Daily Archives: August 2, 2015

Spectre Of FX Scandal Returns To Haunt HSBC

The spectre of the foreign exchange-rigging scandal will return to haunt HSBC on Monday when it sets aside hundreds of millions of pounds more to cover future settlements with regulators.

Sky News has learnt that Europe’s largest bank will disclose in its interim results that it is adding a substantial sum to the $550m (£352m) provision it has already allocated to resolve a number of investigations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Insiders said on Sunday that HSBC would announce an overall charge of well over $1bn (£640m) to cover conduct issues including the FX probes, but said that it would not provide a breakdown of the numbers.

Read on.

FBI says hackers shake down big banks, threaten to shut sites if they don’t pay up

Financial companies are facing extortion threats from hackers who threaten to knock their websites offline unless firms pay tens of thousands of dollars, an FBI agent told MarketWatch Thursday.

More than 100 companies, including targets from big banks to brokerages in the financial sector, have received distributed denial of service threats since about April, says Richard Jacobs, assistant special agency in charge of the cyber branch at the FBI’s New York office. With these types of attacks, known as DDoS, criminals jam websites by flooding them with useless traffic.

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A Slack Lifeline for Drowning Homeowners

NY Times:

After Lucy Circe became disabled and could no longer work, she applied to Bank of America for a mortgage loan modification on her Vermont home. Over more than two years, starting in 2012, the bank repeatedly requested copies of documents that had already been provided, asked for proof that she was no longer married to a man she did not even know, and made other errors, like asking why Ms. Circe had indicated that she didn’t want to keep her property when she had actually told the bank she did.

None of it made sense. But a disturbing report on the federal government’sHome Affordable Modification Program issued on Wednesday suggests that Ms. Circe’s experience was anything but unique.

Advertised in 2009 as a lifeline for as many as four million troubled borrowers, the program was one of the Obama administration’s signature efforts to help homeowners. But the report, by Christy L. Romero, the government official with authority to monitor the program, shows that six years later, just 887,001 borrowers are participating in loan modifications — deals that reduce the costs of mortgages.

It appears that the program has allowed big banks to run roughshod over borrowers again and again.


Jessica Radbord, her lawyer at Vermont Legal Aid in Burlington, kept battling on her behalf.

Finally, in April, Bank of America agreed to modify Ms. Circe’s loan.

Breaking news from David Macdonald, WildCRU’s Director: JERICHO IS ALIVE AND WELL

jericho the lion

wildcru.org/ Brent Stapelkamp

Hat tip to Wildlife Conservation Research Unit website:

August 2, 2015

Last night we were surprised so see rumours of the death of a second lion, Jericho, circulating in the media – we had no evidence for this. The rumours claimed he too had been hunted illegally. The WildCRU field research team and a National Parks ranger set out at daybreak to attempt to find him. People will realise that even with the aid of tracking equipment, this is difficult and skilful work in remote bush. Andy Loveridge contacted me moments ago. Jericho was seen alive and well at 06.15am. He has been feeding on a giraffe kill with the lionesses from his pride. Jericho is large male lion, about 11 years old, who has been intensively monitored as part of our detailed study of lion behavioural ecology in Hwange National Park. WildCRU’s Brent Stapelkamp was able to get the attached photo of Jericho.

Many people have asked if Jericho and Cecil were brothers. They were not related though their bond was one close to brotherhood. Male lions often form what are termed co-operative ‘coalitions’ with unrelated males in order to better compete with other males for territories and prides. In fact 42% of male lion coalitions are genetically unrelated, though larger coalitions tend to be brothers or half-brothers.

Protestors target hedge fund holding Puerto Rico debt

Protestors carrying a vulture puppet and chanting in Spanish marched outside the Park Avenue offices of a major holder of Puerto Rico’s debt on Thursday to protest proposed austerity measures.

The approximately 45 protestors from Hispanic community organizations slammed BlueMountain Capital Management, which holds Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) debt. They characterized the hedge fund as a vulture attacking the economically battered island.

The U.S. commonwealth is wrestling with $72 billion in debt. It is expected to default on some of it within the next few days.

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Tokyo police arrest CEO of bankrupt bitcoin exchange

Tokyo police on Aug. 1 arrested the CEO of the collapsed Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange over the looting of its virtual currency.

Police suspect that Mark Karpeles, 30, accessed the exchange’s computer records and falsified data on the outstanding balance of his own account.

He was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized creation and use of private electromagnetic records. Mt. Gox is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.

In February 2014, Mt. Gox announced that hackers accessed its computer system and stole 850,000 bitcoins, worth 46.5 billion yen ($372 million) at that time, as well as up to 2.8 billion yen from the exchange’s accounts.

Officers of the Metropolitan Police Department examined transaction records stored on computers that were voluntarily submitted to them.

Police determined that only Karpeles had access to the computer system. They said he accessed the computer system and tampered with in-house records of transactions so that his account had $1 million more than there was.

Karpeles, a resident of Toshima Ward in Tokyo, is denying the allegation, according to police.

Read on.