risk - Page 3

  • the joke with the chip against GSM radiation

    There was a man with a big firm. A pharmaceutic firm. He had a good standing with the press and the business people and so everybody believed him when he said that something was tested profoundly. Why doubt the tests from someone who runs a pharmaceutical company that does nothing else ? So far so good.

    One day he lets himself be convinced by a product that says that it will protect the users against the radiation from mobile phones. He thinks he has hit the jackpot because the fear for that radiation is spreading in the news and the medical sector. Even more the product is simple and can be put on an old phone or integrated in new ones. THey do some tests and some tests but he is not too critical, he sees dollars and not possible problems. He has to take the opportunity like a business manager and go forward.

    So he does. he launches his product that will be available in the pharmacies, on the net and he sells the product to the press that applaud this new Belgian invention from one of the biggest Belgian new firms. Lernaut and Hauspie is here again.

    Luckily - contrary to the Lernaut and Hauspie saga - some professors say immediately that this chip is nonsense. How can you stop the radiation without stopping the information (the conversation) ?  Now the press changes it tune.

    He is wise enough to redo the tests another time and to conclude that the raditiation isn't stopped in high enough quantity. So he stops the production and the sales and will repay everyone that bought one. THe results of the tests aren't conclusive enough.

    In the mean time, another question pops up, how does he do the tests for his other medical products you can ask yourself ? This will hurt. The biggest mistake was that no Nay sayer was in the test procedure (someone who doesn't believe anything and only looks for the bad things as your opposition will do). The second was that the tests were finished too early. The third was that the most credible spokesperson for the firm (the CEO) went out himself to do the selling from the start instead of a salesperson or marketingman (he should only go out himself if the product is a success). Now there is big problem of trust.

    He looks a bit like the king without clothes now.

  • Crisis between the lines

    You see the title that yesterday there were about 1.3 million electronic transactions with payment cards according to ATOS worldline.

    And if you read the article untill the end, you see that on a normal saturday they normally have up to THREE MILLION electronic transactions.....

    CRISIS. THere is a crisis but don't tell anyone now.

    So they will be surprised when hard bad crisis news is published.

  • KBC and eastern Europe, problems in sight ?

    The European Voice - a weekly for Eurocrats in Brussels - publishes on its first page an alert from an important European banker that if the banks in Western Europe continue to refuse to lend to banks in Eastern Europe that more countries in Eastern Europe will have to turn to the IMF or go broke.

    "EU banks with substantial operations in eastern Europe include Unicredit Group and Intesa of Italy, Erste Bank Austria and Raiffeisen Bank Austria, Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank of Greece, and Swedbank and SEB of Sweden"

    I remember that KBC was proud of its investments in the East......

    as was Dexia with its US operation and Fortis with its takeover.....

  • risk : second even bigger financial meltdown looming in january

    "We're probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem," said Scott Tross, a real estate lawyer with Herrick Feinstein in New Jersey.

    Companies have survived plenty of downturns, but economists see this one playing out like never before. In the past, when businesses hit rough patches, owners negotiated with banks or refinanced their loans. But many banks no longer hold the loans they made. Over the past decade, banks have increasingly bundled mortgages and sold them to investors. Pension funds, insurance companies, and hedge funds bought the seemingly safe securities and are now bracing for losses that could ripple through the financial system.

    "It's a toxic drug and nobody knows how bad it's going to be," said Paul Miller, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, who was among the first to sound alarm bells in the residential market.

    Unlike home mortgages, businesses don't pay their loans over 30 years. Commercial mortgages are usually written for five, seven or 10 years with big payments due at the end. About $20 billion will be due next year, covering everything from office and condo complexes to hotels and malls." source

    look out for banks that have a lot of those loans in their portofolio and look also at shops that are closing branches or banks and other service companies that are laying off staff massively. If you find those things on a matrix than you can focus your research on these .... Maybe for this reason the US FDIC has said that 171 banks and financial institutions are in big trouble according to them. For the moment they count that 14% off them will go bust (that's around 25 for sure)

    Also interesting for Belgians to see how the FISA (Kredietbank US) will be influenced by this news. Because if also the commercial mortages become toxic....

