finance risk

  • apple and other online ecommerce sites are shutting down payment in Rubles or to Russia

    source http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/16/7403535/apple-halts-online-sales-to-russia-as-the-ruble-plunges-in-value

    it means that if this continues trust in anything Russian will be gone - this is the speed with which things can change - as we have seen in 2008 here during the financial crisis - wednesday you were still a major bank and on friday you were broke

  • #luxleaks the first whisthleblower arrested but he was not alone

    source http://www.icij.org/blog/2014/12/i-acted-conviction-pwc-whistleblower-speaks-out

    the article shows some interesting things.

    First it was said that these agreements were so secret that they were hardly communicated about in PWC but here we have some-one who had access to them in a database and was not implemented in setting them up becasue he was disgusted by them.

    Secondly he took them with him when he left the firm (like Snowden) but nobody checked what he did, what he knew and what he took with him, even if there were documents that were considered highly secret

    third he lost control over the documents and who got them and who did something with them just as Snowden lost control over his documents in which parts are going around the world

    fourth there are others and they are hunting them down, one after another and I only hope for them that those who have used the documents have found all the obvious and secret indicators that will facilitate their job (one stupid but efficient trick is to change a letter in each copy)

  • microsoft accepts bitcoin but will it learn it also how to secure itself ?

    It is Gates who inspired the decision

    https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/microsoft-now-largest-company-world-accept-bitcoin-165400324.html

    but Microsoft should go further than that and learn the Bitcoin community who is now awash with managers and investors about how to (re)secure the bad code, the bad libraries, the bad practices in development which makes it today to vulnerable too be a good platform that will survive hack and other attacks

  • #tor buy stolen bitcoin wallets

    they are being stolen

    not sure if this is a scam or not but it is being advertised

  • new #luxleaks from new sources about Skype, Koch brothers and Disney

    you can read more here http://www.icij.org/project/luxembourg-leaks/new-leak-reveals-luxembourg-tax-deals-disney-koch-brothers-empire

  • what will come in the place of bitcoin ?

    "It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the best bits of Bitcoin be grafted into new products and services (like facilitating international transfers),” said David Yermack, professor of finance at New York University Stern School of Business, to CNN.

     

    “A lot of the breakthrough products tend to get taken over pretty quickly by improved versions and I think that’s likely going to be the fate of Bitcoin. It’s certainly played a role in raising issues and opening possibilities that people were only dimly aware of before. But if I owned Bitcoins, I would be a seller at the current market price as I think a year from now they may be all but worthless.”

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/bitcoin-hype-spent-whats-next-2/199680/

    first they seem to forget that some - even essential parts - of bitcoin (like for example the encryption) seem to have some fundamental logical mistakes which makes it insecure an sich. So incorporating parts of bitcoin into new digital currencies that are part of the normal financial systems can introduce some grave mistakes into the normal financial system. 

    secondly the biggest advantage of Bitcoin is that it is anonymous but governments all over the world are trying to limit the anonimity of money transfers because they want to receive the right amount of due taxes. So this fundamental part of bitcoin won't ever be incorporated without a backdoor for tax and law agencies. It will also be much easier to follow digital currencies through their CHAIN if there is such a backdoor than with our present ways of paying. 

    and last but not least

    bitcoin has shown what the internet have shown in so many other industries and that is that if there is an unfair interference from businesses in a normal process it can and will be replaced by an internetbased direct system. It costs much too much to transfer money around the world - and even across accounts. But I don't see the bitcoin replace the dollar as an international currency. It will be much easier to have a 'digital dollar' with the possibilities of a digital bitcoin than a bitcoin with the financial trust of the dollar. 

    and so

    there will always be anonymous digital currencies because there is a reason for them to exist and if you use them for that reason (to give anonymously to support causes by example) whatever the value of the bitcoin at any moment. But it will never become a real investment product (except as pure speculation with the risk of losing nearly everything) because it is insecure, prosecuted by law agencies and not supported by any financial institution. 

    if you use bitcoin, use it to do something with the same value you have bought it 

  • reading the mails from CEO's before investing on the stockmarket

    "The cybersecurity company FireEye has unearthed a team of email intruders that snoop through the correspondence of company executives who may possess market-moving information.

    FireEye said the team has carried out attacks against nearly 100 publicly traded companies or their advisory firms in possible attempts to play the stock market. Most of the targets are health care or pharmaceutical companies. It noted that the shares of those firms can move dramatically after the announcement of clinical trial results, regulatory decisions or other significant developments.

