Archive for ‘Finance & Economy’

June 7, 2011

UK in revolt over creeping rise of EU Commissioners’ power as they impose stealth taxes on British families and reduce EU inward contribution to Britain

[Tonya Gillam, EU News Contributor]

Britain’s greedy EU masters in Europe have gone a tad to far this time with the British in a move that will involve British families paying more than £200 a year apiece directly into the coffers of the unelected Commissioners.

The move is part of another bid to save the troubled Euro, by imposing stealth taxes upon member states and also cutting contributions inward to those states.

Bill Cash, chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny committee  is reported to have said: ‘This kind of attempt to stitch up the British people can only be answered by the simple word: No. The veto must be used…the Prime Minister knows he is heading for a showdown which he can only lose now that the Liberal Democrats are so weak.’

Another MP, Douglas Carswell said: “Eurocrats simply don’t get it..we have been forced this year to increase massively the amount of money we pay to the EU, both in the budget and through the bailouts of eurozone countries, and still they want more…iIf people want good public services and reasonable rates of tax, we need to decide whether it’s possible to remain members of the EU. The time has come to ask: Is it worth all this?’  He is calling , together is a significant number of other MPs, for Britain to leave the EU as a matter of priority.

Well Britain, don’t say you weren’t warned – check out UK Independence Party Leader, Nigel Farage‘s video commentary on the criminal past of the incumbent EU Commissioners – viewer discretion advised as the video is shocking.

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June 4, 2011

American consumers in trouble as US judges begin to imprison debt defaulters

[Tom Goldwater, Finance & Economy Contributor]

The Wall Street Journal:  In more than a third of American states now if you don’t pay your debts,  courts can imprison you.  In the UK, only local authorities have that privilege thus far as Britons can be imprisoned for failing to pay their council taxes.However, with British debt defaults increasing on a daily basis in the current severe economic times, it is likely that soon the country will follow American states providing for debtors to be jailed for non-payment of their debts.

Since 2010, The Wall Street Journal reports, over 5,000 warrants have been issued by US judges over nine counties against debtors. Furthermore, according to the Star-Tribune: “In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment….In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Illinois, man to ‘indefinite incarceration’ until he came up with $300 towards a lumber yard debt.”

The Star-Tribune reported that the man was a rooftop worker who had snapped his neck and back on the job and was off work due to his severe injuries and as a result could not pay debt was jailed for non-payment of the debt. His wife had to borrow the $300 from her credit card to get him out of jail.

Although in the USA, debtor prisons were outlawed in the 19th century, judges do not appear to be deterred from jailing debtors who fail to pay their debts and regulatory authorities are not intervening.

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May 27, 2011

British investors lose millions to Majorca-based scammers

Donna Kingsley, Financial Crime News Contributor

Telegraph.co.uk:  Over 400 British investors have been brutally scammed by a Majorca-based team of fraudsters selling bogus investments products. Using high-pressure techniques and sophisticated selling methods and targeting wealthy retired British people, the bandits operated out of offices in the tourist areas of Andratx, Santa Ponsa  and the island’s capital Palma.

Following raids all over the island, Spanish Police made 13 arrests. The 13 people arrested were all British nationals. Initial reports from Spanish police say the bandits could have taken more than £4M. The arrests were the result of a joint operation by Spanish and British police.

The scammers promised their unsuspecting victims high returns for valueless, or imaginary shares in companies with glossy, but fake websites.

The City of London‘s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), said: “We urge anyone who thinks they have been a victim of this or any boiler room scam to get in touch….we believe there could be between 300-400 individuals who have fallen victim to this scam alone.”
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May 26, 2011

Earthquake of magnitude 5.9 shakes Fukushima region on May 24th 2011

[Sumi Aleksander, Japan News Contributor]

USGS: On Tuesday 24th May 2011, an earthquake of 5.9 magnitude struck the Honshu region which encapsulates the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant. No tsunami, or damage reports have been made.

The Honshu region is a notoriously unstable part of Japan and practically each day earthquakes at M4 to 6 strike the area.

An anonymous source at the UN has disclosed that it is looking into the Fukushima plant disaster to decide whether Japan was negligent in building the a nuclear plant in such an unstable part of the country and in that respect whether it should be made to compensate all countries that are now affected from serious radioactive contamination from the nuclear disaster that struck the plant.

