Senior Chinese Official Slams US Investment Banks Over Derivatives

A senior Chinese official who oversees the country’s largest state-owned enterprises has publicly slammed western investment banks for “maliciously” peddling complicated derivative products that caused huge losses for Chinese companies over the last year.

In Beijing’s strongest criticism on the matter to date, Li Wei, vice director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, singled out Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup in a long and highly critical article in the latest issue of an official Communist party newspaper.

The large losses suffered by Chinese state companies were “closely associated with the intentionally complex and highly leveraged products that were fraudulently peddled by international investment banks with evil intentions,” Mr Li asserted. “To a certain extent some international investment banks were the chief criminals and the root of ruin for the Chinese enterprises who encountered this financial derivatives Waterloo.”

In his article, Mr Li said 68 of the 130-odd state companies controlled directly by Sasac had been buying derivatives to speculate or hedge against rising commodity prices and fluctuating currencies and interest rates, even though some of them were not authorised to do so.

These 68 companies had booked total combined net losses of Rmb11.4bn on the Rmb125bn worth of financial derivatives products they had bought by the end of October 2008, Mr Li said.

The government has not previously revealed the full extent of losses suffered by Chinese companies that made ill-fated bets on over-the-counter, mostly offshore, derivatives.

In September, Sasac warned that some of the contracts were illegal and might be invalidated, a move that prompted some western banks to agree quietly to renegotiate contracts behind closed doors.

Read moreSenior Chinese Official Slams US Investment Banks Over Derivatives

Climategate and the Tiger Woods Index; Al Gore cancels Copenhagen speaking event

al-gore

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Al Gore has had to cancel a Copenhagen speaking event at which he had hoped to charge starry-eyed believers in his ManBearPig religion $1200 a piece for the privilege of shaking his hand, breathing in his CO2 and having his latest book inflicted on them.

Could those unforeseen circumstances have anything to do with Climategate?

I think so. Climategate is now huge. Way, way bigger than the Mainstream Media (MSM) is admitting it is – as Richard North demonstrates in this fascinating analysis. Using what he calls a Tiger Woods Index (TWI), he compares the amount of interest being shown by internet users (as shown by the number of general web pages on Google) and compares it with the number of news reports recorded. The ratio indicates what people are really interested in, as opposed to what the MSM thinks they ought to be interested in.

North explains:

Tiger Woods delivered 22,500,000 web and 46,025 news pages, giving ratio of 489. That is the “Tiger Woods Index” (TWI) against which I chose to measure a raft of other issues.

Here are the rankings:

1. Climategate: 28,400,000 – 2,930 = 9693
2. Afghanistan: 143,000,000 – 154,145 = 928
3. Obama: 202,000,000 – 252,583 = 800
4. Tiger Woods: 22,500,000 – 46,025 = 489
5. Gordon Brown: 12,300,000 – 37,021 = 332
6. Climate change: 22,200,000 – 68,419 = 324
7. Sally Bercow: 25,000 – 86 = 290
8. David Cameron: 545,000 – 4837 = 113
9. Meredith Kercher: 261,000 – 3,471 = 75
10. Chilcot Inquiry: 125,000 – 4,350 = 29

Read moreClimategate and the Tiger Woods Index; Al Gore cancels Copenhagen speaking event

Afghanistan Surge to Cost At Least $40 Billion, That Is $1.333.333 For One US Soldier Per Year

Before it was $775.000 for one soldier in Iraq per year:

Cost for a single soldier to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan is about $775,000 per year

Then it was $1.000.000 for one soldier in Afghanistan per year.

US spends $1 million per soldier in Afghanistan, government report (15 Oct 2009)

Now it is $1.333.333 for one soldier in Afghanistan per year.

Shall we call that inflation or what?



Chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with authority over the
Pentagon’s budget: The buildup will probably cost at least $40 billion

a-us-soldier-inspects-the-site-of-a-bomb-attack-in-afghanistan

A US soldier inspects the site of a bomb attack in Afghanistan. Photograph: Dima Gavrysh/AP

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — Congress will probably have to approve a war-funding bill next year worth at least $40 billion to pay for President Barack Obama’s troop buildup in Afghanistan, a House Democrat said.

