Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)
30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)
French National Assembly head Edouard Herriot and British Foreign minister Ernest Bevin surrounded by Italian, Luxembourg and other delegates at the first meeting of Council of Europe's Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg, August 1949 (AFP Photo)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)
The Treaty of Rome was signed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, one of the Renaissance palaces that line the Michelangelo-designed Capitoline Square in the Italian capital

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'
EU leaders pose for a family photo during the European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 28, 2016 (AFP Photo/JOHN THYS)

Merkel says fall of Wall proves 'dreams can come true'

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Monday, January 30, 2012

EU leaders speed up ESM launch, endorse fiscal pact

Deutsche Welle, 30 January 2012  

The summit comes as growth
forecasts are being cut
EU leaders have approved the early debut of their permanent rescue fund, the ESM, and 25 states approved an agreement that cedes budget control over to Brussels. The UK and the Czech Republic have withheld their support.

Twenty-five of the European Union's 27 member states agreed to a fiscal unification pact that would cede much control of national budgets over to Brussels, after an afternoon summit in the de facto EU capital.

The United Kingdom had already declined to take part in the "fiscal compact," which, among other things, would require countries to introduce balanced-budget rules into their laws or constitutions. The Czech Republic also said it would not sign onto the agreement.

The leaders also approved the early introduction of the 500-billion-euro ($656 billion) European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The fund is now set for activation on July 1, one year before its original planned debut. It is to run parallel to its temporary predecessor, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) for one year.

Existing rules limit the combined lending power of the two funds to 500 billion euros, but some officials have suggested the limit should be waived to combine the funds into a 750-billion-euro safety net. 

Merkel (center) backed off a
suggestion that the EU should
control Greece's budget
The leaders also approved a statement that foresees the EU redirecting some funds to fight unemployment and encourage growth.

"Wherever possible, efforts made at the national level will be supported by EU action, including better targeting available EU funds towards jobs and growth, within agreed ceilings," a seven-page summit declaration said.

Transatlantic free trade

Also among the issues touched on in the summit statement was the long-stalled idea of a free trade agreement between the EU and the United States.

"2012 should be a decisive year to move ahead on trade agreements with major partners," the statement said. Experts "should consider all options for boosting EU-US trade and investment."

There are a number of outstanding trade issues between the two economies, some of which have ended up in litigation before the World Trade Organization.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron both suggested the idea should be revisited during speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week.

India has also been in free trade discussions with the EU since June 2007, and Singapore began similar talks in 2010.

Austerity vs. stimulus

The summit comes at a time when leaders are shifting the rhetoric surrounding the eurozone crisis from austerity to fostering economic growth.

While several governments have tried to bolster investor confidence by passing multiple rounds of budget cuts and tax increases, the austerity has also triggered protests, strikes and government collapses. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, and economic growth forecasts for 2012 have almost universally been cut.

A plan to divert money from EU funding pools like the regional and structural development fund is seen by some as a viable alternative to national stimulus packages, which would have the effect of driving up sovereign debt for individual member states. 

Greece responded with an
 emphatic "no" to the idea of
 losing financial sovereignty
The European Commission said before the summit that up to 82 billion euros could be available for reallocation.

Greece budget czar

The summit got off to a rocky start over a suggestion by German officials that an EU bureaucrat should have substantial control over the budget of Greece. The outcry in Athens led German Chancellor Angela Merkel to back off the idea at the start of the summit.

A debt-restructuring deal for Greece with private creditors is needed before agreement can be reached on a second bailout package. To avoid a default, Athens needs to meet a 14.5-billion-euro repayment deadline in mid-March.

The cost of borrowing for Portugal rose to its highest level in the history of the eurozone on Monday amid fears the country might also seek a future debt-restructuring deal.

Authors: Richard Connor, Andrew Bowen (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

Minister freezes nuclear plant application

RNW, 30 January 2012

Nuclear power plant near the small
Dutch town of Borssele (Photo: RNW)
Energy company Delta is still planning to build a second nuclear power plant near the small Dutch town of Borssele - formally at least.

However, Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen has - for the time being - frozen all activities connected with permit applications.

Borssele is the site of the only operational nuclear power plant in the Netherlands. Delta recently announced it was shelving its construction plans due to overcapacity in the electricity market.