May 24, 2011

UK Government agencies lose £527 million in 2010/2011 to fraudsters

[Benedikt Hoffman, Financial Fraud News Contributor]

International Association for Asset Recovery:  The UK government is proving to be a soft touch for fraudsters as it lost taxpayer‘s money to fraudsters to the tune of some £527 million in the period 2010/2011 according to KPMG‘s Government Fraud Barometer published this May.

According to the report, in the past year, there was a 142 percent uplift in fraud incidents against government agencies.

Whereas, the high level of fraud incidents against government agencies had decreased in 2007/2008 as a result of the government’s focus on value added tax (VAT) cheats which led to a high number of prosecutions in that year, but the focus on tax skimming by fraudsters has returned with a vengence according to recent trends.

Around 114 tax fraudsters were prosecuted in the past year in cases representing around £527 million in thefts (up from £277m in 2008/09).

According to Jeremy Outen, UK Head of Fraud at KPMG: “Financial criminals are now becoming more businesslike and methodical ….The current generation of organized crime is targeting fraud – making payment systems, such as banking, tax and benefits vulnerable to attack…..Traditionally, criminals have relied upon physical acts, such as robbery – they can now commit a fraud and achieve the same returns for much less risk. This is fuelling the audacity and ambition of professional criminals, driving up the size of a fraud…..In addition, technology and large scale processing (such as online or call centers) have made large scale frauds easier to accomplish.”

Read more….

May 20, 2011

A resounding ‘no’ for Gordon Brown, but Mandelson is up for the IMF’s top job

[Joe Pretovsky, IMF News Contributor]

International Business Times: Following the lukewarm response to Gordon Brown’s animated overtures for the IMF’s top job following the resignation of its former chief, Dominique Strauss Kahn, on sex charges, it seems that British peer and ‘dark lord’ politician, Peter Mandelson, may be up for the job.

According to news reports on the Guardian’s Martin Kettle‘s blog, he has been recommended robustly by China and:  “Mandelson is definitely interested. The coalition might be open to it too. Germany and France are another matter. Mandelson nevertheless ticks a lot of boxes.”

China apparently likes Mr Mandelson very much, in fact, almost too much. That is because he wowed Chinese politicians when during China’s recent problems with milk contaminated with melamine, at the height of the scandal he had drank a whole glass of Chinese yoghurt even after it had come to pass that the melamine added to the Chinese milk menu had given kidney stones to thousands of Chinese babies, had also disposed of four and as a result had been banned worldwide.

Mr Mandelson was admitted to hospital the week after the event for kidney stones trouble amidst widespread appreciation of the Chinese.

Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier, said after the event: “I was deeply moved to see Mr. Mandelson drink the yoghurt”. It seems that so was Mr. Mandelson.

May 20, 2011

Dominique Strauss Kahn indicted by Grand Jury and out on six million dollar bailout, but could he have been set up?

[Samantha Templeton-Brewster, Celebrities Contributor]

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International Business Times leads today with a proposal that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief accused of forced anal and oral sex with a black chambermaid at New York‘s posh Sofitel Hotel, is probably the victim  of a ‘set up’  by rivals.

Now released on bail, but with stringent conditions attached, Strauss Kahn will spend time up to his trial at an upmarket Manhattan apartment rented by his wife who raised the $1M cash and $5M insurance bond that secured his release on bail.

Dominique Strauss Kahn – easy to ‘set up’ because of his notoriously voracious sexual appetite

The ‘set-up’ theory is pursued vigourously by International Business Times which claims that even before Strauss Kahn had been arrested, a political science student, Jonathan Pinet, had tweeted the arrest.

Pinet claimed he received the information of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest from a “friend” who happened to work at the Times Square hotel in New York where the alleged sexual assault took place. Coincidentally, Pinet is a supporter of Sarkozy‘s UMP Party. As soon as the Tweet was circulated it seemed to have been hurriedly retweeted by AdvertisementArnaud Dassier, a French journalist specialising in articles hostile to Strauss Kahn and in particular his jet-setting lifestyle.

And again, by sheer coincidence, the first website to break the alleged rape news was 24heuresactu, a notorious right-wing blog that does not support Strauss Kahn’s leftist leanings.

