London Tube station visiting record broken
Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. 19 To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs JPMorgan fined $920 million for ‘London whale’ Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY 5:24 p.m. EDT September 19, 2013 Bank seeks to put 2012 embarrassment behind it by reaching settlements with four regulators at once. People in lobby of JPMorgan Chase’s New York City headquarters in 2012 file photo (Photo: Mark Lenihan, AP) Bank lost $6.2 billion on failed London whale trading strategy JPMorgan admits violating securities laws, having inadequate accounting controls Criminal investigation and CFTC civil probe continuing SHARE 361 CONNECT 89 TWEET 19 COMMENTEMAILMORE JPMorgan Chase admitted wrongdoing and was fined roughly $920 million Thursday for its “London whale” trading debacle as the U.S.-based global bank settled investigations by four oversight agencies. The settlements stopped short of assessing blame against any top executives at the nation’s largest bank and JPMorgan still faces at least two continuing investigations. The rare admission of fault and one of the largest bank fines in history focus on an early 2012 episode in which the bank’s London-based traders amassed large and risky investment positions in an effort to avoid losses in a credit portfolio. The positions were so big they drew attention from other firms’ traders, who dubbed Bruno Iksil, the chief JPMorgan trader involved, “the London whale.” The bank initially asserted that the trades, which ultimately racked up an estimated $6.2 billion in losses, had been a hedge against risk. But the strategy instead morphed into proprietary trading for the bank’s benefit partly funded with federally insured deposits. In trying to move past the incident, JPMorgan publicly acknowledged that it had violated federal securities laws and conceded that the losses occurred against a backdrop of deficient accounting controls. The bank also acknowledged that senior management knew that London traders were using a valuation system designed to minimize the size of the losses. JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses. SEC official George Canellos The settlements require improvements in internal oversight by the bank’s board of directors, steps to remedy “unsafe and unsound” banking practices, plus upgraded audit functions. “JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses,”said George Canellos, co-director of the enforcement division at the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the regulators involved in the settlements. “While grappling with how to fix its internal control breakdowns, JPMorgan’s senior management broke a cardinal rule of corporate governance and deprived its board of critical information it needed to fully assess the company’s problems and determine whether accurate and reliable information was being disclosed to investors and regulators.” Investigators echoed a scathing Senate report that earlier this year concluded JPMorgan had kept bank regulators in the dark about the losses by withholding important information.
London steps up Islamic finance ambitions
“We want to be the leading (Islamic) finance sector outside of the Muslim world,” deputy mayor of London Edward Lister said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Islamic finance follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling, and is playing an increasingly prominent role internationally as often oil and gas-rich investors from Islamic countries put more of their money to work overseas. Britain’s Islamic finance task force, established in March, is led by several ministers and industry figures as well as top executives from Gatehouse Bank and Oakstone Merchant Bank Ltd. It was launched ahead of London hosting the World Islamic Economic Forum in October and its mandate is to facilitate Islamic financial business, including investment in British infrastructure by Islamic sovereign wealth funds. The forum, which saw 28 billion ringgit ($8.6 billion) worth of deals inked last year, is being held outside an Islamic city for the first time. Islamic finance has already played a role in several major deals in London, with Qatari investors taking part in funding the city’s Shard tower, Harrod’s department store and the athletes’ village used for last year’s summer Olympics. A Malaysian consortium is also spearheading the redevelopment of London’s Battersea power station, after acquiring the site for 400 million pounds last year. Malaysia is the second largest investor in London’s real estate market behind the United States. “The task force has just started and its aim is to make it easier for banks in London to have Islamic products, which is still quite a new concept to any of them,” Lister said. “Only now people are beginning to understand what the products actually mean and how they comply … What you will see is a lot of companies introducing those products.” Maybank Islamic, an arm of Malaysia’s largest bank Malayan Banking Bhd, has launched a sterling-denominated and sharia-compliant mortgage product for high net-worth Malaysians looking to invest in London’s real estate market.
London as you’ve never seen it: Urban explorers risk their lives to capture stunning images of city
Urban exploration known as urbex or UE for short is a term used to describe the creative exploration of the built environment, which Garrett believes should be as natural as a brisk walk in the countryside. If you move in the wilderness, its totally expected that if youve got a big mountain next to your house, youre going to climb it. Everyone wants to see the view from the top of the mountain, he said. If you live in Southwark, and theyre building an 80-storey building, obviously you want to see the view from the top. The construction firms appear to make concessions, like putting the viewing platform in The Shard, but it ends up being only for people that have a large disposable income. A group of urban explorers on top of a water tower on the roof of an estate in Pimlico in London Bradley L. Garrett / Barcroft Media Garrett is also keen to dispel some of the myths that have grown up around the urban exploration community. A lot of people like to label this whole thing as us being deviant and smashing into places, but its actually not about that at all, its about appreciation for these places, he said. Its totally benign. We go out, nothing gets damaged, nothing gets broken, we go in, we feed the adrenaline rush, and we go home. While some of the group’s larger ventures such as an exploration of Burlington, an underground Cold War city designed to house the UK government in the event of a nuclear strike, required intricate planning, sometimes – as with The Shard – they would just let the city surprise them. “Its often those spontaneous explorations that end up being the coolest, when youre just walking through the city and someone says look, theres scaffolding on that building and you climb it and you get through a window and then all of a sudden you get on a staircase and then youre on the roof and youve got this incredible view of London at 2am in the morning. “You sit up there with your friends and chill out and take in the view, and then you climb down and spot a night bus and youre home and in bed in an hour,” he said. “And then you wake up in the morning and it feels like a dream, and then you stick the memory card of your camera in the computer and you go My God, that was real, that was amazing! and youve got these incredible photos to document this experience.” Garrett insists that all the urbexers he met during his PhD were united by two things: a passion for real-life adventure and a love of London. If you love the city enough and youve seen loads of places, you get to a point where youre like yeah, but I know these other places are here, I want to see those places too. Although trespass is generally not a criminal offence in the UK, setting foot on the railways is a different matter, and the explorers eventually fell foul of the law during their search for the disused ‘ghost stations’ of the London Underground.
