in the distinctive yellow and green of Brazil's national football team. The city -- South America's biggest, and Brazil's business and industrial hub -- is a stronghold of opposition to Rousseff.

A demonstrator with his face painted in the colours of the Brazilian national
 flag and a message reading "Dilma out" takes part in a rally to protest against 
the government in Rio de Janeiro on March 15, 2015 (AFP Photo/Christophe Simon)

Peaceful demonstrations also took place in 83 cities and towns around the country, including major protests in the capital Brasilia and in Rio de Janeiro.

The numbers matched the vast rallies that roiled Brazil in June 2013, when protesters angry at the cost of hosting the 2014 World Cup demanded an end to corruption and more spending on transportation, health and education.

"We are thousands and thousands of people who demand the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff," Rubens Nunes, 26, told AFP in Sao Paulo, where the massive crowd stretched along four kilometers (2.5 miles) of Avenida Paulista, a major thoroughfare.

The protests are significantly larger than those convened on Friday in support of Rousseff and Petrobras by unions and social movements related to her ruling Workers' Party (PT).

In the capital Brasilia alone, between 45,000 and 50,000 people marched Sunday towards the Congress, according to police estimates.

The government was keen to appear to be listening and towards the end of the day Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo and Miguel Rossetto, presidential chief of staff, gave a press conference saying immediate steps would be taken to fight graft and impunity.

"The demonstrations against the government are legitimate. What is not legitimate is the coup, violence and unfounded 'impeachment' that is damaging democracy," said Rossetto.

Demonstrators protest against the government of President Dilma
Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro on March 15, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi Chiba)

'Go to Cuba'

In Rio de Janeiro, people waved Brazilian flags along the coastal Copacabana avenue behind a truck blaring slogans against Rousseff.

"Get out Dilma; get out PT!" people chanted. A few protesters among the 15,000 packed there even called for military intervention to end the PT's 12 years in power.

Rita Souza, a 50-year-old television producer, carried a banner reading: "Military intervention now."

"I'm not asking for a coup, but a constitutional intervention to call new fair elections," Souza told AFP. "They can all go to Cuba!"

Construction contractor Alessandro Braga, 37, attended the rally in Brasilia with his wife and son.

"I support the departure of Dilma," he said. "The biggest corruption scandals occurred during her administration and she said nothing."

Demonstrators protest against the government of Brazilian President 
Dilma Rousseff in Manaus, on March 15, 2015 (AFP Photo/Raphael Alves)

The marches were supported by the opposition Social Democracy Party, whose president Aecio Neves -- who lost the election runoff to Rousseff -- said in video on Facebook that "the road is just beginning."

"We will not disperse," he said.

Litany of problems

Dozens of political figures, including close allies of Rousseff, and former Petrobras executives are under investigation over a kickback and money laundering scheme that saw an estimated $3.8 billion creamed off inflated contracts over a decade.

No one has been convicted yet, but some of the alleged wrongdoing took place while Rousseff was chairman of the Petrobras board.

Twenty-two deputies, 13 senators and two governors have been implicated in the bribe-taking allegations. Rousseff is not being investigated.

In addition to the corruption scandal at Petrobras, Rousseff is also facing rising inflation and a Brazilian economy that is on the brink of recession.

Romanian finance minister quits amid corruption scandal

Romanian Finance Minister Darius Valcov has resigned amid allegations that he took a massive bribe. The anti-corruption authority suspects Valcov received 2 million euros from a company to fix a construction contract.
  
Deutsche Welle, 16 March 2015


Valcov resigned amid suspicions that he accepted the 2-million-euro ($2.11 million) bribe as mayor of Slatina, in southern Romania. He quit hours after President Klaus Iohannis urged the prime minister to fire him, saying the investigation had affected "the activity and credibility of the government."

"I spoke with Darius Valcov today at lunch and he handed me his resignation," Prime Minister Victor Ponta told Romanian TV channel Antena 3.

Prosecutors have alleged that between 2010 and 2013 Valcov favored a businessman in Slatina with contracts, in exchange for a 20 percent cut. No immediate comment has come from Valcov or the Finance Ministry, though he has denied the allegations.

