Category Archives: Personal Opinion

Anchor Opinion (FT) Liberalism’s most brilliant enemy is back in vogue – Gideon Rachman

Anchor Opinion

Disgusting but not to be ignored in order to be prepared to fight it.

This revival of interest in the ideas of Carl Schmitt, “the crown jurist of the Third Reich”is certainly not a good omen in the strange World with no values we live in. 

As the Medieval Catholic formula for exorcism says,(recorded in a 1415 manuscript found in the Benedictine Metten Abbey in Bavaria), VADE RETRO SATANA!

(Go back, Satan or Step back, Satan)!

Nazis ?

Over my dead body!

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira





(FT) Liberalism’s most brilliant enemy is back in vogue

Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt appeals to opponents of democracy and the rule of law
Gideon Rachman

https://www.ft.com/content/bc9c69fe-14da-11e9-a581-4ff78404524e

P.O. (FT) Juncker makes late bid to avert no-deal Brexit

In the FT:
 


Juncker makes late bid to avert no-deal Brexit

European president works with May to prevent ‘catastrophic’ vote result


P.O.

I would argue that the European Union, which has all the ticks of an imperialist dictatorship, should have thought of this, before imposing to the UK a deal, and such an horrible one, that even a child can figure out how bad and unjust it is.

The truth of the matter is that the EU is trying to show how painfull and costly it is to leave the EU…

Just to discourage all the other EU Member States that are flirting with the idea of leaving the Union.

Just look at the pressure the UE has been aplying to Switzerland (which is not a EU Member State, but has a lot of agreements with the EU) over the past few years…

Fortunately Switzerland is a Direct Democracy in which its citizens vote on everything in Sunday referendums.

And when the Swiss citizens vote it’s final!

And you know what…?

Against a Direct Democracy the non elected Eurocrats headed by Mr Junker, known to enjoy alcool a bit too much, can do nothing.

No one can defeat Democracy in the long run.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/267224-democracy-is-the-worst-form-of-government-except-for-all


Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

― Winston S. Churchill

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

In Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Switzerland


Politics of Switzerland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to search

Switzerland is a semi-direct democratic federal republic. The federal legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Federal Assembly, the National Council and the Council of States. The Federal Council holds the executive power and is composed of seven power-sharing Federal Councillors elected by the Federal Assembly. The judicial branch is headed by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, whose judges are elected by the Federal Assembly.

Switzerland has a tradition of direct democracy. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory (mandatory referendum); for any change in a law, a referendum can be requested (optional referendum). In addition, the people may present a constitutional popular initiative to introduce amendments to the federal constitution. The people also assume a role similar to the constitutional court, which does not exist, and thus act as the guardian of the rule of law.

Cantonal and municipal politics vary in the different cantons, which may have different systems. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Switzerland as “full democracy” in 2016.[1]

Contents

Direct representation[edit]

See also: Voting in Switzerland

Switzerland features a system of government not seen in any other nation: direct representation, sometimes called half-direct democracy (this may be arguable, because theoretically, the Sovereign of Switzerland is actually its entire electorate).[2] Referenda on the most important laws have been used since the 1848 constitution.

Amendments to the Federal Constitution of Switzerland, the joining of international organizations, or changes to federal laws that have no foundation in the constitution but will remain in force for more than one year must be approved by the majority of both the people and the cantons, a double majority.

Any citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by parliament. If that person is able to gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority of the voters whether to accept or reject the law.[3]

Also, any citizen may seek a decision on an amendment they want to make to the constitution. For such a federal popular initiative to be organised, the signatures of 100,000 voters must be collected within 18 months.[4] Such a federal popular initiative is formulated as a precise new text (general proposal initiatives have been canceled in 2009[5]) whose wording can no longer be changed by parliament and the government. After a successful signature gathering, the federal council may create a counterproposal to the proposed amendment and put it to vote on the same day as the original proposal. Such counter-proposals are usually a compromise between the status quo and the wording of the initiative. Voters will decide in a national vote whether to accept the initiative amendment, the counter proposal put forward by the government if any, or both. If both are accepted, one has to additionally signal a preference. Initiatives (that are of constitutional level) have to be accepted by a double majority of both the popular votes and a majority of the cantons, while counter-proposals may be of legislative level and hence require only simple majority.

Federal level[edit]

Federalism refers to a vertical separation of powers. The aim is to avoid the concentration of power in a forum, which allows a moderation of state power and the easing of the duties of the federal state.

In Switzerland, it is above all a matter of designating the independence of the cantons vis-à-vis the Confederation.

Executive branch[edit]

Main articles: Swiss Federal Council and Federal administration of SwitzerlandSee also: List of members of the Swiss Federal Council and List of Presidents of the Swiss Confederation

The Swiss Federal Council is a seven-member executive council that heads the federal administration, operating as a combination cabinet and collective presidency. Any Swiss citizen eligible to be a member of the National Council can be elected;[6] candidates do not have to register for the election, or to actually be members of the National Council. The Federal Council is elected by the Federal Assembly for a four-year term. Present members are: Doris Leuthard (CVP/PDC), Guy Parmelin (SVP/UDC), Ueli Maurer (SVP/UDC), Ignazio Cassis (FDP/PRD), Simonetta Sommaruga (SP/PS), Johann Schneider-Ammann (FDP/PRD) and Alain Berset (SP/PS).

The largely ceremonial President and Vice President of the Confederation are elected by the Federal Assembly from among the members of the Federal Council for one-year terms that run concurrently. The President has almost no powers over and above his or her six colleagues, but undertakes representative functions normally performed by a president or prime minister in single-executive systems. The current (As of 2018[update]) President and Vice President are Alain Berset and Ueli Maurer, respectively.

The Swiss executive is one of the most stable governments worldwide. Since 1848, it has never been renewed entirely at the same time, providing a long-term continuity. From 1959 to 2003 the Federal Council was composed of a coalition of all major parties in the same ratio: 2 each from the Free Democratic PartySocial Democratic Party and Christian Democratic People’s Party and 1 from the Swiss People’s Party. Changes in the council occur typically only if one of the members resigns (merely four incumbent members were voted out of the office in over 150 years);[7] this member is almost always replaced by someone from the same party (and often also from the same linguistic group).

The Federal Chancellor is the head of the Federal Chancellery, which acts as the general staff of the Federal Council. The Chancellery is divided into three distinct sectors. The Chancellor is the formal head of the Federal Chancellor Sector, comprising the planning & strategy section, the Internal Services section, the political rights section, the federal crisis management training unit of the Federal Administration, and the Records and Process Management section.

Two sectors are headed by the Vice-Chancellors: the Federal Council sector manages the agenda of the Federal Council’s meeting. This sector comprises the Section for Federal Council Affairs, the Legal Section, the Official Publications Centre and the Central Language Services. The Information & Communications Sector is led by Vice-Chancellor André Simonazzi, this role also has expanded to become the official spokesman for the Federal Council in 2000. This sector includes the e-Government Section, the Communication Support Section and the Political Forum of the Confederation.