London arms fair: sugarcoated death trade
Fiona McKinnon is helping you get home this evening with travel updates every 15 minutes . BBC LONDON 94.9 1656: Elsa Griffiths Producer, Drivetime On Drivetime with Jim Davis from 17:00 , we’ll have the latest on the ongoing terror attacks in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. A London MP claims drivers parking outside a charity shop are being fined over 100,000 a year, and Labour says more than 73,000 children in London would benefit from its plan to offer 25 hours per week of free childcare. BBC LONDON 94.9 1643: Reporter Anna O’Neill has been to a loading bay in front of a charity shop in Islington which a local MP claims has caught drivers out to the tune of 100,000 in fines in one year. IN THE PAPERS 1628: The Romford Recorder reports a heavily pregnant woman was hit by a moped outside a Romford primary school on Thursday. She was taken to Queen’s Hospital as a precaution. KENYA SHOOTING 1613: It is believed one of the four Britons killed in an attack by militants in Nairobi is 33-year-old architect Ross Langdon, who was apparently killed alongside his pregnant partner Elif Yavuz. He co-founded Langdon Reis Architects in London. CRICKET 1603: BBC London Sport tweets : Middlesex batsman Sam Robson called into the England Performance Programme for the winter. His first experience of the national set-up. DUGGAN INQUEST 1552: Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News tweets : Duggan had convictions for cannabis possession, handling stolen goods & cautioned for public disorder. DUGGAN INQUEST 1539: BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Matt Prodger is at the inquest of Mark Duggan whose death by police sparked riots in Tottenham. He hears police had intelligence that Mr Duggan was likely to seek a firearm the day before he was killed. A risk assessment said he was violent and had previously confronted police officers on Broadwater Farm estate. EARL GREY TRIBUTES 1531: The Hampstead & Highgate Express reports on tributes paid to Richard Grey, the sixth Earl Grey, who has died after a short illness.
Amnesty said the banned torture-ware were displayed by a company called CTS-Thompson at the Beechwood Equipment stall, despite explicit acknowledgments on the fairas website that the sale of aleg irons, gang chains, shackles and shackle braceletsa were prohibited. aWith companies openly flogging torture equipment on one side of the counter and delegates from countries like Bahrain on the other, it is hardly the sort of matchmaking that Londoners should be proud to host,a Oliver Sprague, Amnesty Internationalas Arms Program Director, said in reaction. Spragueas comment pointed to a highly-embarrassing fact about the persistent participants in DSEis. A cross-party committee of senior backbench MPs said back in 2011 that successive governments had allowed British arms supplied to North Africa and the Middle East to be used for internal repression despite official guidelines to the contrary. To make matters worse, the very repressive regimes, such as Bahrain, the Israeli regime and Saudi Arabia, were, and continue to be, invited to the fair. In 2011, 14 out of 65 delegations present at the exhibition were from countries defined as aauthoritarian regimesa by human rights groups. In 2013, it appeared that Britain had issued arms exports permits worth A12 billion for some of the worldas most brutal dictatorships, almost all of them on the DSEi guest list while being also listed among countries with ahuman rights concernsa by the British Foreign Office. The Israeli regime accounted for well over 50 percent of the value of the licences issued for the mentioned countries with 381 permits worth A7.8 billion and Saudi Arabia came in second with 417 licences worth A1.8 billion. Both were present at DSEi 2013. The embarrassment over the guest list was such that Sarah Waldron from the Campaign Against Arms Trade said ait reads like a roll call of authoritarian regimes and human rights abusersa, while the House of Commons’ Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) said there is an inherent conflict between strongly promoting arms exports to authoritarian regimes and strongly criticizing their lack of human rights at the same time. And, the last but not the least, DSEi 2013 faced daily protests including, hundreds of people blockading the fair venueas gates as well as preventing the entrance of ships and armored vehicles. As participants in the DSEi 2013 began setting up their stalls on Sunday September 13, hundreds of protesters disrupted their set-up, stopping vehicles carrying military equipment and blocking their access to the eastern entrance of the ExCel center. Blockades were also in place at the western entrance as priests and activists from Christianity Uncut performed an aexorcisma on the fair.