People are seriously underestimating how much liquidity in the global financial world is dependent on a solvent BP. BP extends credit — through trading and finance. It extends the amounts, quality, and duration of credit a bank could only dream of. The gold community should think about the financial muscle behind a company with 100-plus years of proven oil and gas reserves. Think about that in comparison with what a bank, with few tangible assets (truly, not allegedly), possesses (no wonder they all started trading for a living). Then think about what happens if BP goes under. This is no bank. With proven reserves and wells in the ground, equity in fields all over the planet, in terms of credit quality and credit provision — nothing can match an oil major. God only knows how many assets around the planet are dependent on credit and finance extended from BP. It’s likely to dwarf any banking entity in multiples.
And at the heart of it all are those dreadful OTC (over-the-counter) derivatives again! Banks try and lean on major oil companies because they have exactly the kind of credit-worthiness that they themselves lack. In fact, major oil companies, conversely, spend large amounts of time both denying banks credit and trying to get bank risk off of their books in their trading operations. Oil companies have always mistrusted bank creditworthiness and have largely considered the banking industry a bad financial joke. Banks plead with oil companies to let them trade beyond one year in duration. Banks even used to do losing trades with oil companies simply to get them on their trading register; a foot in the door so that they could subsequently beg for an extension in credit size and duration.
As we’re beginning to see, the Western pension structure, financial trading, and global credit are all intertwined. BP is central to this, as a massive supplier of what many believe(d) to be AAA credit. So while we see banks roll over and die and sovereign entities begin to falter, we now have a major oil company on the verge of going under. Another leg of the global economic “chair” is being viciously kicked out from under us. Ecological damage isn’t just an eco-event on its isolated own. It’s been added to the list of man-made disasters jeopardizing the world economy. The price tag and resultant knock-on effects of a BP failure could easily be equal to that of a Lehman, if not more. It’s surely, at the very least, Enron times 10.
Former oil clean-up worker Candi Warren says she signed up to make a difference, but soon found out the work of cleaning the beaches was all cosmetic. That’s what she was told, she says.
Warren says she knew that when crews worked during the day, the tide and surf buried oil overnight. But they were forbidden to dig it up. She quit in disgust three weeks ago despite the $18 per hour pay.
She said she was told to only clean the surface of the sand, that this is all cosmetic. She was on a crew at Gulf State Park where tourists go. She says it has priority so as to make it look like the beaches are clean.
Warren says she believes money is being wasted on the crews and says "At some point the real clean-up will have to begin, but I’m afraid the money will be gone."
"They accuse you of being some kind of child molester just because you are sitting next to someone.
Now a consent order has been drawn up at Slough County Court, in which BA admitted sex discrimination in the case and agreed to pay him costs of £2,161 and £750 in damages.
Mr Fischer, a hedge fund manager, has donated the damages payout and £2,250 of his own money to Kidscape and Orphans in the Wild, two child protection charities.
The $20bn fund that Barack Obama managed to get BP to agree to set up to meet claims for economic losses and environmental costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is impressive, especially since the amount can be increased. The political pressure so evident also caused BP to temporarily suspend paying dividends. This should set a precedence for how host countries of multinationals take stern action, and executives of multinationals respond to meet their responsibilities – even if only partially.
But then the US is a powerful host country indeed, and BP had little choice but to yield given the political pressure and public anger. Developing countries are also host to multinationals that in many cases have poisoned the environment or caused immense loss of life and property. But these multinationals have got away scot free or paid miniscule sums for the harm they caused.
These double standards must change. There should be international co-operation between the host and home countries of multinationals to ensure they compensate for the environmental clean-up as well as pay victims for ecological disasters they cause, wherever they take place. The G20 leaders should talk about it this weekend, and not just focus on bank levies and the shift to fiscal austerity packages.
Sports fans who want to use a credit or debit card to buy tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be restricted to using a Visa card, due to an exclusive deal between the Olympic organisers and the credit card payment system.
Payment for the 10 million tickets expected to be sold from 2011 through the Olympic website and other authorised sellers have been restricted to those that run through the Visa payment system.
On the official London 2012 ticket site, it says: "In recognition of Visa’s support of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, London 2012 is proud to accept only Visa payment cards (debit, credit and prepaid), along with cash and cheques. Sponsor support is crucial to the staging of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the operation of organisations throughout the Olympic Movement.
I’m proud to announce another exclusive deal between me and all Olympic venues: I won’t be visiting any of them.
A top German court has ruled that it is not a criminal offence to cut off the life support of a dying person if that person has given their consent.
Just about every cell phone in current production has the antenna located at the bottom. This insures that the radiating portion of the antenna is furthest from the head. Apple was not the first to locate the antenna on the bottom, and certainly won’t be the last. The problem is that humans have their hands below their ears, so the most natural position for the hand is covering the antenna. This can’t be a good design decision, can it? How can we be stuck with this conundrum? It’s the FCC’s fault.
You see, when the FCC tests are run, the head is required to be in the vicinity of the phone. But, the hand is not!! And the FCC’s tests are not the only tests that must be passed by a candidate product. AT&T has their own requirements for devices put on their network, and antenna efficiency is one of them. I know because I have designed quad-band GSM antennas for the AT&T network. The AT&T test similarly does not require the hand to be on the phone.
So, naturally, the design evolved to meet requirements – and efficient transmission and reception while being held by a human hand are simply not design requirements!
garbagetrashpacificocean Biologist: Ocean pollution threatening the human food supply Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.
A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said.
"These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean," said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report.
More leaks from behind the scenes at the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations: the EU is pushing for criminal sanctions for non-commercial copyright infringement. That means putting kids in jail for trading music with one another.
“The ACTA agreement, by its opacity and undemocratic nature, allows criminal sanctions to be simply negotiated. The leaked document shows that the EU Member States are willing to impose prison sanctions for non-commercial usages of copyrighted works on the Internet as well as for ‘inciting and aiding’, a notion so broad that it could cover any Internet service or speech questioning copyright policies. EU citizens should interrogate their governments about their support to policies that obviously attack freedom of speech, privacy and innovation. Around the next round of negotiations and beyond, ACTA should be restlessly combatted and opposed worldwide.” concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
Nearly a year after she quit her governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin was found guilty today of another breach of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act involving her so-called Alaska Fund Trust (AFT), which she established as a private “legal defense fund” while governor.
In what is an extremely detailed finding, Petumenos ruled that even though Palin assigned the research of forming the fund to her former spokesperson Meghan Stapleton and even though Palin relied on extensive outside legal counsel, that “the Trust itself, as ultimately conceived, violates the Ethics Act.”
The finding is a stinging rebuke to Palin, who must now return more than $386,000 in contributions to the AFT.