The minister has announced he will be having talks with Delta and the German company RWE, which has also put its nuclear plans on the back burner, to discuss where they want to go from here. RWE owns the Dutch energy provider Essent.

Mr Verhagen told parliament he is still looking to develop an increasingly sustainable mix of energy sources, as desired by the cabinet, in which nuclear power may play a role.

Related Articles:

Dutch power company shelves nuclear plans

Plans for Sellafield plutonium reactor rejected

German lawmakers back nuclear power exit by 2022

NASA Produces and Promotes New LENR Video: Nuclear Power Coming Soon To Your Home

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects:The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design,Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa,Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around", DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) - New !

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Labour to force Commons vote on stripping Hester bonus

BBC News, 29 January 2012

Related Stories 

Mr Hester was appointed after
RBS was bailed out by the taxpayer
Labour says it will force a Commons vote calling for RBS chief executive Stephen Hester to be stripped of his near-£1m bonus.

It will hold an Opposition Day debate early next month to pressure the government over the £963,000 payment.

Although not binding, the vote could put the coalition under further pressure to intervene.

It has faced widespread criticism for its decision not to block the bonus at the part-government owned bank.

A Labour source told BBC political correspondent Vicky Young that David Cameron and the government had failed to act and it was right for Parliament to voice its opinion.

He said this was "one of those moments" when the public was so outraged that Parliament had to assert itself.

Labour can hold a debate on an issue of its choice on one of its allocated "Opposition Days." The next one is scheduled for the week after next.

The coalition is free to ignore the result but it could be uncomfortable for some Lib Dem and Conservative MPs, our correspondent says.

Related Articles:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dutch pension fund ABP sues Goldman Sachs

RNW, 28 January 2012

Dutch pension fund ABP is suing US investment bank Goldman Sachs for knowingly selling it junk mortgages and providing misleading information.

The ABP pension fund for government and education employees is the largest pension fund in the Netherlands and among the three largest in the world. Prior to the 2008 US mortgage and bank crisis, ABP invested large sums in bonds linked to US mortgages.

ABP accuses Goldman Sachs of misinforming the pension fund as to the credit worthiness of the bonds, which proved to be far riskier than the bank had suggested. This eventually caused ABP to suffer significant losses. ABP will not disclose the exact amount of the losses it suffered, a spokesperson announced on Saturday.

RBS chairman gives up £1.4m bonus

Bank announces that Sir Philip Hampton will not receive bonus amid controversy over decision to award RBS chief executive Stephen Hester £963,000, Conal Urquhart, Jill Treanor and agencies, Saturday 28 January 2012

The RBS chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, who has given up his bonus.
Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir Philip Hampton will not receive a £1.4m share award because he had not meet the performance criteria attached to them when he was first awarded them when he joined the bank in 2009.

Amid the controvery over a near £1m bonus for chief executive Stephen Hester, it had been reported that the controversial share award would not pay out and on Saturday: "Sir Philip Hampton will not receive the 5.17m shares he was awarded in 2009 when he joined RBS."

While Hampton had decided not to accept the award of 5.2m shares – which was handed to him when he joined the bank in 2009 – it is understood that the conditions attached to the potential pay out had not been achieved.

Hester is receiving 3.6m in shares – worth just under £1m – but the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, urged the government to block the bonus for Hester. David Cameron said the contract was arranged by the previous Labour government and should be honoured.

Hampton is thought to have told the bank's remuneration committee it would not be appropriate for him to take the shares to which he is entitled. He was given the scheme when he was appointed at the 83% state-owned bank as part of a three-year long-term incentive deal.

It is understood RBS were not due to offer Hampton the share bonus, based on a variety of factors, until next month, but he chose to waive the entitlement earlier.

His decision is likely to put more pressure on Hester, who has faced calls from unions, politicians and the public to turn down his award of almost £1m.

Speaking at Chequers on Saturday, the prime minister said it was up to the chief executive to decide whether to give up his bonus. "It's obviously his decision," Cameron said. "My decision is to make sure the team at RBS get on with the job of turning the bank round, and we made our views very clear on the bonus and that's why it was cut in half compared to last year."

In a statement on Saturday, Miliband encouraged the government to vote against the bonus at the RBS annual general meeting in April.

