Around 2 BILLION people may lose their jobs in the next couple of months due to pandemic


29-05-20 08:38:00,

More than half of the world’s workforce (nearly two billion people) risk losing their jobs or moving to part-time work in 2020 as a result of the economic fallout from coronavirus outbreak.

That’s according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), seen by RIA Novosti.

“It’s hard to overestimate the radical changes in the global workforce due to the crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19,” said the report, citing estimates by the International Labor Organization that global labor income losses will reach $3.4 trillion this year.

In the next two to three months, one out of six people in the world will lose their jobs, with the unemployment rate to exceed 17 percent, said the authors of the research.

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The impact of the crisis on the labor market will vary greatly across industries, with those most directly affected by quarantine measures to be hit the hardest. According to BCG analysis, more than 80 percent of all the layoffs in the world are likely to occur in the non-food retail sector, manufacturing, hotel and restaurant business, tourism and construction.

“We expect that the world’s unemployment rate will start returning to balance by the end of 2020. However, [the] pandemic has already launched the process of long-term structural changes – from flexible and remote work schemes to accelerated automation – and these changes will affect up to 1.5 billion jobs over the next decade.”

BCG estimates that by 2030, automation will put 12 percent of existing jobs at risk, and about 30 percent of jobs will require completely new skills.

The study also indicated that more than 10 percent of the global workforce is highly likely to work remotely on a permanent basis, while for office workers, the figure could reach 30 percent.

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BCG said that in order to prevent the collapse of supply on the labor market, support measures should be provided by governments – from subsidizing salaries and expanding social protection to financial and tax exemptions and temporary redistribution of employment.

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NATO owes Ukraine $200 BILLION over Kiev’s decision to forgo nuclear arsenal in 1990s – ex-MP


20-05-20 06:58:00,

Kiev should “insist” that NATO pays out $200 billion for Ukraine’s decision to abandon nuclear weapons more than a quarter of a century ago, a former Ukrainian lawmaker said, arguing that the move saved the alliance a fortune.

Back in the mid-1990s Ukraine ditched the nuclear arsenal that it inherited from the Soviet Union in exchange for security guarantees provided by the US, the UK and Russia as part of the so-called Budapest Memorandum. Now, the time has come for Kiev’s “Western partners” to pay up – in cash – Andrey Senchenko, a former Verkhovna Rada deputy and interim deputy head of ex-President Petro Poroshenko’s administration, believes. 

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The alliance would have had to drastically increase its defense expenditures over the past two decades had the Soviet nuclear missiles stayed in Kiev’s hands, Senchenko explained. “The missiles would, of course, not be a threat to New York, Paris or Berlin but would create a danger of nuclear and missile technologies proliferation around the world, which is a very serious danger,” he said, de facto admitting that Ukraine would have been barely able to properly control its nuclear arsenal and associated technologies in the first place.

It is true that, back in the 1990s, Ukraine possessed a significant nuclear arsenal. The number of nuclear warheads deployed on its territory by the USSR was only behind those possessed by Russia and the US.

Now, the ex-MP believes that the Western nations should very much appreciate the fact that Ukraine did not fancy becoming a nuclear power back in the 1990s – an idea that some politicians in Kiev have floated two decades later. “Their direct benefit amounted to at least $1 trillion,” Senchenko said without revealing the data behind such calculations.

He further said that Ukraine “has a right on some 20 percent of this economic benefit,” which amounts to $200 billion. “That is what we should discuss with our Western partners,” Senchenko said. “Ukraine should insist on that.”

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The issue still appears to be less about settling old scores and more about dealing with Ukraine’s modern economic difficulties.

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$3.5 Billion Has Flowed From U.S. Taxpayers To The World Health Organization Since 2010


16-04-20 12:26:00,

Submitted by Adam Andrzejewski, first published in Forbes

With his recent vow to halt and reassess all aid to the World Health Organization (WHO), President Trump legitimized critics who allege that the agency shielded information from the world about the lethality of the coronavirus and its ability to spread by human-to-human contact.

The WHO delegation highly appreciated the actions China has implemented in response to the outbreak, its speed in identifying the virus and openness to sharing information with WHO and other countries.

World Health Organization | January 28, 2020 | Beijing

The most likely presidential policy response will be to re-purpose all or most federal money from the WHO. If done in this manner, the president must notify Congress, but has the executive power to reallocate the monies to other organizations. Therefore, legitimate programs will continue to help humanity.

