Archive for ‘Financial Crisis’

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.

Related articles

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.

Related articles

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

Death of an icon – Strauss Kann falls on his sword, announces resignation today

[John Sempertoller, Politics Contributor]

Telegraph.co.uk: A huge sigh of relief was the expected outcome from the IMF and the supporters of Straus-Kahn’s France presidential bid, when the entrenched bureaucrat announced his resignation as IMF head today.

The reasons for his decision, he says, is to enable him to have more time to fight to prove his innocence.  However, the case against Strauss Kahn seems very strong and with others coming forward to claim that he too abused them as well as to reveal lurid details of his sexual past which has included using high-class prostitutes and the services of  the high-class pimp, Kristin Davis (pictured above). Therefore,  it seems that ‘plea bargaining‘ and ‘I ask the court to take all other offences into consideration’ can only be the main strategies for his lawyers at this stage.

In the meantime, an anonymous source at the IMF reports that British ex-Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who is widely tipped to replace Strauss Kahn, is reported to be making preparations to take up this new post in a matter of days.

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.


May 17, 2011

Breaking News: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to head IMF

[Angelique De Strange, Crime News Contributor]

Following the spiralling demise of IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is now in a New York prison charged with serious sex abuse charges including forced anal and oral sex against a black chambermaid which took place at a posh hotel in the city where he was a guest, an anonymous source at the IMF has confirmed that ex prime minister, Gordon Brown, is tipped to be in the post in a matter of weeks.

Mr. Brown, widely blamed for the ongoing meltdown of the British economy and mad-hatter schemes like the now defunct ID card scheme for British citizens, is said to be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to save the world as the IMF’s new chief.

It is expected that the IMF will make the announcement in a matter of days and Mr. Brown, it is rumoured is already looking for a residence in Strasbourg.

For workaholic Mr. Brown, there will be no chance of any sex scandals and analysts are saying that with his track record of spectacular failure, he is the best man for the job because the IMF desperately needs a scapegoat (someone to fire) when the PIGS countries effect their imminent default on the IMF bailout loans.
May 15, 2011

No bailout for horny IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, for sexual assault and attempted rape

[Angelique De Strange, Crime News Contributor]

Update: Wednesday 18th 2011 Strauss Kahn is reported to be on suicide watch in prison. European leaders are distancing themselves from him, with the German Chancellor saying outright that he should ‘consider his position’. However, his French friends in high places are alleging a set-up, but fresh sex charges are coming up thick and fast from other women who are claiming that he had taken copious advantage of them.

In the meantime in respect to his immediate plight, DNA tests are on the cards to prove positive and a consensual sex plea is being hinted by Strauss Kahn’s lawyers.  At the IMF,  fierce lobbying by ex British prime minister, Gordon Brown, has resulted in him being tipped to replace Strauss Kahn in a matter of days. An anonymous source reports that Mr. Brown has said: “I am looking forward to the challenge”.

Update: Monday 16th May 2011a handcuffed Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared at an arraignment in New York and was declared a flight risk by the presiding judge. Accordingly, his bail application was refused and he is now being held in  jail pending his trial. 

Not a good day for Mr. Kahn as a new sex attack claim has now been started against him by a French woman who said that he had attacked her back in 2007. READ MORE…..

Sunday 15th May 2011 , Guardian.co.uk: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the current IMF head, is in another sex scandal, but this time it’s serious.  Today, the horny financier was arrested in New York’s JFK Airport and charged with brutally sexually assaulting and raping, or attempting to take serious advantage of a chambermaid in a posh £1850 per night New York hotel where he was a guest.

A visibly shaken Strauss-Kahn, who is 62, was frogmarched by plain-clothes police officers from the first-class cabin of an Air France aircraft waiting to take off to Paris. Later on Manhattan police formally arrested him and charged him with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.

New York Police said that the alleged attack took place at the Sofitel New York on West 44th Street, where the attacker, Strauss-Kahn was staying. His 32 year old victim, a chambermaid, said she entered Strauss-Kahn’s room at around midday when the attack took place.

According to the police: “She told detectives he came out of the bathroom naked, ran down a hallway to the foyer where she was, pulled her into a bedroom and began to sexually assault her, according to her account. She pulled away from him and he dragged her down a hallway into the bathroom where he engaged in a criminal sexual act, according to her account to detectives. He tried to lock her into the hotel room.”

Strauss-Kahn had already departed the hotel in an apparent hurry by the time the police arrived as his  mobile phone and other personal items had been left behind.

New York state law prescribes that forcing oral sex is a criminal sexual act which is in the same class as attempted rape. The penalty for the offence is 15 to 20 year imprisonment. Unlawful imprisonment carries a sentence of between 3 and five years.

Times Online reports that back in 2008, Mr. Strauss-Khan had been involved again it a similar scandal. That time, Mario Blejer, a senior Argentine economist, said that Mr. Khan had seduced his wife, Piroska Nagy at the Davos international forum.  His complaints are being investigated by lawyers in Washington and the case is still ongoing.

Mr. Strauss-Khan did not deny the incident.  Mrs. Nagy, who had been employed in the Africa department of the IMF, left after the incident and is now employed in London at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which job, apparently, Mr. Strauss-Khan had used his influence to get for her.

May 15, 2011

Shock news – Greece on fringe of bankruptcy, IMF to inject a further EUR100 billion in bailout money

[Paul Letterhaur, European Union Politics Contributor]

EUObserver:  As Greece has indicated that it is unable to make the current bailout repayments, the IMF, as a last ditch measure, is going to inject another EUR100 billion into the country’s coffers to enable it to do so and also to stave off its bankruptcy.

Analysts are saying that Greece’s situation is a striking example that EU bailouts are not working and that EU/IMF austerity programs aimed at forcing baileout countries to drastically reduce public spending when more prosperous countries are increasing theirs, also are not working.

Greece’s position is grave. Last week the country experienced a major general strike against EU-IMF austerity programs which have brought the country to desolation. Police and demonstrators in the streets of 14 cities all over Greece, last Wednesday, were in battle mode with demonstrators throwing stones in retaliation against police tear gas and stun grenades.

Workers of all classes including teachers, stevedores, government administrators and medical professionals were on the streets and schools, public transport, hospital and airports were all affected, with some services stopping to function entirely.

The protests coincided with the government’s announcements of a EUR 26 billion cuts measure and massive tax increases coupled with government sell-offs to the tune of some EUR50 billion at a time of 15% unemployment in the country.  Greece is in chaos, that is sure, as government ministers, MPs are showing increasing disaffection with the EU/IMF program bailout/ austerity program which is proving to be Greece’s poisoned chalice par extraordinaire.

As if all that was not enough, the Greek Daily newspaper, Kathimerini has reported that the IMF, upon request of the government, is going to put in another round of bailout money – this time to the tune of some EUR 100 billion into Greece to save its debt to the Eurozone and its reported inability to meet its current bailout repayments.

Economists are saying that Greece’s position is untenable as it has reached a stage when only bankruptcy would be a feasible option. However, the EU is not keen for this to happen as Greece’s debts are spread over most European Union states and its bankruptcy would result in some of the countries which are its creditors collapsing as well.   In addition, Greece’s demise would surely end the Euro because of the collossal amount of debt which would would need to be absorbed by the European Central Bank.

My guess on futures? Greece will default on the bailout, go bankrupt, or leave the Eurozone within 12 months from now.