No, US Banks Are Not Terrified of Chinese Payment Apps – #PropagandaWatch : The Corbett Report

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05-06-19 04:32:00,

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Bloomberg would have us believe that the banksters are quaking in their boots over the possibility that Chinese-style payment apps and a truly cashless economy will be making its way to the West in the near future. But is this the banksters’ nightmare or their ultimate dream come true? Find out in this week’s edition of #PropagandaWatch.

SHOW NOTES:
U.S. Banks Are Terrified of Chinese Payment Apps – Bloomberg

Choke Point: How the Government Will Control the Cashless Economy

Tencent “About” page

Alibaba is the force behind hit Chinese Communist Party app: sources

Inside China’s High-Tech Dystopia

Banks TERRIFIED! Chinese Payment App Cuts Out Banks! (Jimmy Dore)

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Tagged with: banksterscashless society

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How Major Banks Turned a Blind Eye to the Theft of Billions of Pounds of Public Money – Global Research

how-major-banks-turned-a-blind-eye-to-the-theft-of-billions-of-pounds-of-public-money-–-global-research

09-05-19 02:34:00,

Major banks enabled fraudsters to steal billions of pounds of public money through VAT scams, allege documents obtained by the Bureau. A decade later, tax authorities are still chasing the money through the courts.

Traders in London facilitated the so-called carousel fraud by organised crime gangs in 2009, which involved the trading of carbon credits, permits which allow a country or organisation to emit greenhouse gases.

The gangs imported millions of carbon credits from outside the UK without paying VAT on them. They sold them on to traders adding 20% to the bill as if they had paid VAT. What made these frauds different was that the last link in the chain would be a respectable financial institution such as Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland or Citibank and these institutions bought the credits at a discount and then claimed the VAT (which had never been paid) back from the Revenue.

In just eight weeks in 2009 they claimed back £300 million before the Revenue stopped paying up and HMRC is still pursuing that money though the courts.

The fraudsters moved their operations from one country to another as different administrations shut the frauds down which has made it difficult to trace the full picture. It is estimated the fraudsters stole €5bn across Europe but many of the key players have never faced justice.

Now the German non-profit media organisation CORRECTIV has coordinated 35 newsrooms across Europe to put the jigsaw together. The Bureau and the other teams of investigative journalists have scoured thousands of newly obtained documents and tracked down some of the participants in the fraud as part of a project called Grand Theft Europe.

The documents reveal in great detail the allegations made against Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Citibank and the broker companies who sold them the carbon credits. It is alleged the banks and brokers did not do enough to ensure the credits they traded were not connected to fraud.

The current civil cases involve RBS – now called NatWest Markets Plc – which is being sued for £71m and Citibank which is being sued for £14m by liquidators of a string of companies involved in the fraud. The companies that absconded with the VAT have gone into liquidation.

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Central Banks Are Driving Us Toward A Stagnant Global Zombie Economy

central-banks-are-driving-us-toward-a-stagnant-global-zombie-economy

10-04-19 12:18:00,

Authored by Daniel Lacalle via DLacalle.com,

Liquidity injections and zero interest rate policies disguise risk and may give a false sense of security…

This risk could not be more evident today.  Not only have we seen large downgrades to consensus growth estimates and central banks’ expectations of GDP and inflation, leading indicators also point to a much weaker economy ahead.

There are similarities with 2008 that we should not ignore.

  • A massive China stimulus inflates risky assets and commodities.

  • Poor macro and earnings data is ignored by markets assuming that all will improve in the second half of the year.

  • Yield curves invert.  15 economies now have 30-year yields lower than LIBOR overnight rates.

  • The figure of negative yield debt rises to $11 trillion.

Financial repression is at all-time highs while leading indicators point to a growing risk of recession.

