Thursday, June 25, 2009

FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) due June 30th,,id=148845,00.html

FAQs Regarding Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Germans to install gold vending machines

From the
Financial Times:

Germans will soon be able to sate their appetite for the yellow metal as easily as buying a chocolate bar after plans were announced on Tuesday to install gold vending machines in airports and railway stations across the country.

The venture by the TG-Gold-Super-Markt company, based near Stuttgart, aims to build on soaring retail interest...

A prototype vending machine on display in Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday appeared to be a converted version of the dispensers typically used to sell snacks. For €30 airport shoppers could buy a 1g wafer of gold, with a larger 10g bar priced on Tuesday at €245 and gold coins also on sale.

When the Financial Times bought the cheapest product it was dispensed in an oblong metal box labelled "My Golden Treasure", with a certificate of authenticity signed by Mr Geissler but no receipt and the wrong change. Mr Geissler said he hoped to have a more advanced prototype available this month.

Gold prices from the machines – about 30 per cent higher than market prices for the cheapest product – will be updated every few minutes.

A camera on the machine monitors transactions for money laundering controls...

Interest in gold has soared during the financial crisis and Germany was last year the "star performer" in retail physical investment in gold – coins and bars – according to GFMS, the London-based precious metals consultancy. Retail demand reached an estimated 108 tonnes in 2008, up from 36 tonnes in 2007 and 28 tonnes in 2006.

Jens Willenbockel, an investment banker who saw the machine while passing through the airport, said he believed there could be a market. "Because of the crisis there is a lot of awareness of gold," he said. "It is also a great gift for children – for them getting gold is like a fairytale."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Russian confidence in the dollar drives EUR/USD down 500 pips
By Lukanyo Mnyanda and Wes Goodman

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries rose for a third day after Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said his nation has confidence in the dollar and there are no immediate plans to switch to a new reserve currency.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Elite E Services announces Hot Links Feed

Elite E Services announces Hot Links Feed:

Feed Homepage:

Links will be posted on EES Blog (see on the right):

To follow the RSS directly, use IE or Outlook (import RSS)

By clicking 'subscribe to this feed' it will be saved and updated live in IE. Also, Vista users can use the RSS feed as a gadget on their desktop.

The feed will be used to post links for articles and news as a replacement for EES Private FX chat which was recently shut down.

Peak Soil Investment: This Quiet Land Grab is Just Beginning Peak Soil Investment: This Quiet Land Grab is Just Beginning Crops under stress as temperatures fall

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Senators held stock in bailed-out banks Senators who oversee the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package held stocks in many of the banks bailed out towards the end of last year, according to financial disclosure reports released Friday.

According to the reports detailing senators' finances in 2008, nearly half of the members of the Senate Banking Committee had holdings in financial institutions that have taken funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The panel has jurisdiction over the bailout fund and other relief efforts directed by federal regulators to save the nation's financial system.

For example, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), a Banking panel member, has assets in several banks that have taken bailout funds. Along with Goldman Sachs, the senator has several assets in Bank of America funds, worth at least $115,00. Bank of America has received $45 billion in government funds.

Friday, June 12, 2009

$134 billion bust on Italian Border

$134 billion (95.8 billion euros).

Italian customs officers on the Swiss border often stop smugglers -- but not of this scale. Two Japanese citizens have been detained by Italian police in Chiasso on the Swiss-Italian border after being found with $134 billion of US bonds hidden in the base of their suitcase, according to a press statement by the Italian Guardia di Finanza.

Guardia di Finanza: Bonanza find.
The two men, reported to be more than 50 years old, were traveling by train from Italy to Switzerland on June 3. Financial police at a control on the border found the documents tucked inside a closed section at the bottom of their suitcase, separate from their personal items. According to their statement, the men's luggage included 249 government bonds worth $500 million and 10 so-called Kennedy bonds, each worth a billion dollars.

But details of the case remain unclear: The Japanese embassy in Rome confirmed the arrest of the two men but the news agency Bloomberg reported on Friday that it was not yet established whether they were Japanese citizens.

It yet to be seen whether this is the biggest smuggling scandal in history -- or a massive fraud. Italian officials said they were still checking the authenticity of the bonds.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Feds freeze bank accounts of online poker players "I can't believe the government is reaching into people's bank accounts like this," he said. "For a lot of serious players this is their lifeblood. This is how they make ends meet."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fed hires veteran lobbyist By Mark Felsenthal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve is on track to hire a veteran lobbyist to help manage its relations with Congress at a time of heightened attention to its role in national affairs, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The Fed plans to hire Linda Robertson, who previously worked for now-defunct energy company Enron, as well as the Clinton administration.

She is currently head of government, community and public relations at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the hiring process was not complete.

The Fed believes it will be useful to add to its resources at a time when there is great public and congressional interest in the institution, the source said.

The U.S. central bank has been at the forefront of government actions to limit damage from the financial crisis that began in August 2007 and the impact of the deep recession that began in December of that year.

Members of Congress have chafed at the Fed's bold use of its emergency powers and in particular its multibillion-dollar bailouts of investment bank Bear Stearns and insurer American International Group.

Critics also bristle at the Fed's practice of maintaining the confidentiality of the companies that borrow directly from the central bank on the grounds that divulging their names would risk runs on those institutions.

Many lawmakers and private analysts also fault the Fed for failing to stop risky lending and flawed market practices that laid the groundwork for the crisis.

A non-binding budget bill approved by Congress in April opened the door for lawmakers to seek disclosure of the names of firms that receive emergency Fed loans and paves the way for a possible study of the Federal Reserve System's structure of 12 regional banks and a Washington-based board.

Some officials believe lawmakers would like to go so far as to demand that the presidents of these regional banks -- or at least the head of the powerful New York Fed -- be subject to congressional approval. Currently, directors at these regional banks pick their presidents, subject to the approval of the Fed's Washington board.

Robertson was vice president for government affairs at now-defunct energy company Enron Corp from November 2000 until she closed its Washington office in early 2002. Enron collapsed in scandal in 2001 and her work there may raise some eyebrows.

Before that, she was an assistant Treasury secretary for legislative and public affairs under then-President Bill Clinton.

Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins, said Robertson was not available to comment.

(Editing by Dan Grebler)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Green Shoots turn into Yellow Weeds - Roubini

POST IT -- Recent data suggest that the rate of contraction in the world economy may be slowing. But hopes that “green shoots” of recovery may be springing up have been dashed by plenty of yellow weeds. Recent data on employment, retail sales, industrial production, and housing in the United States remain very weak; Europe’s first quarter GDP growth data is dismal; Japan’s economy is still comatose; and even China – which is recovering – has very weak exports. Thus, the consensus view that the global economy will soon bottom out has proven – once again – to be overly optimistic...