Too bad Canadian Business Magazine does not speak to the benefits, or lack thereof, of oil pipelines. Good for the oil people, as usual, but nothing in the way of prosperity for the workers of the future. This is a temporary job for 90 % of those involved and when I started reading this mag in the seventies that fact would be the headline. The Internet provides way more information to the people than in the past but most is aimed at the hard of thinking, greedy, the want-to-be wealthy, the stupid or tabloid type. Canadian Business Magazine wants to be purchased by Murdoch so they can go all the way to useless politicking like the Wall Street Journal and other useless bought-by-the-man media.
“Brian Elwin Pomeroy”
COPENHAGEN — European Union finance ministers agreed on Saturday to increase competition among credit ratings agencies and to continue difficult discussions on taxing certain financial transactions.
Retroactive and open book accounting…
At the end of a two-day gathering here,Margrethe Vestager,Denmark’s economics minister, announced that the ministers had reached an agreement to require companies to rotate ratings agencies to prevent conflicts of interest and encourage more competition.
Two hundred years late…
Ms. Vestager said it would be important to make any such rules “applicable in the real world because, you know, the market for credit rating is rather limited.”
If you had the money, you would make the same rules…
A European law requiring companies to rotate agencies, and in turn encourage ratings competitors to enter the market, could have major implications for companies like Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, the big three global providers that are based in the United States and have dominated the sector.
That is how most money ended in so few piles…
Over the past two years, European leaders have repeatedly accused the agencies of exacerbating the sovereign debt crisis by unfairly downgrading countries’ creditworthiness and further driving up their costs of borrowing.
Nothing personal, doing what they’re told…
Last year, Michel Barnier, the European commissioner responsible for financial services, proposed that companies be forced to change every three years the company that they pay to rate their credit, or every six years if they hired more than one ratings agency.
Does the tax payer pay for these whores?…
He also said that financial institutions should be allowed to rely less on the agencies and be obliged to make their own assessments.
Stakeholders NEED to pay for their own accountants…
Those rules still need to be approved by governments and the European Parliament, and Mr. Barnier’s proposals on the frequency of rotation could be modified. A longer phasing-in period for the rules could also be added.
I’ll be dead of old age years before…
That decision was overshadowed by a disagreement between the Austrian finance minister, Maria Fekter, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, over who got to announce the deal first.
JAMES KANTER will get the blacklist for this…
Mr. Juncker canceled a scheduled news conference after Ms. Fekter upstaged him with an impromptu announcement.
Enough children, back to the money whores…
Ministers avoided acrimony on Saturday in a discussion about creating a so-called financial transaction tax, a proposal that has drawn fierce criticism fromSwedenandBritain.
Here we are but where are USA and the oil people?…
Proponents say such a mechanism could help recoup vast sums of money that governments have spent to save banks by levying a tax on most share, derivative and bond trades. But opponents warn that such a tax would push banks and other financial institutions to abandon European financial centers like the City ofLondon and could ultimately leave European governments with less revenue.
Consult the poor to learn how to deal with less money…
In a sign that the governments could be preparing the path to a compromise, Anders Borg, the Swedish finance minister, said he could support a more modest levy known as a stamp duty that mainly taxes shares.
“Something in line with the French stamp duty or the British stamp duty” would be less costly for the economy and could be acceptable toSwedenandBritain, Mr. Borg said in comments on the margins of the meeting.
See?…not a rocket science…
“There are some positive signs on this,” he said, adding that he had agreed to join a working group on the issue at the invitation of the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.
