Lagarde and Carney let fire at financial sector

From the IMF down, stark warnings of No Progress.

The Bankers will NOT change unless forced by hard regulation.

Financial Times
By Sarah O’Connor,
Emily Cadman
and Sharlene Goff
27 May 2014

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has warned that “a fierce industry pushback” by the financial sector is delaying much-needed reforms and risks destabilising the global economy.

Speaking at a London conference on inclusive capitalism, Ms Lagarde said progress on building a safer financial system had been “too slow”, primarily because of industry attempts to halt the introduction of tougher new rules.

She also hit out at continued misconduct in financial services and said the industry had “not changed fundamentally in a number of dimensions since the crisis”, reeling off a list of scandals including money laundering and the manipulation of benchmarks such as Libor.

“Some prominent firms have even been mired in scandals that violate the most basic ethical norms,” said Ms Lagarde.

“While some changes in behaviour are taking place, these are not deep or broad enough. The industry still prizes short-term profit over long-term prudence, today’s bonus over tomorrow’s relationship.”

Her comments were echoed by Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, who warned that “unbridled faith in financial markets” before the crisis, rising inequality and recent “demonstrations of corruption” had damaged the “social fabric”.

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Int'l Arrest Warrants Sought for Israeli Commandos Over Raid on Gaza Flotilla

Is the world finally waking up? Israel, under their American umbrella, has pirated the seas, committed genocide in Palestine and manipulated America into so many self seeking Middle East transgressions. Any wake up call by the West to deal with this Kazakh Rogue Nation is a good thing.

A woman holds a placard showing the Mavi Marmara. Turkish text reads: 'Israel on trial.' (Photo: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation via flickr)

  • Turkish court orders arrests for deadly 2010 attack on Mavi Marmara

Common Dreams
By Andrea Germanos
26 May 2014

A Turkish court on Monday ordered arrest warrants for four former Israeli military commanders for their role in a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ship.

In addition to ordering their arrests, the court requested Interpol Red Notices for the men.

That attack on the Mavi Marmara, which Institute for Policy Studies fellow Phyllis Bennis described as a "pirate-style assault on [an] unarmed flotilla of ships carrying hundreds of humanitarian aid workers and 10,000 tons of supplies for the besieged Gaza Strip," killed 10 human rights activists and wounded many others.

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Why Everything You've Read About Ukraine Is Wrong

Again, media spin deters truth on Ukraine. What is the reality?

19 May 2014

This article is by Vladimir Golstein, a professor of Slavic studies at Brown University. He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1979.

The mainstream American media has taken a nearsighted view of the Ukrainian crisis by following a script laid out by the State Department. Most reports have either ignored the truth or spun it in a way that paints only a partial picture. Here are seven things you should know about Ukraine.

1. Regardless of claims by some commentators like Forbes contributor Greg Sattell, the divisions in Ukraine are real, and violence unleashed by the Kiev regime is polarizing the nation further. While the differences between the Ukrainian west and the more Russian-facing rest of the country are widely acknowledged, what tends to be overlooked is that the culture, language, and political thinking of western Ukraine have been imposed upon the rest of Ukraine. Ostensibly this is for the sake of “unifying the country,” but in fact the objective has been to put down and humiliate Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population. The radical nationalists of western Ukraine, for whom the rejection of Russia and its culture is an article of faith, intend to force the rest of the country to fit their narrow vision. Western and eastern Ukraine do not understand each other’s preoccupations, just as Cubans in Miami and Cubans in Havana would not understand each other. Ukrainian conflict is not the conflict between the “pro-Russian separatists” and “pro-Ukrainians,” but rather between two Ukrainian groups who do not share each other’s vision of an independent Ukraine.

Western Ukraine was joined to Russia only during Stalin’s era. For centuries it was under the cultural, religious, and/or political control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Poland. Hating Soviet occupation, western Ukrainian nationalists viewed Stalin as a much greater villain than Hitler, so that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists aligned themselves with Nazis and, led by their radical leader Stepan Bandera, proceeded to rid their land of other ethnic groups, including Poles and Jews.

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China and Russia sign $400bn gas deal

Here you have it all. Historic, the day the US fell of a cliff.

Financial Times
By Lucy Hornby,
Jamil Anderlini
and Guy Chazan
21 May 2014

China and Russia have clinched a $400bn gas supply deal that provides Moscow with a crucial new export market and stronger ties with its eastern neighbour as Europe attempts to reduce its reliance on Russian supplies.

The agreement, struck in Shanghai on Wednesday by Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart president Xi Jinping comes after 10 years of negotiations and marks an important breakthrough for the Kremlin vilified by the west over its role in the crisis in Ukraine.

Under the deal, Russia’s Gazprom will supply China National Petroleum Corp, China’s largest oil company, with up to 38bn cubic metres of gas a year for 30 years, beginning in 2018. Mr Putin said it was the “largest contract in the history of the gas sector of the former USSR”.

Although Gazprom said there was an agreement on the base price, some of the conditions are yet to be agreed. Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, said an intergovernmental deal, to be negotiated by the end of the year, would confirm that both countries would effectively subside the contract through tax exemptions.

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The Pentagon Is Building a $44-Million EMP Bunker in Alaska

Now they realize Russia and China can and will fry their missiles. So what if it's war - Before?

Medium | War is boring
By Robert Beckhusen
22 May 2014

Fort Greely, Alaska is home to one of America’s two domestic missile defense bases. Now it’s getting armored against high-altitude electromagnetic energy attacks—like the kind emitted from nuclear blasts.

It’s a far-fetched scenario, but the Pentagon is spending millions on a bunker designed to protect against exactly that. According to contract documents from the Army Corps of Engineers, the military plans to spend $44 million on an “HEMP-protected” bunker housing the base’s missile launch control systems.

By HEMP, the contract is referring to high-altitude electromagnetic pulses. The base at Fort Greely houses anti-ballistic missile interceptors stored in silos, and can also control and direct interceptors fired from a similar site at Vandenberg Air Force base in California.

It’s worth noting the money is pocket change compared to the $41 billion the Pentagon is spending on its ground-based mid-course defense program through 2017. The plan calls for installing dozens of missile interceptors in Alaska and California.

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