Responding to our request for comment, the White House, Office of Management and Budget provided a fact sheet detailing the WHO’s “corruption and abuse.”

The W.H.O. really blew it. We will be giving that a good look.

President Donald J. Trump

Our auditors at reviewed all disclosed grants by federal agencies to the WHO since 2010 and found that $3.5 billion in taxpayer money funded the WHO during this period.

What’s more, only $611.1 million of that funding came from “assessed dues” required by participating countries. The U.S. government voluntarily sent the WHO roughly $2.9 billion more than their required contribution. It’s no surprise that, annually, the United States is the largest funder of the WHO.

We also found that federal funding of the WHO remained strong during the Trump era. We compared the first three years of the Trump administration (FY2017-FY2019) to the first three years during the second term of President Barack Obama’s administration (FY2013-FY2015).

The WHO received more money under Trump than Obama (inflation adjusted): $1.4 billion versus $1.1 billion.

Since 2010, the Agency for International Development (USAID) has led all federal agencies with $1.5 billion in grants to the WHO. Roughly half the USAID grant money funded three programs: humanitarian programs ($345.7 million);

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IMF Head Announces $50 Billion Aid Program For Covid-19 Relief


05-03-20 08:39:00,

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC’s “Squawk Ally” Wednesday that it would launch a $50 billion aid package “immediately” dedicated to combating Covid-19 outbreaks in emerging market countries. This announcement comes after the World Bank said it would fund a $12 billion program on Tuesday to fight the virus that threatens to plunge the global economy into recession. 

Georgieva told CNBC’s Sara Eisen that the aid program would be interest-free and for countries that don’t have a pre-existing program with the IMF.

“The $40 billion is for countries that are middle income, and they can approach us and receive the funding immediately. More important is the $10 billion that are accessible for low-income countries. Because most of this money is interest-free. We have signaled to the membership and what we are doing right now is reviewing country by country what are the financial needs and engaging with these countries to make sure that they are aware of this resource and we can immediately respond to them. So, we are in an early stage of engagement. But I can assure you that we will attack very quickly as requests come. What the countries would use the money for, we would like very much to see them prioritizing first and foremost, urgently beefing up their health service capacity so lives are saved, and suffering is reduced. And secondly, to use it for fiscal measures that are well targeted to households, businesses that are most directly impacted by the crisis,” Georgieva said. 

Eisen asked the managing director if fiscal measures, such as stimulus, would be needed in the US to combat virus impacts on the economy. Georgieva responded: 

“We believe that all countries should look seriously into the urgency to beef up health systems response. And, yes, that would be money very well spent everywhere. And we also think it is now the time to put in place precautionary measures should the outbreak become more severe. In other words, do we have credit lines for SMEs? Are we thinking of funding workers that cannot go to work because their kids are at home? And these are not measures that we should come with later, we should be prepared now.” 

Eisen referenced an earlier interview Georgieva had with reporters on Wednesday,

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Billion Dollar Family Offices Now Get Direct Access To Investment Bank Trading Desks


20-02-20 11:32:00,

In what probably should come as a surprise, but most likely won’t, it appears that multi-billion family offices are getting access to trading desks that smaller offices and retail traders can’t access.

We know, you’re shocked.

Offices with at least $1 billion are increasingly bypassing private bankers and are allowed to go direct to investment bank trading desks, according to Bloomberg

Luigi Pigorini, Citi Private Bank’s region head for Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “Some of them are so sophisticated and have such buying power. We have them trading directly with some of our desks in the markets division. There’s not that many, but there’s quite a few and that number keeps growing.”

The number of family office style firms has surpassed 10,000 globally over the past 10 years, including the offices of names like Bill Gates and Michael Dell. Last year, the average family office had assets of $917 million, according to UBS. The offices with direct access to desks at banks like Citigroup generally trade equities, forex and futures. By having a direct line to the trading desk, they can get the undivided attention of traders and get access to some products not traditionally offered through the private bank. 

Family officies like Eric Schmidt’s Hillspire LLC have gone out of their way to hire staff with experience in institutional investing. Their CIO, Massimo Iacono, previously worked as a relationship manager for institutional clients in Turin, Italy. 

Goldman Sachs has employees specifically set aside to deal with family office needs. They focus on everything from lending to philanthropy – and Goldman is looking to hire more employees to act as these types of liaisons. 

Andre Portelli, co-head of investment for Barclay’s private bank said that Barclay’s “…gives wealthy clients access to private equity and debt deals handled by its investment bank.”