    FireEye has labeled the group FIN4 and says it focuses on capturing usernames and passwords to email accounts, which gives the group access to private email correspondence. The group does not use malware, which helps it evade detection.
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/fireeye-details-cybersecurity-threat-that-appears-to-help-hackers-play-the-markets-1.2127106

    they send emails from friends or contacts that ask you to fill in a form with your email credentials

    than they use those email credentials to read over your shoulders your email

    and this you can only end when your company emailservice does the same location control as Google and Yahoo - except when they do it from the same location or through a hacked site or a local proxy that gives the same protection

    information is much more important than showing off that you have hacked or defaced something

    the best solution is double authentification

  • Danish tax administration will use #luxleaks as evidence for reviewing the taxes

    the tax administration in Danmark has said that it will use the luxleaks documents and they will ask the firms for an explanation and maybe even ajust the taxes (upwards). They will also use the documents to understand how these countries are negotiating and setting up such tax-rulings, probably to find ways to make them even more difficult or illegal in the future

    source for translation that follows http://politiken.dk/oekonomi/fokus_oekonomi/Luxembourg_laekage/ECE2462186/skat-gaar-paa-jagt-i-hundredvis-af-stjaalne-skatteaftaler/

    ""Tax examines the publicly available agreements between individual companies and the state of Luxembourg closer. If there is information in the material, and this will affect the settlement of tax in Denmark, it will be treated based on the rules of Skat control work - in addition to this materiality and risk, "said in a written statement to Politiken .

    Insight into the secret world

    Taxes do not want to elaborate. But before the publication of the hundreds of tax treaties, which escaped from the accounting firm PwC Tax expressed interest in gaining insight into how these tax treaties are designed:

    "We have heard that such agreements exist, but we have never been told what is in them, and we have never seen one," said Troels Kjølby Nielsen, Tax Administration Division, responsible for international tax treaties"

    my comment : this kind of discussions have been going on before about stolen listings and documents and sometimes they have been holding up cases for years or even decennia (ubs case for example) but in the end they were used somewhere - even if it was to blackmail the firms or people into coming to some agreement with the tax administration because they also can't always go through a public conflict about their taxes for years.

  • #dexia and while we will be paying to protect this rubbish bank, his CEO does this

    buys some very expensive old timer and has no ethical questions whatsover to show off with it in the Belgian Press (business journal mouthpiece of the Belgian capital)

    meanwhile his bank hasn't become more safe and stable after all this years and we are still and will for the coming years be paying millions in the best case and billions in the worst case to keep it afloat from going under

    because under his guidance Dexia was hiding money from our Belgian tax administration, just trying to use the taxmoney of hardworking people to pay for this rubbish bank in Luxembourg

    rubbish bank as I said and as they confirmed today

    because this is what has happened in France and is still being cleaned up in so far that this is possible

    http://s0.libe.com/fremen/maps/carte-emprunts-toxiques/index.html#

  • the rotten US mortgages are back again.... since 2008 (when the financial system nearly collapsed)

    yep, they are trying to explain them away - but that they did also in 2008 - so there is no reason to believe them this time because it is the same old stupid trick (you put some really rotten financial loans in a big back of good financial products and sell them together saying that the global risk is 10% for example but without guaranteeing that it will stay 10% and when it is proven that one such back is in fact nearly totally rotten (because of unexpected economic circumstances not foreseen in the calculation of the risk) than all the other bags (even if they are totally different become suspicious (even if that is because the calculation of the risk is to be overdone every so many hours) and they all have to be sold at very low prices creating huge losses for those who have bought them and eventually used them against other good loans they can't repay or guarantee any more). 

    so who is buying them and I hope that they are not being bought by banks that were saved with money from the taxpayers and those who would buy them should be told that they will not be saved by the state next time 

    if they want to take the risk - than they take the risk - alone and with their own money 

    source http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-12/bank-of-america-citigroup-said-to-sell-soured-home-loans.html

    bankloans.PNG

  • All Belgian companies with #luxleaks now public (Also Telenet and Dexia)

    find all the documents here http://www.icij.org/project/luxembourg-leaks/explore-documents-luxembourg-leaks-database

    click on search documents, click on skip intro, go down the new page and chose Belgium as a country and than on search and you have them all

    some were not published the day the first leaks were published

    these are just images, click the link above

     

     

  • #luxleaks 28.000 leaked documents show which firms evaded taxes by having a postbox in Luxembourg

    go here to search for the firms or countries that are of interest to you

    follow #luxleaks on twitter for new articles and reactions and new research

    now the problem of tax evasion in Europe is on the table of ..... Juncker (from Luxembourg)

  • #ukraine the (un)known (un)knowns of the speculation against the Ruble Maginot defense line

    "The ruble weakened to a record as Russia’s central bank moved a step closer to allowing the currency to trade freely in an effort to shake out speculators.

