International Banks Monopoly – Interest Rate Swap Fixing in US$320 Trillion Market And Anti Trust Class Action Lawsuit

January 31, 2016

By Padmini Arhant

Wall Street control over finance is no surprise.  However, the major players in banking sector deriving billions of dollars in interest rate swaps dealings worth US$320 trillion exemplify monopoly.

The bankers barring non-banks participation from trading common derivatives like interest rate swaps on electronic exchanges similar to stocks subvert market economy.

Capitalism morphed into monopolistic system threatens the foundation of free enterprise preventing vibrant competition and fair pricing eventually affecting public investors in the market.

Such activities are not without repercussions and as expected the class action law suit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, New York in November 2015 against Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Barclays, BNP Paribas, UBS, Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland is the tip of the iceberg.

The lawsuit filed by The Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago against the banks and trading platforms ICAP and Tradeweb sheds light on bankers’ network in collusion with swap key cogs rheostats behind securing complete management and monetary rewards in swap market.

The bankers’ safety net for profiteering on interest rate and credit default swaps reaping phenomenal returns while prohibiting investor friendly swap exchanges development from CME Group, TrueEX, Javelin Capital Markets and TeraExchange confirms antitrust violations necessitating actions for transparency and accessibility to protected derivative infrastructure.

Adopting unethical and unlawful means not excluding aggressive tactics to restrict exchange trading, the bankers solidarity in thwarting swap deals availability to general investors endanger market economy viability.

The banks listed in the antitrust lawsuit maintaining equity ownership in trading companies like Tradeweb maneuver rules in their favor for exclusive rights in derivative products.

With the main objective to inhibit growth in profit sharing derivatives domain, the banks and relevant firms complicity follow precedence despite the practice resulting in US$1.87 billion settlement last September in antitrust breach and egregious decisions for vested interests.

In politics and economy, the operatives at the helm projected as promoters of democracy and capitalism respectively proved to be otherwise in reality.

The functions demonstrate credibility or the lack thereof and determines sustainability.

Finance and banking industry representing the axis of economy require scrutiny and accountability eliminating seclusion in profitable zone not to mention carte blanche authority amongst leading international banks claiming privileged status evade compliance of rules that are applicable to the rest.

Removal of abusive standards set up to benefit large financial institutions and trading counterparts is paramount to avert ripple effects on the economy.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant



Colombia – GM Negotiation Failure with Auto Workers

September 26, 2012

By Padmini Arhant

Colombian autoworkers employed by General Motors were on hunger strike with their mouth sewn in protest against the automaker policy found discriminatory and exploitative compared to international labor standard.

The earlier fasting in similar manner was called off at GM’s behest with management offer to address grievances to employees satisfaction.

However, the talks favoring GM position understandably was not acceptable to labor union representing the plant workers forcing them to resume dissent abstaining food intake like last time.

Finance and auto industry – the chief beneficiaries in the U.S. taxpayer bailout not only evaded responsibility on the economic crises but also continue to practice business as usual.

Although, corporate executives net income and bonuses are secure and exponentially increase in relation to company profits,

The inclination for fair income distribution with rest of the organization especially the blue collar team and those at the lower end of hierarchy in administration and other areas are nil contributing to stagnant economy restricting consumer base and desirable living conditions in society.

Whenever corporations neglect workers despite being the production unit, the trend hinders manufacturing sector ultimately affecting business earnings and competitive edge in the global economy.

Globalization packaged with free trade agreement alongside World Bank and IMF conditional financing shackles workforce depriving them decent wages, job security and local productivity challenged by mega corporations – the target being developing nations in particular.

Simultaneously corporate overseas ventures in search of unlimited access to human and natural resources marginalize industrialized nations labor market resulting in subjugation and reduction in average citizens household income worldwide.

Realistically income sharing spread across the globe among ordinary citizens lowers economic status with austerity further exacerbating survival.

While senior management and top officials thrive on extraordinary remuneration, stock options and various entitlements in the absence of accountability for erroneous decisions attributed to major debacle with pervasive impact.

General Motors’ profitability post taxpayer rescue cheered at U.S. political convention as a remarkable achievement with incumbent leaderships ignoring ongoing stalemate between GM and auto plant workers in Colombia – the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) drawback for partner nation designed to benefit globalization concept.