"Freezing the pay of a nurse or hospital porter while allowing a publicly owned bank to pay million-pound bonuses, is the last nail in the coffin of this prime minister's claim that we're all in it together," he said.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ratings agency Fitch downgrades five eurozone nations

Deutsche Welle, 27 January 2012 

Fitch said it had considered
both positives and negatives
The credit ratings agency Fitch has downgraded five eurozone countries, with a double-drop for the major economies of Italy and Spain. The move, ahead of an EU summit on Monday, comes soon after another mass downgrade.

Credit ratings agency Fitch on Friday downgraded its credit outlook for five eurozone countries, citing financing and growth fears as its reasons.

The ratings of major economies Italy and Spain dropped by two notches; Italy from A+ to A- and Spain from A to AA- status.

There was also a downgrade of two points for Slovenia, with Belgium and Cyprus both falling by one. The agency said that although governments had taken action on a national level to dispel market fears, it also had to take a poor economic outlook into account.

"Today's rating actions balance the marked deterioration in the economic outlook with both the substantive policy initiatives at the national level to address macro-financial and fiscal imbalances," said a statement on the website of US-based Fitch.

The agency also highlighted a collective failure to reach agreement on the wider eurozone crisis as a further motivation for the downgrade. 

A poor economic outlook for the
 eurozone was given as just one reason
"The intensification of the eurozone crisis in the latter half of last year undermined the effectiveness of ECB monetary policy and highlighted the financing risks faced by eurozone."

Narrow escape for Ireland

Ireland maintained its triple-B rating, but was placed on Fitch's "negative outlook" list - indicating the likelihood of a future downgrade.

The announcement comes ahead of a European Union summit on Monday, aimed at finding a solution to mounting debt and poor growth.

Earlier this month, ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded nine European countries, with France and Austria losing their top-notch triple-A ratings.

Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus went down by two levels on the S&P scale, while Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia each fell by one.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP, AP, dpa)

George Osborne announces shakeup of City regulation at Davos

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, the chancellor announces plans to put the Bank of England in charge of day-to-day policing of the financial sector, Larry Elliott and Jill Treanor in Davos,  Friday 27 January 2012

A Royal Bank of Scotland branch. The chancellor announced the publication
of a Financial Services Bill that will put the Bank of England in charge of
day-to-day policing of the financial sector. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

George Osborne has said that the government's shakeup of City regulation would overhaul a failed system and prevent banks from ever again being as exposed to bad loans as they were when the financial crisis broke in 2007.

Speaking in Davos on Friday, Osborne announced the publication of a financial services bill that will put the Bank of England in charge of day-to-day policing of the financial sector.

He also said the chancellor would have the power in an emergency to direct Threadneedle Street to step in to help a troubled bank.

In a speech to UK business leaders, Osborne said: "I am today publishing the financial services bill that will overhaul the failed system of financial regulation which allowed such dangerous levels of leverage to emerge.

"The failings of that system are now well understood. The tripartite structure [with authority split between the Treasury, Bank and the Financial Services Authority] was incoherent, without clear lines of accountability. Everyone was so focused on ticking off a regulatory checklist that nobody felt it was their responsibility to use their judgement.

"The astonishing result was that RBS was allowed to take over ABN Amro when the credit markets had already frozen up."

Osborne added that under the old system it was unclear who was in charge in a crisis when taxpayers' money was at stake.

"We are putting in place clear lines of accountability, and restoring that crucial element of judgement," he said.

The chancellor said independent central banks should not be put under pressure to do what governments did not have the courage to do on their own account. There would be no ambiguity about who was in charge.

"During normal times the independent Bank of England will be responsible for prudential regulation and systemic stability, accountable to parliament. But in a crisis, when taxpayers' money is at risk, both the responsibility and crucially the power to act will rest with the chancellor of the day," he said.

"For the first time it will allow the chancellor to direct specific liquidity interventions to assist individual entities, the special resolution regime for banks and general interventions to preserve stability as long as the government is willing to take responsibility for the action and take the resulting risk on its balance sheet.

"I hope that we will never again see the paralysis and confusion that did so much damage when the latest crisis hit." .

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ed Miliband calls on David Cameron to block RBS chief Stephen Hester's bonus

Labour leader hopes to embarrass PM, who has refused to say whether he would stop award of £1.3m payout, Toby Helm and Heather Stewart, Saturday 21 January 2012

The board of RBS is said to be considering a bonus of £1.3m-plus
for chief executive Stephen Hester. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Ed Miliband is turning up the pressure on David Cameron in the escalating row over "crony capitalism" by demanding that the prime minister intervene to block a seven-figure bonus for Royal Bank of Scotland's chief executive, Stephen Hester.