The Swiss government has been a coalition of the four major political parties since 1959, each party having a number of seats that roughly reflects its share of electorate and representation in the federal parliament. The classic distribution of 2 CVP/PDC, 2 SPS/PSS, 2 FDP/PRD and 1 SVP/UDC as it stood from 1959 to 2003 was known as the “magic formula“.[7]

This “magic formula” has been repeatedly criticised: in the 1960s, for excluding leftist opposition parties; in the 1980s, for excluding the emerging Green party; and particularly after the 1999 election, by the People’s Party, which had by then grown from being the fourth largest party on the National Council to being the largest. In the elections of 2003, the People’s Party received (effective January 1, 2004) a second seat in the Federal Council, reducing the share of the Christian Democratic Party to one seat.

Legislative branch[edit]

The Federal Palace, in Bern, hosts the Federal Assembly and the Federal Council.

Switzerland has a bicameral parliament called the Federal Assembly, which is composed by:

  • the Council of States (46 seats, 2 seats per canton, except for six cantons which only have 1), also known as the upper chamber
  • the National Council (200 seats, split between the cantons based on population), also known as the lower chamber

The Federal Assembly convenes to elect the members of the Federal Council. The two chambers are equal (perfect bicameralism). This power-sharing system serves to avoid monopolization of federal politics by more populated cantons to the detriment of smaller and rural cantons.

Members of both houses serve for 4 years and only serve as members of parliament part-time (so-called “Milizsystem” or Citizen legislature).[8]

Political parties and elections[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2016)

For other political parties, see List of political parties in Switzerland. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Switzerland.

Switzerland has a rich party landscape. The five parties represented in the Federal Council are generally called the government parties: Free Democratic PartySocial Democratic PartyChristian Democratic PartySwiss People’s Party, and Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland.

As of 2011 only the five government parties were represented in the Council of States. In the National Council the party landscape is more diverse with six non-government parties having at least one seat.Main article: Swiss federal election, 2011

PartiesAbbr.AlignmentIdeologyVotes[9]%+/– (%)Seats%+/– (seats)
Swiss People’s PartySVP/UDCRight wingNational conservatism648,67526.6−2.35427−8
Social Democratic PartySPS/PSSCentre-left/Left-wingSocial democracy457,31718.7+0.84623.0+3
FDP.The LiberalsFDP/PLRCentre-rightClassical liberalism368,95115.1−0.73015.0−1
Christian Democratic People’s PartyCVP/PDCCentre/Centre-rightChristian democracy300,54412.3−2.22814.0−3
Green PartyGPS/PESLeft wingGreen politics205,9848.4−1.2157.5−5
Green Liberal PartyGLP/PVLCentreGreen liberalism131,4365.4+4.0126.0+9
Conservative Democratic PartyBDP/PBDCentre-rightConservatism / Economic liberalism132,2795.4+5.494.5+9
Evangelical People’s PartyEVP/PEVCentreChristian democracy48,7892.0−0.421.0±0
Ticino LeagueLdTRight wingRegionalism / Right-wing populism19,6570.8+0.221.0+1
Geneva Citizens’ MovementMCGRight wingRegionalism / Right-wing populism10,7140.4+0.310.5+1
Federal Democratic UnionEDU/UDFRight wingChristian right31,0561.3±000−1
Party of LabourPdALeft wingSocialism21,4820.5−0.200−1
Christian Social PartyCSP/PCSCentre-leftChristian left6,2480.3-0.100-1
Other54,6222.210.5+1
Total (turnout 48.5%)2,442,648200
Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office (in French) Statistics Switzerland (in German)
PartiesIdeology2007Seats±
Christian Democratic People’s Party (CVP/PDC)Christian democracy1513-2
FDP.The Liberals (FDP/PRD)Classical liberalism1211-1
Social Democratic Party (SPS/PSS)Social democracy911+2
Swiss People’s Party (SVP/UDC)National conservatism75-2
Green Party (GPS/PES)Green politics22±0
Green Liberal Party (GLP/VL)Green liberalism12+1
Conservative Democratic Party (BDP/PBD)Conservatism / Economic liberalismNew1+1
IndependentIndependent01+1
Total4646
Source: http://www.politik-stat.ch/srw2011CH_de.html

Judicial branch[edit]

Switzerland has a Federal Supreme Court, with judges elected for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly. The function of the Federal Supreme Court is to hear appeals of cantonal courts or the administrative rulings of the federal administration. Switzerland does not have a Constitutional Court, and the Supreme Court cannot comment on law put forward by the parliament. This role is assumed by the people, which acts as a guardian and can repeal any legislation or constitutional change.

Cantonal level[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

Main article: List of cantonal executives of Switzerland

Legislative branch[edit]

Main article: List of cantonal legislatures of Switzerland

Political conditions[edit]

Political positions of the Swiss political parties based on their referendum voting recommendations, 1985-90 and 2010-14

Switzerland has a stable government. Most voters support the government in its philosophy of armed neutrality underlying its foreign and defense policies. Domestic policy poses some major problems, to the point that many observers deem that the system is in crisis[10] but the changing international environment has generated a significant reexamination of Swiss policy in key areas such as defense, neutrality, and immigration. Quadrennial national elections typically produce only marginal changes in party representation.

In recent years, Switzerland has seen a gradual shift in the party landscape. The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), traditionally the junior partner in the four-party coalition government, more than doubled its voting share from 11.0% in 1987 to 22.5% in 1999, rising to 28.9% in 2007, thus overtaking its three coalition partners. This shift in voting shares put a strain on the “magic formula“, the power-broking agreement of the four coalition parties. From 1959 until 2004, the seven-seat cabinet had comprised 2 Free Democrats, 2 Christian Democrats, 2 Social Democrats, and 1 Swiss People’s Party, but in 2004, the Swiss People’s Party took one seat from the Christian Democrats. In 2008 the Conservative Democratic Party split from the SVP, taking both of their Federal Council seats with them. However, the SVP eventually retook both seats, in 2009 and 2015 respectively.[11]

The Swiss Federal Constitution limits federal influence in the formulation of domestic policy and emphasizes the roles of private enterprise and cantonal government. However, in more recent times the powers of the Confederation have increased with regard to educationagriculturehealthenergy, the environmentorganized crime, and narcotics.[citation needed]

The Index of perception of corruption puts Switzerland among the least corrupt nations. In the 2005 survey, Switzerland ranks 7th (out of 158 surveyed), with 9.1 out of 10 possible points, representing an improvement of 0.4 points over the past four years.

