July 13, 2012 archive

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RICO Money Laundering

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Because LIBOR Investor Fraud is so yesterday.

HSBC Reveals Problems With Internal Controls


July 12, 2012

The money laundering, which a U.S. Senate subcommittee indicates was linked to terrorism and drug deals, could result in HSBC’s paying fines of up to $1 billion, according to analysts.

In the case of the money laundering, the U.S. authorities have been examining HSBC for several years. On Tuesday, officials from the bank are set to testify in Washington before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. A subcommittee spokesman declined on Thursday to discuss the investigation, but the panel’s Web site describes the agenda: “a hearing on the money laundering and terrorist financing vulnerabilities created when a global bank uses its U.S. affiliate to provide U.S. dollars, U.S. dollar services, and access to the U.S. financial system to high risk affiliates, high risk correspondent banks, and high risk clients, using HSBC as a case study.”

Adding another political wrinkle: HSBC’s former chairman, Stephen Green, who was in office from 2006 to 2010 when many of the money-laundering detection problems occurred, is currently the trade minister in British prime minister David Cameron’s government. Mr. Green’s office did not reply to a request for comment on Thursday.

HSBC braced for huge U.S. penalty

By Sharlene Goff, Financial Times

July 12, 2012

HSBC is to apologise to US lawmakers for failing to have appropriate controls in place to ensure it did not facilitate the financing of terrorism and other criminal activities, transgressions that analysts estimate may cost it up to $1bn in fines.

Mr Gulliver warned that HSBC was likely to face further action from other US authorities in coming months.

HSBC said in its 2011 annual report that fines relating to money laundering issues could be “significant”. There has been speculation among analysts that the bank could be hit with a higher charge than the $619m ING, the Dutch bank, agreed to pay to settle accusations it violated US sanctions by helping Iranian and Cuban companies move billions of dollars through the US financial system. Some have suggested it could be as much as $1bn.

HSBC chief admits bank failed to control money laundering

Dominic Rushe, The Guardian

Wednesday 11 July 2012

In the memo, first reported by Bloomberg News, Gulliver said the hearing would “reveal that in the past we fell well short of the standards that our regulators, customers and investors expect”. He said: “It is right that we be held accountable and that we take responsibility for fixing what went wrong.”

Last month ING, the Dutch bank, paid $619m to settle accusations it helped Iranian and Cuban companies move billions of dollars through the US financial system in violation of US sanctions. Some analysts have suggested HSBC’s fine could be far higher.

William Black, professor of economics and law at University of Missouri Kansas City, said: “There is a theme developing in Washington that the City of London is evil, that it has a corrupt culture.”

He said that while the view might not be fair, the JP Morgan scandal, Libor and now HSBC meant it was a theme that was likely to be developed. “We like to blame someone else,” he said.


5 x Five – Colbert Report on America – Fourth of July (2:56)

On This Day In History July 13

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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July 13 is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 171 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1930, the first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July and were won by France and USA, who defeated Mexico 4-1 and Belgium 3-0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

Previous international competitions

The world’s first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home Championship, took place in 1884. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom. As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games.

After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were very early days for international football, and the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association (FA), England’s football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain (represented by the England national amateur football team) won the gold medals. They repeated the feat in 1912 in Stockholm, where the tournament was organised by the Swedish Football Association.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs (not national teams) from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, and featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team. Lipton invited West Auckland, an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title. They were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a “world football championship for amateurs”, and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world’s first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and won by Belgium. Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA’s professional era.

Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.

The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total thirteen nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

World Cups before World War II

After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States, as American football had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics, but was now overshadowed by the more prestigious World Cup.

The issues facing the early World Cup tournaments were the difficulties of intercontinental travel, and war. Few South American teams were willing to travel to Europe for the 1934 and 1938 tournaments, with Brazil the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions were cancelled due to World War II and its aftermath.

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Pollination 2

Le Tour de France 2012: Stage 11

The Tour de France 2012, the world’s premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the race will take its course briefly along the Northwestern coast of France through  Boulogne-sur-Mer, Abbeville and into Rouen then into the mountains of the Jura, Swiss Alps and the Pyrenees.

We will be Live Blogging Le Tour 2012 every morning at The Stars Hollow Gazette starting at 7:30 AM EDT. Come join us for a morning chat, cheer the riders and watch some of the most beautiful and historic countryside in Europe.

Albertville / La Toussuire – Les Sybelles 148 km

In the heart of the Alps, Albertville is situated in the Combe de Savoie on the verge of the Tarentaise, Beaufortain and the Val d’Arly, that gave it its nickname of the Crossroads of the four valleys. With its medieval city of Conflans, it is graced with a double label of Town of Art and History and Cycling Tourism Town which allows it to bridge the gap between heritage and sporting activities. So, don’t hesitate in visiting the town centre, bustling with its shops and welcoming sunlit terraces. Take a break in the Olympic Park and 20 years later, relive the emotion of the 1992 Winter Olympics at the foot of the mast made famous by Philippe Decoufle, the producer of the opening ceremony. Visit the Sarrazine Tower, the Red House, the Saint-Grat church or the Manuel de Locatel Castle. Albertville also opens its doors onto lakes and the surrounding mountains and offers a large choice of walks on foot or on bike. The proximity of Lake Annecy, the Bauges Nature Park, Beaufortain and the Tarentaise makes it an ideal base for taking a break and catching your breath.

Albertville is situated on the Arly River, close to the confluence with the Isère River. Its altitude is between 345 and 2,037 metres

The town was founded in 1836 by the Sardinian king Charles Albert. It also consists of the medieval town of Conflans, which has buildings dating back to the 14th century. Since then, Albertville has developed trade between France, Italy, and Switzerland; and industries such as paper mills and hydroelectricity can be found on its river.

In 2003, the town was labelled a “Town of art and history”.

La Toussuire – Les Sybelles

La Toussuire La Toussuire – Les Sybelles is a French linked ski area, located in the Savoie department in the Alps. It is one of the largest skiable domains in France. The ski station is also used regularly as the finish of cycle races including the Tour de France and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

La Toussuire has a head that turns. Perched on its plateau of alpine pastures it offers a 360 degree panorama on the majestic Aguilles d’Arves, the mountain passes of the Croix de Fer and of Glandon and the eternal glaciers. La Toussuire is the birthplace of Jean-Pierre Vidal, slalom gold medallist at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and Gabriel Rivas, junior French champion and is the doorway to the domaine of Sybelles. In the winter, its 310 kilometres of pistes, that form the largest ski area in Maurienne, connects six resorts, Le Corbier, Les Bottieres, Saint-Colomban-des-Villards, Saint-Jean-d’Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves and La Toussuire, to which has just been added the two 45 kms of the neighbouring resorts, Albiez-le-Jeune and Albiez-Montrond. When summer returns, nature is more gentle: you can recharge your batteries in the sun, take in the pure water of the mountains, breathe in the fresh air, go mountain biking or walk on pedestrian trails. The climb towards La Toussuire and the surrounding passes make up one of the largest cycling areas in the world, the Maurienne Valley.

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