Greek banks continue to struggle beneath the onerous burden of financial debt imposed by their left-leaning welfarist government and as such are teetering on the brink of insolvency.1 Despite a slew of highly restrictive capital controls and out-of-the-blue "bank holidays" designed to maintain some modest levels of liquidity in the face of branch and ATM queues across the country, the condition of Greece's banks is less than ideal and quite possibly insufficient for long-term survival. Continue reading
Reports are coming in that five "high-level cybercriminal" suspects have been arrested for "cybercrime" related to the ZeuS1 and SpyEye2 malware programs. After eight house searches were conducted across four different European cities, the Joint Investigation Team,3 supported by Europol and Eurojust, took down this "very active criminal group" that is allegedly responsible for infecting consumer and banking computers with Trojans. By infecting target machines, harvesting bank credentials, and compromising bank account information, the unnamed members of the group were able to make off with upwards of EUR 2 million. Continue reading
Last Friday, Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a televised statement calling for a referendum on whether to accept the latest bailout deal offered by creditors. There were over 500 million euros withdrawn from ATMs on Saturday, with around 35% of ATMs running out of cash and being restocked at some point during the day. Continue reading
The City University of New York at their latest Board of Trustees meeting has confirmed Paul Krugman's appointment as a "Distinguished Professor" at their Luxemborg Income Study Center. Krugman's work in the field of "Income Study" brings him 225,000 United States Dollars annually including a special 28,594 United States Dollar "honorarium" as a "Distinguished Professor" for serving in this part time position which Krugman hold on top of his primary job as a New York Times columnist. CUNY, an institution funded by New York City taxpayers, will be funnelling Krugman, a noted socialist and fan of inflationary monetary policy, this supplementary bezzle income indefinitely into the future.
Carl Mark Force IV, formerly of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration has reportedly entered an agreement to plead guilty charges stemming from his theft of Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace. This plea agreement follows that of Shaun Bridges who was charged the same day as Force IV in an unrelated case of theft from the Silk Road. Force IV is expected to enter his guilty plea formally in court on July 1st, 2015. Working for a venture called CoinMKT Force IV further committed theft from one of that firm's customers by freezing the customer's account balance and repossessing the value for himself. Force IV converted most of his stolen and extorted Bitcoin value to the local currency of the United States and had the local currency wired to bank accounts under his control adding to the evidence prosecutors were able to use to damn Force IV.
In response to the UK Treasury’s call for information on digital currencies last November, MasterCard has submitted a letter in which asks for more regulation of cryptocurrencies. From the original text: Continue reading
Reports are coming in that HSBC, the third largest bank in the world and one of the most profitable, in a marked attempt to tighten its belt in the face of regulatory and economic pressures, is preparing to hand out pink slips to some 50,000 of its employees from its less profitable divisions.
With a particular focus on Britain, Brazil, the United States, Turkey, and Mexico, CEO Stuart Gulliver plans to cut $290 billion in assets on a risk adjusted basis by 2017. The cuts will be sharp and deep, with a full one-sixth of UK staff, around 7,000 – 8,000 jobs, headed for the chopping block. Redundant staff and other non-productive assets from Europe and the Americas will largely be redeployed as the firm continues to shift its focus towards Asia in general and China in particular.
It would appear that the current state of the world, what with the digitisation of finance as heralded by Bitcoin and the excessive regulatory burden and generally grim economic prospects of western socialist democracies, is even leading HSBC to consider moving its headquarters back to Honk Kong, where the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation was originally established in 1865 by Sir Thomas Sutherland.
Given that Hong Kong is taking a considerably lighter and hands-off approach to Bitcoin regulation, whereas Britain and others are doing everything in their power to stave off the inevitable, the former British colony would seem to be a safer and saner home for the bank. For now.
Erwin Speckert was sentenced to three years of prison after a money laundering conviction derived from his arrest while boarding a Greyhound bus with $1.3 million Canadian Dollars in his backpack. Speckert plead guilty back in October and the sentence was arranged this week through agreement between the prosecution and defense lawyers. Speckert had requested his security screening be done in private due to the sensitivity and value of his backpack's contents and after he was assured by the private security officer who screened him that taking that much cash on him was kosher, the private security officer phoned police who assert Speckert consented to a second search conducted by them. Police further assert that Speckert was determined by their investigation to be working as a courier for "illegal gaming" operators. Speckert throughout his time consenting to security searches at the bus station asserted he intended to purchase real estate and was conveying cash in this manner as he reasonably did not trust banks.
Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1999 through 2007, was indicted today on charges of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid mandatory bank reporting and lying about the purpose of the withdrawals to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hastert is alleged to have made the cash withdrawals to "compensate for and conceal" some past transgression against an unnamed individual which ended with Hastert and the other party reaching a privately negotiated settlement. Prior to his career in politics Hastert was a teacher at Yorkville High School in Illinois where he additionally coached wrestling and football. Continue reading
The United States Internal Revenue Service has now confirmed that a March 30th report by Brian Krebs where he revealed an online portal operated by the IRS for disseminating tax transcripts had been leaking personal information and tax records to parties who ought not to have been authorized to view them. According to the the IRS more than one hundred thousand records were accessed in this manner. This news follows an epic volume of falsified tax returns filed this year sending tax overpayments to fraudsters to the point where major tax preparation companies had to stop handling state tax returns. The gravity of this leak's potential impact on the tenth of a million affected persons can not be underestimated considering the manner in which the fiat state handles identity: Continue reading