Together with seven other European nations, Switzerland leads the 2005 index on Freedom of the Press published by Reporters Without Borders (with a score 0.5 points, zero being the perfect score).

Foreign relations[edit]

Main article: Foreign relations of Switzerland

Switzerland has avoided alliances that might entail military, political, or direct economic action. In June 2001, Swiss voters approved new legislation providing for the deployment of armed Swiss troops for international peacekeeping missions under United Nations or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe auspices as well as international cooperation in military training. The Swiss have broadened the scope of activities in which they feel able to participate without compromising their neutrality.

Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served as a neutral intermediary and host to major international treaty conferences. The country has no major disputes in its bilateral relations.

Energy politics[edit]

The emergency switch-off button of the Beznau Nuclear Power Plant. In 2011, the federal authorities decided to gradually phase out nuclear power in Switzerland.See also: Energy in Switzerland and Nuclear power in Switzerland

The energy generated in Switzerland comprises 55.2% hydroelectricity, 39.9% from nuclear power, about 4% from conventional sources and about 1% other.

On May 18, 2003, two referenda regarding the future of nuclear power in Switzerland were held. The referendum Electricity Without Nuclear asked for a decision on a nuclear power phase-out and Moratorium Plus asked about an extension of an existing law forbidding the building of new nuclear power plants. Both were turned down: Moratorium Plus by a margin of 41.6% for and 58.4% opposed, and Electricity Without Nuclear by a margin of 33.7% for and 66.3% opposed. The former ten-year moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants was the result of a federal popular initiative voted on in 1990 which had passed with 54.5% Yes vs. 45.5% No votes (see Nuclear power in Switzerland for details).

In May 2011, due to the Fukushima accident in Japan, the Swiss government decided to abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors. The country’s five existing reactors will be allowed to continue operating, but will not be replaced at the end of their life span. The last will go offline in 2034.[12]



(FT) Juncker makes late bid to avert no-deal Brexit

European president works with May to prevent ‘catastrophic’ vote result

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “Rei por uma vida”

Nota prévia:
Esta opinião é completamente parcial (biased) na medida em que eu sou amigo pessoal da Família há dezenas de anos.

O.P.
Sobre a visita ontem do Senhor Presidente da Republica ao almoço de Natal, de solidariedade, na Mesquita de Lisboa.
” Filho de peixe sabe nadar”
Já o Pai dele era Extraordinario.
Foi o último Governador Geral de Moçambique.
Era de tal maneira querido que vinte e tal , ou trinta anos depois da independência voltou a Moçambique a convite do Governo de Maputo tendo sido acolhido com Honras equiparadas a Chefe de Estado e tendo sido recebido apoteioticamente por todo o Moçambique.
Mais uma vez se confirma o ditado popular:
“Filho de peixe sabe nadar.”
O Senhor Presidente da Republica reviu, actualizou, e melhorou a visão do Pai Baltazar com quem tinha uma relação muito próxima.
Não há qualquer dúvida que o Senhor Presidente da Republica é de longe o melhor Presidente que Portugal teve, desde que existem Presidentes…
Portando, e citando outro ditado popular:
“Equipe que ganha não se mexe”.
Ou seja:
Para quê arriscar a ter, após dois mandatos seguidos , um Presidente necessariamente pior que este..?
Façam o Senhor Presidente da Republica :
“Rei por uma vida”

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira.

P.O. (FT) One thing about Brexit is certain — no one knows anything

P.O.

Monsieur de la Palice woudn’t have said it better…

Lapalissade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A lapalissade is an obvious truth—i.e. a truism or tautology—which produces a comical effect. It is derived from the name Jacques de la Palice, and the word is used in several languages.[1][2][3]

Origin

These words were misread (accidentally or intentionally) as “…il ſerait [serait] encore en vie” (“…he would still be alive”), where the long s aids in the confusion. In the 16th century this misreading was incorporated into a popular satirical song, and in time many other variants developed, including “… que deux jours avant sa mort / il était encore en vie” (“… that two days before his death / he was still quite alive”) and “… et quand il était tout nu, / il n’avait point de chemise” (“… and when he was stark naked / he didn’t wear a shirt”).

La Palice’s epitaph reads[2][1]“Ci-gît le Seigneur de La Palice: s’il n’était pas mort, il ferait encore envie.”(“Here lies the Seigneur de La Palice: If he weren’t dead, he would still be envied.”)

In the early 18th century Bernard de la Monnoye collected over 50 of these humorous “La Palice” quatrains, and published them as a burlesque Song of La Palice. From that song came the French term lapalissade meaning an utterly obvious truth—i.e. a truism or tautology, and it was borrowed into several other languages. Since that day, when you say something very obvious, your interlocutor answers : “La Palice would have said as much !” (in French : “La Palice en aurait dit autant !”). 
FCMP


(FT) Even the professionals’ predictions about what would happen have turned out wrong

P.O. V.V.I. (FT) 1MDB scandal: the Malaysian fraud explained

P.O.

V.V.I.

The “Vampires of Wall Street” (nickname for Goldman Sachs) at it again…
One of the greatest finantial frauds in history…
USD 4.5 billion allegedly misappropriated from the Malasian State Investment fund.
The incredible number of transfers, and their complexity were designed to make it very difficult to trace the origin of the funds. (US Departement of Justice).
I sincerely hope (but i doubt it will happen) that with this scandal the “vampires” will be stopped for good.
Video not to be missed.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira



The FT’s Stefania Palma explains the corruption and money-laundering inquiry at the state development and investment fund in which charges have been filed against two former Goldman Sachs bankers, local financier Jho Low and ex-1MDB employee Jasmine Loo Ai Swan

P.O. (BBC) Suspended MP quits Labour over party’s record on antisemitism

P.O.

Under investigation about nothing i say.

Mr Lewis has never been interviewed about the alledged facts.

I quote Mr Lewis resignation letter:

In a resignation letter published on Thursday, he said he had never been interviewed about the complaints, and that the party had delayed the disciplinary process “for political reasons.

The MP for Bury South said he had struggled to reconcile his Jewish identity with his membership of the Labour party.

He also complained that Mr Corbyn had sacked him as a shadow minister via text message, when he had asked to meet the party leader to discuss anti-Semitism.

Two other Labour MPs, Frank Field and John Woodcock, have previously cited anti-Semitism as a reason to resign from the party.

The reasons for the resignation are, and i quote Mr Lewis from an article in the FT.

End of quote.

I have always been of the opinion (and i wrote it many times) that Mr Corbyn is not suitable to hold any government position , and certainly not the one of Prime Minister.

