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Showing posts from February, 2015

Stripe now accepting Bitcoins

Digital payment provider Stripe is now allowing any merchant in its network to accept payments in bitcoin after nearly a year of beta testing. Any merchant in Stripe’s network with a US dollar bank account can start accepting bitcoin through the company’s API or its Stripe Checkout feature. Those merchants who are already a Stripe Checkout user can add bitcoin using just one line of code, the company said. Stripe, which handles payments for Kickstarter and Shopify, as well as powering Facebook and Twitter’s ‘Buy’ buttons, started testing the bitcoin integration in March 2014. The scheme was completed in December. During the beta programme Stripe conducted bitcoin transactions in 60 different countries, and has long been expected to complete the integration. Since Stripe started testing bitcoin acceptance, both PayPal and payments subsidiary Braintree have started accepting bitcoin. PayPal only allows merchants in North America to accept the crypto-currency, while Braintree only allow…

President Xi Jinping's campaign against corruption nabbing over 70,000 officials

This week's celebrations to welcome in the lunar New Year aren't likely to offer much relief to retailers online or anywhere else in the country.
During China's boom years, Shanxi province was an economic backwater notorious for coal mine accidents and air pollution. According to a 2013 study by researchers at Princeton University, the University of Texas-Austin, and Peking University, the number of Shanxi infants born with neural tube defects is 18 times as high as in the United States.
Now, Shanxi is at the forefront of China's latest trend: the new frugality.
With President Xi Jinping's campaign against corruption nabbing over 70,000 officials last year, stores in the provincial capital of Taiyuan that once catered to officials with tastes running to Gucci and Hermes are empty. "Wealthy coal mine bosses and government officials have long been the patron of these luxury brands in Taiyuan," the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. "But w…

International Business Etiquette

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A Handy Little Guide to International Business EtiquetteWritten byLindsay Kolowich | @ SHARE163
inShare Success in business comes down to building strong relationships with our associates. As our jobs become more and more globalized, many of us find ourselves traveling and building relationships with people across internat

Companies and government officials are illegally moving as much as $60 billion out of Africa

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JOHANNESBURG—Companies and government officials are illegally moving as much as $60 billion out of Africa each year, according to a report released Sunday, depriving the world’s poorest continent of capital and tax revenue that could spur faster economic growth. A joint panel run by the United Nations and the African Union and led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki released a report describing the methods some companies use to send money out of the continent illicitly. The losses are staggering not only in terms of dollars but development opportunities lost, Mr. Mbeki said. “We are talking about large volumes of capital that could play a great role in addressing Africa’s development challenges,” he said in an interview. The scams range from loggers in Mozambique understating the value of the timber to Nigerian officials who send abroad suitcases of illegally earned cash. MORERead the ReportENLARGE The panel estimated illicit outflows in part by adding up discrepancies betw…

undeclared accounts with HSBC Holdings Plc's private bank in

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Dilma Rousseff, minister chief of staff of the Presidency of the Federative Republic of Brazil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Brazil's tax watchdog opened a probe on whether about a dozen people involved in the Petrobras corruption scandal also allegedly had undeclared accounts with HSBC Holdings Plc's private bank in Switzerland, two sources with knowledge of the situation said on Saturday. A former manager at the state-controlled oil giant Petróleo Brasileiro SA had an account at HSBC's private Swiss bank, said the first source, who requested anonymity since the probe has not been made public. Others include an illegal money changer and two executives from engineering and oil equipment firms that had contracts with the firm, which is known as Petrobras, the same source added. The sources did not name the people being probed. The tax watchdog, known as Receita Federal, declined to comment. Efforts to contact members of HSBC's media office in São Paulo were unsuccessful. HS…

Michele Ferrero, Italy's richest man dies

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A box of Ferrero Rocher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Michele Ferrero, Italy's richest man and the owner of a global chocolate and confectionery empire, died on Saturday, two workers within the company said. He was 89. His death is likely to spur talk of succession and potential tie-ups at the family-controlled Ferrero group, which has continued to grow even through Italy's longest recession since World War Two. The group, which makes chocolate-hazelnut Nutella spread, Ferrero Rocher pralines and chocolate Kinder eggs, is seen by analysts and bankers as Italy's most valuable privately owned company. The billionaire died at his home in Monte Carlo after a long illness, one of the workers within the company said. Ferrero's son Giovanni, the chief executive of the Ferrero group, in late 2013 rejected suggestions that the Italian company had been approached by larger Swiss competitor Nestle and said Ferrero was not for sale. A man of few words who shunned publicity, Ferrero sen…

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) faces investigation by U.S. authorities

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HSBC Tower, the international headquarters for HSBC Holdings plc in Canary Wharf, London. Photo taken in 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) faces investigation by U.S. authorities and an inquiry by British lawmakers after admitting failings by its Swiss private bank that may have allowed some customers to dodge taxes. U.S. prosecutors have stepped up efforts to establish whether HSBC, the world's second largest bank, helped Americans evade taxes after media reports said the bank had helped wealthy customers conceal millions of dollars of assets. U.S. authorities are also probing whether HSBC manipulated currency rates, and a U.S. law enforcement official said on Monday the investigations could prompt the Department of Justice to revisit a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with the bank. The agreement was part of a $1.9 billion settlement that allowed HSBC to avoid criminal charges after it was found to have helped move hundreds of millions of dollars in il…

U.S. oil and gas producer SandRidge Energy Inc (SD.N) plans to slash its rig count

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U.S. oil and gas producer SandRidge Energy Inc (SD.N) plans to slash its rig count in Oklahoma and Kansas by nearly 75 percent, according to a document obtained by Reuters. The cuts, to be implemented through early April, may amount to what is arguably the most significant pullback in well drilling by a publicly traded shale oil company since crude prices started a 50 percent slide in June. The document shows SandRidge plans to cut the number of rigs drilling in the Mississippi Lime formation in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas in March and early April to eight, from 28. In November, the company told investors it had about 30 rigs running. The document makes no mention of rigs in West Texas, where the company also has acreage. It laid off 25 workers in West Texas in January, state data shows. A spokesman for SandRidge declined to comment but said the company would provide an update for 2015 on a quarterly results call on Feb. 27. Many companies have reduced spending by 25 percen…

The Age of Cryptocurrency

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How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order Hardcover – January 27, 2015 by Paul Vigna  (Author), Michael J. Casey  (Author)The Age of Cryptocurrency:
“Bitcoins are stored in digital bank accounts or wallets that can be set up at home by anyone with Internet access. There is no trip to the bank to set up an account, no need for documentation or proof that you are a man. Indeed, bitcoin does not know your name or your gender, so it allows you to women in patriarchal societies, at least those with access to the Internet, to control their own money. The importance of this cannot be overstated.” This will give freedom to people that would not ever have the opportunity without this means! This book will give you another look at the possibility of the future of digital currency. Bitcoins are explained and where it is headed is not guaranteed but I really did enjoy this one! Money, banking and cyber space all leads to a great read for me! Bitcoin became a buzzword …

Anonymous launches massive cyberattack campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization

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Anonymous has launched a massive cyberattack campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization, taking down hundreds of social media accounts and promising there is much more to come.
Read thisBluster, bravado and breaches: Today's 'terrorist' players in cybersecurityRead More ISIS, believed to be responsible for the recent attack on Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo -- before al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) eventually took responsibility -- is infamous for extremist views, recruitment from Western nations and both the kidnap and torture of civilians across the Middle East. The terrorist organization has built up a large social media presence across websites including Twitter and Facebook, and also uses YouTube to upload video footage -- including the reported executions of prisoners. In relation for the brutal killing of pilot First Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh, Jordan has recently stepped up airstrikes against the group in Syria. While…

SIPC: DISTRIBUTIONS TO MADOFF CUSTOMERS

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English: Bernard Madoff's mugshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia) SIPC: DISTRIBUTIONS TO MADOFF CUSTOMERS NOW COVERING 54 PERCENT OF LOSSES
Madoff Trustee Irving H. Picard Announces Fifth Disbursement of $355.8 Million, Bringing Total to $7.2 Billion for Allowed Claimants. WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 9, 2015 – Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) today applauded Irving H. Picard – the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (Madoff) – on the announcement of the fifth distribution of recovered funds to Madoff customers.  The distribution will total $355.8 million.
The total amount distributed in the Madoff liquidation proceeding to date exceeds $7.2 billion, covering more than 54 percent of the losses of allowed claimants. The overall figure of $7.2 billion includes $823.7 million in committed advances from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. 
When additional settlements awaiting distrib…