Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Just five years after President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace prize (to much global amazement), Norwegian politicians have nominated none other than Edward Snowden for this year’s award for contributing to transparency and global stability by exposing a U.S. surveillance program. As Reuters reports, Snowden’s “actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies.”  


 

Via Reuters,

The public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing have contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order,” Norwegian parliamentarians Snorre Valen and Baard Vegar Solhjell said in the nomination letter obtained by Bloomberg.

 

 

There’s no doubt that the actions of Edward Snowden may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term,” said Valen and Solhjell, who was environment minister in the former Labor-led government. Snowden’s “actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies.”

 

 

Valen and Solhjell, who represent the Socialist Left Party in the Norwegian parliament, also said that they “don’t necessarily condone or support all of his disclosures.”

 

The Nobel Committee accepts nominations from members of national assemblies, governments, international courts, professors and previous laureates. It received a record 259 nominations for last year’s prize. While the nominees are kept secret for 50 years, names are sometimes disclosed by the nominators. The prize winner will be announced in October.

 

Is this the Nobel’s last best effort to regain some credibility?


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1jKSx3e Tyler Durden

RBS £8 Billion Loss Shows Risk In UK Banking System

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,254.75, EUR 917.89 and GBP 756.42 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,253.50, EUR 919.12 and GBP 757.04 per ounce.

Gold fell $1.00 or 0.08% yesterday to $1,254.10/oz. Silver slipped $0.05 or 0.25% to $19.58/oz.

Find out why Singapore is now one of the safest places in the world to store gold in our latest gold guide –The Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Traders eagerly await news from the Fed’s policy announcement on Wednesday. The recent tapering of the central bank’s bond-buying program by $10 billion to $75 billion a month is already largely priced into the market.

Most physical buyers will ignore the noise and focus on the fact that the Fed’s monetary policies, along with most central banks in the world, remain extraordinarily accommodative even after the recent $10 billion taper. They are likely to continue accumulating until they see an actual, real tightening in monetary policies and an actual end to quantitative easing.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is heading for an £8 billion loss for 2013, rewarding senior executives massive bonuses despite losses, having to lay aside nearly $5 billion to cover potential litigation claims related to mortgage-backed securities and other high risk products sold before the financial crisis, gouging some of their business clients and now allegations of currency price fixing.

RBS is to stop providing dozens of currency benchmarks, as regulatory rate rigging probes raise doubts about the integrity of daily price fixings in the global foreign exchange and gold markets.

In a memo to clients, the bank said that it would limit its offering of foreign exchange benchmarks to a handful of price fixings, and that it would wind down its internal benchmark, called RBS Fix.

Nearly six years after the financial crisis and its massive bailout, it looks like business as usual by the bankers in RBS and in the City of London and Wall Street.

Find out why Singapore is now one of the safest places in the world to store gold in our latest gold guide –The Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore


    



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Nothing Lasts Forever; World Bank Ex-Chief Economist Calls For End To Dollar As Reserve Currency

In the past we have discussed at length the inevitable demise of the USD as the world's reserve currency noting that nothing lasts forever. However, when former World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin warns that "the dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises," we suspect the world will begin to listen (especially the Chinese. Lin, now – notably – an adviser to the Chinese government, concludes that internationalizing the Chinese currency is not the answer (preferring a basket approach) but ominously concludes, "the solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency," as it will create more stable global financial system.

 

The infamous chart that shows nothing lasts forever…

Nothing lasts forever… (especially in light of China's earlier comments [21])

 

Via China Daily,

The World Bank's former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system.

"The dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises," Justin Yifu Lin told Bruegel, a Brussels-based policy-research think tank. "The solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency."

 

Lin, now a professor at Peking University and a leading adviser to the Chinese government, said expanding the basket of major reserve currencies — the dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and pound sterling — will not address the consequences of a financial crisis. Internationalizing the Chinese currency is not the answer, either, he said.

 

 

"China can only play a supporting role in realizing the plans," Lin said. "The urgent thing is for the US and Europe to endorse these plans. And I think the G20 is an ideal platform to discuss the ideas," he said, referring to the group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies.

 

The concept of a global "super currency" tied to a basket of currencies has been periodically discussed by world leaders as well as endorsed by 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz. A super currency could also be tied to a single currency, but the interconnectedness of world financial markets and concerns about the volatility that can occur as a result of the system being tied to one currency have made this idea less popular.