United States government being an equal stakeholder in GM operation at home and abroad bears the burden in resolving disputes of any kind.

Colombian workers experience with foreign corporation is a common plight and the government functioning directly under external power control – neither domestic nor international rules necessarily apply facilitating economic oppression.

Moreover, militarization in Colombia allowing U.S. troops presence through permanent installation is essentially dismissal of sovereignty usurping authority over selected or elected political system in the state.

The pattern being globalization agenda for regional and eventually global dominance evidently aimed at complete surrender to economic and military dictum.

General Motors’ failure to settle issue with Colombian workers could severely damage goodwill, employees’ work ethics and above all confirm United States government commitment or the lack thereof towards hard working population considering U.S. ownership of the corporation.

The outcome would determine General Motors fate with workers signifying prime asset value for enterprise existence in the tough environment.

Hopefully rationale would prevail in reaching amicable agreement on the contentious problems confronting corporations expanding offshore.

Wishing reason and integrity success setting future precedence.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

More at The Real News

More at The Real News

Global Finance – Dissolving Federal Reserve, ECB, World Bank and IMF

September 8, 2012

By Padmini Arhant

Global economy controlled by financial sector under private management has evaded public scrutiny despite being responsible for major debacle since seizing absolute power over money supply.

Reiterating the fact – Federal Reserve in the United States as a private entity with a general impression of representing national banking authority override sovereignty by minting money and profiteering on interest against notes despatched to government for use as Treasury bills and lending money on bonds.

The practice over a century has empowered few individuals and undermined national financial status indefinitely indebted to private organization self-exempted from audit and oversight.

Federal Reserve usurped government in maintaining direct access on cash flow in the economy.

The Federal Reserve handles activities ranging from projections, interest rate determination to intervention in monetary policy on government behalf under the pretext as ultimate decision-making central authority again without the burden of accountability.

In a republican system – the people via government would head these functions and address fiscal issues effectively rather than delegating to private entrepreneurship linked to conglomerate with vested interests evident in the status quo.

Federal Reserve is a private company owned by selective groups in the hegemony hierarchy disguised as an institution to run sovereign nation financial affairs with primary aspiration to sustain consolidated power on national finance and banking industry.

The recruitment in this organization invariably involves hegemony members especially the chairmanship right down to key positions in order to implement agenda designed to favor exclusive proprietorship.

Federal Reserve ineptness and failures on timely interceptions to avert precipitous economic meltdown notably in 2007 and 2008 followed by then chairman Alan Greenspan along with previous administration Treasury Secretary Henry aka Hank Paulson also tied to nexus group call for bank bailouts claiming a do or die situation is a classic example of well coordinated exercise to solidify gains out of calamity.

The tradition continued till today to demonstrate loyalty to Wall Street and hegemony.

Notwithstanding individual profits raked from financial disaster experienced until now and expected to worsen upon allowing dysfunctional and deceptive proxy agencies to operate under the guise of monetary epicenter.

Federal Reserve consistent role in defending banks default and reckless undertakings to receive taxpayer funds at national expense cannot be ignored and confirms the embedded strategy to protect selective cause regardless of endless ramifications with pervasive impact.

United States and other nations under comparable scheme pursuing republic money management in nationalized structure using sovereign currency as monetary unit,

Besides necessary regulations on banking and finance are the only prudent approach abandoning current methods imposed to suit privileged class motives behind manufactured economic crisis.

The stringent measures to curb speculative trading and toxic securities that contributed to global downslide restricted at respective origin could drastically reduce risks facilitating reliable transnational exchange on swaps, futures and contingency liabilities involving diverse products in the international market.

Likewise investment banks or equity management firm divergence adapting to volatile commercial ventures, arbitrary trading and ill advice for short term prospects neglecting long term repercussions exacerbated inherent unpredictability dragging state economy such as Greece to a diminishing point of return.

The beneficiary not surprisingly being the problem source absolved of any compensation, libel and reproach.

Commercial banking – customer deposit security increasingly at stake due to FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) assurance limitations combined with major banks ambitious mergers and acquisitions for market monopoly.

Monitoring overall banking activity i.e. retail and commercial including myriad trade options subjected to independent external verification imperative to avert bank insolvency.