A top banker at UBS has warned that billionaires are bypassing financials institutions as they engage in private transactions, noting that almost 85% of all family offices make direct investments. 

Pigorini concluded: “We love to have clients that sit on the other side of the table and know exactly what we’re talking about.

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360 Billion & Growing: Locust Plague Of “Biblical Proportions” Destroys Crops Across Middle East, Africa


05-02-20 11:49:00,

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

What we are witnessing in east Africa and across much of the Middle East right now is hard to believe.  360 billion locusts are eating everything in sight, and UN officials are warning that this plague of “Biblical proportions” could get many times worse over the next several months.  Desert locusts can travel up to 93 miles a day, and each adult can consume the equivalent of its own weight in food every 24 hours.  These voracious little creatures are traveling in absolutely colossal swarms that are up to 40 miles wide, and they continue to push into new areas.  If urgent action is not taken on a massive scale, millions upon millions of people could soon have next to nothing to eat.

I have previously written about the horrors that this plague is causing in east Africa, but many people don’t realize that this plague is devastating crops throughout the Middle East as well.

In fact, the government of Pakistan just declared a national emergency because of these locusts

A locust plague is wreaking havoc in Pakistan as ‘unprecedented and alarming’ swarms ravage crops as shocking video shows millions of the insects sweeping through Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan’s government declared a national emergency at the weekend after an infestation of desert locusts arrived in eastern Pakistan.

In Saudi Arabia, the swarms have been so thick at times that they have completely blocked out the sun, and video footage coming out of that country is getting attention all over the world

Meanwhile swarms of locusts have been milling the skies in Saudi Arabia, with one video circulating online showing the sky saturated with the insects.

Another shows a tree in Saudi Arabia crawling with desert locusts, which consume their own bodyweight in food each day.

But of course east Africa remains the hardest hit region, and UN officials are warning that a horrible famine could rapidly develop as a result of this plague.  The following comes from Scientific American

Locust swarms of biblical proportions are threatening crops across a wide swath of Africa and southwest Asia—spurring alarm among top international officials.

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750 Billion Reasons Why Goldman Is Rooting For Greta Thunberg’s Success


17-12-19 09:02:00,

Having lost much of its central banker incubation skills over the past decade, and handing over the crown of Wall Street’s most profitable trading desk to Morgan Stanley, in recent years Goldman Sachs has been best known for enabling and profiting wildly from Malaysia 1MDB criminal fraud, which culminated with the arrest of former Malaysia PM Razak, but not before Goldman made billions in illicit profits from selling bonds offered by the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

And while Goldman is still waiting to learn its criminal and civil fate, and more importantly, how many billions it will have to pay Malaysia/the DOJ to put its 1MDB fraud in the rearview mirror, the company – which a decade ago was hoping to make billions from aggressively entering the carbon credit/offset market as profiled delightfully in Matt Taibbi’s “The Great American Bubble Machine” – is already scheming how to profit from the latest round of anti-climate change euphoria, conveniently spawned by a 16-year-old child with Asperger’s Syndrome.

On Monday, Goldman Sachs said it will provide $750 billion in financing, advisory services and investments for initiatives that fight climate change, as well as those that foster economic opportunities for under-served people over the next decade. What Goldman did not say is that it will pocket a generous commission, somewhere in the 3-5% ballpark, by peddling “green” products to naive investors (including central banks) who have fallen for the whole ESG virtue signalling charade.

The bank also updated its internal environmental policy framework to rule out providing financing to any new projects that will drill for oil in the Arctic or that create new thermal coal plants or new thermal coal mines. Of course, the destructive consequences of the bank’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal would be quietly excluded from this virtuous charade.

Ironically, Goldman’s policy changes come just as the United Nations concludes a conference that failed to ramp up efforts to combat global warming, according to Reuters.

Goldman CEO David Solomon announced the plans in an editorial in the Financial Times, where he wrote that there is “a powerful business and investing case” for the bank to take steps to address climate change and the growing worldwide opportunity gap. Very powerful: having failed to make almost any money from the bank’s last foray into carbon tax and cap-and-trade,

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1.2 BILLION people’s data – including social media profiles and contact info – found on unsecured Google Cloud server


23-11-19 11:29:00,

A massive four-terabyte trove of sensitive personal data belonging to over a billion profiles has been found on an unsecured Google Cloud server – its owner still a mystery – in one of the largest single-source data leaks ever.