Representative John Murtha, chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with authority over the Pentagon’s budget, said today the buildup will probably cost at least $10 billion more than the administration’s $30 billion estimate.

Any funding measure probably won’t come up for a vote before February because lawmakers want time to “dissect” the administration’s plans, said Murtha, of Pennsylvania. Murtha said that while he’s skeptical of the success of the administration’s plan, lawmakers will likely approve the additional funding.

Read moreAfghanistan Surge to Cost At Least $40 Billion, That Is $1.333.333 For One US Soldier Per Year

Lisbon Treaty: Now EU Takes Charge Of Britain

Ireland could have stopped the ‘New World Order’:

What part of Ireland’s ‘no’ does the EU not understand? (Guardian) (!!!)

But:

Ireland Votes 67% In Favor Of Lisbon Treaty -Final Count (Wall Street Journal)

(I am of course not blaming the Irish people for how they voted. After their first vote on the Lisbon Treason Treaty they were real heroes in my eyes. The only ones with brains in the EU. This madness should have been stopped a long time ago.)

Now we have an unelected Bilderberg puppet EU President:

EU President Herman Van Rompuy Announces 2009 as ‘First Year of Global Governance’ (BBC)

It is not that the people are powerless, but that they are not thinking for themselves, acting like a dumb, fear driven herd of sheep in total survival mode. Such behavior assures only one outcome: The people will get slaughtered by the elite.

“What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.” – Adolf Hitler


eu-president-herman-van-rompuy
Unelected EU President Herman van Rompuy

(Daily Express) FAT cat Eurocrats celebrated a “shameful” new era of Brussels domination last night with a ­lavish ceremony and fireworks – all at the hard-pressed taxpayers’ expense.

New EU President Herman van Rompuy and Brussels chiefs toasted victory as the Lisbon Treaty, which moves vast swathes of power from Westminster, ­became law across the EU at midnight on Monday.

Mr van Rompuy and EU foreign affairs chief Baroness Cathy Ashton were among the EU bureaucrats who cheered the landmark occasion at a glittering ceremony and banquet in the Portuguese capital.

But in Britain, angry anti-EU ­critics declared that it signalled the end of our independence after the latest massive surrender of sovereignty to Brussels.

Campaigners have pledged to fight on against the emergence of a Brussels superstate.

UK Independence Party Euro MP Nigel Farage said: “This day should go down in history as National Loss of Independence Day. We now live in a new legal order. We are just a province of a new legal entity called Europe.”

UKIP yesterday launched a national campaign for a referendum on whether Britain should quit the EU. Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: “Britain has ceased to be a sovereign country. Shamefully, the freedoms our forefathers fought for have been given away by the politicians at Westminster. We need a referendum now.”

Tory Euro MP Daniel Hannan said: “It is appalling, demeaning, disgraceful that such a thing should have been done without popular consent and in the absence of the referendum that all three parties had promised.”

Read moreLisbon Treaty: Now EU Takes Charge Of Britain

Yahoo: Our email spying policy would ’shock’ customers and would be used to ‘shame’ us

yahoo

A little-noticed letter from Yahoo! to the US Marshals Service offers troubling insight into the surveillance policies of one of the Internet’s largest email providers.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details of Yahoo’s! policies allowing the Justice Department to request wiretaps of its users and the amount they charge US taxpayers per wiretap — the search engine leviathan declared in a 12-page letter that they couldn’t provide information on their approach because their pricing scheme would “shock” customers. The news was first reported by Kim Zetter at Wired.

“It is reasonable to assume from these comments that the [pricing] information, if disclosed, would be used to “shame” Yahoo! and other companies — and to “shock” their customers,” a lawyer for the company writes. “Therefore, release of Yahoo!’s information is reasonably likely to lead to impairment of its reputation for protection of user privacy and security, which is a competitive disadvantage for technology companies.”

Yahoo! also argues that because their price sheet for wiretaps was “voluntarily submitted” to the US Marshals Service, it is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act law.

Verizon, meanwhile, says (letter PDF) they can’t provide details on how much they charge for wiretaps because it would be “confusing.”