2012-04-01 13:35:45 MST. Now we wait…
The Harper cons are cheaters, in both the technical and spiritual sense of the word, and yet they go merrily on. But in this case it seems that crime pays and the cheaters go merrily on.My contention is this – once the NDP has chosen a new leader I propose he/she have a large public press conference with Bob Rae, as well as Elizabeth May and Daniel Paillé, and tell Canada and the world that they are withdrawing from the Parliament because it has become a sham. To my knowledge such a drastic move has never been done in modern Western democracies and it would be world-wide news. I suggest that the Opposition say that they cannot sit in the House in the presence of an illegitimate government and that they will not return to the House until the government convenes a Royal Commission on voter fraud and implements significant electoral reforms which include a stop to all robocalls, clearer outlines of what constitutes voter fraud, significant restrictions on party spending during campaigns as well as a total ban on spending outside of campaigns, clearer House rules about maintaining proper debate and committee works, and fixed responsibilities concerning press conferences on the part of the Prime Minister. Think about it for a minute. Imagine if all opposition parties refused to sit in the House and refused to take part in an election like they are compelled to do in some third-world dictatorships. You see, the opposition parties have more or less been carrying on as though, despite the Harpercons malfeasance, it is business as usual. These actions lend continual credibility to a government that not only lacks credibility but which is systematically dismantling the democratic institutions of the nation. Something radical must be done to change the public mind about the gravity of the situation. If not now, when? kirbycairo
I got this from the globe and mail comments by some person named 1,2,3,4. I wanted to add, because I did not feel like starting a new article that Alberta recently discovered that many MLAs' took free money and did not ask if there was anything to do. They were on some kind of committee that did not meet for four years and nobody asked why. Are they slow, or stupid, evil or useless? What is going on with the politicians in the western world? Are the voters that unplugged that they do not know that you have to sometimes ask the boss if he has something he wants done? Would you not be fired if you had a normal job and the boss did not hear from you in four years? Do you think maybe the boss might stop writing checks after not hearing from an employee for years? Is the boss spending his money or does his money belong to someone else and he does not care because his boss does not care? Do governments need a CEO instead of a useless politician? Would the people care if the Prime Minister made a few million instead of a few hundred thousand? NOPE, the people do not care. The people who do care better get in the game.
Quick note about the robo scandal. When you answer the phone, ask the person, the stranger, where they got your number. If they do not want to say, hang up. Do not buy from anybody you do not know. When confronted by police always get picture ID. You do not have to open your car to anyone and if the cop gives you grief tell him you will follow him to the station. This is not a warning about fake cops; it is a warning to get witnesses for any interaction with government employees. My spider sense is tingling. There is something fishy about cops investigating cops and election Canada people obviously brain-dead or lazy and cops who can not find the people responsible. Something stinks.
I like the Internet. It is an ideal information treasure trove for the user as well in that you can make certain statements and maybe some day get through to the ignorant masses. We will probably have to make TV illegal to stop the politicians from feeding lies to the people. We will have to stand up, be identified and march on the hill. Before 2012-12-21, just in case.
Politics is like sports and other entertainment. It is entertainment to distract us from what is important. If you follow the money, every situation can be analyzed. The people were not willing to except the fact that NOBODY can keep raising their prices. If you get a raise then your neighbor needs a raise and the prices have to go up.
The people with the money started manufacturing things over seas because WE wanted less expensive crap. At the same time we were asking for more and more money instead of training others and getting retrained ourselves. In the meantime, the bankers used money to make money to make more money and then shipped the money overseas before WE could get our share to support our fellowman and our government.
None of this is rocket science. Get out your calculator or talk to the accountants and come to the same conclusion I did. We need to tell our government to go to the Swiss, go to Singapore, go to Dubai and Hong Kong and get the money back. Many people are sitting on billions while children in all countries, Canada and the USA, are going hungry. Follow the money and you will see that we spent tens of billions and gave it to corporations and they threw it on their big pile of money until they could figure out how to turn it into more money. All we have to do is take the money back and tell them that they can not HOARD money any longer.
Not a rocket science. If I can figure it out, you can figure it out.
KABUL, Afghanistan — For the past few months, possibly the most intriguing poker game in Kabul has been taking place in the sprawling pink sitting room of the man at the center of one of the most public corruption scandals in the world, the near collapse of Kabul Bank.