Federal Reserve poignantly serve nexus group with flagrant measures on quick fix basis yielding more uncertainty and perpetual economic turmoil conforming to capitalizing on catastrophe.

Likewise in Europe, the central banks and prominent territorial players dominant in conditional capital provision escalated economic plight through erroneous requirements viz. severe austerity in the absence of growth – possible with result-oriented investments and pragmatic solutions instead of adherence to crumbling euro zone and,

EU commission ironically laden with wasteful expenditure related to bureaucrats exorbitant remuneration amid irrational spending cuts proposal focused on payoff to financiers generating cash from debt.

European Union and euro are New World Order prototypes for emulation world over.

The fundamental flaws in the concept aimed at subjugation of sovereign nations with trade imbalance, general standards applicable to all irrespective of unique challenges, safeguarding banks slighting generational indebtedness on citizen and,

Not to mention interference in political affairs with successful appointment of hegemony representative to implement detrimental policies aggravating citizens hardship than alleviating them.

European Union and euro fragility emanating from contagion effect on negative trends in particular cannot withstand prolonged economic woes experienced by weaker economies ultimately becoming economically stronger nation’s obligation to avoid sinking Titanic scenario.

Others would legitimately expect similar response in synonymous condition posing litmus test for those providing funding to remain fair and equal while preparing to deal with domestic opposition to foreign state bailout.

Globally, the financial dragnet originates from two contentious and controversial setups – World Bank and (IMF) International Monetary Fund.

These two institutions emerged post World War II coinciding UN formation by western powers for easier access to foreign capital and resource.

Accordingly both World Bank and IMF have systematically derailed economies with unreasonable demands such as mandatory membership to force acceptance of rules falsely leading to surrender of sovereignty and securing projects for oligarchy depriving locals the business opportunity.

In other instances, the so-called development programs in developing and poorer nations have benefitted corrupt governments in cohort with capitalists reaping disproportionate returns on meager investment leaving behind deficit economic status or at worst a banana republic like Argentina and Indonesia during the height of excess intrusion.

Contemporarily, IMF and ECB directions to Euro zone members are targeted at enhancing banks capital reserves at population peril.

World bank indulgence in economies largely with sinister intentions has marginalized countries that were otherwise self-sufficient and export-oriented until WB or IMF influence and engagement.

Furthermore World Bank and IMF chief are constantly selected from United States and Europe given their affiliation and affirmation to secret society doctrine.

The remedy is to reject these institutions determined to accomplish objectives verifiably paradoxical to humanity progress.

Every nation reverting to community banks, regulated private finance centers and credit unions and above all –

Money distribution backed by gold under public ownership would be a preliminary step towards freedom from sovereign debt accumulation ending unscrupulous tactics to subvert positive sustenance.

Regional cooperation without compromising individual liberty to enter or exit consortium not barring thoughts and ideas to share among participants for genuine goals guarantee mutually anticipated outcome with dividends on fruits of labor.

The existing organizations in Latin America, BRICS and African nations collaboration to consolidate relevant assets allocating for basic to advanced needs extending beyond borders would be a dependable buffer zone and exponentially deliver financial security.

Non-compliance by victim nations on excruciating terms binding illegal debts,

Republic defiance of fraudulent techniques with coveted image would essentially dissolve premiership adorned by Federal Reserve, ECB, World Bank, IMF and European banks stake holders depleting global wealth for personal luxury.

Henceforth terminating systemic abusive culture attributed to immense suffering worldwide imminent to revive life with dignity.

Wishing republic resurgence in finance, politics, economics and justice for universal prosperity and social equality.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

United States – Wall Street and Washington Job Action

October 15, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

American families across the nation are hurting from the tough economic times with layoffs, housing market decline, credit crunch and expensive health care costs taking toll on middle class, lower income groups and small businesses all over.

Main Street justified frustration over high unemployment; unlawful foreclosures and unaffordable health care expenses are demonstrated in ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests spreading within and outside the country.

Protestors could peacefully assemble near Capitol Hill and the White House for reminder on the unresolved economic problems and social inequality in the United States and abroad.

As for Washington measures on jobs – the lawmakers failed to pass the jobs bill this week and,

Instead approved free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Peru. respectively for manufacturing jobs at home although,

The legislative success is dependent on the trading partners’ reciprocation i.e. the consumer demand and affordability for American goods.