 

Arguments in favor of a global currency resurfaced during October's US budget impasse, which forced the government to shut down (as we noted here).

"It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world," a Xinhua News Agency commentary said on Oct 14. The piece argued that creating a new international reserve currency to replace reliance on the greenback, would prevent government gridlock in Washington from affecting the rest of the world.

 

In March 2009, China's central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, called for the creation of a new "super-sovereign reserve currency" to replace the dollar. In a paper published on the People's Bank of China's website, Zhou said an international reserve currency "disconnected from individual nations" and "able to remain stable in the long run" would benefit the global financial system more than current reliance on the dollar.

Of course, as we are seeing now, it's not just the Chinese that are concerned…

On that note, David Bloom, global head of FX research at HSBC, said US monetary policy change "will bring fluctuations for emerging countries' currencies and lead to financial instability".

 

Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a government think-tank, said, "A supranational currency may be a new direction for development of the global financial system. It also requires different countries to cooperate in coordinating macroeconomic policies."

 

Bloom and Chen both said China needs to play a more important role in global financial governance. But Bloom said it is difficult for international financial organizations to reach a consistent conclusion on how to improve the foreign exchange system.

 

He said the renminbi is predicted to be stronger this year, even against an appreciating US dollar, and internationalization of China's currency will accelerate when the government decides to further open the capital market.

Of course implementation will be painful…

Pierre Defraigne, executive director of the Madariaga College of Europe Foundation in Brussels, said of Lin's infrastructure proposal, "It is excellent, but the problem is how to implement these plans to link those countries that need such infrastructural construction and those with enough foreign reserves, by using an effective global mechanism."

As we noted previously, the muddle-through is over and there is no painless solution left…

Michal Krol, a researcher at the Brussels-based European Center for International Political Economy, said …

 

"I don't think that the largest economies and their currencies are at this moment ready for the introduction of a supranational currency," Krol said. "Neither the EU nor China have financial markets and monetary systems yet that are sound, solid, predictable and well functioning to be the cornerstone for a global system. But, indeed, it is time to formulate the fundamentals for global monetary governance."
 


    



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Coweta schools closed on Thursday; Coweta EMA chief to drivers – 'stay off roadways'

The continued effects of the winter storm on roadways has led to Coweta County schools remaining closed on Thursday for students and staff, according to school system spokesman Dean Jackson.

Coweta County Emergency Management Agency Director Jay Jones on Wednesday morning said the 911 center through Tuesday and into Wednesday received 100-200 calls, with many of those being accident-related.

read more

via The Citizen http://ift.tt/1grJN1s

Coweta schools closed on Thursday; Coweta EMA chief to drivers – ‘stay off roadways’

The continued effects of the winter storm on roadways has led to Coweta County schools remaining closed on Thursday for students and staff, according to school system spokesman Dean Jackson.

Coweta County Emergency Management Agency Director Jay Jones on Wednesday morning said the 911 center through Tuesday and into Wednesday received 100-200 calls, with many of those being accident-related.

read more

via The Citizen http://ift.tt/1grJN1s

Fayette schools to stay closed tomorrow (Thursday)

Leaders have decided to keep Fayette County’s public school system closed tomorrow (Thursday) as the county still suffers from a number of icy and slick spots on county roads and state highways.

The announcement was posted via the school system’s Facebook page.

Weather wise the temperature has yet to come close to breaking the freezing mark today.

via The Citizen http://ift.tt/1grJML0

RBS £8 Billion Loss Shows Risk In UK Banking System

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,254.75, EUR 917.89 and GBP 756.42 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,253.50, EUR 919.12 and GBP 757.04 per ounce.

Gold and silver rose by more than 1% on the COMEX today. Gold was $15.70 higher to $1,269.80 per ounce and silver rose $0.20 to $19.78/oz.

Traders eagerly await news from the Fed. The recent tapering of the central bank’s bond-buying program by $10 billion to $75 billion a month is already largely priced into the market contrary to much idle speculation.

Most physical buyers will ignore the noise and focus on the fact that the Fed’s monetary policies, along with most central banks in the world, remain extraordinarily accommodative even after the recent $10 billion taper.