The mountain of data, including phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profiles, was sitting unprotected on an anonymous server hosted on the Google Cloud when security researchers Vinny Troia and Bob Diachenko found it while scanning for vulnerabilities last month. After they reported the massive exposure to the FBI, it disappeared within hours. It’s not clear who accessed it before Troia and Diachenko, and what they did with the data, but the sheer enormity of the leak, with 1.2 billion unique data profiles potentially slurped up by malicious actors, is enough to cause alarm.

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The information was likely obtained in four chunks from so-called “data enrichment” companies, Troia suggested in a blog post on Friday announcing his discovery. These entities allow a customer to use a single piece of information on a person, even just their name, to access potentially hundreds more data points – anything from email address to preferred social activities. Two data enrichers – People Data Labs and – were discovered to be the sources for the data on the rogue server.

However, after communicating with both companies, Troia was satisfied that the server did not belong to either. Its owner could have bought the data from them and just left it lying around unsecured – without any further information about the server’s owner, there was little that could legally be done.

That doesn’t solve the problems of the 1.2 billion people whose private information is now floating around in the ether. Data enrichers pass the responsibility for securing the data they sell onto the customers as soon as the transaction is completed. If that customer’s security lapses, no one is responsible for telling the person whose data is now being pilfered by who knows how many malicious actors that they’ve – as a popular site for learning what your data is up to puts it –

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Pump it up! US Fed adds $104 billion in liquidity to markets in just one day


15-11-19 09:56:00,

The Federal Reserve, which has been boosting liquidity since mid-September, injected $104.293 billion to the financial markets on Thursday.

The addition of liquidity came in two parts, with one happening via overnight repurchase agreements totaling $73.593 billion. The other was from a $30.7 billion 13-day repo operation. In both interventions, dealers took less money than the Fed was willing to provide.

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The US Central Bank’s market operations are aimed at ensuring that the financial system has enough liquidity, after the short-term funding rate spiked to 10 percent from two percent overnight in September. The effective Fed-funds rate stood within the target rate on Wednesday, at 1.55 percent. The broad general collateral rate for repo trading stood at 1.54 percent.

The Federal Reserve’s practice of adding and subtracting liquidity from short-term markets to manage short-term interest rates goes back decades. However, it is raising concerns among analysts and portfolio managers who claim that the size of recent operations are large and may not be enough to solve lending pressures.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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US tech companies to lose $40 billion as China’s Huawei takes its business to Europe


05-11-19 12:09:00,

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has revealed plans to spend tens of billions of dollars on technology supplies in Europe over the next five years after being blacklisted in the US.

In an interview with AFP, Huawei explained that the decision was a direct result of Washington banning American companies from selling technology to the group. According to Huawei, there will be consequences for American companies such as Qualcomm, Intel, Micron, and Google. Huawei usually spends over $10 billion a year on semiconductors, spare parts, and services for its smartphones and network equipment.

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The company is increasing its procurement in China, Japan, and Europe to make sure its production chains remain unbroken, said Ernest Lin Zhang, president of enterprise activities for Western Europe at Huawei. He added the US ban has little impact on 5G-equipment supplies, while Huawei “no longer has any American product.”

In mid-October the company reported that it had supplied over 400,000 5G antennas worldwide to about 60 clients, more than half of them in Europe.

Lin Zhang said the company aims to set up a sovereign European cloud, which would enable the storage and processing of data online without going through the US technology giants. Huawei supplies equipment to operators providing this type of service, such as France’s Orange group and Telefonica in Spain.

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“Outside of Europe, we supply our own service, but on the continent, our strategy is based on joint development with our partners,” Lin Zhang said. “We provide them with support to develop their own cloud services.”

He continued: “If clients go through these operators, they are choosing a European operator, the data is stocked in Europe. We have absolutely no access to it. It is managed totally by our partners.”

Washington blacklisted the world’s largest telecom equipment maker earlier this year, and restricted it from doing business with US companies. Huawei has denied US allegations that it shares data with the Chinese government.

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14 Billion License Plate Image Database That Knows Where You Are In Real-Time


03-10-19 03:16:00,

By MassPrivateI

Forget everything you have ever heard about police license plate readers and public safety, because it is all a lie.

Three major automated license plate reader (ALPR) companies have created a mind-boggling database of 14 billion license plate images that allows law enforcement to track anyone in real-time.

The Digital Recognition Network (DRN) has a database of over 8 billion license plate images and boasts about sending customers (law enforcement) live vehicle location alerts.