Meanwhile, U.S. Congress has agreed on payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance extension that are positive steps with immediate relief for the jobless and those facing retrenchment in the uncertain economic environment.

If both parties in the House and Senate could set aside the political differences for common goals,

Perhaps it would facilitate job growth in private and public sectors essential for economic revival.

Addressing the serious housing crisis with lenders unlawful practices is pertinent for the following reasons:

Improper foreclosures is depriving American homeowners ownership allowing foreign investor frenzy to capitalize on the American plight that needs to be fixed considering,

The mortgage securities as derivatives component are tied to overseas assets.

Furthermore, there are inherent risks involved in such investments due to short-term selling and swap agreements generating volatility in the global market.

Notwithstanding the equity transfer from domestic to offshore holdings embedded in the sovereign wealth funds cause political concerns besides economic turbulence in the globalized economy.

Remedies to these ramifications lies with Congress in easing the burden on home owners through effective strategies such as –

Resurrecting foreclosure moratorium enabling homeowners to renegotiate mortgages with property reevaluation to current market value and,

Payment modification per existing rates would protect American interests in the desperate housing situation.

The home loans revision for families regardless of hierarchy on the verge of losing homes could reverse the trend and boost jobs in the construction industry and service sector.

Any relief thus far is limited to conventional practices with the bulk of the homeowners left at the mercy of lenders’ discretion often premised on short-term gains suppressing the housing market rebound.

While the taxpayer bailouts based on ‘too big to fail’ salvaged the default banking industry despite the illegal sub-prime mortgage activities,

The delinquent homeowners are forced to deal with contrary response ranging from aggressive evictions to unreasonable payment options.

The banks were rescued unconditionally and the financial institutions in return have not only restrained money supply prolonging the credit crunch but also denied majority homeowners refinancing opportunity and small business entrepreneurs capital infusion.

Wall Street with substantial cash reserves could create and retain employment rather than preparing to slash 10,000 finance jobs in the coming months that would exacerbate the dire economy.

Corporations’ role confined to economic development with disengagement from political governance through lobbyists would promote government functionality and efficacy in legislative matter.

Companies incentivized with Bush tax cuts extension have failed to deliver the anticipated job growth and expansion only to be substituted by job reduction and/or exports contributing to national debt and trade deficit.

Repealing Bush tax cuts and redirecting financial resources to organizations committed to domestic jobs would enhance free market performance.

Micro-credits is yet another avenue to empower business proprietorship and alleviate economic pain from unemployment status.

Communities with alarming jobless rate could potentially utilize micro-credit facility for self-employment and niche market.

United States is endowed with skilled work force, ingenuity and innovative talent leading in sophisticated technology and other global achievements that revolutionized urban lifestyle.

U.S. workers productivity resulted in economic boom worldwide supporting developing economies to advance at a phenomenal pace.

There is an urgent requirement to turn U.S. economy around with Corporations assuming primary responsibility in providing jobs, liquidity and restoring homes for American families.

U.S. economic recovery is paramount for Wall Street and Washington.

Corporations cannot exist without workers and politics would desist in the absence of electorate.

Citizens’ grievances are real and legitimate – the economic issues cannot be resolved without political will and corporate investments in domestic economy.

Government and Corporations expediting job oriented economic surge is the universal expectation with millions of lives in jeopardy.

Corporate and Political leaderships are urged to prioritize American jobs, housing, health and business prospects over personal aspirations and partisanship.

Global recession could be contained upon U.S. economic progress.

Action and not procrastination would guarantee the desirable outcome.

Hopefully rationality would prevail in arriving at consensus on economic solutions.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant














Commemorating Technology Icon – Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

California and the rest of the world mourn the loss of Steve Jobs – a phenomenon in the modern century.

Apple founder Steve Jobs as an innovator and entrepreneur revolutionized the electronic world by introducing the interactive future generation products in the present leading the smart phone industry and personal computer to represent new wave technology.

Steve Jobs touched many hearts with touch screen concept in the ever popular iPhones and brought tremendous joy to music lovers through iPod, the downloadable melodies via iTunes – constantly entertaining and satisfying global demand for Apple new inventions with originality and creativity.

Apple iPad sensational trend setter generating enthusiasm in tablet with user friendly features and light weight designed for accommodating the various needs of tech savvy and general customers at home and offshore.