  • Risks : our world between now and 2025

    This is fascinating report by the US national Intelligence Council that points out the very points that we have to keep in mind (and forget for a moment that everything that is digital matters and that all that matters is digital)

    "We prepared Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World to stimulate strategic thinking about the future by identifying key trends, the factors that drive them, where they seem to be headed, and how they might interact. It uses scenarios to illustrate some of the many ways in which the drivers examined in the study (e.g., globalization, demography, the rise of new powers, the decay of international institutions, climate change, and the geopolitics of energy) may interact to generate challenges and opportunities for future decisionmakers. The study as a whole is more a description of the factors likely to shape events than a prediction of what will actually happen.




    Global Trends 2025

    Global Trends has tapped larger and more diverse communities of experts. Our first effort, which looked out to 2010,relied primarily on expertise within the US Intelligence Community. There was some outreach to other elements of the United States Government and the American academic community. "


    is the fourth installment in the National Intelligence Councilled effort to identify key drivers and developments likely to shape world events a decade or more in the future. Both the product and the process used to produce it benefited from lessons learned in previous iterations. Each edition of

    By examining a small number of variables that we judge probably will have a disproportionate influence on future events and possibilities, the study seeks to help readers to recognize signposts indicating where events are headed and to identify opportunities for policy intervention to change or lock in the trajectories of specific developments. Among the messages we hope to convey are: “If you like where events seem to be headed, you may want to take timely action to preserve their positive trajectory. If you do not like where they appear to be going, you will have to develop and implement policies to change their trajectory.” For example, the report’s examination of the transition out of dependence on fossil fuels illustrates how different trajectories will entail different consequences for specific countries. An even more important message is that leadership matters, no trends are immutable, and that timely and well-informed intervention can decrease the likelihood and severity of negative developments and increase the likelihood of positive ones.

  • If Fortis goes broke the Belgian state will lose 3 billion Euro

    "FPIM leende via de schatkist bijkomend 3 miljard en leende dat op haar beurt door aan Fortis Holding. Daardoor stijgt het prijskaartje van de Fortis-reddingsoperatie voor de overheid voorlopig tot 14,9 miljard euro. Wie het communiqué van Fortis van 6 oktober vergelijkt met dat van 14 oktober, ziet dat 'het lijk' héél handig werd verborgen. Ook de overheid zweeg het bestaan ervan dood. Het enige voordeel voor de belastingbetaler is dat het om een lening gaat. Tenzij Fortis Holding failliet gaat, zal het uiteindelijk de al fel geplaagde Fortis-aandeelhouder zijn die het prijskaartje ervan draagt" De Standaard

    It says that a Belgian state Holding FPIM had lend 3 billion Euro's to Fortis before it was sold so that the French buyer could agree with the price. It was only because of an investigating journalist and a leak that the information was made public.

    So there are now 3 billion reasons NOT to let Fortis go broke.

  • Fortis Emailgate

    As there is in Belgium no clear legal definition of the value of an email - nor any guidelines about how to treat it in a professional or financial environment or to handle it as legal proof (ediscovery) emails keep turning up now and than.

    Now it is claimed that when it became clear in internal documents that Fortis has neglected since september 2007 the warnings from its risk department about its US subprime investments and didn't communicate their information to the shareholders - who didn't know the right value of their stock, the solvability of the bank and the risks it was taking with this take-over of Amro (the history of Nemo trying to eat a shark), that the top manager were sending each other emails about that research. They now say that they never have sent such emails. I hope that Fortis has an emailarchiving solution that can be used in a legal situation (if it is compliant with US reglementation it should).

    The lawyers of the different courtcases against Fortis should also ask the judge to take measures to be sure that no proof was or is being destroyed that could be discovered in a ediscovery investigation.

    It becomes clear that if internal risk auditors in a financial institution have no real independence, they can't work for the good of the bank because they will lack the independence and resources to do their work as they should have done, although it was difficult for them to go public at that time. After the accountants and the ITsecuritypeople, maybe it is now time for the risk auditors to get some official statutary independence. Speaking of independence. Our independent Financial and BankCommission that should have supervised the operation and the risks the bank was taking was informed about the notes from the risk department but choose not to act than and not to comment now.

    It looks a bit like the IT world. Nobody is responsable.

  • small mistakes can cost billions

    Imagine you made the worlds most ingenious scientific project costing several countries between 3 and 6 billions Euro. And it all falls apart because of "faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator’s magnets" source

    THis is risk. Even one thousand of a percent of probability can happen and bring everything down.


