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Friday, 7 March 2014

March 7, 2014: News Updates

Exclusive: Russia wants IMF to move ahead on reforms without U.S. - sources

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW Thu Mar 6, 2014 11:16am EST
(Reuters) - Russian officials are pushing for the International Monetary Fund to move ahead with planned reforms without the United States, which could mean the loss of the U.S. veto over major decisions at the global lender, sources said.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov brought up the idea at a meeting of top finance officials from the Group of 20 nations in Sydney late last month, two G20 sources told Reuters this week.
The failure of the U.S. Congress to approve IMF funding has held up reforms agreed in 2010 that would double the Fund's resources and give more say to emerging markets like China.
The United States is the only country that holds a controlling share of IMF votes, meaning its approval is necessary for any major decision to go forward.

Chaori set to default in landmark precedent for Chinese debt

SHANGHAI Fri Mar 7, 2014 5:17am GMT
(Reuters) - China's first domestic bond default looked set to occur as expected on Friday as there was no sign of a last-minute bailout for solar equipment producer Chaori Solar, an event seen as a landmark for market discipline in the world's second-largest economy.

China Credit Markets Tumble Most In 3 Months As Default Spooks Lenders, Deals Pulled

march 6/14
UPDATE: It's happened - China has suffered its first domestic corporate bond default as Chaori fails to meet interest payments on schedule and rather more surprisingly failed to receive a last-minute mysterious or otherwise bailout...
But hey don't sweat it, Moody's think it's great news...
Maybe tell the issuers that couldn't get their deals off today!!!

China Heralding $1.5 Trillion Emerging Debt Wall: Credit Markets

By Ye Xie and Selcuk Gokoluk Mar 7, 2014 3:18 PM GMT+0100
A surge in interest rates and the worst currency rout since 2008 in developing nations from Russia to Brazil are inflating corporate borrowing costs as $1.5 trillion of obligations come due by the end of 2015.
Companies in the MSCI Emerging-Market Index (EEM) are facing the highest debt loads since 2009 as profit margins narrow to the least in four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More than 36 percent of bonds and loans by Turkish companies will mature by 2015, while Chinese firms need to pay off $630 billion, or 29 percent, of their borrowings just as the country experiences its first-ever onshore corporate-bond default.

Shock and payment (Ukraine)

The Government has prepared an action plan quick fix budget problems
March 6 2014- google translate:

The Ministry of Finance has prepared a plan to optimize budget expenditures on the basis of which the end of March to be held sequestration budget. For this purpose, inter alia, to reduce capital costs, eliminate tax schemes and incentives and cut social benefits, such as 50% of pensions for working pensioners. Experts doubt that the government will be able to make changes in all directions - to better identify three to five key objectives and implement them.

Russia would welcome Crimea; 65,000 demonstrate in Moscow

 March 7, 2014 12:26PM EST
MOSCOW -- Russia rallied support Friday for a Crimean bid to secede from Ukraine, with a leader of Russia's parliament assuring her Crimean counterpart that the region would be welcomed as "an absolutely equal subject of the Russian Federation." Across Red Square, 65,000 people waved Russian flags, chanting "Crimea is Russia!"

Appeals court acquits banks in key Milan derivatives case

MILAN Fri Mar 7, 2014 11:16am GMT
(Reuters) - An Italian appeals court acquitted four international banks including Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and UBS UBSX.VN on Friday, overturning a previous verdict that had found them guilty of fraud for mis-selling derivatives to the city of Milan.
Depfa, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan (JPM.N) and UBS had appealed against a landmark verdict from December 2012 ordering the seizure of 89 million euros ($123 million) and fines for each of 1 million euros. Nine bank employees had also been handed suspended jail sentences of up to eight months, but the appeals court said there was no case to answer.

JPMorgan Chase Engaged in Mortgage Fraud: The Securitization Scheme that Collapsed the Housing Market

March 5 14
In a nearly $13 billion settlement with the US Justice Department in November 2013, JPMorganChase admitted that it, along with every other large US bank, had engaged in mortgage fraud as a routine business practice, sowing the seeds of the mortgage meltdown. JPMorgan and other megabanks have now been caught in over a dozen major frauds, including LIBOR-rigging and bid-rigging; yet no prominent banker has gone to jail. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of all mortgages nationally remain underwater (meaning the balance owed exceeds the current value of the home), sapping homeowners’ budgets, the housing market and the economy. Since the banks, the courts and the federal government have failed to give adequate relief to homeowners, some cities are taking matters into their own hands.

Detroit reaches $120 million loan deal with Barclays

Thu Mar 6, 2014 10:25pm EST
(Reuters) - Detroit said in a court filing on Thursday it had reached an agreement with Barclays PLC (BARC.L) for a $120 million loan that would allow it to invest in services and speed its path out of bankruptcy.
The deal comes after the judge overseeing Detroit's historic bankruptcy case rejected a $350 million loan that would have raised $230 million for the city to end interest rate swaps. Those swaps were used to hedge interest rate risk on some Detroit pension debt.

Four indicted in U.S. for fraud in Dewey & LeBoeuf collapse

NEW YORK Thu Mar 6, 2014 6:54pm EST
(Reuters) - Less than a month after writing that he did not want to "cook the books anymore," but facing a deadline to show lenders that Dewey & LeBoeuf had enough cash, the law firm's top finance executive emailed a colleague that he "came up with a big one," according to investigators.
"You always do in the last hours," the law firm's executive director Stephen DiCarmine replied to the December 29, 2008 email from chief financial officer Joel Sanders, according to investigators. "That's why we get the extra 10 or 20% bonus."