In the first quarter of 2019, stocks have added $9.3 trillion in market capitalization, bonds have gained almost $2 trillion in value.  Meanwhile, the Conference Board Index of leading indicators has plummeted for the major economies. The Citi Economic Surprise Index has also fallen, particularly in March, despite a small bounce in the Eurozone at the beginning of the year. Global trade growth, machine equipment orders and manufacturing indices remain poor… while debt soars to another record-high of $244 trillion according to the Bank of International Settlements and the IIF.

The difference with the Asian or the 2008 crisis is that this time the excess risk is hidden under central banks’ balance sheets and will continue to do so.

So, if risk is hidden under a perennial money supply-growth carpet, why should we worry? Because the endgame is not likely to be a 2008-style bang, but a slow, painful and unstoppable zombification of the global economy.  As the evidence of stagnation rises, governments get more nervous. What do they do? Stop the monetary madness? Allow high productivity sectors to thrive? Promote deleveraging and prudent investment? No. More white elephants, massive unproductive spending at the expense of taxpayers and savers in what is likely to be yet another massive transfer of wealth from salaries and savers to governments with fancy names.

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Big Banks Toxicity: A Global Plague | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

big-banks-toxicity-a-global-plague-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

07-04-19 08:42:00,

By Aaron Kesel

Our federal systems of justice are failing the U.S. citizenry, miserably. It is a fact, beyond consternation that federal agencies’ willful blindness has fostered Goldman Sachs toxicity to the point that Sachs personnel are brazenly and flagrantly ripping off their own clients.

Now Goldman Sachs toxicity has spread worldwide!

Compounding the issues of our nation’s economic security is the ability of Goldman Sachs to get “planted” deep state agents into our watchdog systems (like Jay Clayton, Colm Connolly, James Lackner, Maryellen Noreika, Clifford White III, Andy Vara and Ellen Slights).

In the past week alone there have been stories of fraud flooding the Internet with increased verbosity.

Now, Goldman Sachs is warning a stock market slump approaches.

Question is, why are federal authorities allowing this crap to thrive to the point that it is putting us on the border of a recession?

Didn’t our watchdog agencies learn anything from the slickness of pre-2008?

This reporter has helped document 100s of Wall Street frauds by Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital organized criminal enterprise in the U.S. by this writer’s year long Wall St Fraud series that includes discussions about the Goldman Sachs toxic culture that the new Sachs CEO, David Solomon, claims to be nonexistent.

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So where are the investigations, arrests, indictments, and convictions?

Unfortunately, the FBI, SEC and Justice Department’s willful blindness, incompetence and issues of duplicitous agents in the Petters Ponzi, Marc Dreier, KB, Fingerhut, Mattel and eToys cases has resulted in the demise of Toys R Us.  They don’t seem to care about these flagrant crimes,

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‘Puppet of big banks’: French hit back at Macron’s ‘I’m one of you’ overture

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26-01-19 11:47:00,

As France braced for the 11th week of the Yellow Vest protests, President Emmanuel Macron said that he is not a ‘man of the elite’ as his critics claim. Yet, people told RT he can’t relate to the struggles of ordinary citizens.

In an apparent effort to brush aside the label ‘president of the rich’, President Macron decided to reaffirm that he is a ‘man of the people’.

“I’m not an heir,” the president said on Thursday.

Read more

1000s of police on guard as Yellow Vests hit streets in France for 10th week in a row

“If I had been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, or the son of a politician, you could have a go at me. But that’s not the case.”

He made the remarks in the town of Bourg-de-Peage during the third round of ‘national debates’, a series of town hall-like events the authorities hope will help to foster compromise with the Yellow Vest protesters and other critics of the government. Some, however, find it hard to buy Macron’s ‘I’m one of you’ message.

“He obviously doesn’t come from lower-income brackets like some of us do,” a woman told RT on the streets of Paris.

“He can’t understand the everyday problems of French people living on minimum wage,” another Parisian said.

“But it’s not really important what he says now. His future actions will define his presidency.”

Not exactly a man of humble upbringing, Macron comes from a well-off family. Prior to first joining the government as minister of economy and finance, he was an investment banker with Rothschild & Cie Banque.

