On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
Two Americans charged with helping former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee trial in Japan a year-and-a-half ago are now set to appear at their own hearing at the Tokyo District Court on Monday.
Michael Taylor, 60, and Peter Taylor, 28, have been charged with helping Ghosn illegally escape Japan in December 2019, where he was facing charges of financial misconduct. The former executive, who has denied prosecutors’ accusations of understating income and using company funds for personal use, was smuggled out of Japan in a case for audio equipment and ended up in Beirut, where he currently resides. Continue reading “Article: Alleged Accomplices in Ghosn Escape Set to Appear in Tokyo Court”
Toshiba’s top executives once wrote in an email asking government officials to “defeat” hedge funds. Demand reported in an independent survey of shareholder consignments shows why shareholder activists rarely succeed in Japan.
However loudly U.S. politicians vow to compete with China, they seem happy to quit the field and let Beijing win in one crucial area: trade. If President Joe Biden hopes to build a coalition in Asia to counterbalance China’s rise, he can’t afford such defeatism.
U.S. allies such as Japan are especially eager to see the U.S. join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) — the 11-nation free-trade agreement that in its original form was intended to cement U.S. ties to Asia. Yet administration officials continue to dodge questions about the deal. At the same time, according to Bloomberg News, China has begun exploratory talks on its own possible accession. Continue reading “Article: The U.S. Shouldn’t Let China Take the Lead on Trade”
HONG KONG — Suncity Group, the Macao-based gambling company, has pulled out of the running for rights to run a casino resort in Japan.
The group is the biggest junket agency in Macao, bringing in high rollers from China and other countries to wager millions in VIP rooms it operates inside other companies’ casinos in the world’s largest betting hub and elsewhere. Through listed arm Suncity Group Holdings, it also runs its own casino resorts near Hoi An, Vietnam and Vladivostok, Russia and is building another in Manila’s Entertainment City gambling zone. Continue reading “Article: Macao gambling group retreats from Japan bid amid controversies”
Jung Eui-Jung, a former South Korean bank employee, recalls his bitter experience as a novice stock trader more than a decade ago, when he lost Won25m ($22,000) after the small metal group he invested in was delisted.
“It is the past that I want to forget. Back then, I didn’t have much access to information. I was bound to lose in an environment tilted against amateur traders,” said the 62-year-old head of the Korean Stockholders’ Alliance, an advocacy group that represents about 44,000 retail investors.
But the tables have turned over the past year as retail investors have emerged as the dominant force in South Korea’s $2tn stock market, accounting for almost 60 per cent of daily turnover. With that heft, amateur traders have become a political force, seeking to even the odds against professional investors.
Mom-and-pop investors bought a net Won63.9tn of Korean shares last year, compared with a net sale of Won5.5tn in 2019. That helped propel the benchmark Kospi index up 118 per cent following a coronavirus-driven sell-off last March, making it one of the best-performing markets globally.
Almost one-fifth of Korea’s population of 52m dabbles in stocks, and data showed local brokerages have amassed Won76tn in cash deposits.
“The market dynamic is changing fast with individual investors becoming a powerful force that even hedge funds should be afraid of,” said Albert Yong, managing director at Petra Capital Management, a Seoul-based investment firm.
America’s decision to place India on its currency manipulator’s watchlist is ludicrous. The US Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates ultra-low, along with America’s allies in Europe and Japan, is responsible for both the dollar’s plunge and surging flows of capital to emerging markets, like India, in search of reasonable returns. These capital inflows make the rupee appreciate out of line with real economy concerns. Seen from India’s perspective, the US should be pointing fingers at itself when it comes to currency manipulation.
The US uses three benchmarks to judge currency manipulators: a bilateral surplus with the US of over $20 billion, a current account surplus of at least 3% of GDP and net purchases of foreign currency of 2% of GDP over a 12-month period. India met the first and the third benchmarks while its current account surplus has been below the threshold level. The country has a marginal current account surplus due to the Covid-induced economic contraction that dented imports. Else, India consistently has run a current account deficit (barring in 2004). Continue reading “Article: Who’s manipulating the currency, US?”
Japan is on the ‘monitor’ list having satisfied 2 of the 3 US criteria, along with other countries. You can find more on the report here:
US drops Switzerland and Vietnam from FX manipulator designation status
But, says Mizuho, the focus is not on the yen but rather on emerging economies:
The move will add to similar controls put in place since August 2016, first on extreme gyrations in equities and a year later on derivative products. They followed a series of events that provoked regulatory probes into market misconduct such as price manipulation and pump-and-dump scandals.
“The volatility control mechanism (VCM) has worked as intended without any negative feedback from the market,” said Tom Chan Pak-lam, chairman of Hong Kong Institute of Securities Dealers, the local brokerage industry body. “In many cases, sharp and sudden price movements were smoothed out as the cooling-off periods allowed participants to react while trading continued.”
Matt Scuffham, Elizabeth Dilts Marshall, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, 31 March 2021
NEW YORK/ZURICH (Reuters) -While banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank were able to exit their trades with Archegos Capital relatively unscathed, Credit Suisse and Nomura have been burned in the fire sale.
The blowup of the Archegos fund, a family office run by former Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, is still reverberating across the financial system, with global banks so far standing to lose more than $6 billion.
CONCORD, NH – Free Keene leader Ian Freeman isn’t getting out of prison pending trial on federal money laundering charges after Judge Andrea Johnstone found he is a flight risk, and he poses a risk to the community.
Part of the allegations against Freeman is that he was laundering money through his Bitcoin business and Shire Free Church that criminal scammers got through various crimes. Johnston writes that Freeman knew for years his business was under investigation and that did not stop him from allegedly doing more harm. Continue reading “Article: Freeman considered flight risk, remains locked up”