     

    The currency slid as much as 3.1 percent against the dollar before trading 1.4 percent lower at 44.2255 by 3:07 p.m. in Moscow. The ruble pared declines after the central bank’s First Deputy Governor Ksenia Yudaeva said further interest-rate increases have not been ruled out. Three-month implied volatility for the currency soared to a five-year high, while wagers for higher borrowing costs fell.

     

    Russia spent about $30 billion to shore up the ruble in October as oil’s slide and U.S. and European sanctions over Ukraine worsened the world’s worst currency rout. The Bank of Russia said today it was abandoning its predictable intervention policy to hamper “speculative strategies” against the currency. It also freed itself up to sell foreign currency at undisclosed quantities to defend against “threats” to the nation’s financial stability. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-05/russia-changes-ruble-intervention-policy-to-ward-off-speculators.html

    I have seen this time and time again before we had the Euro and it made speculators like Soros very rich at the time. National currencies were defended by the Central Banks at a certain rate and than speculators tested it all the time, making lots of money at the same time. It was for this reason that over the weekend national currencies (Belgian franc, french franc, Italian Lire,....) were devaluated and than defended at that level by all the central banks which together had enough money to defend the currency. 

    And at the time these national currencies had a fixed exchange rate or one that the banks said publicly they wanted to hold. That is the known known (everybody knows it). The second known known the speculators have to know is the number of resources the central bank has at its disposal (publicly published lately for Russia). The known unknown is in how far China - the only other international rich player which may be willing to help Russia at this moment - is willing to give new loans to Russia to defend its currency. But this maybe a known known to speculators who have bought or got internal or confidential private political and financial analysis by their investigators (called analysts). The unknown known is if the Russian national bank lets its currency float how much lower the currency may sink and how much the speculators may lose, this is their unknown risk. And it is an unknown unknown to the speculators - as long as somebody has not sold that information or some analysts have figured it out - how low the currency may sink if it is floated. And it is basd on this description of what is known and what is unknown and what is possible that speculators are winning or losing (big) money lately with their attacks against the Maginot line of the Ruble.

    Why ? Because the Russian Central Bank has spoken so freely of its policy and its resources that there is little that is unknown now.  Even a fake reversal of the trend didn't last long enough because it was known known that this was of no importance. As long as Russia is preparing for war and the war drums are becoming louder and louder in their national media, the prospect of investing in a country in which the leadership seems adrift and disconnected from economic and international reality (which is a known known) makes you take your money and run from the known unknown (what can happen next without running into a new global war in Eastern Europe like some more troops in Ukraine but not enough to make the US send tanks over) and the unknown unknown ( these kinds of local conflicts with different international powers at different sides of the conflict can go out of control and spark the possibilities of a greater or longer conflict with a bigger regional or international impact over a longer period of time). 

    And if banks hate one thing now - after the crisis in 2008 - than it is to have enormous 'positions' (some many rubles for a dollar or so many Russian bonds or shares) that may turn out to bring enormous losses for which they have again look for new money to buffer those to pass any stress test or to be credible on the international financial market. 

  • in one unbelievable graph how (for example in the US) the income gap has exploded since 1980

    souirce http://mic.com/articles/103188/7-charts-politicians-don-t-want-you-to-see-on-election-day

    you don't need any explanation to see that our world has since turned upside down 

  • The US has no plans to set in motion if another big bank is falling apart

    improvisation during the weekend like in 2007 (read the flabbergasting stories in 'Too big to fall')

    nothing changed except the impression that something has changed

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/oct/04/real-lesson-lehman-bankruptcy/?

  • the financial crisis in 2007 was because of the rise of private debt not public debt

    but it is the public sector who is now being reduced to a nearly non-service level because of its debt and that debts was guaranteed by other overnight loans by shadow banking that was totally outside of the reglementation and oversight

    source http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/oct/23/why-werent-alarm-bells-ringing/?

     

  • nothing is sacred for the internet : now the stockmarket can be democratized

    "Overstock.com is building software, based on the bitcoin digital currency, that could allow the big-name etailer to issue corporate stock over the internet, sidestepping traditional stock exchanges such as the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.