“He studied in elite schools, as aristocrats do. He was ‘made’ there. The French elite is created this way,” a man told RT.

Even if the president is right about not being born into the elite, his milieu most certainly was, another said.

“Throughout his career Macron has networked with people who were born with silver spoons in their mouths. I think he is more a president for the rich. He is a ‘puppet’ of the big banks.”

In the eyes of his critics, Macron well deserves the ‘president of the rich’ tag after scrapping the wealth tax,

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Central Banks v Clearing | Armstrong Economics

central-banks-v-clearing-armstrong-economics

17-01-19 09:25:00,

Delos, First Central Bank

QUESTION: Dear Martin

Wonder if you have any insights as to the history of the bank clearing process.

Was the clearing process created mainly so banks could play games and earn interest with peoples’ money

with the reasoning that it was to prevent money laundering?

With technological advances today, one can accept an hour or two for automatic name and account number checks to happen

but 3-7 days seems ridiculous.

Any insights to the creation of the clearing process would be enlightening.

Thank you again

KW

ANSWER: The function of bank clearing began with giro-banking, which originated in the Temple of Delos in Greece. The term refers to the circulation of money. It originated where you could write a check to one person and transfer the payment to their account at the same bank. Effectively, in ancient Greece, you would have an account at the Temple in Delos and instruct a transfer to their account in the Temple. The Romans adopted this concept and thus Roman banking was born.

A central bank emerged after the Dark Ages in the early modern history as a government or state-owned banks. The Dutch were pioneers and financial innovators who not only created this state banking concept, but they also invented insurance. The Wisselbank was the first such bank in Amsterdam which was founded in the Dutch Republic during 1609. The Wisselbank became the model of the central banking system and it spread throughout Europe; first in 1668 in Sweden known as the Sveriges Riksbank and then the Bank of England in 1694.

When smaller private banks began to pop up, the state-owned banks emerged as clearing banks where transfers between the accounts at the central bank took place the same as they did between accounts in ancient Delos.

The Wisselbank actually collapsed in 1790 after it was revealed that the deposits have been used secretly to fund the Dutch East India Company. The manipulation was that they represented themselves as just holding money for safe-keeping. They did not lend money out. So when the bank failed and they had been using the money to fund the Dutch East India Company,

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Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

21-10-18 12:59:00,

On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Russia

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Russia

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,” said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran”

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Banks Are Becoming Obsolete in China—Could the U.S. Be Next?

Banks Are Becoming Obsolete in China—Could the U.S. Be Next?

23-08-18 09:03:00,

The U.S. credit card system siphons off excessive amounts of money from merchants. In a typical $100 credit card purchase, only $97.25 goes to the seller. The rest goes to banks and processors. But who can compete with Visa and MasterCard?

It seems China’s new mobile payment ecosystems can. According to a May 2018 article in Bloomberg titled “Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares”:

The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies. That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments. Western bankers and credit-card executives who travel to China keep returning with the same anxiety: Payments can happen cheaply and easily without them.

The nightmare for the U.S. financial industry is that a major technology company—whether one from China or a U.S. giant such as Amazon or Facebook—might replicate the success of the Chinese mobile payment systems, cutting banks out.

According to John Engen, writing in American Banker in May 2018, “China processed a whopping $12.8 trillion in mobile payments” in the first ten months of 2017. Today even China’s street merchants don’t want cash. Payment for everything is handled with a phone and a QR code (a type of barcode). More than 90 percent of Chinese mobile payments are run through Alipay and WeChat Pay, rival platforms backed by the country’s two largest internet conglomerates, Alibaba and Tencent Holdings. Alibaba is the Amazon of China, while Tencent Holdings is the owner of WeChat, a messaging and social media app with more than a billion users.

Alibaba created Alipay in 2004 to let millions of potential customers who lacked credit and debit cards shop on its giant online marketplace. Alipay is free for smaller users of its platform. As total monthly transactions rise, so does the charge; but even at its maximum, it’s less than half what PayPal charges: around 1.2 percent. Tencent Holdings similarly introduced its payments function in 2005 in order to keep users inside its messaging system longer.

