Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts

Saturday, October 11, 2014

RT.COM: Bankocalypse drill - US and UK
to run ‘too big to fail’ collapse simulation
on Monday

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R) speaks to U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew.(Reuters / Alastair Grant)

http://on.rt.com/1cqv9nBankocalypse drill: US and UK to run ‘too big to fail’ collapse simulation

Published time: October 11, 2014 03:07

The US and UK will stage a comprehensive simulation next week check whether the countries’ financial and banking sectors are still vulnerable to the problem of the ‘too big to fail’ institutions and coordinate their actions in case of such collapse.

Government financial leaders from Britain and US will simulate a failure of a large banking institution on Monday in Washington, DC, to test the effectiveness of each county’s banking regulations.

They hope the simulation – which will not mimic the collapse of any particular ‘too big to fail’ institution – will demonstrate what the officials have learned from the financial crisis about their respective roles, and how new practices should shield taxpayers from further bailouts. The simulation will run through procedures if a large UK bank with US operations failed, and those for a US bank with a British presence.

“We are going to make sure we can handle an institution that was previously regarded as too big to fail,” said UK chancellor, John Osborne, speaking to journalists at an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington on Friday. “This demonstrates the distance we have come over the last few years to build resilience and learn the lessons of the financial crisis.”

AFP Photo / Spencer PlattAFP Photo / Spencer Platt
READ MORE: ‘Too big to fail’ status gives US banks ‘free pass’ – Fed study

Participating in the “war game” along with Chancellor Osborne will be US Treasury secretary Jack Lew, head of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, and the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, with senior officials from both countries.

“The purpose of the simulation was to make sure every player, including politicians, knew their own responsibilities and who needed to act, which creditors would take a hit, and how to communicate the authorities’ actions to the public,” Osborne told the Financial Times.

the only winning move is not to play RT @vgmac On Monday, US and UK regulators will "war game" a big bank failure. http://t.co/b7RWCsngYU — Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) October 10, 2014


It has been six years since the 2008 financial crisis when $700 billion in taxpayer dollars was used to shore up failing institutions, besides the cost of other bailout programs such as for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that totalled at least $135 billion more. The financial crisis lead to mass unemployment, drastic cuts to US government social programs, and contributed to the economic downfall of several European states.

READ MORE: JPMorgan 'agrees' to tentative $13 billion penalty for role in 2008 financial crisis

Since then regulations have passed in the US – the Dodd Frank Act of 2010 that forced banks to have in place capital and to draw up plans of how they would go through an ordinary bankruptcy and which groups would be paid off first.

Next week’s simulation, the results of which are expected to be released to the public, is designed to reassure the taxpayers in both UK and the US that their money will not be misused next time when a large financial institution turns out to be not that big to fail.

READ MORE: Record global debt risks new crisis – Geneva report

Friday, August 9, 2013

Court officially declares Bitcoin a real currency



Court officially declares Bitcoin a real currency
Published time: August 08, 2013 15:54 Get short URL
http://rt.com/usa/bitcoin-sec-shavers-texas-231/

A federal judge has for the first time ruled that Bitcoin is a legitimate currency, opening up the possibility for the digital crypto-cash to soon be regulated by governmental overseers.

United States Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant for the Eastern District of Texas ruled Tuesday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission can proceed with a lawsuit against the operator of a Bitcoin-based hedge fund because, despite existing only on the digital realm, “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money.”

Trendon Shavers of Bitcoin Savings & Trust (BTCST) was accused last year of scamming customers out of roughly $4.5 million worth of the cryptocurrency through his online hedge-fund. Shavers promised investors a weekly return of 7 percent, according to the federal complaint, but shut-down his site after collecting upwards of 700,000 bitcoins. When the SEC charged Shavers last month with operating a Ponzi scheme, he fought back by saying Bitcoin is not actual currency and can’t be regulated.

“The SEC asserts that Shavers made a number of misrepresentations to investors regarding the nature of the investments and that he defrauded investors. However, the question currently before the Court is whether the BTCST investments in this case are securities as defined by Federal Securities Laws,” Judge Mazzant wrote this week. “Shavers argues that the BTCST investments are not securities because Bitcoin is not money, and is not part of anything regulated by the United States. Shavers also contends that his transactions were all Bitcoin transactions and that no money ever exchanged hands. The SEC argues that the BTCST investments are both investment contracts and notes, and, thus, are securities.”

Despite Shavers’ argument, Mazzant weighed in this week with an opinion that’s not only quite the contrary, but could have widespread repercussions in the world of Bitcoin.

“It is clear that Bitcoin can be used as money,” Mazzant wrote. “It can be used to purchase goods or services, and as Shavers stated, used to pay for individual living expenses. The only limitation of Bitcoin is that it is limited to those places that accept it as currency. However, it can also be exchanged for conventional currencies, such as the US dollar, Euro, Yen and Yuan. Therefore, Bitcoin is a currency or form of money, and investors wishing to invest in BTCST provided an investment of money.”

Bitcoin investments "meet the definition of investment contract, and as such, are securities,” the judge added.

Now with the magistrate’s blessing, the SEC can continue with its case against Shavers and his site. With that same ruling, though, the government is for now getting the go ahead for what could lead to the rampant regulation of Bitcoin.



“The ruling, while certainly a victory for the Commission, is also likely to have farther-reaching ramifications as federal regulators increasingly encounter investment fraud based on non-traditional investment vehicles,” securities and business law attorney Jordan Maglich wrote in a Forbes op-ed this week.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Read the FBI Memo: Agents Can ‘Suspend the Law’


WIRED MAGAZINE
Read the FBI Memo: Agents Can ‘Suspend the Law’
By Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman
March 28, 2012  4:40 pm


The FBI once taught its agents that they can “bend or suspend the law” as they wiretap suspects. But the bureau says it didn’t really mean it, and has now removed the document from its counter-terrorism training curriculum, calling it an “imprecise” instruction. Which is a good thing, national security attorneys say, because the FBI’s contention that it can twist the law in pursuit of suspected terrorists is just wrong.