This is just one more piece of evidence.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira




(BBC) Suspended MP quits Labour over party’s record on antisemitism

Ivan Lewis, who was accused of sexual harassment, says party has failed to condemn antisemitic behaviour

Dan Sabbagh

Ivan Lewis
 Ivan Lewis, the MP for Bury South, said Labour was ‘unwilling to condemn those whose hatred of Israel becomes Jewish hatred’. Photograph: LNP/Rex/Shutterstock

Suspended MP Ivan Lewis has announced his resignation from the Labour party, accusing Jeremy Corbyn of being “unwilling to condemn those whose hatred of Israel becomes Jewish hatred” and complaining that the disciplinary process against him was “subject to political manipulation”.

The Bury South MP said he would continue to sit in parliament as an independent, but his decision to quit means that the long-running Labourparty disciplinary process following allegations of sexual harassment can no longer conclude. Lewis denies the accusation.

Labour suspends ex-minister Ivan Lewis over sexual harassment claim

 Read more

Lewis wrote that the disciplinary process had been stalled until October when he “made it clear to the party that I was considering resigning as I could no longer reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics”. He added that a “sudden attempt” was made to move proceedings on, and complained that the exercise had become “flawed and subject to political manipulation”.

Labour sources said that the party had been in correspondence with him to set a date for his disciplinary hearing in front of the party’s national constitutional committee in January, and added that his resignation had denied the complainants a hearing.

The MP went on to criticise Corbyn in the letter, saying: “It is for others to determine whether you are antisemitic”, and went on to accuse the Labour leader and his director of communications, Seumas Milne, of not believing “in the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their own state”.

He added: “To compound this, all too often you have been unwilling to condemn those whose hatred of Israel becomes Jew hatred. This is incompatible with being a lifelong campaigner against racism.”

Concluding his point, Lewis said: “It is no wonder that so many British people are uncomfortable at the prospect of you becoming prime minister in one of the world’s most enduring western liberal democracies.”

Lewis is the fourth Labour MP since the 2017 general election to quit the party, following Frank Field, Jared O’Mara and John Woodcock. Barrow and Furness MP Woodcock was also suspended amid harassment allegations at the time he quit.

A fifth MP, Fiona Onasanya, was permanently suspended from the party on Wednesday, a day after she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by lying to avoid a speeding ticket.

A Labour party spokesperson said: “Jeremy Corbyn thanks Ivan for his service to the Labour party. The Labour party takes all complaints of sexual harassment extremely seriously, which are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and appropriate disciplinary action taken.

“This case was referred to a full hearing of Labour’s national constitutional committee. The process is the same for everyone.”

Labour has also repeatedly said that Corbyn repudiates antisemitism in all its forms.

O.P. (BI) Global markets are plunging as the Fed’s ‘hawkish tone’ steals Christmas

O.P.

Conforme eu tinha previsto,
vem aí o maior bear market da história.
Que se segue ao maior e mais longo bull market de sempre.
Perfeitamente normal.
Não há practicamente nada que esteja bem no Mundo.
Era apenas uma questão de tempo.
Ainda por cima com os bancos centrais de todo o Mundo a inprimirem dinheiro desde 2007/2008…
E agora pelo menos a Federal Reserve já parou e está a retirar do mercado 50 biliões de dolares por mês.
Só não viu quem não quis.

FCMP



(BI)

Wall Street trader

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • Global stocks drop sharply after Fed raises rates and says monetary policy tightening will continue in 2019.
  • Investors had been hoping that the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell would be explicitly dovish in his communications, but were left disappointed by the central bank’s tone.
  • It was a sea of red: US stocks dropped on Wednesday, with Asia and Europe following suit on Thursday.
  • All major European indexes are lower by around 1.5% in the first hour of the day. The Euro Stoxx 50 reached a 2016 low. 
  • You can follow the latest market moves at Markets Insider.

Stock markets around the world are tumbling Thursday after the US Federal Reserve dashed hopes that it would go into 2019 with a more dovish policy outlook.

The central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee unanimously voted to raise the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 2.25% to 2.5% on Wednesday, and said that it expects to continue raising rates in 2019, albeit at a slower pace than the four rate rises this year.

Investors had been hoping that the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell would be explicitly dovish in his communications, but were left disappointed by the central bank’s tone.

“Investors were expecting a more dovish tone from Powell given the sharp fall in equity markets and challenging global macroeconomic conditions,” Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM said in an email Thursday morning. “All they got was a less hawkish tone.” 

“Despite many signs of global economic growth slowing, the Fed does not seem to be very concerned at this stage suggesting that monetary policy will continue to tighten albeit at a slower pace than previously projected,” he continued.

“What appeared to be even more concerning to equity investors is that Powell is not only ignoring Trump’s calls to pause the tightening cycle, but he is also not listening to them.”

Read more: Here’s how the Fed raises interest rates and why it matters

Powell’s comments and the Fed’s overall tone mean that markets are a sea of red Thursday morning, with both European and Asian stocks selling off sharply, and the major US indexes looking set to fall further when the open later in the day.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • All major European indexes are lower by close to, or more than, 1.5%. Britain’s FTSE 100 has shed 1.3%, while Germany’s DAX is off 1.4%. The benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 reached a 2016 low. 
  • Asian equities were red across the board, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 the biggest casualty, losing 2.8% of its value on the day.
  • Chinese stocks were a little stronger, likely boosted by news that Beijing has resumed purchases of US soybeans. The Shanghai Composite, China’s benchmark index, was down 0.52% on the day.
  • US futures point to another bad day stateside. The S&P 500 dropped 1.5% on Wednesday, and is set to shed another 0.5% when the market opens. Both the Nasdaq and Dow Jones look likely to see similar losses.
  • Oil prices slumped on worries of slowing global growth. Brent crude tumbled 3.9%.



O.P (MW) George Soros, a ‘standard bearer of liberal democracy,’ was just named ‘Person of the Year’ by the Financial Times

Merece!
Tenho uma admiração muito especial pelo George Shwartz, que é o nome original dele.
Mudou de nome para escapar dos nazis.
É um homem que está nos píncaros da minha consideração.
Não me ocorre mesmo, de momento, alguém vivo por quem tenha tanta consideração.
Os a seguir estão muito abaixo.
Contrariamente ao que dizem os homens nao nascem todos iguais…
Há uns que nascem muito mais dotados que os outros.
Disse.



(MW)

Founder and Chair, Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations George Soros

‘I’m blamed for everything, including being the anti-Christ. I wish I didn’t have so many enemies, but I take it as an indication that I must be doing something right.’George Soros

That’s George Soros, a man “under siege from all sides” for his activism and liberal views, talking to the Financial Times, which just named the 88-year-old founder of the Open Society Foundation its “Person of the Year.”

The editorial board of the London-based publication explained that its annual pick “is usually a reflection of their achievements. In the case of Mr. Soros this year, his selection is also about the values he represents.”

Those liberal values, which fly in the face of the forces of nationalism and populism spreading around the world, have made Soros a target in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Donald Trump’s America, the Financial Times wrote.

