cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

10.13.2009

hangouts of the rich: switzerland and brazil

Madoff's make away

by Taki Theodoracopulos

When Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet committed suicide just before Christmas, I hoped against hope that others would do the same. No such luck. Villehuchet was an aristocrat, a gentleman and an honest man. He felt responsible for the loss of $1.4 billion and he took the honourable way out. I did not know Villehuchet but people who did have spoken very highly of him. The rest of Madoff’s gang I do know, and they are as likely to do the honourable thing as I am to emigrate to Israel. Most of these friends of Madoff own chalets in Gstaad, or visit regularly. I have warned personnel at the Gstaad Palace, the Yacht Club and the Eagle Club that if I come across any of them there will be fisticuffs. Not that any of them would fight. People like that rarely do.

The reason I’m so angry is that so many good people have been ruined by the greed of a few ‘feeder’ fund managers and so-called bankers. I will start with one Michael de Picciotto. His uncle, Edgar de Picciotto, is the founder and chairman of Union Bancaire Privée, a Geneva-based bank that invested client money with Madoff. The Picciottos are Syrian–Lebanese Jews who have become extremely rich these past 20 years. Somewhere along the way they picked up the aristocratic ‘de’, that being the only similarity any Picciotto has had with anything resembling aristocracy.

...

In fact, Madoff used Jewish charities to build up immunity from snoopers. Anyone suspected of being anti-Madoff was leaned on—heavily. There were many who steered clear of Madoff nonetheless. In 2003, the French Société Générale figured that Madoff’s numbers didn’t add up and placed him on its blacklist.

The trouble is that the U.S. government will not go all the way while prosecuting Madoff. Uncle Sam would if there were pension funds involved, but going to bat for some rich white Europeans is not Sam’s habit. Obviously Madoff has hidden assets, perhaps in the billions, and most of his feeder fund managers have money, too. I don’t see any of them wearing striped pyjamas any time soon. Smart lawyers, the best money can buy, will defend them against underpaid government mouthpieces. The leading players so far have maintained a stony silence, making sure to avoid any kind of apology or statement of responsibility. Villehuchet’s suicide is probably seen as a dumb act by the Madoffs, Picciottos, Piedrahitas, Toubs and Noels of this world. It’s going to be an interesting Gstaad season, to say the least.

read more @ gstaad life


Lord Mandelson and Nat Rothschild share Brazilian ambitions

When Lord Mandelson pays tribute to President Lula of Brazil at the Banqueting House in Whitehall on Bonfire Night, his Brazilian-born boyfriend, Reinaldo da Silva, will not be the only one hoping for friendships to sparkle. The Business Secretary's holiday host Nat Rothschild has decided to expand massively his interests in Brazil.

by Richard Eden

Lord Rothschild's heir has invested £75 million in BR Properties to take advantage of Brazil's booming economy.

Nat, from whose villa in Corfu Peter Mandelson reportedly ran Britain while Gordon Brown was on holiday in August, is expected to take a seat on the board of BR Properties. His father is the chairman of the RIT Capital investment group, which is also taking a minority stake in the company.

Nat's previous property interests centred on Montenegro, where he is investing with another of Mandelson's chums, Oleg Deripaska, the controversial Russian oligarch.

Mandelson's relationship with Nat became a major talking point when Mandrake disclosed last year that the former European trade commissioner had, while staying with Nat in Corfu, been entertained aboard the yacht of Deripaska, an aluminium tycoon, whose businesses benefited from tariffs the commission set.

Nat, who is the co-chairman of the hedge fund Atticus Capital, has been linked to the son of the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi. In 2009, Saif threw his 37th birthday party at the Splendid Hotel in Becici, Montenegro.

source: telegraph.co.uk


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