  • US SEC didn't in fact do its job : oversight and control

    Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Inspector General - SEC’s Oversight of Bear Stearns and Related Entities: Broker-Dealer Risk Assessment Program, September 25, 2008, Report No. 446-B

  • SEC's Division of Trading and Markets (TM)..."is not fulfilling its obligations in accordance with the underlying purpose of the Broker-Dealer Risk Assessment program in several respects. First, TM has failed to update and finalize the rules governing the program, which would ensure that broker-dealers file pertinent information with the Commission in a timely manner. Second, TM has failed to enforce the temporary rules’ document retention and filing requirements that are incumbent upon broker dealers. As a result, nearly one-third of the firms failed to file 17(h) documents as required by the rules. Third, even after the collapse of Bear Stearns, in March 2008, two related broker-dealers still exist, one of which carries a significant number of customer accounts. However, TM has not yet determined whether these broker-dealers are obligated to file Form 17-H. Fourth, although TM tracks the filing status of 146 broker-dealers that file quarterly and annual reports with the Commission, TM only conducts an in-depth review of the filings for six of the 146 firms that TM determined are most significant. TM generally does not review the filings for the remaining 140 firms, yet they are required to file under the Broker-Dealer Risk Assessment program. Fifth, TM does not timely process and review the filings from the six firms upon which its staff focus their review. Sixth and finally, TM does not maintain documentation to identify all of the broker dealers that are exempt from the filing process..."
  • comment : rules without oversight is like lots of sex with lots of people without condoms  :)
  • Electronic Money : Europe sets new rules

    The E-Money Directive (2000/46/EC) was conceived and adopted at the height of the E-Commerce boom, and was intended to facilitate access by non-credit institutions to the business of e-money issuance. The difficulty to foresee at the time how the business of e-money issuance would evolve has prompted the Commission to re-assess whether the legal framework is still in tune with modern market developments. Advances in technology have spurned new business models, such as payments by mobile telephone, payments using transport cards, as well as internet payment facilities. This consultation is a follow-up to an earlier consultation on e-money and mobile operators which was finalised earlier this year, and will form an important part of a wide-ranging review of the E-Money Directive, which will also involve consultations with Member States as well as the commissioning of an independent study to be carried out by consultants.

    The new rules will facilitate market entrance for small providers and therefore create the right market conditions to foster innovation and competition. Estimates show that this industry could reach a volume up to EUR 10 billion by 2012.


    More Info



  • US Blackout in 2009 ? Again.

    The report draws from the latest available information compiled by the
    nation’s leading experts on the status of the U.S. electricity grid. It is
    designed to present a factual, dispassionate and unbiased view of the
    current health and viability of the grid. It seeks to separate facts from opinion and
    wishful thinking. It analyzes the barriers to increased investment in America’s
    electricity infrastructure. And it presents estimates on what inaction may cost.
    The findings of this analysis are sobering, to say the least. This Executive
    Summary highlights just a few of this report’s findings.
    It is the NextGen Energy Council’s hope that every policymaker with
    responsibility over aspects of our nation’s electricity grid reads this report fully.


  • Worse financial crisis than subprime to come ? credit cards defaults.

    I was thinking about that the last days, how come we didn't hear anything about the creditcard companies. If we are in a financial crisis aren't they on the forefront ? Untill I have read this

    Innovest Strategic Value Advisors worries that banks' actions to clean up their balance sheets will eventually set off a consumer credit crisis.

    Laura Nishikawa, an analyst with Innovest, says credit cards are at "the tipping point." She say issuers have been helping to drive up charge-off rates by taking steps like freezing balance transfers, reducing lines, and limiting access to other types of consumer credit, like home equity lines.

    These typical risk management tactics are having an "unintended consequence," Nishikawa said.

    "When they reduce credit availability, consumers won't have the ability to roll their debt over, and the issuers will essentially force customers into default," she said.

    The Innovest report examines Bank of America, American Express, Discover, Citi, Capital One and JP Morgan Chase. The report benchmarks each bank by its product exposure to high risk consumers, identifies winning and losing strategies, and evaluates balance sheet and earnings sensitivity to credit card performance.

    Innovest, which was early with its call on sub-prime mortgages, has determined that what Wall Street and the Federal government are diagnosing as a mortgage problem is, in fact, a symptom of a deeper crisis of deteriorated consumer financial healthsource

    and not only in the US, in Belgium many people are also living on credit.