It is certainly easily conceivable that the setting up of Strauss-Kahn would benefit a lot of people – Sarkozy (who would have toppled a major barrier to his re-election), rivals and enemies at the IMF as well as other French president hopefuls.

Michelle Sabban, a Paris councillor and Strauss Kahn supporter is reported to have said to the press:  “I am convinced it is an international conspiracy. It’s the IMF they wanted to decapitate, not so much the Socialist primary candidate. It’s not like him. Everyone knows that his weakness is seduction, women. That’s how they got him.”  

May 19, 2011

Today, LinkedIn’s IPO is tipped to set off at a staggering $4.3 billion!

[Jos Petriweather, IPO Markets Contributor]

LinkedIn HQ  in Mountain View, California will be aflow with champagne as the social networking starts off its IPO at a whopping $4.3 billion.

Former, PayPal founder and CEO of the company, Reid Hoffman, with his 21.7% voting stake in the company will get at least $858 million from the sale and will be the envy of the town.

Can I be your new friend Reid?

Congrats LinkedIn!! From 0 to $4.3 billion in 8 years is a remarkable achievement!

May 18, 2011

More women come out with sex charges against horny IMF chief Straus-Kahn who is now on suicide watch in a New York prison

[Samantha Templeton-Brewster, Celebrities Contributor]

MailOnline: It seems that sheer hell has decended upon the apparently sex-crazed ‘rutting chimpanzee’, AKA the unfortunate IMF chief, Dominique Straus Kahn,  following his imprisonment on charges of forced anal and oral sex upon a black Sofitel Hotel chambermaid in New York.

That is because the bandwagon of his abusees is getting bigger at a fast past as an increasing number of women are coming forward with allegations that he had forced himself upon them in a number of sexually inappropriate ways in the past.  However, no matter how different the individual cases are, the underlying thing message is clear- the IMF chief ‘has a problem’ with curbing his incandescent sexual desire.

His Twitter-like following of abusees now include the French Socialist party deputy Aurelie Filipetti, who reportedly had been salaciously ‘groped’ by Straus-Kahn; a journalist who did not want to mention her full name but who  reportedly had been offered sex in exchange for an exclusive  interview with the rampant IMF chief;  a Mexican chambermaid at the Sofitel who is claiming to have been sexually assaulted too along with her New York colleague whose allegations resulted in the IMF’s chief ending up in a prison cell and who’s DNA samples have matched up with those found on Strauss Kahn.

Moreover, rumours  are resurfacing that the sexually insatiable  IMF chief used to frequently visit a high-profile Paris swinger’s club Les Chandelles, which offers its clients to freely swap partners and  realize  any sexual fantasies imaginable with unknown males and females in darkened rooms.  It seems that his rough handling of many that he met there will be likely to erupt into another barrage of claims against the embattled Frenchman.

To cap it all, according to the words of the French  television  producer and host  Thierry Ardisson, who reportedly has known Mr. Kahn for quite a while, ‘Everyone knew about it. I have 14 women pals who have told me: “He tried to jump me.” I think that guy has an illness: you can enjoy s*******, but not to that point. He needs therapy.’

Well, Strauss Kahn is certainly likely to get therapy for his illness in a New York prison where inmates offer a special kind of therapy for sex offenders.

May 17, 2011

Spain’s new law permits hospitals to hasten the death of terminally ill patients

Mail.com:  The Spanish government,  passed into law the right to have an early death for terminally ill patients last Friday. The patients will be able to halt their medical treatment and thereby hasten their death.

The Spanish health minister, Leire Pajin, was quick to point out that the law had nothing to do with the government’s public spending austerity program and that it would not contradict the strict ban on euthanasia or assisted suicide, which criminalises procedures that kill those who are not terminally ill.

As in the UK and most European countries, stopping medical treatment for terminally ill patients is widely practiced, though not officially sanctioned.

Human rights advocates are concerned that the explicit permission by law for medics to kill terminally ill people raises two questions:-

1) Will there be adequate provisions in place to ensure a safe determination of what constitutes a ‘terminally ill’ person?

2) What procedures will be in place to safeguard those who are very ill and whose treatment is expensive upon the state, to be bullied into ending their lives as ‘terminally ill’ patients for the convenience of others.

The law is set to be approved in Parliament is the next few months.