String of busts

Valcov previously served as budget minister, a portfolio merged with the Finance Ministry in a December reshuffle after Ponta lost his presidential bid in a controversial election last fall.

The prime minister had initially supported Valcov, but has accepted his resignation. Ponta has asked Valcov to present the new fiscal code next week and will then name a successor, the Mediafax news agency reported. In February, Ponta and Valcov announced plans to cut all major taxes between 2016 and 2019, a move analysts said could take an unsustainable toll on the budget.

"It is important for Romania to have this project," Ponta said at the time.

Long considered one of the European Union's most corrupt states - investigators have looked into Ponta's father- and brother-in-law - Romania has cracked down in recent years, putting thousands of public servants on trial and convicting many, including several high-ranking officials.

The country's prosecutors and magistrates have won praise from Brussels for crackdowns that have seen many members of parliament face trial for graft-related offenses. In January, President Iohannis appeared in court on prior conflict-of-interest charges.

Those sentenced to prison for graft include Ponta's political mentor, former prime minister Adrian Nastase, in two separate cases in 2012 and 2014. However, Valcov has become the most senior sitting Romanian politician to resign because of corruption allegations amid the flurry of high-level investigations and graft trials over the past two years.

Ponta could face a leadership challenge at the Social Democrats' congress this month, and right-wing politicians have said they aim to file a no-confidence vote in parliament this year. The next scheduled parliamentary election is due in late 2016.

mkg/cmk (Reuters, dpa, AP)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Deloitte talks settlement in Innoconcepts 2010 bankruptcy

DutchNews.nl, March 13, 2015

Accountants group Deloitte is embroiled in a new book-keeping scandal, this time in connection with the bankruptcy of Innoconcepts in 2010, the NRC says on Friday. 

Curator Louis Deterink says Deloitte ‘wrongly’ approved two sets of annual accounts for the company which were worth €400m on the Amsterdam stock exchange in 2007. 

Deterink, considered one of the Netherlands most expert bankruptcy specialists, says in his report that Innoconcepts went bankrupt due to its ‘vague’ and ‘conflict of interest-scented’ interests in China. The company’s alliance partners in China effectively emptied the company but Deloitte failed to take any action on this, the NRC says. 

The 10 Chinese partner companies built up debts running into millions of euros with Innoconcepts but this was not included in the annual report. The partner firms also refused to hand over their annual reports and said this was considered normal in China, Deterink’s report says. 

According to the Financieele Dagblad, there were also conflicts of interest involving both management and supervisory board members. Innoconcepts was set up to exploit inventions and support innovative R&D. 

Settlement 

Deloitte said in a statement it was taking the report ‘extremely seriously’ and would look ‘critically at its own role’. 

Deterink and Deloitte are in talks about a settlement and Deterink considers Deloitte liable for a ‘substantial part’ of the €63m inventory shortage. 

Deloitte was also the main accountant for merchant bank Van der Hoop, which went bankrupt in 2005 and supermarket group Ahold at the time of the book-keeping fraud which came to light in 2003, the NRC says.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ABN Amro fires six at Dubai office for irregularities

DutchNews.nl, March 11, 2015

Dutch state-owned bank ABN Amro fired six employees at its Dubai private banking desk after an internal probe showed they were involved in serious irregularities, the Financieele Dagblad says on Wednesday. 

The bankers had failed to comply with internal codes of conduct by enabling clients to use their personal accounts for illicit business transactions. The FD said this enabled the clients to use private banking accounts to carry out transactions which should have fallen under a much stricter compliance regime.

‘We offer private banking, and feel that using our services this way is improper,’ a spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. ‘We maintain a high standard world-wide for client acceptance.’ 

ABN Amro has a workforce of around 100 in Dubai. The office trades in commodities such as oil and in diamonds as well as offering private banking services to wealthy clients. 

The FD says the bank kept the irregularities and the redundancies quiet and described the sudden departure of the responsible chief executive officer as ‘retirement’.

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"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy,Recalibration LecturesGod / 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. …”