  • Banks under Belgian law with a Belgian banking licence

    If your money is with those banks they will be protected by the Belgian law and the Belgian governement and guarantees.

    • Kredietinstellingen naar Belgisch recht
    • 1.A. Banken
    • Antwerpse Diamantbank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Pelikaanstraat 54
      2018 Antwerpen
    • AXA Bank Europe, verkort : AXA Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Vorstlaan 25
      1170 Brussel
    • Banca Monte Paschi Belgio
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Jozef II straat 24
      1000 Brussel
    • Bank Degroof
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Nijverheidsstraat 44
      1040 Brussel
    • Bank Delen & de Schaetzen, verkort : Bank Delen of Bank de Schaetzen of DDS Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Jan Van Rijswijcklaan 184
      2020 Antwerpen
    • Bank J. Van Breda en C°
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Ledeganckkaai, 7
      2000 Antwerpen
    • Bank van De Post
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Anspachlaan 1
      1000 Brussel
    • Banque Eni
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Regentlaan 43-44
      1000 Brussel
    • Banque Transatlantique Belgium
      Naamloze vennootschap
      De Crayerstraat 14
      1000 Brussel
    • Byblos Bank Europe
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Montoyerstraat 10 bus 3
      1000 Brussel
    • CBC Banque
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Grote Markt 5
      1000 Brussel
    • Citibank Belgium
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Generaal Jacqueslaan 263g
      1050 Brussel
    • Delta Lloyd Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Sterrenkundelaan 23
      1210 Brussel
    • Deutsche Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Marnixlaan 13-15
      1000 Brussel
    • Dexia Bank België
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Pachecolaan 44
      1000 Brussel
    • Ethias Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Sterrenkundelaan 19
      1210 Brussel
    • Euroclear Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Koning Albert II-laan 1
      1210 Brussel
    • Europabank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Burgstraat 170
      9000 Gent
    • Fortis Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Warandeberg 3
      1000 Brussel
    • Goffin Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Verlorenbroodstraat 120 bus 1
      9820 Merelbeke
    • ING België
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Marnixlaan 24
      1000 Brussel
    • KBC Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Havenlaan 2
      1080 Brussel
    • Keytrade Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Vorstlaan 100
      1170 Brussel
    • Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie (België)
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Louizalaan 81 bus 12
      1050 Brussel
    • Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Herrmann Debrouxlaan 46
      1160 Brussel
    • Santander Benelux
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Nerviërslaan 85
      1040 Brussel
    • SG Private Banking
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Kortrijksesteenweg 302
      9000 Gent
    • Shizuoka Bank (Europe)
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Louizalaan 283 bus 13
      1050 Brussel
    • UBS Belgium
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Tervurenlaan 300
      1150 Brussel
    • United Taiwan Bank
      Naamloze vennootschap
      7e verdieping
      Regentlaan 45/46
      1000 Brussel
    • Van Lanschot Bankiers België
      Naamloze vennootschap
      Desguinlei 50
      2018 Antwerpen

  • Iceland crisis : UK uses terror law to take possession of Icelands assets

    UK Treasury: "Acting on the advice of the Bank and Financial Services Authority (FSA), and in light of announcements made by the Icelandic authorities in recent days, the Chancellor has taken action today to protect the retail depositors in two Icelandic owned banks: Icesave, a UK-based branch of Landsbanki and Heritable, a UK-based banking subsidiary of Landsbanki. He has taken this action to ensure the stability of the UK financial system. Savers’ money is safe and secure."

    Landsbanki, Heritable, and Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander: The Chancellor has put in place arrangements to ensure that all retail depositors in the Icelandic banks of Landsbanki (including their “Icesave” products), Heritable, and Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (including their “Edge products”) will receive their money in full."

    The UK government used anti terrorism legislation for that. THis is a first against a fellow NATO member, but the financial crisis is also having a disintegrating effect on Europe as even the Eurozone is scrambling to develop a common policy.

  • Icesave : how to prove your amount of money you had


    You have to take the old login page (not the new one on the website) that will probably be still in your history or favorties). You can still log on. You can't transfer your money but you can print the screens out and that can be used as proof.

  • Fortis sold to save Dexia for political reasons

    this is what some are thinking in this country

    they are wondering why Fortis hasn't been saved like Dexia is and if Fortis was sold to have enough cash at hand in case Dexia would have to be salvaged. Dexia is close to the present government.

