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Struggling Caribbean Islands Selling Citizenship

indiatimes.com | KINGSTON, JAMAICA: Hadi Mezawi has never set foot on the Caribbean island of Dominica, has never seen its rainforests or black-sand beaches. But he's one of its newest citizens.

Without leaving his home in the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian man recently received a brand new Dominican passport after sending a roughly $100,000 contribution to the tropical nation half a world away. 

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Economics
  • Hits: 9565

Hank Greenberg: 'Geithner & Paulson Smelled Blood In The Water'

dailybail.com | How did it all come apart so quickly? Here are the pieces Mr. Greenberg says he sees falling into place. In 2005, a trade group called the International Swaps and Derivatives Association got together and drafted new standards for the kinds of credit default swaps AIG had been writing.

Previously, Mr. Greenberg explains, losses to the underlying securities were paid off at maturity. Now, cash payments would have to be forthcoming to cover any drop in value or credit downgrades even before any losses were realized.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Economics
  • Hits: 15220

Currency Wars Return, 1930s Style

investmentwatchblog.com | The balance of power now rests with Japan, according to the bank, as Japan’s policy-makers’ more dovish approach looks set to bring the world a step closer to a currency war.

The Bank of Japan doubled its inflation target to 2 percent in January and made an open-ended commitment to continue buying assets from next year. This follows a leadership change, with new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe openly calling for aggressive monetary stimulus from the country’s central bank.

“While a currency war is not our base case, the new-found commitment of Japan’s policy-makers does raise the risk of retaliatory action to keep the yen weak,” he said.

“The experience of the 1930s suggests to us that such large currency crises are likely triggered by domestic issues, and that they do create distinct winners and losers. EM (emerging market) policy-makers are already gearing up to make sure they remain on the winning side, but the balance of power for now rests with Japan.”

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Economics
  • Hits: 9569

IRS Budget Woes, Shrinking Staff Threaten to Derail Agency

federalnewsradio.com | As the Internal Revenue Service prepares to enter tax season full-bore, the agency is faced with a tightened budget, a shrinking workforce and an ever-more complex and increasing workload.

That combination, along with leadership changes at the top of agency, threatens to upend the gains IRS has made over the past few years to better manage its workforce, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an agency watchdog.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Economics
  • Hits: 9818

Iceland wins legal battle over failed bank

euronews.com |(video) Iceland has won a legal battle over its reponsibilities to British and Dutch savers who lost money when an online savings bank collapsed.

The European Free Trade Association court said Iceland did not have to guarantee minimum levels of compensation when Icesave went bust.

Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, the country’s prime minister said: “It is quite clear that this judgement will add force to the economic rebuilding in Iceland. Possibly the ratings agencies will revise their results. This will also have a positive influence on the lifting of capital controls.”

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Economics
  • Hits: 10667

US Taps Pension Fund to Avoid Passing Debt Limit

Yahoo.com | WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the government has begun borrowing from the federal employee pension fund to keep operating without surpassing its debt limit.

Geithner says in a letter to congressional leaders that the move will free up $156 billion in borrowing authority while Congress debates increasing the $16.4 trillion debt limit.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Economics
  • Hits: 8805