Archive for 26 diciembre 2008

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acerca de la crisis

acerca de la crisis

estoy colgando, lamentablemente sólo en inglés, una serie de artículos, de varios autores reconocidos,  que he leído en las últimas semanas en The Nation, Counterpunch y The Monthly Review. Me parecieron significativas opiniones sobre la crisis financiera internacional y las recomiendo. Hay una nota final sobre la situación actual de los Derechos Humanos a nivel internacional que me pareció muy importante incluir.


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Shhhh, it’s a secret

Where’d the bailout money go? Shhhh, it’s a secret

Associated Press/AP Online, Dec. 22, 2008



WASHINGTON – It’s something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where’s the money going?

But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.

“We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,'” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what’s the plan for the rest?

None of the banks provided specific answers.

“We’re not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking,” said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Some banks said they simply didn’t know where the money was going.

“We manage our capital in its aggregate,” said Regions Financial Corp. spokesman Tim Deighton, who said the Birmingham, Ala.-based company is not tracking how it is spending the $3.5 billion it received as part of the financial bailout.

The answers highlight the secrecy surrounding the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which earmarked $700 billion – about the size of the Netherlands’ economy – to help rescue the financial industry. The Treasury Department has been using the money to buy stock in U.S. banks, hoping that the sudden inflow of cash will get banks to start lending money.

There has been no accounting of how banks spend that money. Lawmakers summoned bank executives to Capitol Hill last month and implored them to lend the money – not to hoard it or spend it on corporate bonuses, junkets or to buy other banks. But there is no process in place to make sure that’s happening and there are no consequences for banks who don’t comply.

“It is entirely appropriate for the American people to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent in private industry,” said Elizabeth Warren, the top congressional watchdog overseeing the financial bailout.

But, at least for now, there’s no way for taxpayers to find that out.

Pressured by the Bush administration to approve the money quickly, Congress attached nearly no strings on the $700 billion bailout in October. And the Treasury Department, which doles out the money, never asked banks how it would be spent.

“Those are legitimate questions that should have been asked on Day One,” said Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., a House Financial Services Committee member who opposed the bailout as it was rushed through Congress. “Where is the money going to go to? How is it going to be spent? When are we going to get a record on it?”

Nearly every bank AP questioned – including Citibank and Bank of America, two of the largest recipients of bailout money – responded with generic public relations statements explaining that the money was being used to strengthen balance sheets and continue making loans to ease the credit crisis.

A few banks described company-specific programs, such as JPMorgan Chase’s plan to lend $5 billion to nonprofit and health care companies next year. Richard Becker, senior vice president of Wisconsin-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp., said the $1.75 billion in bailout money allowed the bank to temporarily stop foreclosing on homes.

But no bank provided even the most basic accounting for the federal money.

“We’re choosing not to disclose that,” said Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, which received about $3 billion.

Others said the money couldn’t be tracked. Bob Denham, a spokesman for North Carolina-based BB&T Corp., said the bailout money “doesn’t have its own bucket.” But he said taxpayer money wasn’t used in the bank’s recent purchase of a Florida insurance company. Asked how he could be sure, since the money wasn’t being tracked, Denham said the bank would have made that deal regardless.

Others, such as Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Carissa Ramirez, offered to discuss the matter with reporters on condition of anonymity. When AP refused, Ramirez sent an e-mail saying: “We are going to decline to comment on your story.”

Most banks wouldn’t say why they were keeping the details secret.

“We’re not sharing any other details. We’re just not at this time,” said Wendy Walker, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Comerica Inc., which received $2.25 billion from the government.

Heine, the New York Mellon Corp. spokesman who said he wouldn’t share spending specifics, added: “I just would prefer if you wouldn’t say that we’re not going to discuss those details.”

The banks which came closest to answering the questions were those, such as U.S. Bancorp and Huntington Bancshares Inc., that only recently received the money and have yet to spend it. But neither provided anything more than a generic summary of how the money would be spent.

Lawmakers say they want to tighten restrictions on the remaining, yet-to-be-released $350 billion block of bailout money before more cash is handed out. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the department is trying to step up its monitoring of bank spending.