If you think there is nothing you can do to automatically detect vehicles, think again. DRN’s Live Alerts, part of the DRNsights for Insurance solution, uses vehicle location data gathered from over 8 billion nationwide sightings plus the 160,000 million gathered each month, to provide alerts when vehicles are detected.

Vigilant Solutions webpage has a database of over 5 billion license plate images and collects a little less than DRN daily.

We are the only ALPR provider that can offer over 5 billion nationwide detections and over 150 million more added monthly.

Vigilant Solutions also offers customers (law enforcement) a “Mobile Hit Hunter” or hotlist feature, that tracks vehicles in real-time.

credit: Vigilant Solutions

As I reported last month, Rekor Systems has a massive 30 state real-time license plate database that collects 150 million license plates every month.

But Rekor Systems does something the other ALPR companies do not. They can send law enforcement detailed descriptions of any vehicle in real-time.

Our software upgrades any IP, traffic, or surveillance camera into a vehicle recognition solution that can be used for realtime alerting of license plates. Not only does the software read a license plate number, but it also provides vehicle type, make, and color, something the competitors cannot do.

Rekor Systems, which is also being used by 69 countries, likely has a database of billions of people’s license plates.

Declare Your Independence!
Profit outside the rigged system! Protect yourself from tyranny and economic collapse. Learn to live free and spread peace!

Counter Markets Newsletter –

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76 Billion Opioid Pills: Bombshell Report Unmasks Who Is Responsible For Epidemic


17-07-19 07:58:00,

US District Judge Dan Polster presiding over nationwide opioid litigation dismissed an order that now allows the general public, for the first time ever, to examine opioid sales from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS) that details how the opioid epidemic exploded into almost every community across the US from 2006 through 2012.

“The public release of pre-2012 ARCOS data, which shows how prescription opioid pills flooded American communities, is a positive and transparent step forward,” plaintiffs attorneys Paul Hanley, Paul Ferrell and Joe Rice said in a statement released Monday.

“The data provides statistical insights that help pinpoint the origins and spread of the opioid epidemic.”

As per The Washington Post, the ACROS data showed big pharmaceutical companies pumped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012 into nearly every zip code across the country.

The data provides an unparalleled view of how legal opioid pills from big pharma fueled the opioid epidemic, which has resulted in approximately 100,000 deaths in those 4 years. 

Only six companies distributed 75% of all the painkillers during the six years: McKesson Corp., Walgreens, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, CVS, and Walmart.

Only three companies manufactured 88% of the opioids: SpecGx, a subsidiary of Mallinckrodt; ­Actavis Pharma; and Par Pharmaceutical.

The database shows how pills were transported from manufacturers to distributors, then administered in towns.

In lawsuits against big pharma companies, lawyers allege companies deliberately pumped legal opioid to reach the streets of communities despite signs the pills were being sold and diverted to the black market.

Plaintiffs have accused drug manufacturers and wholesalers of fueling the opioid crisis by distributing billions of pain pills for a profit, ignoring ethics and sometimes violating federal law. Big pharma has already paid out more than $1 billion in fines to the Justice Department and Food and Drug Administration over opioid-related issues.

The Post noted that government and corporations wanted to shield the public from ARCOS data.

During the past two decades, Florida transformed into the country’s top pill mill. Corrupt doctors opened up pain management clinics across the state,

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‘Trump’s $50-billion Middle East plan is a win-win for Israel & a loss for Palestine’


23-06-19 07:34:00,

The new multibillion US investment plan unveiled without the political solution part is beneficial to Israel, but not to Palestine, experts told RT.

The so-called “opportunity of the century,” which US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, presented to media on Saturday, is entitled to create a million jobs in the West Bank and Gaza, while doubling Palestine’s GDP in 10 years. It would be achieved through donors, mainly the Gulf States, pouring $50 billion into the West Bank and Gaza as well as into Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon where several million Palestinian refugees are staying.

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There’s, however, nothing new about such a plan, Saad Nimr, professor of political science at Birzeit University, told RT.

 “During Shimon Peres as a Prime Minister in Israel (1995-96), he tried that approach of talking economic ease to the Palestinians instead of talking about a political solution,” but no results were achieved.

Nimr reminded of a World Bank report, which said that Palestine would earn $5.5 billion extra every year if it had access to the Mediterranean and Dead Sea, which is now blocked by Israel.

The plan is basically an ultimatum for Palestine, which may be coerced into accepting it due to the lack of other options, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

“This is depending on the assumption that Palestinians have no place to go. ‘You don’t like this deal? – great. Wait till the next one which is even worse for you. You don’t like that? Wait till the next one, which will be even worse.’”

