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Bono Backed Health Fund Investigated For Fraud

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A $48 billion health fund (The Global Fund to Fight Aids) backed by Bill Gates and Bono is being investigated for fraud. In fact 2/3 of some grant money had been stolen and some donor countries have withheld their donations. A quick look at the annual reports and its clear to see the vast majority of donations are from countries not people. Its staggering how much taxpayer money goes into this fund and yet there is little or no accountability. Sounds familiar “taxpayer money and no accountability” ;-).

I have included a link below for the 2010 annual report. Check out how much your country is pumping into this black hole. We are used to Bill Gates supporting some dodgy shit like vaccines but Bono your credibility is taking a hit on this one. Next time stick to the singing.

 

A multi billion dollar global health fund backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is being probed for widespread fraud after it emerged grant money to developing countries had been ‘eaten up by corruption.’

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), which distributes $28 billion in aid, found that two-thirds of the money from some grants had been stolen or misused by recipient countries.

As a result of the internal investigation, donor countries Germany and Sweden have withheld over $250 million in aid money from the Global Fund on the back of the claims.

The Fund’s newly reinforced inspector general’s office, which uncovered the corruption, can’t give an overall figure on the size of the fraud because it has examined only a tiny fraction of the $10 billion that the fund has spent since its creation in 2002. 

To date, the United States, the European Union and other major donors have pledged $21.7 billion to the fund, the dominant financier of efforts to fight the three diseases.

The Global Fund receives money from 54 countries and charitable foundations such as (Product) Red, which is supported by rock star Bono.

Other prominent backers of the Fund include former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives $150 million a year.

Reports specifically named projects in Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania and Zambia, and cited forged or non-existent receipts for ‘training events,’ fake travel and housing claims and outright theft, along with shoddy bookkeeping.

A full 67 percent of money spent on an anti-AIDS program in Mauritania was misspent, the investigators told the Fund’s board of directors.

It also emerged that 36 percent of the money spent on a program in Mali to fight tuberculosis and malaria, and 30 percent of grants to Djibouti were similarly misappropriated.

………..

Sweden, the fund’s 11th-biggest contributor, has suspended its $85 million annual donation until the fund’s problems are fixed. It held talks with fund officials in Stockholm last week.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Larsson said in a statement that his country is concerned about ‘extensive examples of irregularities and corruption that the fund has uncovered’ in nations like Mali and Mauritania.

‘For Sweden, the issues of greatest importance are risk management, combating corruption and ultimately ensuring that the funds managed by the Global Fund really do contribute to improved health,’ he said.

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Employment Level Grows In Ireland – Yet 50% Of Unemployed Since 2009 Emigrate

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The Irish Independent ran an article today about Ireland’s employed levels growing.

EMPLOYMENT levels increased for the first time since 2007 in the last quarter of 2011 when adjusted for seasonality, new figures from the Central Statistics office show.

But there were 302,000 people out of work at the end of last year, 3,000 higher than in 2010, according to the figures.

The average unemployment figure for the whole of 2011 was 304,200, up 12,500 or 4.3pc compared with 2010.

The number of people at work in the economy fell by 15,400 or 0.8pc to stand at 1.8m in the final quarter of last year.

According to the CSO, the average employment level during 2011 was 38,100 lower than in 2010.

Economists welcomed the jobless drop in the fourth quarter.

While this is good news ,when you look closer at the data you get to see real picture unfolding. The amount of people employed rose by 2300 in the last quarter but you can also see the amount of people unemployed fell by 12,700. This appears that over 10,000 people emirgrated.Unfortunately it is the traditional way Ireland deals with economic hard times but it is typical that the media choses to ignore the news that 4 times as many people are leaving the country than are finding work.

In fact since Q1 2009, when the total workforce was 2,188,400, there are 158,000 fewer people working. Only 79,000 are accounted for in the unemployment statistics and it appears that 78,600 emigrated. THATS NEARLY 50%!!!!!

Statistics Sources: Central Statistics Office 2011 Q4 Results , Q1 2009 Results

Rift Grows Between ECB and Bundesbank

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Super Mario looked quite smug with himself  after pumping over €500 billion of cheap money into eurozone banks through LTRO2, but not everyone is happy with him. The ECB balance sheet has swelled lately but not with quality collateral. In fact the Bundesbank is growing very concerned that Draghi is increasingly accepting low grade collateral and this is no way fixing the crisis, just pushing it further down the tracks. Super Mario basked in his own glory at the G-20 meeting in Mexico and boasted “The euro is now a safer place than it was at the time of the last G-20 summit in Cannes,” he said.

Only two days before Draghi made his G-20 presentation, Jens Weidmann, president of Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, spoke at the Mexico summit, and he had an entirely different message for his listeners. “The crisis cannot be resolved solely by throwing money at it,” he said.