“What we’ve been doing here is moving, I think, with lightning speed to put necessary programs in place, to develop them, implement them, and then we need to monitor them while we’re doing this,” Paulson said at a recent forum in New York. “So we’re building this organization as we’re going.”

Warren, the congressional watchdog appointed by Democrats, said her oversight panel will try to force the banks to say where they’ve spent the money.

“It would take a lot of nerve not to give answers,” she said.

But Warren said she’s surprised she even has to ask.

“If the appropriate restrictions were put on the money to begin with, if the appropriate transparency was in place, then we wouldn’t be in a position where you’re trying to call every recipient and get the basic information that should already be in public documents,” she said.

Garrett, the New Jersey congressman, said the nation might never get a clear answer on where hundreds of billions of dollars went.

“A year or two ago, when we talked about spending $100 million for a bridge to nowhere, that was considered a scandal,” he said.

Associated Press writers Stevenson Jacobs in New York and Christopher S. Rugaber and Daniel Wagner in Washington contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS SUBS 9th graf to correct program name to Troubled Asset, sted Assets. Moving on general news and financial services. AP Video.)

A service of YellowBrix, Inc. .

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víctimas de Madoff

Madoff’s Victims

Aca van algunos nombres.

DECEMBER 16, 2008

Madoff’s Victims
The fallout from Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme reverberated around the world as
the list of investors facing losses widened. Among the biggest losers were charities, hedge
funds, and banks in Europe and Asia. Below, see some of the most exposed investors and
sort by the amount of potential losses. –Updated 12/16/08

Amount of Exposure

Fairfield Greenwich Advisors
An investment management firm
More than half of Fairfield Greenwich’s $14.1 billion in assets under management, or
about $7.5 billion was connected to Madoff.

Tremont Capital Management
The fund-of-funds business run by Tremont Group Holdings
Tremont’s Rye Investment Management business had $3.1 billion invested, and its fund of
funds group invested another $200 million.

Banco Santander
Spanish bank
In euros, the figure is 2.33 billion.Of that, 2.01 billion euros belongs to institutional
investors, Optimal Strategic hedge fund investors (international private banking
customers); 320 mllion euros belongs to other private banking customers.

Bank Medici
Austrian bank
The bank had two funds with $2.1 billion (1.5 billion euros) invested with Madoff.

Ascot Partners
A hedge fund founded by billionaire investor, philanthropist and GMAC chief J. Ezra Merkin
The hedge fund had $1.8 billion under management as of Sept. 30, had substantially all of
its assets invested with Mr. Madoff.

Access International Advisors
A New York-based investment firm

Dutch bank
Fortis Bank and its subsidiaries have no direct exposure to Bernard Madoff Investment
Securities LLC, but parts of the group do have a risk exposure to certain funds it provides
collateralised lending to. If, as a result of the alleged fraud, the value of the assets of these
funds is nil and the respective clients cannot meet their obligations, Fortis Bank Nederland
(Holding) N.V.’s loss could amount to around EUR 850 million to EUR 1 billion. The
continuity of Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N.V.and its subsidiaries is not at stake in any

Union Bancaire Privee
Swiss bank
The bank’s exposure to Madoff — less than 1.26 billion Swiss francs — is less than 1% of
overall bank assets.

British bank
HSBC provided financing to a small number of institutional clients who invested in funds
with Madoff; some clients in its global custody business have invested with Madoff, but the
company doesn’t believe these arrangements should be a source of exposure to the

Natixis SA
A French investment bank
The company says it didn’t make direct investment in Madoff-managed funds; some
investments made on behalf of customers could have ended up being managed by Madoff.
Exposure is about 450 million euros.

Carl Shapiro
The founder and former chairman of apparel company Kay Windsor Inc., and his wife
Mr. Shapiro, a 95-year-old apparel entrepreneur and investor, had $545 million with Mr.
Madoff—creating what could become the largest personal loss yet in the scandal. A
spokeswoman for the family confirmed that Mr. Shapiro’s charitable foundation, the
Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, invested $145 million with Mr. Madoff. Mr.
Shapiro and his family had an additional $400 million or more invested with Mr. Madoff.
Mr. Shapiro, a widely respected philanthropist, was one of Mr. Madoff’s earliest and
largest investors.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC
British bank
The bank had exposure of about 400 million pounds to Madoff through trading,
collateralized lending.

BNP Paribas
French bank
The company said it has no investment of its own in Madoff-managed hedge fund but it
does have risk exposure (up to 350 million euros) through its trading business and
collateralized lending to funds of hedge funds.

Spanish bank
The company reiterated it doesn’t have direct exposure to Madoff but would face losses of
300 million euros if Madoff funds were found not to exist.

Man Group PLC
A U.K. hedge fund
Invested in funds directly/indirectly sub-advised by Madoff Securities

Reichmuth & Co.
A Swiss private bank
The Lucerne-based private bank warned investors that around 385 million Swiss francs, or
3.5% of its assets under management, were affected.

Nomura Holdings
Japanese brokerage firm
The 27.5 billion yen exposure is through Fairfield Sentry; That amount represents 0.2% of
assets under management.

Maxam Capital Management
A fund of funds based in Darien, Connecticut
The fund reported a combined loss of $280 million on funds they had invested.

A European investment manager with about $11 billion in assets
The European investment manager with about $11 billion in assets. Overall, EIM assets at
risk are less than 2% of what it manages.

French insurance giant
Exposure is well below 100 million euros.

UniCredit SpA
Italian Bank
The company’s total exposure is about 75 million euros. Dublin-based Pioneer Alternative
Investments is indirectly exposed to Madoff via feeders; Italian clients have zero exposure.

Nordea Bank AB
Swedish Bank
The amount of exposure is about 48 million euros.

A Swiss private bank owned by St. Galler Kantonalbank
Hyposwiss said roughly 0.1% of its overall assets was invested in Madoff products through
managed accounts. Another $100 million is exposed through clients who chose to invest
in Madoff funds. St. Galler Kantonalbank said its financial situation and liquidity aren’t
hurt by Hyposwiss’ exposure.

Banque Benedict Hentsch & Cie. SA
A Swiss-based private bank
Banque Benedict Hentsch said its clients have 56 million Swiss francs at risk. Benedict
Hentsch had also recently agreed to merge with Fairfield Greenwich Group, a major Madoff
distributor. When the news of Mr. Madoff’s arrest broke, it scrambled to undo that

Fairfield, Conn.
town pension fund
The town’s employees board and police and fire board, which cover 971 workers, had
$41.9 million invested with Madoff, said Paul Hiller, Fairfield’s chief fiscal officer.

Bramdean Alternatives
An asset manager
The exposure is about 9.5% of assets.
Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
The largest manager of charitable gift assets for Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists
The amount invested with Madoff represented less than 5% of the Foundation’s assets.

Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd.
Israel-based insurance firm

Baloise Holding AG
Swiss insurer

Societe Generale
French Bank
The company says its exposure, which is less than 10 million euros, is “negligible. ”

Groupama SA
French insurer
Exposure is around 10 million euros.

Credit Agricole SA
French bank
Exposure is less than 10 million euros.

Richard Spring
individual investor
A Boca Raton resident and former securities analyst, says he had about 95% of his net
worth invested with Mr. Madoff. Mr. Spring said he was also one of the unofficial agents
who connected Mr. Madoff with dozens of investors, from a teacher who put in $50,000 to
entrepreneurs and executives who would put in millions.

RAB Capital
hedge fund

Banco Popolare
Italian bank
The company says it had indirect exposure of up to 8 million euros; maximum lost on
funds distributed to institutional, private clients is about 60 million euros.

Korea Teachers Pension
A 10 trillion won Korean pension fund

Swiss Life Holding
Swiss insurer
Swiss Life said it has indirectly invested assets worth around 90 million Swiss francs
through funds of funds managed by Madoff Investment Securities.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
health system
Exposure represents less than 1% of the health system’s investment portfolio.

Neue Privat Bank
Swiss bank
The bank invested in a certificate based on a hedge fund with exposure to Madoff

Clal Insurance Enterprise Holdings
An Israel-based financial services company

Ira Roth
individual investor
Mr. Roth, a New Jersey resident, says his family has about $1 million invested through Mr.
Madoff’s firm.

Mediobanca SpA
via its subsidiary Compagnie Monegasque de Banque.
Limited to $671,000 via its Compagnie Monegasque de Banque. via its subsidiary

Compagnie Monegasque de Banque.
Fred Wilpon
owner of New York Mets

Steven Spielberg
The Spielberg charity — the Wunderkinder Foundation

JEHT Foundation
A New York foundation focused on electoral and criminal justice reform
The foundation, which stands for Justice, Equality, Human dignity and Tolerance, will close
its doors at the end of January 2009. Donors Jeanne Levy-Church and Kenneth Levy-
Church had all their funds managed through Madoff.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman Charitable Remainder Trust
The charitable trust of real-estate magnate, who owns the Daily News and U.S. News &
World Report
Funds exposed represented 11% of the value of that charitable trust.

Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation
A Massachusetts- based Jewish charity
The group, which financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel, was forced to close on Friday
because the money that supported its programs was invested with Madoff.

Chais Family Foundation
A charity that gives away about $12.5 million annually to Jewish causes
The California-based charity group invested entirely with Madoff, and was forced to shut
down operations on Sunday after years of donating some $12.5 million annually to Jewish
causes in Israel and Eastern Europe.

KBC Group NV
Belgian banking and insurance group
No direct exposure; some indirect exposure through collateralized loans, but the exposure
is very limited and immaterial to KBC’s earnings. KBC has also made some loan advances to
institutional customers who have invested in funds managed by Madoff Investment
Securities, but this shouldn’t have any material impact either, the company said.

Credit Suisse
Swiss bank
The company says it has “no material direct exposure.” It is reviewing if any client funds
were affected.

Barclays PLC
British bank
The bank says it has “minimal” exposure” and is “fully collateralized”

French bank
No direct investments in funds managed by Madoff,; private banking clients have total
exposure of EUR78 million to funds primarily invested in Madoff funds. Indirectly, Dexia is
exposed through partially collateralized lending operations to funds exposed to Madoff
funds for a gross amount of EUR164 million. If the assets managed by Madoff Investment
Securities were nil, the above mentioned lending operations could trigger an after tax loss
of about EUR85 million for Dexia.

Allianz Global Investors
The asset management unit of German insurer Allianz SE
The unit says exposure “is not significant. ”

Banco Espanol de Credito SA (Banesto)
A Spanish bank contolled by Banco Santander
Its clients have a total 2 million euros exposure

CNP Assurances
French insurer
No direct exposure. Indirect exposure of 3 million euros via a fund of funds

Swiss bank
The bank says is has “no material exposure.”

Yeshiva University
A New York-based private university

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
The charitable foundation of Nobel laureate

Leonard Feinstein
The co-founder of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond

Sen. Frank Lautenberg
The charitable foundation of the New Jersey Senator’s family

Norman Braman
former owner of Philadelphia Eagles
Jeffrey Katzenberg
The chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.
Mr. Katzenberg’s financial affairs along with those of Mr. Spielberg were managed by Mr.
Breslauer, Mr. Katzenberg has suffered millions in Madoff-connected losses, say people
familiar with the matter.
Gerald Breslauer
The Hollywood financial advisor to Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Along Messrs Katzenberg and Spielberg, Mr. Breslauer himself has likely sustained heavy
losses in the Madoff affair. He customarily invests alongside his clients, say these people,
and has sometimes been a larger investor than the people he represented
Kingate Management
hedge fund
Kingate’s $2.8 billion hedge fund Kiingate Global Fund reportedly invested heavily with
Julian J. Levitt Foundation
Texas-based charity
Loeb family
Lawrence Velvel
individual investor
Mr. Velvel is dean of the Massachusetts School of Law
Fix Asset Management.
hedge fund
reportedly invested heavily in Madoff’s portfolios
Genevalor, Benbassat & Cie.
money manager in Geneva
Members of the Benbassat family, which run the firm, have long known Mr. Madoff. In a
statement on its Web site, Genevalor said it “has been reviewing the potential damages
caused to its clients” by the alleged Madoff fraud. A statement from the Thema fund said it
had assets with Madoff that were now frozen, but did not elaborate.

WSJ reporting;
Associated Press;
the companies and charities


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los amigos del CEFID-AR nos envían el informe, a diciembre 2008,  de los préstamos  al sector privado no financiero



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