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


money and oil

1. Judge blasts bad bank, erases couples mortgage debt

A Long Island couple is home free after an outraged judge gave them an amazing Thanksgiving present -- canceling their debt to ruthless bankers trying to toss them out on the street.

Suffolk Judge Jeffrey Spinner wiped out $525,000 in mortgage payments demanded by a California bank, blasting its "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive" acts.

The bombshell decision leaves Diane Yano-Horoski and her husband, Greg Horoski, owing absolutely no money on their ranch house in East Patchogue.


Spinner excoriated OneWest for repeatedly refusing to work out a deal, for misleading him about the dollar amounts at stake in the case, and for its treatment of the couple over months of hearings.

OneWest's conduct was "inequitable, unconscionable, vexatious and opprobrious," Spinner wrote.

read more @ ny post

2. the global oil scam -- 50 times bigger than Madoff

$2.5 Trillion - That’s the size of the global oil scam.

It’s a number so large that, to put it in perspective, we will now begin measuring the damage done to the global economy in "Madoff Units" ($50Bn rip-offs). $2.5Tn is 50 times the amount of money that Bernie Madoff scammed from investors in his lifetime, but it is less than the monthly excess price the global population is being manipulated into paying for a barrel of oil.

Where is the outrage? Where are the investigations?

Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), BP (BP), Total (TOT), Shell (RDS.A), Deutsche Bank (DB) and Societe Generale (SCGLY.PK) founded the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2000. ICE is an online commodities and futures marketplace. It is outside the US and operates free from the constraints of US laws. The exchange was set up to facilitate "dark pool" trading in the commodities markets. Billions of dollars are being placed on oil futures contracts at the ICE and the beauty of this scam is that they NEVER take delivery, per se. They just ratchet up the price with leveraged speculation using your TARP money. This year alone they ratcheted up the global cost of oil from $40 to $80 per barrel.

read more @ seeking alpha

3. Dubai, debt and a return to reality


As it turned out, we didn't have to wait five years or anything of the sort. Needing a further $10 billion in funding by the end of the year, the rulers of Dubai appear to have spoken again to their cousins in Abu Dhabi, only for the previous conditions - namely Dubai's corporate jewels to be handed over to the latter - to have been mentioned again.

We will probably never find out quite what happened in these negotiations, but the upshot of receiving $5 billion for the government of Dubai last Wednesday, November 25, appears to have been an immediate announcement of a "standstill" on the debts of the conglomerate Dubai World for a period of six months.

In the total debt pile of $59 billion attributed to Dubai World, a large amount comes under the name of Nakheel, the construction company behind some of the most iconic developments in the city, such as palm-shaped reclamation off the coast and a host of reclaimed islands in the shape of a map of the world.

The real trouble with the announcement though is that Nakheel has an Islamic bond (sukuk) due in the middle of December to the tune of $4 billion or so. This is almost sure to default because time is too short for investors to get together and agree to a standstill. Also, there is no specific clause such as "standstill" in the debt world, just an agreement to restructure.

At the weekend, the UAE's central bank said it stood behind the country's banks, easing some concern about a possible default by Dubai World. The Abu Dhabi-based central bank of the UAE said lenders would be able to borrow using a special facility tied to their current accounts, Bloomberg reported.

read more @ asia times

4. Islamic finance is growing at a phenomenal pace

Muhammed Al-Jasser, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), is the new kid on the block, taking over as the new Saudi banking regulator in April this year. With his stint as an IMF executive director for Saudi Arabia and his postgraduate education in the US, he has indeed become a sophisticated and savvy operator.

He brims with confidence and he talks the talk and walks the walk as the gatekeeper of the Saudi financial and economic sector, potentially one of the most influential in global finance because of its huge petrodollar surpluses and the fact that the Kingdom is the world's largest oil producer and exporter, and as such exercises a vital role as swing producer in global oil market dynamics.


What was disappointing is the lack of clarity with regards to Islamic finance regulation and supervision. Although his remarks pertaining to the permissibility of things unless they are shown to contravene Islamic principles are accurate, its application to a modern scientific and systemic financial system is implicit.

As the Malaysians have shown with their dual banking model, this has to be ingrained in the financial regulatory and legal framework of a jurisdiction. There is no other way expect the entire Islamization of the banking system which has failed in countries such as Pakistan, Sudan and Iran, because of the global nature of finance, the implications for cross-border financing especially correspondent banking, and the sheer dominance of the interest-based system. Pakistan has since adopted the Malaysian dual banking model, which only a few weeks ago was enshrined in Malaysian law by the government of Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.

The implications of Al-Jasser's remarks effectively rule out a stand alone Islamic banking law in the Kingdom, and a separate but equally rigorous supervisory regime for Islamic financial institutions, to take into account the specificities and special characteristics of Islamic finance. The governor's views may also be perceived as a slap in the face for the Malaysian model, which most Islamic finance market players agree is the most systemic and advanced approach to regulating and supervising the sector.

read more @ arab news

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