    "Ondertussen likken de gedupeerde Fortisaandeelhouders, en dat zijn er heel veel in dit land, hun wonden. Boos op het voormalige Fortismanagement maar ook stilaan boos op de regering-Leterme, die - zo blijkt steeds duidelijker - de uitverkoop van Fortis organiseerde om te kunnen beschikken over een oorlogskas voor Dexia.

    Want die tweede bank, marktleider in de financiering van lokale overheden, stevig verankerd met de christelijke arbeidersbeweging, is duidelijk een efforreke meer waard dan de individuele aandeelhouders van Fortis, die achterblijven in een holding met wat cash en vooral veel vieze papieren."


  • Fortis and insider trading ?

    Dit staat als commentaar onder een artikel van de Financieel economische tijd en geeft tot nadenken

    • Bij mijn weten heeft Bois Sauvage 17% in handen van Bank Degroof (die Leterme bijstond bij de onderhandelingen omtrent Fortis). Ik vraag mij nog altijd af op welke wijze Bois Sauvage de tip heeft verkregen om vorige vrijdag meer dan 3 miljoen aandelen van Fortis te verkopen... Geplaatst door succes-sie op 09 oktober 2008 om 11:30 | Ongepast? (Spelregels) | Reageren
  • Dexia US stock investor Ackman speculation on defaulting

    Ackman told a crowd of about 100 hedge fund managers in New York Wednesday evening that, like MBIA (MBI) and Ambac (ABK), FSA is an "example of what happens when you start with a low-risk business, then add more risk to get higher returns. A company will keep doing that until it does something stupid."

    Instead he is buying credit default swaps on FSA's bonds. This means he is purchasing a type of insurance against the event of default. If the market were to decide that FSA was troubled, the value of that insurance would rise as people rushed to buy the swaps.

    source (the article is astonishing, something you never read here in Belgium except in De Tijd and that is an eye-opener for everyone reading here only the names FSA and not knowing what is really happening with FSA in the States, even if one of the biggest banks in Belgium and the main official lender to municipalities is going for broke on it).

    "The value of some of the securities backing those contracts has tumbled so much that the company's liabilities of $20.4 billion exceed its assets of $16.2 billion, Ackman said" source

    and who is Ackman ?

    "Ackman does higher quality research than just about anyone else on Wall Street, and it can take the market years to catch up with him. In the case of Amback and MBIA, an analysis of stock charts would made Ackman look like a buffoon for years after he started raising red flags. If Ackman's research is sound -- historically, it generally has been -- patient investors should do quite well following him into Target and Sears."  source

    and why such investors are far ahead of regulations

    "Ackman didn’t believe that Dexia had the money to cover the likely losses on FSA’s guarantees, so he shorted FSA. Lo and behold, FSA has run into so much trouble that its need for money finally sank its parent bank. Note to regulators who think short sellers are behind the recent collapse of some of the world’s biggest financial institutions: no amount of protection from Ackman would have saved Dexia. It dug its own grave long ago." source

  • Better European regulation of Internet banks now

    We have now the case of an Internet Bank from Iceland - a country on the brink of financial collapse - that has blocked all the accounts of its clients in the UK who can't transfer any money to themselves or other accounts anymore. They can only hope that the bank itself doesn't go broke or that their accounts are resold to another bank. The British government has declared that it will file a courtcase to try to defend the interests of its British citizens who were duped by the sirens of high return online accounts.

    But the Internet bank Icesave had no Banking licence in the UK and so the UK is an sich not responsable for them. It is a bit different but in the end the same case with some Iceland banks in Belgium that in fact were registered in Luxembourg and not in Belgium (and so have 50.000 Euro guarantee and not 100.000 if the bank fails). The best hope of these clients is also that the bank in Iceland will sell its foreign assets to another bank.

    But in the end one should make in future the things more ovbvious and clear to the users. Belgian online businesses should have a logo and registration number and link on their website so that Belgian and other customers know under which law and government the website falls. It should be clear from the beginning for the customer which are the risks he is running and if he is willing to take them.

    In future it should be clear to any online customer of any online business under which national law and government (and the consequences of that choice) their online business or bank fails. It is all about Location, Location and Location. ALso in the virtual world.

    The Belgian business world could use even such a logo as a kind of marketing tool. Not only do Belgian online banks have a better security, they also have better guarantees if they are based/located/certified in Belgium.