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European Banks Lending in USA Rather than Europe? | Armstrong Economics

European Banks Lending in USA Rather than Europe? | Armstrong Economics

01-08-18 06:50:00,

European banks have been lending in the United States quiet aggressively because (1) the economy is doing good so there is a demand for loans contrary to Europe, and (2) the behind the curtain view that the euro will decline and the dollar will rise. During the first half of 2017, European banks have lent about $53 billion in US dollars taking the currency risk which they have benefited from as the euro declines. According to Bloomberg, Europeans’ combined market share in the United States rose to nearly 24%.

The concern of some has been that the loans are going into leverage structures once again. In total, banks and other companies issued $494 billion in new leveraged loans 2017, which has been the largest amount since 2011. The European banks at the top of the list are the British Barclays Bank, which bought Lehman Brothers Holdings’ US businesses after the collapse. Barclay’s now controls more than 6% of the market for new loans and is the third largest leveraged loan arranger in the US this year. Barclay’s is also big in issuing credit cards in the United States. The second on that list is Credit Suisse Group AG. Then we have Deutsche Bank, which on the one hand wants to withdraw from US markets, has also been looking at lending in dollars for the same reason of gaining on the currency in the face of a collapsing euro. We see similar policies being adopted in the British HSBC, Swiss UBS, French BNP Paribas, Dutch ING Groep and Credit Agricole.

While many believe that as major central banks continue to push ahead with monetary policy normalization of raising interest rates, they wrongly think that raising rates will hurt the credit market and create a downturn. What they fail to grasp is that rates can rise with no impact provided the economy is expanding, but rates can also rise because there is no demand and government is forced to keep offering higher rates to find buyers of their debt in the real world. It all depends upon what people believe. This is why low rates in Europe have FAILED to stimulate demand when people lack confidence in the future, they will NOT borrow at any rate.

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Central Banks Are Using The Trade War To Hide Their Direct Influence On Stocks

Central Banks Are Using The Trade War To Hide Their Direct Influence On Stocks

19-07-18 09:29:00,

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

There has been a lot of confusion lately in the mainstream economic media as well as in independent media circles as to the behavior of stock markets in the wake of the recently initiated global trade war. In particular, stocks suffered one of the longest runs of negative days in their history in June, only to then spike just after Donald Trump “officially” began trade war tariffs in July. The expectation by many was that the headlines would cause an immediate and continued downturn in equities markets, but this was not the case. Many analysts have been left bewildered.

This is an issue I have touched on multiple times since the beginning of this year, and it is something I predicted long before Trump’s election in 2016. But it is obvious that the schizophrenic nature of stocks needs to be addressed in a very concise, no-holds-barred fashion, because there are still far too many people who are looking at all the wrong causes and correlations.

First, let’s be clear: stock markets are NOT tracking the news headlines. The past month should have proved this if there was any previous doubt.

It is hard for investors and some analysts to grasp this fact, primarily because for at least the past few years it appeared as though stock markets were utterly dictated by headlines out of Bloomberg, Reuters and other mainstream media outlets. Once investors and analysts became used to this narrative it was difficult for them to adapt when the dynamic changed. They are still living in the past based on an assumption that was never quite correct to begin with.

In reality, headlines never actually dictated stock prices; it was always the Federal Reserve among other central banks.

As I and others have noted consistently, stock market valuations for the past several years have tracked almost perfectly with the Fed’s balance sheet. That is to say, every time the Fed purchased more assets and increased the balance sheet, stocks went up.

After years of the notorious “Fed Put,” we now have an entire generation of investors and market writers that have never experienced a stock environment in which equities actually fall according to the health of their corresponding companies or the economy at large.

