Category Archives: Ridiculously obvious scams

Belvedere Management and its $16Bn: Now Looking More Like a Huge Collapsing Scam

As the regulatory actions accumulate, Belvedere Management looks less and less like a maligned fund manager, and more and more like a giant fraud. How much of the $16Bn it purported to manage is left?

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Fast Track/TPP: The Death of National Sovereignty, State Sovereignty, Separation of Powers, and Democracy

How the TPP, if passed and implemented, would create profound governance changes in the United States without benefit of the constitutional amendments that would normally be required to accomplish such changes.

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Dubious FX Broker CWM FX Claims Sports Celebrity Scalps, but Princess Anne Remains Unmolested

The CWM FX fraud bust, a murder, Princess Anne and some groping. It’s BAU in the world of sports sponsorship.

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John Helmer: Auction House Bonhams, Sued Over Frauds and Forgeries, Casts Pall Over Russian Art Market

We’ve said that fraud is the fastest growing business in the US, but the US is far from having a lock on that market. One of the proofs is the way our Richard Smith has turned chasing international scammers into a full-time activity.

Scamming has strong links to money laundering. That seems to have exploded as more and more of the global rich seek to move cash across borders in ways not readily tracked by tax men and border officials. The New York Times, for instance, did a major expose on high end real estate as a money laundering vehicle, focusing on one building, the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

John Helmer looks at another nexus, that of art and very high end collectables, through the lens of auction house Bonhams. However, there are intriguing extra wrinkles with Bonhams which puts it closer to the Graham Greene world of shadowy dealing than is the norm for the art world. And since Bonhams is a major dealer in Russian art, the collateral damage extends to the Russian art market, as well as Bonham’s efforts to sell itself.

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John Helmer: IMF Loan to Ukraine Props Up Failing Banks, Enriches Oligarchs

One reason for our continued coverage of the IMF generosity to Ukraine isn’t simply to demonstrate how the institution is bending its rules to support US adventurism. It’s also to highlight the striking contrast with the treatment of Greece. While Greece has a class of oligarchs that specialize in tax-evasion, Ukraine is widely recognized as a spectacularly corrupt country, to the degree that it makes Greece look like a paragon of virtue.

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