Bullion Dealer Inadvertently Reveals How the London Fix Can Easily Manipulate Gold Market

March 6, 2014
Ross Norman, CEO of the well-known London-based Sharps Pixley bullion retailer issued a rebuttal to the Bloomberg article and in defense of the London fix (LINK).  Ironically, in his attempted defense of the gold fix process, Norman inadvertently exposes the system’s inherent flaws, thereby showing the reader how the London fix committee can easily manipulate the market.
In fact nearly every point of assertion about, and defense of, the London fix process is embedded with half-truths or outright lies.

ROSS NORMAN - Is the LONDON Fix Fixed ?

It is with a growing sense of disbelief that one reads ongoing stories about the supposed rigging of the London gold fix.

Realist News – Commercials (Banks) Take Out Huge Short Position On Commex Gold

Russian soldiers training in Canada given 24 hours to leave country

 Friday, March 7, 2014 1:03AM EST
Nine Russian soldiers who were participating in military exercises in Canada have been expelled from the country, as Ottawa continues to denounce Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, CTV News has learned.
A government source confirmed that the soldiers were informed Thursday afternoon that they had 24 hours to leave Canada.

Ukraine PM in Airport Security Scare

Plane Searched Following a Security Warning
Updated March 7, 2014 5:35 a.m. ET
VIENNA—A plane carrying Ukraine's new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was searched by police after landing at Vienna Airport following a security warning, Austrian officials said Friday.
The scheduled flight Thursday night from Brussels to Vienna took off and landed as planned but was placed under "alarm status," Interior...

Ukraine signs $10 billion shale gas deal with Chevron

By Pavel Polityuk and Richard Balmforth
(Reuters) - Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement with U.S. Chevron (CVX.N) on Tuesday, another step in a drive for more energy independence from Russia.

Breakingviews: Italy's Renzi off to a bad start (4:24)

Mar. 6 - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi can't seek backing for his reform of parliament. It was the first of his great reforms. Breakingviews says his misstep won't make others any easier.

The Face Behind Bitcoin

By Leah McGrath Goodman / March 6, 2014 6:05 AM EST

Man called Bitcoin's father denies ties, leads LA car chase

TEMPLE CITY, California Thu Mar 6, 2014 11:28pm EST
(Reuters) - A Japanese American man thought to be the reclusive multi-millionaire father of Bitcoin emerged from a modest Southern California home and denied involvement with the digital currency before leading reporters on a freeway car chase to the local headquarters of the Associated Press.
Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said he lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles.

 S Africa expels Rwandan diplomats after raid

South Africa says diplomats are linked to an attempt on the life of dissident exiled Rwandan general in Johannesburg.
Last updated: 07 Mar 2014 17:26
South Africa has expelled three Rwandan diplomats it says were linked to a raid by gunmen this week on the Johannesburg home of a dissident exiled Rwandan general.
A diplomatic source told Reuters on Friday that Rwanda had retaliated by ordering out six South African diplomats.

Congolese warlord convicted of war crimes at International Court

THE HAGUE Fri Mar 7, 2014 5:55am EST
(Reuters) - Congolese warlord Germain Katanga was convicted on Friday of being an accessory to war crimes including murder and pillage during an attack on a village more than a decade ago, but also cleared of a number of other charges.
The trial has been seen as a test of the ability of prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which had handed down only one conviction and one acquittal in 12 years, to bring solid cases.

Fiji's military dictator swaps uniform for suit

Fiji on track to rejoin the Commonwealth as military dictator Frank Bainimarama quits the defence force  march 6 2014
Fiji's military dictator, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has swapped his uniform for a suit and stepped down from his army role as he prepares to contest a national election.

Italian police swoop on mafia bank

march 5 2014
Raid on office north of Milan allegedly belonged to Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia
 Italian police have arrested 36 people linked to a sophisticated mafia ’bank’ worth hundreds of millions of euros, which was run out of a windowless room in northern Italy, paying out high interest loans and laundering cash for tax dodging businessmen.

The financial operation, nicknamed “The Bank of Italy” by mobsters, was run by Pino Pensabene, known as “The pope”, a boss in the feared Calabrian ’Ndrangheta mafia which has been investing drug profits in legitimate businesses in the wealthy north of Italy.

Propaganda Rules The News –Paul Craig Roberts

March 5, 2014

Gerald Celente calls the Western media “presstitutes,” an ingenuous term that I often use. Presstitutes sell themselves to Washington for access and government sources and to keep their jobs. Ever since the corrupt Clinton regime permitted the concentration of the US media, there has been no journalistic independence in the United States except for some Internet sites.

Glenn Greenwald points out the independence that RT, a Russian media organization, permits Abby Martin who denounced Russia’s alleged invasion of Ukraine, compared to the fates of Phil Donahue (MSNBC) and Peter Arnett (NBC), both of whom were fired for expressing opposition to the Bush regime’s illegal attack on Iraq. The fact that Donahue had NBC’s highest rated program did not give him journalistic independence. Anyone who speaks the truth in the American print or TV media or on NPR is immediately fired.

British exit from EU would be 'disaster' for Gibraltar

UK exit from European Union would 'be a disaster for Gibraltar', its chief minister warned while complaining that Britain had not done enough to deter Spain from 'bullying' its tiny neighbour

Wealthy mainlanders threaten to sue after Canada scraps visa scheme

Ottawa cancelled Immigrant Investor Programme that allowed 100,000 Chinese into the country

Portugal police protest over cuts to pay, benefits

Fri Mar 7, 2014 7:31AM GMT
According to reports, more than 10,000 police officers gathered outside the parliament in the capital on Thursday to express their anger at cuts to their pay, pensions and welfare benefits as part of government austerity measures.

Algeria police arrest 40 protesters

March 5 2014
Algerian security forces have arrested at least 40 individuals protesting against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s candidacy for a fourth term next month.