Steve Jobs prominence reflected in Apple resurrection and the magnificent status achieved within limited timeframe.

The farsighted technology genius will surely be missed on earth despite the great legacy of Steve Jobs –

‘Apple’ commitment to enlighten the curious minds fostering genuine interest in exploratory computer field.

In deep appreciation and acknowledgment of significant contribution to universal progress, Steve Jobs is remembered today as the technology icon with indelible mark in attaining the improbable.

Great minds and Great souls presence is realized in the permanent aura radiating brilliance to illumine the inquisitive seeker.

With sincere condolences to Stave Jobs family and millions of admirers,

Prayers offered for the Corporate Leader and Successful Enterprise Architect – Steve Jobs soul to rest in peace.

Peace to all!

“The quality not the longevity of life is what is important.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet – Earthquake

September 19, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

North East India and surrounding borders –  Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet in the Himalayan region was hit by 6.8 magnitude earthquake on September 18, 2011.

Approximately 50 people are reportedly killed and several awaiting rescue in the disaster zones.

Sikkim – the North Eastern state in India with the epicenter has suffered the most while neighboring Nepal engaged in search and relief operation.

The quake occurred after sunset making the efforts strenuous for the emergency aid workers and survivors.

Loss of life is always traumatic for the families and time being the best healer with trust in a better tomorrow,

Prayers are offered for the departed souls to rest in peace, the injured in their speedy recovery and fortitude to the victims’ families in coping with the tragedy during the mournful period.

Heartfelt condolences to the earthquake affected families in North East India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Africa – War and the Peace Prospects

August 26, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Rwandan Rebels Atrocity against Congolese Women:

The Rwandan rebels reportedly gang raped 150 women and brutally attacked them during the weekend August 21-22, 2010, raid in the eastern Congo villages – the village of Ruvungi, in North Kivu Province.

According to the reports, the U.N. held the Democratic forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, F.D.I.R. responsible for the violent assault. The systemic abuse and terrorization is routinely carried out against the innocent civilians, especially the women in that region.

The F.D.I.R. is believed to be the Hutu rebels plundering the village communities in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as ‘Zaire.’

Despite the regional violent past leading to the U.N. military base as peacekeepers within 20 miles from these villages, the U.N. officials’ ambivalence on the peacekeepers’ knowledge about the horrific crime and the lack of intervention in protecting the victims is a tactical flaw.

It defeats the purpose of peace mission if the repeat violence is undeterred and escalating with no end in sight to the sexual attacks against women.

Reflecting on the history in the Central and eastern African nations – Rwanda, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola – There are many commonalities from the origin to the status quo.

All of these nations have endured the unspeakable crime against humanity during foreign power dominance and in the late twentieth century.

Accordingly, the basis of such atrocity emanates from the deliberate division in these societies created and fomented in the course of spreading religion by Western missionaries and their colonizers in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

1. The Democratic Republic of Congo formerly known as ‘Zaire.’

Colonial Power – Congo Free State by the Monarchy King Leopold II of Belgium and the Belgian Congo by Belgium until 1960.

First Congo war – December 1996 – As per the reports then – Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a self-declared communist led the rebel forces ADFLC (Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) against the ruling government.

Civilian Deaths – 60,000 (That comprised disappearances, torture and killings).

Second Congo War also known as the Africa World war – declared the deadliest war since World War II

War Period – August 1998 – July 2003

Civilian Deaths during war and aftermath – 5.4 million

2. Rwanda: Colonial Power – Germany and then Belgium until 1962.

Rwandan Genocide – Civil War – 1994

Civilian Deaths in mere 100 days – around 800,000 (believed to be 20% of the total population)

3. Burundi: Colonial Power – German and later Belgium until 1962 but officially ended in August 2005.

Civil war Period – 1993 – 2005

Civilian Deaths – 300,000

4. Angola –

Colonial Power – Portugal until 1975 – Gained freedom after the war of independence.

Civil War – 1975 – 1991 between communist, anti-communist and the separatist militant groups.

“The Angolan Civil War was one of the largest, longest, and most prominent armed conflicts of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and the U.S. considered it critical to the global balance of power and to the outcome of the Cold War.”