Read: Soros says “everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong”

Soros, perceived as some “master manipulator of global politics” is a favorite of conspiracy theorists, including Trump supporters and even the president himself, who’s peddled allegations Soros funded the caravan of central American migrants.

Trump also tweeted out this allegation regarding the protesters at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing:

The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018

“I’ve been painted as the devil,” says Soros, who was targeted with an explosive device sent to his home in October. “The fact that extremists are motivated by false conspiracy theories about me to kill hurts me tremendously.”

One Georgetown professor praised the selection:

The sheer volume of negative (largely false) criticism of Soros dulls us into a reflexive defense of his rights rather than his achievements.
But he deserves immense praise for consistently investing in freedom and against authoritarianism. Kudos @FT https://t.co/oP1BKYUsvf— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) December 19, 2018

Before Soros emerged as a philanthropic force, he made a killing as an arbitrage trader who’d become one of the world’s most successful speculators. He’ll forever be known as the man who bet against the British poundGBPUSD, +0.5155%  in 1992, a position that netted him a profit of more than $1 billion.

“The way I came out ahead on the moneymaking is that I was as critical of my own decisions as I was of the system,” he told the FT. “I abandoned positions that didn’t work; I cleaned up on my wins and I was generally first in, first out.”

He’s doesn’t always get it right, of course. As one of the largest donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he wrongly bet that the stock market would take a hit in the immediate wake of a Trump victory. Two years later, and Soros is still not a fan.

“[Trump] is his own worst enemy, a narcissist who wants the world to revolve around him and has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams,” he said.

P.O. (BBC) Jeremy Corbyn denies ‘stupid woman’ jibe at Theresa May

P.O.
On Mr Jeremy Corbyn

I have always disliked everything about Mr Jeremy Corbyn, which some people say is an orthodox comunist.
But in many opinions over the years i never said about him what he is acused of saying about the UK Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May.
But of course there are many differences between me and Mr Corbyn.
Manners to start with.
And that is something that is not going to change, with him, or with me.
Thank you for your kindness.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira



(BBC)

Media captionMPs called for an apology amid heated scenes in the House of Commons

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has denied calling Theresa May a “stupid woman” during Prime Minister’s Questions.

He was asked to make a statement to MPs after facing Tory calls to apologise for the alleged insult.

Mr Corbyn said he was “opposed to the use of sexist and misogynist language in any form” and insisted he had actually said “stupid people”.

Commons Speaker John Bercow said he had not seen the alleged incident and all MPs had to be taken at their word.

But Conservative MPs said they did not believe Mr Corbyn’s explanation and repeated calls for an apology from him.

Mr Corbyn told the Commons: “During prime minister’s question time today, I referred to those who I believe were seeking to turn a debate about the national crisis facing our country into a pantomime as ‘stupid people’.”

“Mr Speaker I did not use the words ‘stupid woman’ about the prime minister or anyone else,” he added.

Conservative MP Rachel Maclean responded to his statement by saying: “Read my lips – I don’t believe him.”

The Speaker said he had reviewed television footage of Mr Corbyn’s alleged insult, which had not been picked up by the microphones, and it was “easy to see why the leader of the opposition’s words might be construed as ‘stupid woman’.”

He had also consulted a “lip speaker”, who are employed to interpret lip movements in court rooms and other settings when a lip reader can’t get close enough, who had lent weight to that view but had not been conclusive.

Media captionMPs on Corbyn denial: Andrea Leadsom, Rachel Maclean, Vicky Ford and Laura Pidcock

“Nobody can be 100% certain, that includes professional lip readers. But I will naturally take, and would be expected to take, the word of any right honourable or honourable member.

“It’s reasonable to expect the House to do the same.”

He added that Mr Corbyn had been “seated at the time and not addressing the House” so his words had not been “on the record”.

Mr Bercow was separately accused by Tory MP Vicky Ford of calling her a “stupid woman” on an earlier occasion, as MPs turned the spotlight on the Speaker’s own conduct.

The Speaker told Ms Ford she had not raised this point with him before, adding: “I refute it 100%”

The Speaker
Image captionTory MPs and ministers seek to show the speaker the clip on their phones

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom had earlier reminded Mr Bercow of his failure to apologise to her for calling her a “stupid woman” during an incident earlier this year.

Mr Bercow said he had already dealt with that matter.

Mrs Leadsom said viewers and MPs would “draw their own conclusions” after Mr Corbyn’s statement.

But Tory MP Desmond Swayne said criticising MPs for “what they might say under their breath” was moving “into the realm of thought crime”.

And Labour MP Laura Pidcock said using the Commons chamber in this way was “absolutely pathetic”.

A.O. (FoodBev) Carlsberg acquires 28.5% stake in Super Bock Group owner Viacer

Anchor Opinion
Opinião Âncora

O Grupo Super Bock deixou de ser controlado por Portugueses.
Mais um…
Tudo consequência da política do PCP em 1975 com as Nacionalizações e Expropriações.
Note se que na minha opinião o PCP nunca adoptou , ou propôs uma única medida que fosse positiva para a economia portuguesa.
E o Bloco de Esquerda (muito mais perigoso) vai no mesmo caminho.
Como eu escrevi há anos, transformaram Portugal num país capitalista, com capitalistas sem capital.
Caso único no Mundo.
E os governos todos que se seguiram a 1975 nunca adoptaram medidas que permitissem acumular capital.
Pergunto-me sempre porque é que os políticos e os media não falam disto.
Será que não entendem, ou não lhes convém falarem nisto…?
FCMP

(FoodBev) Carlsberg has acquired 28.5% of the shares in Viacer, the controlling shareholder of Portuguese brewery Super Bock Group, holding 56% of the shares in the company. The other 44% of the shares in Super Bock Group are owned by Carlsberg.

Following the transaction, Carlsberg’s direct and indirect ownership in the Super Bock Group makes up 60%.

Carlsberg said Super Bock Group “is the market leader in Portugal, holding a market share of 47%” with a portfolio including brands such as Super Bock, Carlsberg and Somersby.

Carlsberg CEO Cees ‘t Hart said: “We are pleased that we have increased our indirect shareholding in Super Bock Group. It is a very strong business with a market leading position in Portugal, offering appealing long-term opportunities.”

In its most recent quarterly results, Carlsberg posted a 7.4% rise in net revenue, driven by “strong growth” in India and China as well the positive performance of its alcohol-free portfolio.

The Denmark-headquartered firm – which owns brands such as Tuborg, Holsten and Somersby – recorded net revenue of DKK 17.59 billion ($2.68 billion) for the quarter. The company has increased its earnings outlook due to the strong results; it expects to deliver 10-11% organic growth in operating profit for 2018.

O.P. (Reuters) Ex-CFO BES põe acção tribunal 4.300 ME contra BP e KPMG por falsificação contas

O.P.