     

    The Salt Lake City-based company recently hired two of the developers behind CounterParty—an online project that helps individuals and businesses build all sorts of financial services atop the worldwide network of machines that drive bitcoin—and according to Overstock founder and CEO Patrick Byrne, these coders will help build “cryptosecurity” software that any company could potentially use to issue financial securities over the net. Mirroring bitcoin—known as a “crytocurrency”—these securities would be controlled by cryptographic algorithms running across computers spread across the globe, not by a central stock exchange.

     

    Code-named “Medici,” the project aims to democratize Wall Street in much the same way bitcoin seeks to democratize currency and payments. By operating separate from traditional stock exchanges and the big corporate banks, it could eliminate certain loopholes in the system and reduce the costs associated with issuing and juggling stock.
    http://www.wired.com/2014/10/overstock-com-assembles-coders-build-bitcoin-like-stock-market/

    let's  hope it is more secure than bitcoin because the idea of bitcoin may be interesting, the security of its code and operations is so bad I wouldn't put there my money in

    secondly bying stock anonymously wouild be a very bad idea because it would give any group (including the mob) the possibility to take over companies or have some control in and now in my mind there are already other instances in which this could pose enormous problems (competition, esptionage, tax-evasion,.....)

    at the other side, giving the stockmarket the possibility to sell stock more efficiently without all those expensive brokers running around and mixing crowd-funding, coopératives and stocks into a Platform that would be available worldwide could also be used to launch new products or support worthwhile firms with our money (if we buy with 1 million people pennystock to buy land in the Amazon for a reservation that could never sell or abuse the land it has than this is more interesting than paying hundreds of associations to do the same thing without that money to effectively buy the land).

  • why western firms are not locating top managment and secret information in China anymore

    "The many frustrations of doing business in China have made some difference in the plans to move executives here — choking air pollution, countless regulations that favor local competitors and weak protection for intellectual property. A rising wave of economic nationalism has also manifested itself in large-scale raids on the Chinese offices of multinationals in the automotive, pharmaceutical and technology sectors. Police officials are copying large numbers of computer hard drives and interrogating employees without allowing access to legal advice.

    More important, many multinationals are starting to pay renewed attention to Southeast Asia, which is showing signs of revival 17 years after the Asian financial crisis. They have found it hard to do that from Shanghai or Beijing. Each major city has no more than one flight a day to Jakarta, Indonesia, for example. And China’s diplomatic and trade ties to Southeast Asia have been strained by its increasingly assertive claims to control over practically all of the South China Sea.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/10/business/international/looking-beyond-china-some-companies-shift-personnel.html?partner=yahoofinance

    China is only part of Asia of which is has very strained political and military relations for the moment, sometimes binkering on the edge of conflicts and incidents and talk of war

    Having your secret business information in China involves enormous investments in its security and transporting it to China needs something like the Unbreakable Laptop (Sophos) or other high secure transportation

  • Bank of America pays Billions to the US government so that they don't publish the truth

    "The American people are deprived of knowing precisely how bad things got inside these banks in the years leading up to the financial crisis, and the banks, knowing they will be saved the humiliation caused by the public airing of a trove of emails and documents, will no doubt soon be repeating their callous and indifferent behavior.

     

    Instead of the truth, we get from the Justice Department a heavily negotiated and sanitized “statement of facts” about what supposedly went wrong. In the case of JPMorgan, the statement of facts was 21 pages but contained little of substance beyond the fact that an unidentified whistle-blower at the bank tried to alert her superiors to her belief that shoddy mortgages were being packaged and sold as securities. Her warnings went unheeded and the mortgages were packaged and sold all the same.
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/bank-america-settlement-proves-invincibility-wall-street/

    and so we will never know and so we will not be able to have a clear idea what went wrong and what should be done to prevent it from happening

  • the fragmentisation of the *coin market makes it easier to manipulate it (NSA)

    the first idea was that only bitcoin would be developed and in that idea there would be so many users - even if they are mathematically limited at some time - that no group would have so many sources (called mining) that  nobody could manipulate it course or discover who were the other people.

    but that idea is blown away by the arrival of so many new small *coin exchange markets that it would only take a few millions to have enormous control over the currency and its users

    the second idea was that every individual would only look after itself (it is a very libertarian ideology that is the very basis of this virtual currency) and that no groups would be formed in which people would have together the same interest and the same strategy and goals

    well, rumours are that the NSA has bought itself (or developed the currency itself) the Ghash currency and has a controlling 51% of it

    naturally like any intelligence service with worldwide operations there is nothing as interesting as a virtual currency to transfer funds and pay people and when you can controll the price of the currency you hold them also hostage because they depend on you to have some real value out of it - the fact that it is anonymous is a bigger advantage

    http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2014/06/the-nsa-now-owns-bitcoin.html