The Angolan civil war resumed again in 1992 – 1994 and 1998 – 2002.

Civilian Deaths – 500,000 in the 27 year war that officially ended in 2002.

While, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola wars are related to the political upheavals with external intrusion within Africa and the global powers at that time.

Rwanda and Burundi have been dealing with clashes between the once peaceful Hutu population and the Tutsi tribes that co-existed including intermix marriages until the European colonial powers upon their colonization assigned the Tutsis the superior status based on physical appearance against the traditional Hutu peasants.

Since then, the perpetual violence predominantly between these two groups had been widespread with the 1994 massacre appropriately recognized as the ‘Rwandan genocide,’ that resulted in roughly 500,000 – 1,000,000 fatalities by the Hutu militiamen under apparent foreign influence against the Tutsis preceded by the reversal killings in the latter part of twentieth century.

Evidently, The Democratic Republic of Congo has its share of warfare and violence that continues until now. Among them, the distinctive Second Congo war August 1998 – July 2003, notably the Africa World War involving eight nations and 25 armed groups have caused the several million deaths not only in war, but an estimated 5.4 million documented to have died from disease and starvation by 2008.

Many have succumbed to preventable diseases and malnutrition with children being the major casualty.

The eastern part of Congo is considered the ethnic Hutu rebels stronghold for economic reasons with the spate of sexual violence callously carried out against the Congolese women.

Notably, these simultaneous civil wars occurred from 1992 to 2005 in the east and Central Africa with the world powers exacerbating the situation such as in Angola war and other times leaving the victims at the aggressors’ mercy not excluding military action made possible with the obvious arms supply to the warring factions.
Had peace been initiated or promoted vigorously the generational conflict heightened in the early 1990’s until 2008 could have potentially prevented the incredible loss of lives.
Unequivocally, the arms trade had flourished in the process rendering central and eastern African lives dispensable with history repeating itself in Darfur, Sudan.
On the bright side, Rwanda today is acknowledged as the vibrant and progressive nation with rapid economic growth, political stability highlighted with the national legislature represented by majority women.
That being the case, there is all the more reason for the Rwandan female legislators to condemn the violence by the Rwandan Hutu rebels against the Congolese women in the eastern Congo and exemplify their solidarity to the victims through strategic support in curbing the senseless act against the village communities in the neighboring eastern democratic republic of Congo.
“The rights of all are diminished when the rights of one are threatened. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – By none other than the venerable DR. Martin Luther King.Jr.
Africa – where life dawned on earth is owed by the rest of the world particularly those nations that have prospered from its abundant resources and subsequently benefited from the human capital in their respective domain.
It’s time for a new beginning in Africa long been mired with civil wars, corruption, disease, poverty and exploitation from within and foreign power.
Rwanda’s status as the developing nation is further enhanced in promoting peace with its neighbors by addressing the Rwandan Hutu rebels’ violence against the villagers in the eastern Congo.
African leaders across the continent could reshape the destiny by honoring the democratic rule in the politically vulnerable states and focus on providing economic opportunities for the people affected in the ceaseless conflicts.
It’s entirely in the hands of the leaders to restore Africa’s image as a resilient, resourceful and remarkable global partner in every aspect.
Wishing Long lasting peace, progress and prosperity to the land of the sparkling jewel.
Thank you. Padmini Arhant

Financial Regulatory Reform – HR 4173

July 15, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Congratulations! To President Barack Obama, Senator Chris Dodd, Rep. Barney Frank and other Congress members from both sides of the aisle for their contribution to the historic victory on the Financial regulations bill.

The United States Senate approved the long overdue financial regulatory reform that was challenged by Wall Street and their representatives since conception.

Not long ago, the global economy faced the possibility of the ‘Great Depression,’ emerging from the deregulated financial markets with extraordinary privileges in the public fund mismanagement and speculative trading showing no regard for the dire consequences, now a harsh reality experienced by the billions around the world.

Wall Street exercising the ‘free market’ power to engage in calculated high-risk ventures especially through derivatives and hedge fund activities led to a near free fall in the absence of any oversight on the reckless involvement.

The U.S. economy would have succumbed to the economic crisis if not for the American Investment Recovery Act passed by the Democrats and isolated republican members in Congress.

President Barack Obama and the lawmakers behind this legislation deserve credit in this regard.