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BIS Confirms Banks Use “Lehman-Style Trick” To Disguise Debt, Engage In “Window Dressing”

BIS Confirms Banks Use “Lehman-Style Trick” To Disguise Debt, Engage In “Window Dressing”

24-06-18 07:24:00,

Several years ago we showed how the Fed’s then-new Reverse Repo operation had quickly transformed into nothing more than a quarter-end “window dressing” operation for major banks, seeking to make their balance sheets appear healthier and more stable for regulatory purposes.

As we described in article such as “What Just Happened In Today’s “Crazy” And Biggest Ever “Window-Dressing” Reverse Repo?”,Window Dressing On, Window Dressing Off… Amounting To $140 Billion In Two Days”, Month-End Window Dressing Sends Fed Reverse Repo Usage To $208 Billion: Second Highest Ever“, “WTF Chart Of The Day: “Holy $340 Billion In Quarter-End Window Dressing, Batman“, “Record $189 Billion Injected Into Market From “Window Dressing” Reverse Repo Unwind” and so on, we showed how banks were purposefully making their balance sheets appear better than they really with the aid of short-term Fed facilities for quarter-end regulatory purposes, a trick that gained prominence first nearly a decade ago with the infamous Lehman “Repo 105.” 

And this is a snapshot of what the reverse-repo usage looked like back in late 2014:

Today, in its latest Annual Economic Report, some 4 years after our original allegations, the Bank for International Settlements has confirmed that banks may indeed be “disguising” their borrowings “in a way similar to that used by Lehman Brothers” as debt ratios fall within limits imposed by regulators just four times a year, thank to the use of repo arrangements.

For those unfamiliar, the BIS explains that window-dressing refers to the practice of adjusting balance sheets around regular reporting dates, such as year- or quarter-ends and notes that “window-dressing can reflect attempts to optimise a firm’s profit and loss for taxation purposes.” 

For banks, however, it may also reflect responses to regulatory requirements, especially if combined with end-period reporting. One example is the Basel III leverage ratio. This ratio is reported based on quarter-end figures in some jurisdictions, but is calculated based on daily averages during the quarter in others. The former case can provide strong incentives to compress exposures around regulatory reporting dates – particularly at year-ends, when incentives are reinforced by other factors (eg taxation).”

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How Central Banks Stoke Stock Prices | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

How Central Banks Stoke Stock Prices | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

27-02-18 05:50:00,

By Thorsten Polleit

Reading through Security Analysis, the roadmap for investing first published in 1934 by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd, I learned something quite interesting: The basis of stock valuation had changed quite drastically in the period between 1927 and 1929. The stock buying public “departed more and more from the factual approach and technique of security analysis and concerned itself increasingly with the elements of potentiality and prophecy”, write Graham and Dodd.1

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What they mean is that in the pre-WWI world, stocks were typically valued on the basis of a three-part concept: (i) a decent track record of firms’ dividend returns, (ii) a stable and satisfactory earnings record, and (iii) a strong balance sheet, with sufficient backing by tangible assets. The “New-Era” theory of stock valuation reads, summarized in one sentence, as follows: “The value of a common stock depends entirely upon what it will earn in the future.”

Current dividends should only have a slight impact upon a stock’s valuation, and as firms’ asset values did not have an apparent relationship with their earning power, asset values were said to be devoid of importance when it comes to calculating a stock’s “fair price.” A firm’s earnings record was only relevant to the extent that it might indicate what changes in a firm’s future earnings were likely to be expected. In other words, the New-Era theory of stock valuation was quite a break compared to the valuation technique employed in the past.

A Sea Change in Pricing Stocks

According to Graham and Dodd, there were two significant causes why such a change in the approach to stock valuation occurred. First, accounting data of a firm’s past proved to be increasingly unreliable as a guide for making wise investment decisions. The reason for this was rapid changes in demand structures and product and process technologies. Second, the expectation of future rewards became increasingly attractive to many investors, in fact, “irresistibly alluring.”

The New-Era theory of stock valuation, which people followed in the hot phase of the 1927-1929 stock market rally, turned out to suffer from two weaknesses, according to Graham and Dodd.

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