Do meu ponto de vista e embora a anterior Administração do BES não seja de todo recomendável,esta acção tem “pernas para andar” porque na minha opinião, provando-se os factos por ele aduzidos, a actuação do Banco de Portugal foi, no mínimo, despropositada. Para não dizer mais. E poderia dizer muito mais…

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

--

(Reuters) O ex-CFO do colapsado Banco Espírito Santo (BES) pôs hoje uma acção popular num tribunal de Lisboa contra o Banco de Portugal (BP) e a auditora KPMG, pedindo que sejam condenados a pagar 4.300 ME ao Estado por ser terem concertado e falsificado as contas do BES para provocarem a sua resolução em 2014.

Segundo a acção a que a Reuters teve acesso, nas contas do primeiro semestre de 2014, o BP e a KPMG “impuseram ao BES um ilícito empolamento das perdas, através do reconhecimento de provisões excessivas e prejuízos inexistentes, o que constituiu causa directa da resolução do BES e constituição do Novo Banco”.

Aquando da resolução do BES em 3 de Agosto, o BP disse que o prejuízo semestral recorde de 3.577 milhões de euros (ME) reflectia a “violação de determinações do BP” que proibiam o aumento da exposição ao Grupo Espírito Santo (GES), colocando o rácio common equity TIER 1 (CET1) do BES em 5,1 pct, muito abaixo dos 7 pct de mínimo regulamentar.

Mas, nesta acção, interposta pelo ex-CFO Amilcar Morais Pires, enquanto cidadão contribuinte, refere que “o CET1, não fosse a objectiva falsificação das contas que implicou um agravamento do passivo de 1.953 ME, teria fixado em 8,25 pct”.

Na acção é referido que a posterior sucessiva anulação daquelas provisões, “ocorrida em menos de um ano confirma a ilegalidade da constituição das mesmas”.

“Esta acção foi interposta hoje no Tribunal Administrativo do Circulo de Lisboa”, disse um porta-voz de Amílcar Morais Pires.

O banco central e a KPMG não fazem comentários, segundo os respectivos porta-vozes.

O ex-Chief Financial Officer do BES, Amílcar Morais Pires é arguido num processo crime relativo à venda de dívida da ‘holding’ da família Espírito Santo aos clientes do BES, estando indiciado, embora ainda não haja acusação.

A resolução do Novo Banco tem sido objecto de várias acções nos tribunais por parte de clientes, investidores e ‘bondholders’.

O próprio BP também tem processos de contra-ordenação contra a KPMG.

INDEMNIZAÇÃO 4.300 ME

Nesta acção é exigido que o BP e a KPMG indemnizem a Tesouraria Geral do Estado em 4.330 ME, que corresponde à soma do empréstimo de 3.900 ME do Estado ao Fundo de Resolução (FR), aquando da criação do ‘good bank’, mais 430 ME injectados pelo FR no Novo Banco no âmbito do acordo de venda à Lone Star.

“Pretende-se (…) que os réus (BP e KPMG) sejam condenados a creditar na tesouraria do Estado, gerida pelo IGCP, o valor compensatório dos enormes danos sofridos (…) pelo Estado e (…) por todos os cidadãos contribuintes”, refere.

Explica que tal se deve “em virtude de factos ilícitos e culposos praticados pelos mesmos réus no quadro da resolução do BES e da criação e venda do NB (Novo Banco), que implicaram o dispêndio de avultadíssimas somas de dinheiro público”.

O ‘good bank’, expurgado dos ‘activos tóxicos’ do BES, foi criado em Agosto de 2014 com um capital inicial de 4.900 ME, sendo que 3.900 ME foram emprestados pelo Estado ao FR.

Em Outubro de 2017, o FR vendeu 75 pct do Novo Banco à americana Lone Star, mas foi criado um mecanismo de capital contingente até um máximo de 3.890 ME, que prevê que o FR continue a injectar fundos no banco, se o capital cair abaixo de um certo patamar, o que já aconteceu.

CONCERTADOS

Mas, a acção refere que houve uma “actuação concertada” entre o BP e a KPMG para determinar a resolução do BES e daí a “comparticipação e responsabilidades solidárias” de ambos.

Adianta que, numa atitude de complacência, “durante anos a fio, os réus BP e KPMG aceitaram, sem especiais reparos ou oposições, as relações entre BES e o GES e entre o BES e o BESA, sem que se tenham oposto às mesmas ou imposto limitações”.

“Isto explica a reacção exacerbada de ambos contra o BES (e do réu BP contra a ré KPMG) quando percepcionaram que ambos poderiam vir a ser acusados de terem sido demasiado complacentes com o Grupo BES e o seu líder, Ricado Salgado, quando este era considerado o ‘dono disto tudo’, reacção essa que portanto foi, antes de mais, uma reacção exacerbada de autodefesa”.

A acção recorda também que a KPMG era o auditor tanto do BES, como do BESA e de várias empresas financeiras do GES, frisando: “quando o BES foi resolvido (…) há mais de dez anos que a ré KPMG era seu auditor”.

Acusa também o BP pelo facto do BES ter perdido a garantia soberana de Angola, no valor de 5.700 milhões de dólares, que se deveu “à decisão de não acompanhamento do aumento de capital do BESA”.

Esta perda teve “o directo aumento do passivo, nas contas do BESA e do BES consolidado, relativo aos créditos que por ela estavam garantidos e com a inerente absoluta desvalorização do crédito de 3.330 ME do BES sobre o BESA”.

P.O. (GUA) Juncker: ‘no room whatsoever’ to renegotiate Brexit deal

P.O.

What a mess!
The EU acting with imperialistic ticks imposed an extremely bad deal to the UK.

The current deal can morph into practically anything.

The problem is that until everything is settled the UK cannot put in place the vital bilateral trade agreements with other Countries.

They are so many ridiculous aspects that i wouldn´t know were to start.

Why for God sake France wants to continue to have the right to fish in UK waters after the UK leaves the EU…?

We all saw in Portugal what happened with the EU fishing policy…

A disaster!

The Spanish came in and almost destroyed everything, in all species.

in the meanwhile the EU was paying the Portuguese fishermen big money to destroy their boats…

Now the EU wants to”help” Prime Minister May to sell the deal in the UK…!

Let’s wait for the next chapters of this idiocy…

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(GUA) European commission leader says backstop must stay in EU withdrawal agreement

Jean-Claude Juncker
 Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs: ‘Everybody has to know the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened.’ Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Jean-Claude Juncker has said there is “no room whatsoever” for renegotiating the Brexit deal as Theresa May returns to Brussels in an attempt to reopen talks.

The prime minister embarked on a frantic round of diplomacy with other EU leaders on Tuesday to try to salvage some concessions, but the European commission president reiterated that Brussels would not revisit the withdrawal agreement.