Unfortunately, their actions have not been truly acknowledged for the substantial measures implemented through this stimulus bill aimed at helping citizens across the political spectrum.

The positive results benefiting American life from the economic stimulus subverted for political reasons in the election year.

In a democracy, the most grueling aspect is the legislative process.

It’s even harder with the special interests controlling the legislative course on every issue, further exacerbated by the majority in the opposition pledged to defeat the legislation against national interest.

With respect to HR 4173 – it’s a monumental task to gain unanimous consensus on a broad legislation targeting the most powerful sector in the economy.

As expressed by the Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Chris Dodd, the dissatisfaction from the different political factions are legitimate and reaching an agreement on common grounds is the preliminary step towards consumer protection along with many other important regulations in this bill.

Arguably, it is not perfect as every Senator holds some reservations and distinct views about their support or the lack thereof in the crucial legislation.

The main components of the bill are elaborated in the –

Pros and Cons: The Treasury secretary historically and more relevantly have close ties with Wall Street – going back to several administrations.

Hence, the conflict of interest is a major concern with the Treasury secretary as the head of the 10 member regulatory council – evidenced in the failure to monitor the financial market between 2000 and 2008 that caused the economic meltdown.

Otherwise, the 10-member council of regulators representing the oversight committee is an effective strategy.

Given the facts on the subprime lending and credit card abuses, the consumer protection agency is the hallmark of this legislation.

The contentious derivatives and hedge fund management is subject to rigorous standards underscoring the transparency and accountability factor in this bill.

Opposition claim on the omission of the controversial Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the financial regulation could be clarified to dispel misconceptions about any exemptions to the lender.

The compromise on the $19 billion bank tax to earn the Republican Senator Scott Brown vote whereas not pursuing the Democrat Senator Russ Feingold seeking tougher regulations is an irony in the democrats led legislation.

Nevertheless, the three Republican Senators cooperation is praiseworthy.

Overall, the framework of this legislation encompasses the requirements to avert the financial crisis and the economic downturns barring no Wall Street intrusion in the regulatory mission.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Spain – FIFA Victory

July 12, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Congratulations! To Spain on the spectacular victory in the world cup final.

Spain winning the crown in the world’s most popular sport – football/soccer for the first time is well deserved.

Netherlands’ competitiveness to earn the first world cup title was impressive and kept the global audience on the edge about the outcome.

All participants displayed their best performance and gained valuable experience from the event.

The host – South Africa demonstrated remarkable talent in organizing the gala ceremony and the world cup series.

Young South Africa’s progress and the leadership ability to represent Africa in sports as well as other fields was reflected in the outstanding contribution.

The world wide fans await the next FIFA championship in a different venue with much hope and enthusiasm.

No one is a loser in a game for everyone exchange their attributes to one another inadvertently or otherwise and enhance the competition spirit.

In that sense – Congratulations! to all for promoting the humanitarian interest through sport.

Best Wishes to all nations.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Euro Crisis and Impact on Global Financial Markets

May 27, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

It originated in Iceland with the pervasive subprime mortgage factor and similarly affected other economies like Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain, referenced as PIGS.

Although, every nation in this category share the contaminated ‘derivative’ traded internationally, the lack of deficit control with the national budget exceeding the GDP growth also contributed to the meltdown and subsequently reflected in the poor credit rating.

More prominently, Greece identified with:

“Goldman Sachs between the years 1998-2009 has been reported to systematically helped the Greek government to mask its national true debt facts.

In September 2009 though, Goldman Sachs among others, created a special Credit Default Swap (CDS) index for the cover of high-risk national debt of Greece. This led the interest-rates of Greek national bonds to a very high level, leading the Greek economy very close to bankruptcy in March 2010.”

The culmination of internal and external mismanagement primarily led the Mediterranean economy to the brink of collapse seeking bailout from the European Central Bank (ECB), EU and IMF.

European Union was challenged with a predicament in the Greece bailout to either ignore the problem or address it to avert the contagion in Europe.

Since Greece is an EU member using the reserve currency euro in the 16 of the 27 states representing the eurozone, the former alternative would have had serious ramifications.

Besides, the euro being the second most traded currency in the world after the U.S. dollar; it has multifaceted impact on the financial markets dealing with high volume trading especially in the futures exchange.