Before a week in which the government will announce plans to curb excessive pay deals in Britain's boardrooms, the Labour leader is calling on Cameron to match his tough talk with action in what is now seen as the key test case of the government's resolve.

Last week, after delivering a speech on "popular capitalism", the prime minister refused to say whether he would block a bonus for Hester, who is widely seen as having done a good job at RBS, after taking over from the much-maligned Sir Fred Goodwin in 2008. The board of RBS, which is 83%owned by the taxpayer, is said to be considering a bonus of £1.3m to £1.5m for Hester, on top of his £1.2m annual salary. A final decision from the company's remuneration committee is expected on Wednesday.

But Miliband, who is determined to define his leadership around the issue of "fairer and better capitalism", said it was entirely wrong for a bank, majority-owned by taxpayers, and which is making thousands of people redundant, to pay its boss a £1m-plus reward in such circumstances.

The Labour leader told the Observer that the public would not regard it as "fair or right" for the head of a company whose share price had halved in the past year and which had missed its target for lending to small businesses to cash in when so many hard-working people were struggling to make ends meet. Miliband said the case would show whether Cameron was as good as his word. He said: "David Cameron has said on numerous occasions that he would stop banks paying out big bonuses. He has also called upon shareholders to stop excessive executive pay.

"The best thing that could happen is that top management at RBS recognises the need for restraint. But if it doesn't happen, Cameron should act to stop Stephen Hester being paid a bonus of this scale.

"David Cameron will be judged by his deeds, not his words. And he should adopt Labour's plan for another bank bonus tax to fund 100,000 jobs for young people."

Ministers are expected to speak to Hester in the run-up to the RBS remuneration committee meeting on Wednesday, amid reports that he may quit if his bonus is not paid.

The RBS chief executive, who was brought in to clear up the chaos left by Goodwin, is entitled to up to 6m shares – worth about £1.5m at today's prices – under the contract he agreed when Labour was in power.

Hester is highly regarded in the industry and in government and is credited with cutting RBS's sprawling investment banking arm down to size, and selling off "non-core" parts of the bank, such as its aviation leasing business. After waiving last year's bonus, he is said to be keen to receive his entitlement this year.

Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling was determined that the bailed-out banks should be run at arm's length by UK Financial Investments, the body set up to manage the government's stakes in them.

David Cameron has taken a more hands-on approach, and is insisting this year that any cash payouts at RBS be capped at £2,000. But after his speech on "popular capitalism" on Thursday, he refused to say whether he would block a bonus for Hester.

The row over top pay at the taxpayer-backed bank comes as Vince Cable, the business secretary, prepares to announce new rules aimed at taming the culture of excessive pay.

In a speech on Tuesday, Cable will attack the remuneration consultants who are paid by boards to compare bosses' payouts with those at rival firms, and set stricter guidelines for how they should operate.

He is also expected to hand new powers to shareholders to vote down lavish pay deals, and tighten reporting rules, so boards have to reveal in simple terms to shareholders and employees exactly how much executives are paid.

After a difficult few weeks for the Labour leader, Miliband sees the issue of executive pay as one on which Labour can embarrass Cameron and expose the Tories' closeness to big-business interests.

The shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, said the Tories were backing away from the tough action called for by Labour: "On excess pay and rewards for failure in the City and the boardroom, the government is refusing to take the action needed to meet the tests Labour has set on transparency, accountability and fairness.

"Ministers are ducking out of matching Labour's call for the proposals of the independent High Pay Commission to be implemented in full and, despite claiming they wish to promote employee engagement, won't support the proposal to put employees on company remuneration committees."

Corruption scandal shakes Vatican as internal letters leaked

Reuters, by Philip PullellaVATICAN CITY, Thu Jan 26, 2012 

A general view of St. Peter square where Pope Benedict XVI celebrates 
the canonization ceremony in St. Peter square at the Vatican October 12, 2008.
(Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

(Reuters) - The Vatican was shaken by a corruption scandal Thursday after an Italian television investigation said a former top official had been transferred against his will after complaining about irregularities in awarding contracts.

The show "The Untouchables" on the respected private television network La 7 Wednesday night showed what it said were several letters that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was then deputy-governor of Vatican City, sent to superiors, including Pope Benedict, in 2011 about the corruption.