They are likely to continue accumulating until they see an actual, real tightening in monetary policies and an actual end to quantitative easing.Traders eagerly await news from the Fed’s policy announcement on Wednesday. The recent tapering of the central bank’s bond-buying program by $10 billion to $75 billion a month is already largely priced into the market.

The smart money is either continuing to accumulate physical or transporting already purchased bullion from storage in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other western countries to storage in Singapore. Indeed, some are selling holdings in the West and rebuying bullion for storage in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is heading for an £8 billion loss for 2013 and yet it is rewarding senior executives massive bonuses despite losses. It will have to lay aside nearly $5 billion to cover potential litigation claims related to mortgage-backed securities and other high risk products sold before the financial crisis. Its poorly served clients have had frequent IT and computer technical problems and there have been found to be gouging some of their business clients who have found themselves in financial difficulty. Recent days have seen allegations of currency price fixing.

RBS is to stop providing dozens of currency benchmarks, as regulatory rate rigging probes raise doubts about the integrity of daily price fixings in the global foreign exchange and gold markets.

In a memo to clients, the bank said that it would limit its offering of foreign exchange benchmarks to a handful of price fixings, and that it would wind down its internal benchmark, called RBS Fix.

Nearly six years after the financial crisis and its massive bailout, it looks like business as usual by the bankers in RBS and in the City of London and Wall Street.

Find out why Singapore is now one of the safest places in the world to store gold in our latest gold guide –
The Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1dOVQhJ GoldCore

St. Louis County Cops Accused of Unauthorized, Possibly Politically Motivated Criminal Background Checks

all your database are belong to themTwo St. Louis county police
officers who were assigned to the detail of County Executive
Charles Dooley have had their access to a criminal database
suspended while an investigation over whether they were running
unauthorized background checks,
according
to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The officers
are specifically accused of running such a check on a former
candidate for the police board, a body that’s theoretically
supposed to supervise officers. The Dispatch
reports
:

Questions first arose in October when Dooley’s chief of
staff, Garry Earls, announced to the county council that a criminal
background check into former police board candidate David Spence
had come back clean, County Chief Tim Fitch said.

Fitch said he had questioned how the county administration would
know that information because he didn’t believe it was his
officers’ place to run the checks.

“I thought it was inappropriate because we answer to police board
members and we should not be doing any background checks on our own
supervisors,” he said.

Further investigation revealed that at least one of the two
officers assigned to Dooley’s detail had run Spence’s name
unbeknownst to Fitch, he said.

“That’s when we asked ourselves, ‘Who else is he running?’ ” Fitch
said.

Fitch insisted he’s not claiming the elected official Dooley did
anything wrong, and that the investigation is focused on whether
the two officers did. He said, however, that he was also interested
in who may have asked them to run the checks (Dooley? duh?).
 As part of Dooley’s detail, they were stationed in the office
of the county executive. Access to the criminal database was meant
to assess threats against the county executive, and Fitch noted
that all searches are only illegal if done for “criminal justice
purposes.”

File this one as just one more reason you should be worried
about expansive government databases even if you
think you have nothing to hide
.

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Snowden Nominated for Nobel Prize, Atlanta Becomes Frozen Hell, House Passes $1 Trillion Farm Bill: P.M. Links

  • Snowden isn't responsible for nearly enough deaths to get the Nobel Peace Prize, right?Two Norwegian politicians have
    nominated Edward Snowden for the
    2014 Nobel Peace Prize
    . They should ask to transfer over the
    one they gave to President Barack Obama.
  • The cold weather has turned Atlanta into an
    apocalyptic landscape
    about which several comparisons to
    The Walking Dead have been made.
  • The Supreme Court ordered a temporary
    stay of the execution
    of a Missouri man. Opponents are pointing
    to the state’s lack of transparency about the drugs they’re using
    to execute prisoners as a problem.
  • The House has passed the
    $1 trillion farm bill
    . It cuts food stamps slightly and one
    farm subsidy but expands the crop insurance program.
  • Egypt will be putting 20 Al Jazeera journalists, including

    four foreign reporters, on trial
    for aiding members of the
    now-banned Muslim Brotherhood as Al Jazeera correspondents.
  • A White House petition demanding the
    deportation of Justin Bieber
    has reached the threshold of
    100,000 to garner a response. I was going to suggest that 100,000
    folks should prepare for disappointment, but given the Obama
    administration’s reputation for deporting people, they may get what
    they want.

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