Browsing: Banking and Finance

‘Danish authorities are to tighten anti-money laundering laws following the recent revelations in the so-called Panama Papers. The proposal is longer prison sentences for individuals involved in financial crimes.

The Panama Papers investigation last year uncovered that around 500 banks worldwide might have aided tax evasion by helping customers create offshore companies in tax havens.

Governments have since tightened the requirements for lenders to report cross-border transactions as part of a stepped-up effort to curb money laundering.

“We will not accept this in Denmark,” Business Minister Brian Mikkelsen told broadcaster TV2, after reaching an agreement with representatives of the governing coalition and the opposition.

He added that Denmark’s Justice Department will make sure finance industry employees involved in money laundering “won’t just risk losing their jobs, they’ll face relatively long prison sentences.”’

Read more: Bankers face prison as Denmark gets tough on money laundering

‘I spent three years in Hawaii. It’s obscenely expensive to live there. Real estate, food, electricity, health care, and travel costs are significantly higher in Hawaii than on the mainland. And incomes aren’t rising fast enough to match rising cost of living. As a result, many natives rely on government aid to survive. This week, Hawaii passed a new measure to study the universal basic income (UBI) as an attempt to address this problem.

But will it make costs even higher?

The bill, House Concurrent Resolution 89, declares that all families are entitled to basic financial security and empowers a number of government offices to evaluate universal basic income options.

Hawaii state representative Chris Lee wrote on Reddit that the measure will “analyze our state’s economy and find ways to ensure all families have basic financial security, including an evaluation of different forms of a full or partial universal basic income.”’

Read more: You Think Hawaii Is Expensive Now? Wait Until The Universal Basic Income

‘A new bill seeks to track your money and assets incessantly, will enjoin any business with government ties to act as a de facto arm of DHS, and would steal all of your assets — including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — should you fail to report funds when traveling with over $10,000.

Under the guise of combating money laundering, Senate Bill 1241, “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017,” ramps up regulation of digital currency and other autocratic financial controls in an attempt to ensure none of your assets can escape one of the State’s most nefarious, despised powers: civil asset forfeiture.

All of this under the farcically broad umbrella of fighting terrorism.

Civil forfeiture grants the government robbery writ large: your cash, property, and assets can be stolen completely sans due process, your guilt — frequently pertaining to drug ‘crimes’ — matters not.’

Read more: Senate Bill to Force Citizens to Register Cash Not in a Bank, Violators Get 10 Years in Prison

‘Weeks after arguing against customers having their energy bills capped, the chief executive of one the UK’s biggest energy companies has been given a 72 per cent pay rise.

After a “robust performance” by SSE last year, Alistair Phillips-Davies will receive the maximum possible bonuses of £2.92.m in 2017.

He was paid a base salary of £844,000, and a £910,000 annual bonus – more than double the year before.

He also received a long-term incentive payout of £644,000, benefits of £25,000 and £502,000 for his pension.

It is larger than the 40 per cent rise given to Iain Conn, the chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which led to a revolt from shareholders. Overall, 33 per cent of investors failed to back the energy supplier’s remuneration policy at its annual meeting in April.

News of Mr Phillips-Davies’ financial package came just after a month after he argued against a cap on customers energy bills in an article for The Telegraph.’

Read more: SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies gets 72% pay rise weeks after arguing against cap on bills

‘Greece is being pushed to the brink of bankruptcy today after the Eurogroup president said the country would still not receive the much-needed debt relief needed.

Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fund Christine Lagarde is meeting with eurozone finance ministers in a last chance bid to thrash out a deal.

Led by Germany, the bloc has so far failed to see eye-to-eye with the fund over Greece’s latest rescue, in particular the issue of debt relief.

The disagreement has blocked a £6billion loan payout to Athens, which the Government needs in order to make vital repayments in July.

Today Eurogroup President, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said today that Greece will have to keep waiting for details on how much debt relief it will get even though its bailout programme is reaching an end.’

Read more: Greece on the BRINK: Eurogroup REFUSES to agree debt relief and delays decision on bailout

‘Retail bank branches remain stubbornly relevant, despite an onslaught of digital and tech innovations.

But bank tellers’ days in those branches could be numbered.

The largest banks in the US have been investing millions in updating the capabilities and physical appearances of their thousands of ATMs — an invention that turns 50 years old this month.

As those capabilities continue to grow, customers at retail branches will spend more time interacting with machines for their day-to-day needs, while branch personnel will move from behind the counter and focus more on complex transactions such as coordinating loans for homes or small businesses.’

Read more: Bank tellers are in danger of extinction as the ATM of the future takes over

‘As you enter the cheerful ABBA Museum building in Stockholm you are met by a 10ft-high pair of sparkly platform boots, the familiar sound of the band’s greatest hits — and a stern black and white sign.

‘Cashless Museum,’ it reads. ‘We only accept payment cards.’

The band which 40 years ago sang of their love of Money, Money, Money now seek only the plastic variety.

This cash-free crusade goes beyond the museum walls. ‘We have a vision of a cashless society,’ reads another sign hanging overhead. It turns out millions of other Swedes feel the same.’

Read more: Could you live without cash? Millions do in Sweden – where even ‘Big Issue’ sellers are ditching coins and notes. So is this how Britain will look soon?

‘Conservatives have long had a monopoly on the love of states’ rights and local government, but in Trump’s America, it’s the left that has seized the opportunities of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called “laboratories of democracy.” Even as the Dakota Access Pipeline inches toward completion, multiple cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Raleigh, and Philadelphia have spoken with their wallets, severing ties with the oil pipeline-funding banks—in particular, Wells Fargo.

On May 31, New York City became the latest city to join the effort, when Mayor Bill de Blasio and comptroller Scott Stringer announced that they will vote to stop New York City from entering into new contracts with Wells Fargo and strip the bank of its role as book-running manager for NYC’s General Obligation and Transitional Finance Authority bond sales.’

Read more: Entire Cities Are Cutting Ties With Wells Fargo for Its Support of the Dakota Pipeline

While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth.

‘Last year it was eight men, then down to six, and now almost five.

While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, 2017, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.’

Read more: Now Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World’s Population

‘We just saw a major rift open in the US stock market that we haven’t seen since the dot-com bust in 1999. While the Dow rose by almost half a percent to a new all-time high, the NASDAQ, because it is heavier tech stocks, plunged almost 2%. Tech stocks nosedived while others rose to create new highs. Is this a one-off, or has a purge begun for the tech stocks that have driven the nation’s third-longest bull market?

This is important because, without the nearly constant lead of those tech stocks, the market would have been a bear a long time ago. Tech stocks created half of the market’s gains in 2017. Financials, which led the Trump Rally, also hit the rocks in recent weeks, at one point erasing almost all of their gains for 2017, though they recovered a little of late. If both continue to falter, the rally rapidly implodes and maybe the whole bull market with it.’

Read more: Is The Central Bank’s Rigged Stock Market Ready To Crash On Schedule?