The industrialized and emerging economies are in a bind with the euro value reduction, due to the competitiveness expansion in export trade. For example, the export oriented Germany is at a competitive edge with the United States, Japan and China irrespective of Germany specializing in high end industrial and heavy machinery equipments.

Hence, the euro crisis upside is the European nations gaining export affordability.

Accordingly, the emerging economy and the major U.S. creditor China is concerned about the potential split in global market share and availing the opportunity to reject the U.S. request for currency (renminbi) value adjustment, which has been set below the market determination despite China’s extraordinary trade surplus.

China’s currency, renminbi (RMB) or yuan (CNY) has been withheld from floating as the international currency in the foreign exchange market to protect the status quo.

At the same time, the positive aspect of the dollar appreciation is omitted in the evaluation and that being the foreign investments in U.S. dollars particularly the Treasury bills held by China is strengthened in value and guarantee long term security in futures contract.

Financial stability measures adopted by EU, IMF and ECB with approximately one trillion dollars of which a conditional rescue loan worth $110 billion to Greece is approved to reverse the negatives in the financial markets reacting to the euro downslide from the unsustainable government debts and deficit level.

Had the eurozone requirement on its union members to keep deficits below 3 percent of GDP maintained, Greece and other struggling economies need not have been subject to harsh austerity strategies that has resulted in protest among the mainstream population in Greece and Ireland.

Regardless, the current global financial crisis calls for wasteful expenditure elimination and the national budget review to direct investments in high value returns.

Appropriate actions involving tax hikes and spending cuts are necessary to balance the budget.

However, spending cuts targeting the fundamental programs inevitably generating revenues through productive workforce and consumers is counteractive.

Restoring essential programs and services for the job creation and preservation, youth education, citizens’ health care, social security, safe and clean environment nurture healthy and middle class society to ease the burden on the top 1% or 10% wealthy taxpayers in different economies.

Most importantly, the defense budget consuming a significant proportion of taxpayer revenue in the prolonged wars could be divested to peaceful and profitable opportunities benefiting the citizens at the domestic and international front.

The ideal solution for the European Commission and the monetary union to avoid rising deficits in Europe without compromising the member states’ sovereignty in their national fiscal policy decisions would be to establish an independent, non-partisan committee by the states to examine the individual spending and tax plan, rather than the centralized monitoring or the neighboring authority verifying it.

Further, the constitutional amendment by Germany to contain the deficit to 0.35 percent of GDP by 2016 provided the higher deficit not attributed to GDP decline is a trendsetter in curbing the economic crisis.

In concurrence with the economic experts’ advice – The ECB expediting the credit approval on government bonds used as collateral upon qualifying the self-regulated constitutional limit on deficits is prudent in deterring broad speculative lending activities.

Alongside, the EU sweeping financial reform with tough standards against the hedge fund managers including the two proposals by German Parliament:

Global financial transaction tax and Financial activity tax focused on CEO’s Personal Income & Bonuses are effective steps with the exception of the global financial transaction tax because it is eventually transferred to the end-consumer and may not be a viable option for all participants.

Nevertheless, international agreement on financial regulation by G-20 and other nations is crucial in order to emerge from the existing crisis and prevent the future economic recession.

The systemic risk in the multi trillion dollars ‘derivatives,’ that caused the financial debacle in Europe, Middle East (Dubai), North America, Asia and elsewhere demands stringent policies and independent investigations on fraudulent ventures.

The financial overhaul passed by the U.S. Senate last week has been under scrutiny by analysts with mixed response and elaborated in the article titled:

“New Financial rules might not prevent next crisis – Associated Press, Sun May 23rd. 2010 at 3.55 PM EDT. Reported by Jacobs from New York and contributed by AP writer Jim Drinkard.”

Unequivocally, closing the loopholes as detailed in the cited article and other reports is paramount to establish a financial system free of K street influence.

The apparent revolving-door relationship between Wall Street and Capitol Hill in which employees and consultants have moved in and out of high level US Government positions, with the prevalent conflict of interest is a hindrance to any legislation.

Only the electorates with the voting power in a democracy can remove the persisting obstacles by rejecting the special interest representatives in politics against meaningful legislation.

People as the consumers, taxpayers and voters are the ultimate force in achieving the progress for common good.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

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