The Palestinians are rejecting the US plan because “the only purpose for the Americans is Israel’s prosperity,” Nimr said. Jatras agreed that Palestinians understand that it would be skewed in favor of Israel, with not only Israelis retaining settlements in the West Bank, but further expanding their control over land and water resources.

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For years,

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Record 12 billion rubles in CASH seized from arrested FSB officer – reports


17-05-19 04:24:00,

Some 12 billion rubles ($185 million) in cash has been reportedly seized from an FSB colonel facing charges of large scale corruption – overshadowing the notorious case of Colonel Zakharchenko and his record of 8.5 billion rubles.

The piles of cash – literally – were discovered at three apartments belonging to FSB Colonel Kirill Cherkalin and, allegedly, to his allies, Russian media reported on Friday, citing sources close to the investigation. Aside from cash, a whole collection of luxury wristwatches and other treasures were seized as well.

The funds were allegedly provided to the official and two of his accomplices by various banks and other businesses for “protection.”

“We believe these funds have been received for a general ‘patronage’ from representatives of several commercial firms, first of all from directors of banks,” a source told Rosbalt.

Трёх сотрудников ФСБ, включая полковника Кирилла Черкалина, посадил бизнесмен Сергей Гляделкин. Он обвинил сотрудников ФСБ в присвоении его фирмы. Черкалин не сдавался во время ареста и ему сломали руку и ходит в гипсе.

— Игорь Пачковский (@5pLoo0uwJdudGc2) 26 апреля 2019 г.

On Thursday, Colonel Cherkalin, who has served as the head of the FSB department on cyber security in the banking sphere, was charged with receiving a hefty bribe of $850 thousand (some 55 million rubles) from a commercial firm. Cherkalin and his two accomplices – both of them are retired FSB Colonels – were arrested earlier this year and remain in custody by court ruling.

If confirmed, the sum of 12 billion rubles will mark the largest-ever amount of cash, seized from a corrupt official in Russia. Prior to this, the dubious ‘record’ was held by police colonel, Dmitry Zakharchenko.

While holding a senior anti-corruption post, Zakharchenko managed to amass a whopping 8.5 billion rubles (some $ 131.5 million) in cash, allegedly extorting bribes from various businessmen. The hearings on the Zakharchenko case continue, earlier this week a prosecutor asked the court to sentence the former law enforcer to 15 and a half years behind bars.

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Think your friends would be interested?

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IMF Hands $4.2 Billion in Loans for Ecuador for Julian Assange – Global Research


22-04-19 08:53:00,

The evidence of political pressure on Ecuador is surfacing. The IMF Executive Board Approved US$4.2 Billion  (435% of quota and SDR 3.035 billion).

Extended Fund Facility for Ecuador. The Executive Board agreed to this arrangement with strings attached. The Board’s decision enables the immediate disbursement of US$652 million (equivalent to SDR 469,7 million, or 67.3 percent of Ecuador’s quota). This arrangement provides support for the Ecuadorean government’s economic policies over the next three years provided they gave up Julian Assange.

It is very interesting how corruption and bribes grease the world. Every person who ever becomes a whistleblower on government goes to prison.

The USA immediately unveiled its request for extradition on computer hacking charges that carry 5 years. Of course, the US must put on its case to get its hands around Julian’s neck. Once he is extradited to the USA, they will unleash a battery of other charges to ensure he does life.

The rumblings behind the curtain are that the Democrats in league with the Deep State are behind this, hoping to force Assange to say he got Hillary’s emails from Putin as part of a plea deal. The danger of all of this nonsense is simply the plain fact it will bring us one more step closer to world war. What is clearly involved here seems to be a highly coordinated scheme that links the IMF and throwing Chelsea Manning in prison who will conveniently have to testify against Assange who can be eventually charged as was Manning and face the death penalty. By linking this to Russia, they hope to also prevent Trump from granting him any pardons.

This is getting very deep. Tyranny under the Banner of Liberty & Human Rights.


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Martin Arthur Armstrong is the former chairman of Princeton Economics International Ltd. He is best known for his economic predictions based on the Economic Confidence Model, which he developed.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).

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Over $30 billion of Venezuela’s assets stolen on ‘Trump’s orders’ – official


25-03-19 10:30:00,

More than US$30 billion were illegally diverted from Venezuela in two months, the country’s communications and information minister has revealed, accusing the US of orchestrating the operation.