Junker offered May only additional “clarifications and interpretations” of the contentious backstop solution, designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The prime minister on Monday postponed the Commons vote on her Brexit deal, telling MPs that she recognised concerns that the backstop could trap the UK in a customs union without any means of leaving it.

Speaking to the European parliament in Strasbourg, Juncker told MEPs: “There is a surprise guest at the European council, which is Brexit, I am surprised. I am surprised because we had reached an agreement.

“Notwithstanding that it would appear that there are problems right at the end of the road, I will meet Mrs May this evening.”

He said the withdrawal agreement was the best and only deal possible. “There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation but of course there is room, if used intelligently, to give further clarifications and interpretations without opening the withdrawal agreement. Everybody has to know the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened.”

Juncker said Brussels recognised the backstop was the main problem. The EU could reiterate in writing that it would do everything to avoid the need to use it, he said, but the backstop protocol had to stay in the withdrawal agreement.

“It is necessary for the entire coherence of what we have agreed with Britain, and it is necessary for Ireland,” he said. “Ireland will never be left alone.

Arriving at a meeting in Brussels, the Brexit minister Martin Callanan shed some light on what May was hoping for from her last-minute tour of EU capitals. “She wants additional legal reassurances that the UK cannot be permanently trapped in the Irish backstop,” he said. “That’s been the issue all along and that’s the issue at the heart of concerns expressed by many members of parliament.”

Denmark’s foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, said he and other EU leaderstook the same view as Juncker. “It’s always a political option to clarify, if that is needed, what is meant, what kind of underlining is needed, but it is not a question of renegotiating everything.”

May will meet the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin and the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, in the Hague on Tuesday to seek further assurances that the backstop would never come into force.

Germany’s EU affairs minister, Michael Roth, told of his exasperation with the UK.

He said: “Sometimes I don’t understand the world anymore. We spent so much energy and time and creativity on something that we neither want in Berlin nor in Brussels.

“Nobody wants Great Britain do leave. Now the decision has been delayed again in the House of Commons, there are further talks but I’m lacking imagination to figure out where we could change something about the substance of the deal. Which means, what we have negotiated in painstaking negotiations, which has been demanding for both sides, the EU27 as well as the UK, it can’t be unravelled again now. At least I don’t see a basis for this right now.”

The Commons leader, Andrea Leadsom, told the BBC there were “plenty of options” available to May that did not involve reopening the 585-page withdrawal agreement.

She suggested May was seeking change that would give parliament the “democratic ability to decide” about the use of the backstop.

“That might include an addendum to the withdrawal agreement that sets out that parliament will vote prior to going into a backstop, should that prove necessary, and potentially that the EU parliament and UK parliament must vote every year thereafter to provide that legitimacy for the UK to stay in the backstop, should that prove necessary,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

EU sources insisted that while such joint statements on the need for regular debates would be possible, they would not change the legal reality that the backstop would need to stay in force if alternative arrangements for avoiding a hard border were not available.

The 28 heads of state and government are to meet at the scheduled European council summit on Thursday and Friday, though there is no anticipation of an immediate breakthrough that would allow May to go back to parliament before Christmas.

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister turned May critic, said Tory MPs must submit no-confidence letters to reach the threshold of 48 needed to trigger a confidence vote in the prime minister. So far, the number of letters sent to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, has not been high enough.

“We have all taken a bit of a bruising on this and it is a grave decision for every colleague to make,” Baker told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “But what I would say to my colleagues is: you now face the certainty of failure with Theresa May, you must be brave and make the right decision to change prime minister, and change prime minister now.”

Baker urged the four most prominent pro-Brexit leadership hopefuls – Boris Johnson, David Davis, Dominic Raab and Esther McVey – to decide between themselveswho would be the candidate if May was forced out, to prevent a split vote.

The Democratic Unionist MP Sammy Wilson said his party had ruled out the possibility of May succeeding in her talks in Europe. The prime minister could only return with reassurances that “don’t mean anything when they are put against a legally binding international agreement”, he said.

However, the DUP has not signed a letter from all the other opposition parties condemning May’s decision to delay the vote. Leaders of Labour, the Scottish National party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have written to May demanding more concrete assurances on when the vote will be held.

The opposition leaders criticised the prime minister for “unilaterally” scrapping the meaningful vote without giving parliament the opportunity to vote on a proposed delay because “they [the government] fear they cannot command a majority”.

However, the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, accused Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour party of stalling on supporting either a confidence motion in May’s leadership or a second referendum.

“As I understand it, they don’t think the time is right for a motion of confidence,” she told Today. “For goodness’ sake, if the time is not right now, when will the time be right?”

P.O. (FT) Deutsche Bank needs a bold and swift restructuring

P.O.  

I am afraid, and as i wrote dozens of times, here is no hope whatsoever for Deutsche Bank.

Just take a look to the thousands of cases, (that we know of…), that might have a significant impact in the balance sheet…

No way José, again in my opinion.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(FTDeutsche Bank needs a bold and swift restructuring

P.O. (FT) Trump says Brexit deal may damage UK-US trade

P.O.

According to the FT, and i quote from an article by Sam Fleming in Washigton and Jim Pickard in London:

"US president claims agreement would be ‘great’ for EU at Britain’s expense"

"Donald Trump has slammed the UK prime minister’s Brexit deal, saying it would benefit the EU while damaging the UK’s ability to trade with the US"

In my opinion if this agreement was already very difficult to get an approval from the UK House of Commons, President Trump's statement makes an approval virtually impossible.

The US might event take retaliatory measures against the EU.

The EU is now in an impossible position, in my point of view.

Nobody really knows what is going to happen next.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(FT) US president claims agreement would be ‘great’ for EU at Britain’s expense

P.O (BBC) Head of Russian Skripal-linked GRU spy agency dies

P.O.
I don’t believe a word about this supposed long illness.
Not a word.
Did you hear me?:
Not a word.

FCMP

(BBC)

Gen Korobov, Aug 2017Image copyrightAFP
Image captionGen Korobov served in the Russian air force before becoming GRU chief (Aug 2017 pic)

The head of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, General Igor Korobov, has died aged 62, Russia’s defence ministry says.

Gen Korobov, who took up the post in 2016, is said to have died after “a serious and long illness” on Wednesday.

The GRU was this year linked to a nerve agent attack in Britain on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Gen Korobov is understood to have faced criticism by Russian officials over the failure of the operation.

The attack on Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury on 4 March led to them requiring weeks of hospital treatment.

The poisoning is alleged to have been carried out by suspects Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, both identified by British authorities as GRU operatives, and “almost certainly” approved by the Russian state.

Russia denies the allegations. The UK and its Western allies expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the attack.

Media captionWhat we know about the GRU

Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov, who has commanded Russian forces in Syria, will serve as interim GRU chief. He had already taken over while Gen Korobov was ill, military sources told Russian media.