The players include people tied to President Hamid Karzai’s inner circle, many of whom have profited from the crony capitalism that has come to define Afghanistan’s economic order, and nearly brought down Kabul Bank. The game’s stakes “aren’t too big — a few thousand dollars up or down,” one of the participants said.
Betting thousands of dollars a night in a country where most families live off a few hundred dollars a year would seem like a bad play for Sherkhan Farnood, the founder and former chairman of Kabul Bank, the country’s biggest. His assets are supposed to be frozen, and he is still facing the threat of prosecution over a scandal that could end up costing the Afghan government — and, by extension, the Western countries that pay most of its expenses — almost $900 million, a sum that nearly equals the government’s total annual revenues.
But Mr. Farnood, who in 2008 won about $143,000 at aWorld Series of Poker event in Europe, appears to know a good wager when he sees one. Despite years of urging and oversight by American advisers, Mr. Karzai’s government has yet to prosecute a high-level corruption case. And now many American officials say that they have little expectation that Mr. Farnood’s case will prove to be the exception — or that Washington will try to do much about it, especially after violent anti-American protests in recent weeks have sowed fresh doubts in the Obama administration over the viability of the mission in Afghanistan.
As Americans pull back from Afghanistan, Mr. Farnood’s case exemplifies how the United States is leaving behind a problem it underwrote over the past decade with tens of billions of dollars of aid and logistical support: a narrow business and political elite defined by its corruption, and despised by most Afghans for it.
The Americans and Afghans blame each other for the problem’s seeming intractability, contributing to the deterioration in relations that now threatens to scuttle talks on the shape of ties between the countries after the NATO combat mission ends in 2014. What is clear is that the pervasive graft has badly undercut the American war strategy, which hinged on building the Karzai administration into a credible alternative to the Taliban.
Still, the Obama administration has concluded that pressing the fight against corruption, as many American officials tried to do in recent years, could further alienate Mr. Karzai and others around him whom Washington is relying on as it tries to manage a graceful drawdown.
“It’s a little late in the game to worry about anticorruption measures because what in the world is the alternative going to be?” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “If you find people who aren’t corrupt, it is largely because they haven’t had the opportunity.”
Some of the corruption will fade organically, as America and its allies cut back on their aid to Afghanistan, which is likely to have a harsh impact on the Afghan economy, Mr. Cordesman said. Efforts by the American-led coalition to better monitor the billions it spends each year in Afghanistan continue and are having an effect, although it remains slight largely because billions of dollars keep pouring in and are likely to do so for years to come.
The limits of the coalition’s efforts to police its own spending — and the newfound reluctance of top American officials to push back against Afghan intransigence over prosecuting corruption — were laid bare in December when Mr. Karzai’s office demanded that the coalition provide evidence if it wanted the government to prosecute the Afghan Army’s former surgeon general, Gen. Ahmad Zia Yaftali.
Coalition officials had in fact provided the evidence a full year earlier. General Yaftali was suspended in December 2010 after Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the coalition commander, told Mr. Karzai that NATO investigators had found that the Afghan officer had stolen tens of millions of dollars’ worth of drugs from the country’s main military hospital, an institution he ran and where Afghan soldiers regularly died from simple infections because they could not afford to bribe nurses or doctors to treat them.
The running of the hospital, like much of the Afghan Army, is financed by the United States, which last year spent $11.2 billion to pay, train and equip Afghanistan’s security force.
But after the suspension of the politically connected general, the investigation into his conduct remained in limbo — until Mr. Karzai on Dec. 29 unexpectedly demanded to see the evidence he had already seen.
The American officer in charge of the inquiry, Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, was furious. The investigation of General Yaftali and the Dawood Military Hospital was one of the major initiatives undertaken by General McMaster’s task force, a high-profile coalition effort set up in 2010 to go after corruption that was being financed by coalition spending. Now it appeared as if an officer who was accused of letting his own soldiers die so he could enrich himself would never be tried.
General McMaster and his staff quickly pulled together their evidence and wrote a statement to counter Mr. Karzai’s demand. Their draft, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, struck both accusatory and conciliatory notes.
It bluntly stated that the coalition had provided the evidence Mr. Karzai was now demanding. It said efforts to investigate had been met with “interference, obstruction, and delay.” It quoted a pledge Mr. Karzai had made in December at an international conference in Germany to end a “culture of impunity.”
The statement was never released. According to two NATO officials, the commander of coalition forces, Gen. John R. Allen, decided there was little to gain in picking a fight with Mr. Karzai over the matter.
A senior coalition officer who is involved with the case said he believed that it would eventually proceed. NATO is focused on preparing Afghan forces to take over the fight against the Taliban, and will continue to try to clamp down on corruption that undermines that goal, the officer said.
The American officials tracking the bank investigation seem similarly uninterested in challenging Afghan authorities over the status of Mr. Farnood and his former partner, Khalilullah Frozi.
Under pressure from the United States and its allies, Afghan authorities arrested both men in June. Kabul Bank was taken over nearly 10 months earlier amid accusations that its owners used it as their personal piggy bank.
Mr. Farnood spent more than $150 million of the bank’s money on villas in Dubai purchased in his own name. Kabul Bank money helped finance shell companies whose main function was to win subcontracts from businesses doing work for the American-led coalition, siphon a slice of the money and then find other subcontractors to do the actual work, American officials have said. Mahmoud Karzai, a brother of the Afghan president, and Abdul Haseen Fahim, a brother of the first vice president, Gen. Muhammad Qasim Fahim, both received interest-free loans so they could buy stakes in the bank.
News of the takeover prompted a run on the bank that almost led to its collapse. Afghanistan’s central bank spent nearly $900 million to keep it afloat, an outlay that the Afghan government, already short of cash, has since had to cover. While some of that money is likely to be recovered, some Western officials concede that donor funds will eventually be needed to close the hole in the Afghan budget, even if Western dollars do not go directly to cover Kabul Bank’s losses.
Deputy Attorney General Rahmatullah Nazari said the authorities this past fall gave permission to let Mr. Farnood and Mr. Frozi out of prison during the daytime so they could help recover assets owed to the bank. Mr. Farnood owes the bank $467 million, he said; Mr. Frozi owes $78 million.
Mr. Frozi has been helpful in tracking down missing assets; Mr. Farnood less so, Mr. Nazari said, although some Western officials disputed that characterization and said it was Mr. Farnood who was being more helpful.
But it is unclear how hard the Afghan government is pushing either man. The villas and a pair of partly constructed office towers in Dubai are still in Mr. Farnood’s name, and Mr. Nazari said the transfer of the property was being held up by a 2 percent tax that the United Arab Emirates levy on such deals. Some Western officials questioned why a routine tax would hold up such an important transaction.
Meanwhile, Mr. Farnood is collecting rent from tenants in some of the villas, Mr. Nazari said.
But, Mr. Nazari insisted, both will be prosecuted once the asset recovery has been completed.
American, European and even some Afghan officials say they doubt that will happen. Despite Mr. Nazari’s claim that both spend their nights in prison, the two have rented separate houses in Kabul and rarely, if ever, return to their cells, said people close to the men.
Mr. Farnood’s spacious house stands behind high walls in Kabul’s most expensive neighborhood, around the corner from the office of the International Monetary Fund, which is overseeing a forensic audit of Kabul Bank.
A pool table, a table for table tennis, a large Samsung flat-screen television and a set of purple faux-leather couches and arm chairs grace the cavernous pink sitting room. A pair of late-model black Toyota Land Cruisers sit in the driveway. The officer from Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, the country’s intelligence agency, who mans the front door functions more like a doorman than a guard.