Around $1 billion of the stolen funds from national assets in international banks was transferred to the personal accounts of opposition leaders, according to Communications and Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez. The money is meant to finance “terrorist cells against the country,” he added.

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“They have resorted to stealing the assets that Venezuela holds in different banks. This money is being confiscated at the request of the [US President Donald] Trump administration. Over $30 billion has been stolen in the past couple of months,” Rodriguez said on Saturday as cited by VTV state television.

The scheme was allegedly coordinated by US-backed opposition leader and self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, as well as his key aids – Leopoldo Lopez, and the recently detained Roberto Marrero, among others. Information gathered from Marrero’s cell phone indicates that Venezuelan lawyer Juan Planchart received some part of the stolen money, according to the minister.

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Venezuela electricity crisis may ‘challenge’ global oil market – IEA

Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused “the devil’s puppet” Guaido of plotting his assassination. Earlier in March, he accused Washington of stealing $5 billion in Venezuelan funds allocated for buying substances necessary for medicine production and their delivery to hospitals and pharmacies.

The US has been tightening sanctions and economic pressure on Maduro’s government and openly calling for regime change, while pledging support to Guaido. Last week, the Treasury Department slapped the country with sanctions on state-run mining company Minerven and its head, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata. Other restrictions target the Venezuelan oil sector, which is crucial for the country to keep the economy afloat, as oil revenues account for about 98 percent of its export earnings.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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How $137 Billion Strangely Disappears


24-01-19 06:29:00,

Authored by Veronique de Rugy via The American Institute for Economic Research,

In fiscal year 2018, $137 billion was paid “improperly” by the federal government, according to a recent report. That number sums all the improper payments by what the government calls high-priority programs. They are programs with improper-payments estimates exceeding $2 billion annually.

If it makes your head spin, it should.

Always the optimist, I have tried hard to find some good news in this year’s number. I have been tracking such improper payments for a while, and I am happy to report that, while they grew dramatically between their FY2013 level ($106 billion) and FY2015 ($137 billion), they haven’t gone up since.

Now that’s where the good news stops, I am afraid. In 2015, the $137 billion was spread over 15 programs. The $137 billion in improper payments in 2018 is spread over 12 programs. In other words, each program’s improper payments have grown.

Now, not all of these improper payments are the result of fraudulent activities. Some of them, which include overpayments as well as underpayments, might result from clerical error, from an innocent failure to confirm that a recipient is eligible to receive the amount of money that is disbursed, or from any violation of federal guidelines or rules.

While that may not sound as bad, these are still large-scale mistakes, errors that Uncle Sam continues making year after year in all impunity.

Interestingly, although not surprisingly, most of the government’s “high-error programs” are social welfare programs, which are fairly well-known for having low administrative costs in part because of poor oversight. The highest dollar amount of improper payments comes fromMedicaid. The program registered $36.2 billion in improper payments, or almost 10 percent of the $370 billion paid out to beneficiaries in 2018 in total. Second-highest is Medicare’s fee-for-serviceprogram, with improper payments totaling $31.8 billion (or 8.12 percent of that program’s total payments). If you add the $15.6 billion in improper payments under Medicare Advantage (Part C)to the other two health care programs, you get 60 percent of all improper payments on the list.

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$4 Billion & Growing: U.S. Payouts for Vaccine Injuries & Deaths Keep Climbing | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda


25-11-18 09:38:00,

Published November 21, 2018


  • The Facts:The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid approximately $4 billion to families with vaccine injured children, and it’s continuing to grow. The act protects pharmaceutical companies from being held accountable and just compensates victims.
  • Reflect On:With all of the science, documented examples of scientific fraud and injury, why are vaccines still marketed as completely safe? There are multiple concerns to be addressed, so why are we told that “the science has spoken?” What’s going on here?

In most public health communications about vaccination, officials gloss over vaccine risks, dismissing any possible “side effects” as mild. However, vaccination programs have always resulted in more serious vaccine injuries for some. In the 1970s and early 1980s, for example, the diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) vaccine and its whole-cell pertussis component had chalked up so much vaccine damage that a television documentary likened receiving a DPT shot to playing “vaccine roulette.”

by Ole Dammegard

What happened in Iran changed his life. His entire world, his viewpoints and values were turned upside down and the emotional turbulence he experienced tore down his inner walls leaving him naked and vulnerable – like an open wound. After a tragic murder, the situation became unbearale for one of his Iranian friends, so he ventured everything to help him get away and together the mad a dramatic escape from Iran via former Soviet and East Germany in a desperate attempt to reach Sweden. This book is a true and emotional description of real people in improbable world full of conflicts. It opens doors and spreads light on another Iran, its people and also, not least, the political and social conditions in the country. It is permeated by passion and tension as well as human ideals such as non-violence, tolerance and love.