The appointment of a permanent chief is a matter for President Vladimir Putin.

The GRU, or Main Intelligence Directorate, is the intelligence arm of the Russian military, tasked with carrying out undercover international operations.

Gen Korobov had received the Hero of Russia medal – the state’s highest award.

In December 2016 the US added Gen Korobov to its list of senior Russian officials subject to sanctions, accusing him of involvement in computer hacking.

Other Western sanctions target Russians accused of helping the separatist insurgents in Ukraine.

Russia has two other main spy organisations: the Federal Security Service (FSB), mainly involved in internal security, and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), whose role is similar to that of Britain’s MI6.

Presentational grey line

GRU’s year of notoriety

The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow writes:

Igor Korobov’s career in the Soviet, then Russian military, spanned more than 40 years.

He joined military intelligence in the mid-1980s and rose through the GRU ranks to a key position, overseeing strategic intelligence-gathering.

In 2016 he was given the top job: agency chief.

Under Korobov, and his predecessor Igor Sergun, the GRU became the Kremlin’s spy agency of choice for a series of high-profile and highly controversial operations. The GRU has been linked to Russia’s military operation in eastern Ukraine, to Moscow’s meddling in the US election and to a failed coup in Montenegro.

The defence ministry described Korobov as a “wonderful person”. But 2018 has been less than wonderful for the agency he headed. A series of botched operations – most notably the Salisbury poisoning – has thrust the GRU into the limelight and raised questions about its methods and activities.

Korobov reportedly died “after a long, extended illness”. Did he fall ill, as rumours suggest, after a dressing-down from the president? I can’t confirm that.

But what’s clear is that if you take on the role of GRU chief, don’t expect a carriage clock and a happy retirement at the end of it. Korobov’s predecessor, Igor Sergun, also died while in office.

Presentational grey line
GRU HQ, 4 Oct 18Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionModernisation of the GRU headquarters in Moscow was completed in 2006

Gen Korobov was described by Russia’s defence ministry on Wednesday as “a wonderful person, a faithful son of Russia and a patriot of his homeland,” Reuters news agency reported.

The ministry did not provide any further details about his death. The GRU is highly secretive – its total staff is not known, nor is its organisational structure known in detail.

The GRU was involved in undercover operations in Ukraine – including Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 – and allegedly in the computer hacking during the 2016 US presidential election.

The GRU includes Spetsnaz special forces – crack military units – who have fought in the Syrian war, helping President Bashar al-Assad’s troops, and against separatist rebels in Chechnya. In the Soviet period they fought against Western-backed guerrillas in Afghanistan.

In 2015 President Putin admitted that GRU units had been deployed in Crimea shortly before the peninsula was annexed.

Vladimir Putin at GRU, Nov 06Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPresident Putin (3rd R) visited the new GRU HQ in November 2006

Among the GRU’s tasks are: agent-running, sabotage, hi-tech eavesdropping and reconnaissance, the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported.

The Spetsnaz logo is a black bat with wings spread out across the globe.

According to the Russian news website Meduza, GRU officers get three years of specialist training, which includes cybernetics, foreign languages, geopolitics, use of codes and other elements of espionage.

P.O. (BBG) Bolsonaro’s Men in Brazil: A Look at His Inner Circle

P.O.
I have never been in my life not even close to what people call the far right.
But i will bet you that President elect Bolsonaro will do a much better job than generally expected.
Of course there will be some critics…
But when the drug lords efectivevely run the big cities nothing can be achieved without a heavy hand.
One thing is for sure…
Things could not continue as they where.
Please make some time and revisit my P.O. on Brazil.

Thank you for your patience.
Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(BBG – Click to see) Former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro looks set to be elected Brazil’s President on Oct. 28, according to the latest polls. A backbencher in the lower house of Congress for nearly three decades, he steadily amassed a popular following with his tough talk on crime, corruption and communism, peppered with incendiary comments about women and minorities. Following the dramatic demise of much of Brazil’s political establishment, Bolsonaro almost won the presidency in the first round vote on Oct. 7. On his road to power he has assembled a mixed group of family, friends and generals.

 

P.O. (Star) Goldman Sachs sued by Abu Dhabi fund over 1MDB bribe scandal

P.O.

And rightly sued in my point of view.

“The Vampires of Wall Street” never miss a chance of making that extra buck which more than likeky illegal or in the grey zone.

FCMP

(Star)

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by an Abu Dhabi investment fund that claims it suffered losses from the bank’s “central role” in the 1MDB Malaysian fraud and bribery scandal.

International Petroleum Investment Co. and Aabar Investments PJS are seeking unspecified damages in a complaint filed Wednesday in state court in New York.

The funds say they were harmed when Goldman Sachs paid bribes to IPIC’s former managing director, Khadem Al-Qubaisi and former Aabar Investments CEO Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.

In exchange “Al-Qubaisi and Al-Husseiny agreed to manipulate and mislead IPIC and Aabar, and to misuse the companies’ names, networks, and infrastructures to further the criminal schemes and to personally benefit,” according to the complaint.

Al-Qubaisi received $473 million that was siphoned from 1MDB in 2012, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The U.S. alleges that a small group of Malaysians diverted money from 1MDB into personal accounts disguised to look like legitimate businesses, and kicked back some of those funds to officials. Goldman Sachs made $593 million working on three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013, dwarfing what banks typically make from government deals.

Tim Leissner, Goldman Sachs’s former chairman of Southeast Asia, admitted in a plea that he bribed officials to get bond deals and said a culture of secrecy at the investment bank led him to conceal wrongdoing from compliance staff.

1MDB, set up by former Prime Minister Najib Razak to attract foreign investment, accumulated billions of dollars of debt after its 2009 inception and is at the center of multiple investigations in relation to alleged corruption and money laundering.

Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael DuVally said in an email the bank had “no immediate comment” on the Abu Dhabi lawsuit.

The bank’s stock has slumped since U.S. prosecutors implicated a trio of Goldman Sachs bankers in the multibillion-dollar Malaysian fraud earlier this month. Goldman’s shares tumbled the most in seven years last week, when Malaysia’s finance minister said he would seek a full refund of all the fees it paid for 1MDB deals.

Analysts and investors have been trying to estimate what the financial fallout of the scandal will be for Goldman Sachs, after it said in a filing this month that it could face significant fines. Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck cut her recommendation to equal-weight on Wednesday, saying it’s unclear how long the 1MDB investigation will take, how much in fines and penalties may be imposed or what costs Goldman Sachs will incur to satisfy regulatory demands.

Graseck also said there may be additional lawsuits, probes and internal reviews yet to come. She doesn’t see the bank’s shares rallying until these concerns are answered.

The lawsuit was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The case is International Petroleum Investment Co. V. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York (Manhattan).