The Vatican issued a statement Thursday criticizing the "methods" used in the journalistic investigation. But it confirmed that the letters were authentic by expressing "sadness over the publication of reserved documents."

As deputy governor of the Vatican City for two years from 2009 to 2011, Vigano was the number two official in a department responsible for maintaining the tiny city-state's gardens, buildings, streets, museums and other infrastructure.

Vigano, currently the Vatican's ambassador in Washington, said in the letters that when he took the job in 2009 he discovered a web of corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to outside companies at inflated prices.

In one letter, Vigano tells the pope of a smear campaign against him (Vigano) by other Vatican officials who wanted him transferred because they were upset that he had taken drastic steps to save the Vatican money by cleaning up its procedures.

"Holy Father, my transfer right now would provoke much disorientation and discouragement in those who have believed it was possible to clean up so many situations of corruption and abuse of power that have been rooted in the management of so many departments," Vigano wrote to the pope on March 27, 2011.

In another letter to the pope on April 4, 2011, Vigano says he discovered the management of some Vatican City investments was entrusted to two funds managed by a committee of Italian bankers "who looked after their own interests more than ours."


Vigano says in the same letter that in one single financial transaction in December, 2009, "they made us lose two and a half million dollars."

The program interviewed a man it identified as a member of the bankers' committee who said Vigano had developed a reputation as a "ballbreaker" among companies that had contracts with the Vatican, because of his insistence on transparency and competition.

The man's face was blurred on the transmission and his voice was distorted in order to conceal his identity.

In one of the letters to the pope, Vigano said Vatican-employed maintenance workers were demoralized because "work was always given to the same companies at costs at least double compared to those charged outside the Vatican."

For example, when Vigano discovered that the cost of the Vatican's larger than life nativity scene in St Peter's Square was 550,000 euros in 2009, he chopped 200,000 euros off the cost for the next Christmas, the program said.

Even though, Vigano's cost-cutting and transparency campaign helped turned Vatican City's budget from deficit to surplus during his tenure, in 2011 unsigned articles criticizing him as inefficient appeared in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

On March 22, 2011, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone informed Vigano that he was being removed from his position, even though it was to have lasted until 2014.

Five days later he wrote to Bertone complaining that he was left "dumbfounded" by the ouster and because Bertone's motives for his removal were identical to those published in an anonymous article published against him in Il Giornale that month.

In early April, Vigano went over Bertone's head again and wrote directly to the pope, telling him that he had worked hard to "eliminate corruption, private interests and dysfunction that are widespread in various departments."

He also tells the pope in the same letter that "no-one should be surprised about the press campaign against me" because he tried to root out corruption and had made enemies.

Despite his appeals to the pope that a transfer, even if it meant a promotion, "would be a defeat difficult for me to accept," Vigano was named ambassador to Washington in October of last year after the sudden death of the previous envoy to the United States.

In its statement, the Vatican said the journalistic investigation had treated complicated subjects in a "partial and banal way" and could take steps to defend the "honor of morally upright people" who loyally serve the Church.

The statement said that today's administration was a continuation of the "correct and transparent management that inspired Monsignor Vigano."

Former chief of PIP breast implant firm arrested

Deutsche Welle, 26 January 2012 

Jean-Claude Mas was arrested and
could face manslaughter charges
The ex-chief executive of a French company that was a world-leading manufacturer of breast implants has been arrested and could face charges of manslaughter in the wake of an international health scandal.

Jean-Claude Mas, founder of Poly Implant Prosthese (PIP), was arrested early Thursday by French police at his home in southern France. Mas will be held for 48 hours while investigators determine whether they can charge him with involuntary manslaughter and causing injury, police sources told Reuters.

Between 400,000 and 500,000 women around the world are estimated to have received implants made by PIP, which was shut down in 2010 after regulators discovered it was using substandard industrial grade silicon as a cost-saving measure.

Mas, speaking out for the first time in December, admitted to using the lower grade silicon, but denied they posed any potential health risks.

WHO weighs in

The World Health Organization (WHO) published a note on its website last week encouraging recipients of PIP implants to follow the health advice of their national health organizations.

"While the rupture rate of PIP prostheses was higher than expected in France, other national authorities reported varying rates," the statement said on the WHO website.