“Customers may see a listing of records, information or assistance that is available only to law enforcement,” Verizon writes, “but call in to Verizon and seek those same services. Such calls would stretch limited resources, especially those that are reserved only for law enforcement emergencies.”

Consumers might “become unnecessarily afraid that their lines have been tapped or call Verizon to ask if their lines are tapped (a question we cannot answer),” the telecom giant adds.

Verizon also revealed it “receives tens of thousands of requests for customer records, or other customer information from law enforcement.”

Read moreYahoo: Our email spying policy would ’shock’ customers and would be used to ‘shame’ us

Lord Christopher Monckton – Climategate: Caught Greenhanded! Cold Facts About The Hot Topic of Global Temperature Change After The Climategate Scandal

Monckton-Caught Green-Handed Climate Gate Scandal

Lord Christopher Monckton – Climategate: Caught Greenhanded! Cold Facts About The Hot Topic of Global Temperature Change After The Climategate Scandal (PDF)

Read moreLord Christopher Monckton – Climategate: Caught Greenhanded! Cold Facts About The Hot Topic of Global Temperature Change After The Climategate Scandal

North Korea: All shops and markets closed, all cash transactions frozen after devaluation announcement

North Koreans in misery as cash is culled

north-korea-all-shops-and-markets-closed-all-cash-transactions-frozen
Street stalls usually offer one of the few glimpses of fiscal activity in Pyongyang ? but even they were closed for business by yesterday’s currency revaluation (Paul Rogers/The Times)

Shops and markets in North Korea have been closed and all cash transactions frozen after the Government’s shock announcement of a devaluation of its currency in an effort to crack down on the country’s burgeoning free-market economy.

In the capital, Pyongyang, yesterday only the few shops and restaurants permitted to trade in foreign currencies – patronised by the privileged elite and the city’s small foreign population – were open for business. All other enterprises and services based on cash, including markets, long-distance bus services, barbers’ shops, saunas and bath houses, were suspended until the revaluation of the won is completed next week.

There were reports of public outrage and confusion after the announcement of the measure, which requires North Koreans to swap existing won notes for new ones at an exchange rate of one to 100 – effectively knocking two zeroes off their value. Because of a cap of 100,000 won per family (£475 at the official exchange rate), anyone with significant holdings of cash will have their savings wiped out.

“Loud sounds of weeping in every house have not ceased since the news was released,” a South Korean website quoted an inhabitant of Sinuiju, a city on the border with China, as saying. “Weeping and fighting between couples has not stopped anywhere. The atmosphere of the city is terrible now.”

The website, dailynk.com, said that one elderly couple had killed themselves in North Hamgyong, a province adjacent to the Chinese border across which much illegal trading is carried out. It also reported anxiety among local officials that the currency revaluation would provoke civil unrest.

Read moreNorth Korea: All shops and markets closed, all cash transactions frozen after devaluation announcement

Texas Government taking newborn DNA samples, saving the leftover specimens, unbeknownst to parents and without their consent

Many parents ask why they are saving the samples

AUSTIN (KXAN) – When Andrea Beleno was expecting her first child, she never dreamed his blood would become the focus of a federal lawsuit.

Neither did the other families who are suing the State of Texas to protect the medical privacy of their children.

Each year, more than 400,000 babies are born in Texas. State law mandates that before newborns leave the hospital, his or her heel will be pricked and five drops of blood are collected.

Two weeks later, their pediatrician collects another five drops of blood. The blood cards are submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services as part of the Newborn Screening program. One or two drops are used to screen for a list of serious medical conditions.

The parents are not objecting to the screening. They object to what the state is doing with the leftover blood samples.

Beginning in 2002, the State began saving the leftover specimens, unbeknownst to parents and without their consent.

“It made me really mad that nobody asked me if they could keep my sons DNA,” said Andrea Beleno.

Her son’s DNA was among millions of banked samples stored at Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health.

“It makes me suspicious and I think there’s really no reason for the state to have a database of the blood of and the DNA of every single person who has been born here,” said Beleno. “There’s no legitimate reason for that.”

Read moreTexas Government taking newborn DNA samples, saving the leftover specimens, unbeknownst to parents and without their consent