There is a rift among top-ranking officials at the ECB, and it also extends between the majority of the ECB’s Governing Council and the Bundesbank. First, two leading German ECB officials — chief economist Jürgen Stark and Bundesbank President Axel Weber — resigned because the monetary authority was buying up sovereign bonds from Greece and Portugal. Then Weber’s successor Weidmann objected to the ECB’s purchase of government bonds from heavily indebted Italy.

Idea is good, but conditions are very generous

Now, Weidmann is rebelling against the manner in which Draghi is giving European banks one new cash injection after another. Although Weidmann admits that the measures are basically correct, their conditions are “very generous,” he complains — and expresses his total opposition to this policy in the jargon of the central bankers: “This can particularly become a problem if banks are discouraged from taking action to restructure their balance sheets and strengthen their capital base.”

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Last week, the conflict escalated to a new level. Weidmann complained in a letter to ECB President Draghi that the central bank was accepting increasingly lower-grade collateral in exchange for its cash injections. This poses a danger, he warned, as the central banks in the north of the euro zone are owed ever growing amounts of money by their counterparts in the south. If the euro zone broke apart, the Bundesbank would be left holding a good deal of its bad debt from so-called TARGET2 loans, which currently amount to some €500 billion ($660 billion), he warned.

Bundesbank now concerned eurozone may break up.

TARGET2 refers to the central banks’ internal payment system, which has accumulated massive imbalances during the course of the euro crisis. These inequalities aren’t problematic as long as the monetary union remains intact. So far, the Bundesbank has always played down this risk. But Weidmann’s about-face is a “disastrous signal,” say ECB executives because, for the first time ever, the Bundesbank “is no longer ruling out a break-up of the euro zone.”

With low interest rate loans and inflation kicking in the ECB along with the FED are hoping that people will spend money rather than saving. This would help the economy to recover. Why deal with the problem of debt when you can spend your way into the next bubble and worry later 😉

now that statisticians are registering the first signs of inflation. In February, the inflation rate in the euro zone didn’t decline, as expected, but instead rose by 2.7 percent, primarily due to the rising price of gasoline. Furthermore, on other markets where investors like to speculate with cheap money from the central bank, prices are currently rising — in the German real estate sector, for example.

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There’s simply too much money around. Indeed, all concerns are pushed aside on the stock and commodity markets and investors are buying like mad. Ever since the announcement of Draghi’s cash injections, the German stock index, the DAX, has risen by 20 percent — and prices for copper, aluminum and zinc have also increased sharply. The price of oil has jumped by 15 percent and a fine ounce of gold costs roughly 10 percent more than it did two months ago.

If additional cheap loans of this type are granted to banks, “there’s a big danger that new bubbles will form on the commodity markets,” says Eugen Weinberg, a commodity analyst at Commerzbank. He says the recent stock market rally is already “alarming.”

Source: Speigel

Germany Nervous About It’s Gold Reserves

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It’s like a high stakes game of poker right now. The situation with Greece is making everyone nervous and its Germany’s turn this week as more questions are asked about how secure its gold reserves are while being held outside its borders. This time its the turn of the German Federal Audit Office to ask the questions as originally reported by Bild.

The German Federal Audit Office has criticised the Bundesbank’s lax auditing and inventory controls regarding Germany’s sizeable gold reserves – 3,396.3 tonnes of gold or some 73.7% of Germany’s national foreign exchange reserves.

There is increasing nervousness amongst the German public, German politicians and indeed the Bundesbank itself regarding the gigantic risk on the balance sheet of Germany’s central bank and this is leading some in Germany to voice concerns about the location and exact amount of Germany’s gold reserves.

The importance of its gold reserves are crucial in case the eurozone was to collapse. A new germany currency could be backed by these reserves.

The eurozone’s central bank system is massively imbalanced after the ECB’s balance sheet surged to a record 3.02 trillion euros ($3.96 trillion) last week, 31% bigger than the German economy, after a second tranche of three-year loans.

The concern is that were the eurozone to collapse, Bundesbank’s losses could be half a trillion euros – more than one-and-a-half times the size of the Germany’s annual budget.

In that scenario, Germany’s national patrimony of gold bullion reserves would be needed to support the currency – whether that be a new euro or a return to the Deutsche mark.

The German lawmakers are following in the footsteps of US Presidential candidate Ron Paul who has long called for an audit of the US’ gold reserves.

It is believed that some 60% of Germany’s gold is stored outside of Germany and much of it in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Germany and other central banks may follow in Hugo Chavez’s footsteps and repatriate their gold to Germany so as to have direct possession of and ownership of their gold reserves in order to be better prepared for a systemic or monetary crisis.

Jim Rickards has outlined possible plans by the Federal Reserve to commandeer Germany’s and all foreign depositors of sovereign gold at the New York Federal Reserve in the event of a dollar and monetary crisis leading to intensified “currency wars” and the ‘nuclear option’ of a drastic upward revision of the price of gold and a return to a quasi gold standard is contemplated by embattled central banks to prevent debt deflation.

Source: ZeroHedge

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