France, Germany and the Czech Republic have all recommended that the implants be removed. The UK's National Health Service has announced that it does not think the implants must be removed, but allowed that concerned women could still do so.

"The NHS will support removal of PIP implants if the patient has concerns and, with her doctor, she decides that it is right to do so," NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh wrote on its website.

According to various national estimates some 42,000 women in Britain, more than 30,000 in France, 25,000 Brazilians, 9,000 Australians and 4,000 Italians received the implants.

In France, some 2,700 women have filed complaints against Mas, according to Reuters.

Author: Stuart Tiffen

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

David Einhorn, the man who shorted Lehman, fined for insider dealing

Hedge fund manager who rose to prominence in credit crunch penalised for 'market abuse' relating to pub group shares, Dominic Rushe, Wednesday 25 January 2012

David Einhorn, seen here competing in the World Series of Poker in 2006,
has been fined £7.2m by the FSA Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, whose short selling famously helped to bring down Lehman Brothers bank, has been fined £7.2m for insider dealing by the UK regulator.

Einhorn, the owner of Greenlight Capital, engaged in "market abuse" in relation to a fundraising by pub group Punch Taverns in June 2009, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has ruled.

According to the City watchdog, Einhorn was told by a corporate broker acting on behalf of Punch Taverns that the company was preparing a significant equity fundraising. Moments after the telephone conversation ended, Einhorn gave instructions to sell all of Greenlight's holding in Punch.

At the time these instructions were given, Greenlight held 13.3% of Punch shares. Over the next four days Greenlight sold 11,656,000 Punch shares, reducing its holding in Punch from 13.3% to 8.89%.

On 15 June 2009, Punch announced a fundraising of £375m, after which the price of its shares fell by 29.9%. Greenlight's trading had thereby avoided losses of approximately £5.8m for the funds under its management.

The fine is a major blow for Einhorn's reputation. His career has been built on a talent for spotting wrongdoing in other firms. In a statement the hedge fund boss called the decision "unjust and inconsistent" and said the company had paid the fine rather than continue the "arduous fight".

In a statement, the FSA said it accepted that Einhorn's "insider trading" was not deliberate because he did not believe that what he had been told was inside information.

"However," it said, "this was not a reasonable belief. Investment professionals are expected to handle inside information carefully regardless of whether they have been formally wall-crossed. This was a serious case of market abuse by Einhorn and fell below the standards the FSA expects, particularly due to Einhorn's prominent position as president of Greenlight and given his experience in the market."

Tracey McDermott, the FSA's acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "Einhorn is an experienced professional with a high profile in the industry. We expect someone in his position to be able to identify inside information when he receives it and to act appropriately.

"His failure to do so is a serious breach of the expected standards of market conduct. It is highly damaging to market confidence when privileged shareholders commit market abuse, and the high penalty reflects the seriousness of his breach."

Einhorn was fined £3.6m including disgorgement of financial benefit. Greenlight was fined £3.65m. He said: "We believe that this action is unjust and inconsistent with the law and with prior FSA enforcement precedent. However, rather than continue an arduous fight, we have decided to put this matter behind us and concentrate on managing our business."

He added: "We have always strived to set an example of good conduct and ethics, and we take compliance very seriously. We didn't believe in 2009, and we don't believe now, that there was anything wrong with our conduct and our actions. The fine is for trading in advance of a decision that had not been made, and the FSA concedes we did not believe we had any inside information. We did not enter into any confidentiality agreement, we explicitly requested that we not be given confidential information, and we do not believe we were given any such information. Further, all the witness testimony supports our view."

The big shorter

Einhorn began shorting Lehman in 2007, claiming to have uncovered dubious accounting practices at the bank.

Previously, Allied Capital, another target of Einhorn's, accused him of market manipulation and sparked calls for an investigation. After a six-year fight, it transpired that Allied had broken securities laws and an investigation was then launched into the regulator's handling of the affair. Einhorn chronicled the often vicious spat in his book Fooling Some of the People All of the Time.

An accomplished bridge player, Einhorn took up poker a few years ago and finished 16th in the 2006 World Series, donating his $650,000 winnings to Parkinson's disease charity the Michael J Fox Foundation, where he is a board member.

Last year he tried to buy a minority stake in the New York Mets baseball team. But talks broke down, reportedly over Einhorn's plans to position himself to take over the club at some unspecified future date.

Related Articles: