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UsernameSlightly Optimistic
Joined04 Feb '06  18:48
First Post04 Feb '06  20:22
Last Post26 Nov '15  15:23
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Last 10 posts

26 Nov '15  15:23
Finance and Investment
Mass corruption

See the Finance and Investment forum: "The International Federation of Accountants and the Big Four accounting firms have been calling on governments to change their practices for years."

26 Nov '15  11:53
British Political Economy
The UK is likely to fail the anti-corruption targets adopted in September by the United Nations.

Europe's money-laundering machine: still spinning
As Transparency International UK have shown in their recent report on money laundering in the UK, poor oversight, a lack of transparency and conflicts of interest makes the very system that’s supposed to prevent money laundering unfit for purpose.

Looking at supervision alone, the UK has 22 different bodies that have some degree of responsibility for enforcing anti-money laundering regulations, but 20 of these fail to meet basic transparency standards. Fifteen of the supervisors of these bodies have serious conflicts of interest between their private-sector lobbying roles and their enforcement responsibilities.

But it’s not just the UK. . .

See the Finance and Investment forum: "The International Federation of Accountants and the Big Four accounting firms have been calling on governments to change their practices for years."
26 Nov '15  11:03
International Trade
China's turn at a Marshall Plan?

China may invest $1 trillion overseas in next 5 years [asiatimes]
Continuing the carrot and stick approach to international trade, Premier Li Keqiang told poorer European nations that China would likely invest in their countries and import their products if they promised to buy Chinese products.

Li said over the next five years, China is looking to invest more than $1 trillion overseas, and import more than $10 trillion in commodities, state-backed news site China Daily reported.

From the FT:
China’s most powerful weapon is trade
Beijing’s trump card may be its One Belt, One Road plan. . . Even the UK is not immune to the pull of China’s red dollar

25 Nov '15  15:37
Finance and Investment
In accordance with the wishes of the G20 following the 2008 financial crisis, the accounting profession is aiming for the global adoption and implementation of a high quality, consistent set of accounting standards.

However key governments are unwilling to comply. Let alone cases of audit independence being withdrawn, it was reported a few days ago that public bodies can be free to change from the accruals accounting basis to cash accounting: in one example a US municipality converted a $674.3 million deficit into a $50 million surplus. The city was therefore able to make financial commitments that they won't be able to fulfil in the future.

"The International Federation of Accountants and the Big Four accounting firms have been calling on governments to change their practices for years."
25 Nov '15  12:26
European Political Economy
Political alliances mean that others can be dragged in as well. US foreign policy was recently said to be held hostage by the unpredictable behaviour of allies/proxies, such as Israel and Japan.

Now the government of Turkey is guiding the foreign policies of both the EU [where it is helping to shatter any unity] and the US. North Korea and China?
23 Nov '15  18:00
UK House Prices
The FRC can apparently refuse to investigate the [mis?]appropriation of £billions of public money. This is no doubt the sovereign privilege of national agencies all over the world.

The cross-border European Union is especially concerned about such regularity arbitrage in its region, cynic 09. Last week, for example, the European Commissioner for competition bemoaned the absence of national will for common approaches to the effective supervision of finance and the promotion of economic growth in the European Union.
22 Nov '15  20:37
Finance and Investment
It seems that national laws are the main obstacles to growing and supervising the global economy [see below]. For one example, the UK introduced a supreme court whose terms make clear that parliament can disobey checks and balances that were written into law to protect the public from parliament; and can also disobey international treaties on finance it has signed up to.

No doubt this problem is worldwide. Westphalia didn't foresee a global economy?
21 Nov '15  15:32
Finance and Investment
National interest of course can prevent both the enforcement of a nation's constitutional checks and balances on finance, and the enforcement of rules for global finance [House Price forum, 20 Nov '15 12:07].

This year the United Nations started to try to address these huge shortcomings by introducing controls over the governance of individual nations ['special development goals']. But can the UN system really protect the enforcement procedure - the same problem that exists in nations, but on a world-wide scale.

And growing the global economy seems to be at the discretion of the United States [International Trade forum, 19 Nov '15 11:35].

20 Nov '15  12:07
UK House Prices
Cynic 09, the authors of the HBOS report note that terms of reference precluded them from opining on whether audit reviews of the international bank met "the required standards". This was said to be a matter for the UK nation's Financial Reporting Council. However the FRC has said there have been no grounds for commencing an investigation.

This response is unsurprising. The FRC, and indeed the FCA, are supported by the UK government. Some years ago a Westminster inquiry was held into the many billions of public money used by the government to bail out banks. At the official inquiry the auditors claimed the government had persuaded them beforehand to keep their reservations quiet. This was a matter of national interest despite the international ownership of the banks. Therefore little action was taken following this disclosure.

A common problem for unprotected audit in global finance that the international audit profession has been aware of for many years, but can't get addressed.
19 Nov '15  18:28
Finance and Investment
Withdrawing the independence of financial audit seems very Chinese.

HBOS collapse - investigation? Echoes here of the international distrust mentioned below: Why Austria Is Repatriating Gold From London

In fairness to China, they now realise that independent oversight is necessary. Caixin: Drawing line between government and markets is key in reforming China’s financial industry

China's leader, Xi Jinping seems receptive to international cooperation to improve financial regulation and fight corruption - a new aim of the United Nations in its sustainable development goals.

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