Mr. Farnood lunches regularly at the Kabul Serena Hotel, where the buffet costs about $25 a head. Mr. Frozi has his own spot, Boccaccio, an upscale Italian eatery popular with well-heeled Afghans and foreigners, including American and European diplomats.
Lunching there on afternoon last month with four other men, Mr. Frozi declined to talk to a reporter. He said the American press had “destroyed the bank,” and he dismissed his questioner with a wave of his hand.
Sharifullah Sahak and Sangar Rahimi contributed reporting.
Thank you all for joining this petition. Now, I need your help for spreading the word! Amigos Latinos, se encuentra información en español al fin de este mensaje.
As you probably realize, this is history in the making, and you are making history! For the first time ever, legalization will be debated at a major international Summit, the April 14-15 Summit of the Americas, with the 34 countries of the Americas in attendance!
8 months after the Report of The Global Commission on Drug Policy, signed by an impressive string of ex-world leaders, 3 months after the Tuxtla declaration, signed by 12 Central American and Caribbean countries, the proposal put forward by Guatemalan president Perez Molina is a real coming of age for drug policy reform. If President Perez Molina and his vice-president Roxana Baldetti are successful in gathering support behind their proposal, this will be a watershed event for drug policy reform, a major milestone. By showing your support, you can be part of it.
But signing in is just the first step. Now, please, help promoting this petition:
· email it to your friends,
· share it on social networks,
· post it on groups pages, blogs and forums.
· Send letters to the editors or comments either online, or to your local press.
· If you belong to a group, try to get them to endorse this movement.
· Ask all of your contacts in Latin America to support and promote the petition
· Re-tweet my own tweets, ask your friends to re-tweet. Re-tweeting is a great way to generate a buzz and create momentum. My Twitter account: @JDhywood
· Post on the Facebook pages of President Perez Molina and his vice-president Roxana Baldetti, as well as all the regional leaders, from Panama to Mexico. Send them emails or tweets when possible. You can find all the necessary information and instructions on my site. Be courteous and respectful please!
I created a post on my blog that I will keep updating as we go. See: http://www.world-war-d.com/2012/02/28/petition-in-support-of-guatemalan-presidents-call-for-drug-legalization/
This is the time we have been waiting for, when actual heads of states stand up against the War on Drugs. They need our urgent support! Therefore, I urge all the people seeking more peace and security in the world to mobilize massively behind the Perez Molina initiative.
Thank you again for your support.
Muchísimas gracias por adherirse a esta petición. Ahora necesito su apoyo para promocionarla usando las redes sociales.
Si se dan cuenta, se trata del curso de la Historia y lo estamos cambiando! Por la primera vez se abrirá el debate sobre legalización de las drogas en una de las cumbres internacionales de mayor nivel, la Cumbre de las Américas, el próximo 14 y 15 de abril, con la participación de 34 países de América.
8 meses después del Reporte de la Comisión Global sobre la política de las Drogas, que firmaron una lista de ex líderes del mundo, 3 meses después de la declaración de Tuxtla, firmada por 12 líderes de los países Centro-Americanos y Caribe, la propuesta presentada por el presidente Pérez Molina constituye un hito significativo en la reforma de las leyes de las drogas.
El éxito del Presidente Pérez Molina y su vice-presidente Roxana Baldetti dependerá de su capacidad para reunir el apoyo necesario para respaldar su propuesta.
Cuantas más firmas tenga esta petición, la propuesta constituirá un evento de GRAN MAGNITUD como parte de un movimiento ciudadano a gran escala para despenalizar las drogas.
Recuerda: firmar sólo es el primer paso. Otras cosas que puedes hacer para ayudarnos a tomar fuerza promocionando la petición son:
Puedes encontrar más instrucciones e información acerca de la petición en la página: http://www.world-war-d.com/instrucciones-por-la-promocion-de-la-peticion-perez-molina
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