To preview the book click on the thumbnail below:
Buy the paperback here Buy the eBook here

After the DPT debacle began attracting widespread attention, vaccine manufacturers started pressuring Congress for protection from vaccine injury lawsuits. Congress obliged. In 1986, President Reagan signed into existence a radical piece of legislation—the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA)—which launched what the Act described as an “alternative remedy to judicial action for specified vaccine-related injuries.” A key component of the legislation involved creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP),

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277 Billion Reasons Why France Is So Worried About Italy’s Showdown With Brussels


02-11-18 11:18:00,

Authored by Don Quijones via,

…the French megabanks are on the hook!

France was just served with a stark reminder of an inconvenient truth: €277 billion of Italian government debt — the equivalent of 14% of French GDP — is owed to French banks. Given that Italy’s government is currently locked in an existential blinking match with both the European Commission and the ECB over its budget plan for 2019, this could be a big problem for France.

On Friday, France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, urged the commission to “reach out to Italy” after rejecting the country’s draft 2019 budget for breaking EU rules on public spending. Le Maire also conceded that while contagion in the Eurozone was definitely contained, the Eurozone “is not sufficiently armed to face a new economic or financial crisis.” As Maire well knows, a full-blown financial crisis in Italy would eventually spread to France’s economy, with French banks serving as the main transmission mechanism.

France isn’t the only Eurozone nation with unhealthy levels of exposure to Italian debt, although it is far and away the most exposed. According to the Bank of International Settlements, German lenders have €79 billion worth of exposure to Italian debt and Spanish lenders, €69 billion. In other words, taken together, the financial sectors of the largest, second largest and fourth largest economies in the Eurozone — Germany, France and Spain — hold over €415 billion of Italian debt on their balance sheets.

While the exposure of German lenders to Italian debt has waned over the last few years, that of French lenders has actually grown, belying the ECB’s long-held claim that its QE program would help reduce the level of interdependence between European sovereigns and banks.

If anything, the opposite has happened: thanks to the ECB’s tireless efforts to underpin the Eurozone’s bond markets (by doing “whatever it takes” to make sovereign bonds virtually risk-free), banks have been able to make a tidy margin by simply bulk-buying government bonds at officially zero risk.

A few years ago fiscally hawkish Eurozone countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland lobbied to put an end to this practice by removing the risk-free status of certain risk-prone sovereign bonds.

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Germany Has Made Over 3 Billion Profit From Greece’s Crisis Since 2010

Germany Has Made Over 3 Billion Profit From Greece’s Crisis Since 2010

22-06-18 10:52:00,

Germany has earned around 2.9 billion euros in profit from interest since the first bailout for Greece in 2010.

As KeepTalkingGreece reports, this is the official response of the Federal Government to a request submitted by the Green party in Berlin.

The profit was transmitted to the central Bundesbank and from there to the federal budget.

The revenues came mainly due to purchases of Greek government bonds under the so-called Securities Markets Program (SMP) of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Previous agreements between the government in Athens and the eurozone states foresaw that other states will pay out the profits from this program to Greece if  Athens would meet all the austerity and reform requirements. However, according to Berlin’s response, only in 2013 and 2014 such funds have been transferred to the Greek State and the ESM. The money to the euro bailout landed on a segregated account.

As the Federal Government announced, the Bundesbank achieved by 2017 about 3.4 billion euros in interest gains from the SMP purchases. In 2013, approximately 527 million euros were transferred back to Greece and around 387 million to the ESM in 2014. Therefore, the overall profit is 2.5 billion euros.

In addition, there are interest profits of 400 million euros from a loan from the state bank KfW.

“Contrary to all right-wing myths, Germany has benefited massively from the crisis in Greece,” said Greens household expert Sven Christian Kindler said and demanded a debt relief for Greece.

“It can not be that the federal government with billions of revenues from the Greek interest the German budget recapitalize,” Kindler criticized. “Greece has saved hard and kept its commitments, now the Eurogroup must keep its promise,” he stressed.

“Sorry, Angie, I couldn’t make more, yet 2.9billion is not bad profit either…”

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