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March 20 2014


Financial Blog Corliss Group: Wall Street accountable after the crisis

How the Government Botched Its Effort to Hold Wall Street Accountable After the Crisis

The Department of Justice (DOJ) fell down on many of its efforts to hold Wall Street accountable for mortgage fraud after the crisis, according to a new audit from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The DOJ promised the public that it would place a priority on going after mortgage fraud. But the report finds that “DOJ did not uniformly ensure that mortgage fraud was prioritized at a level commensurate with its public statements.” One telling example is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ranked mortgage fraud as the lowest threat in its lowest crime category. The OIG also visited FBI field offices in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York and found that either it was a low priority or not even listed as a priority. Meanwhile, the FBI got $196 million in funding to investigate mortgage fraud between 2009 and 2011, yet the number of agents doing the investigation decreased in the same time, as did the pending investigations.

On top of these findings, the OIG reports that data was so poorly collected at the DOJ that it’s difficult for it to assess what was going on. And this bad data also led to the department misleading about its efforts to the public. In October of 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a press conference that his department had filed 110 federal civil cases that involved more than 73,000 homeowner victims and total losses of more than $1 billion. When the OIG followed up about these numbers, it became clear that there were significant errors with them — the total losses, for example, were $95 million, 91 percent than originally claimed. Yet the department kept referencing these numbers even after it realized its mistakes.

The report does have some praise for the DOJ. It offers two examples of where the department prioritized going after mortgage fraud: “the Criminal Division’s leadership of its mortgage fraud working group and the FBI and USAOs’ participation on more than 90 local task forces and working groups,” it notes. And more financial reports here.

A spokeswoman for the DOJ also pointed to the fact that the number of mortgage fraud indictments almost doubled between 2009 and 2011 and that the number of convictions rose by more than 100 percent, saying, “As the report itself notes, even at a time of constrained budget resources, the department has dedicated significant manpower and funding to combating mortgage fraud.”

But the audit’s findings are disturbing given the scope of fraud and how little justice homeowners have seen since the crisis. Prosecutions for financial fraud hit a 20-year low in 2011, in the wake of a crisis created by risk-taking on Wall Street. Lawmakers continually prodded the DOJ over what they felt was an attitude that banks were “too big to jail,” “too big for trial,” or that they had a “get out of jail free” card.

Meanwhile, the national mortgage settlement struck in 2012 over servicing abuses has brought very little relief for homeowners. Two years later, most banks are flouting the terms, as only two were fully in compliance, and servicers are still rampantly abusing homeowners. Meanwhile, little of the money set aside to help homeowners dealing with foreclosure has actually reached them, and some of the checks were so small homeowners refused to cash them.

Other efforts to hold Wall Street accountable after a crisis that took as much as $14 trillion — or perhaps even more — out of the economy haven’t produced many results. Just one financial executive has been held accountable, while most banks have walked away with settlements that aren’t nearly as large as they at first may appear. The Securities and Exchange Commission has won back just $2.7 billion in fines, penalties, and disgorged profits, and while it started demanding that banks admit to wrongdoing in settlements, there is evidence it may be throwing the towel in on prosecutions related to the financial crisis.

Over the last few decades, the average person's interest in the stock market has grown exponentially. Because of the lack of stock-market-related websites that impart the steps required to begin trading safely, Corliss Group Online Financialwas formed. Feel free and read more articles about stock-market education and only relevant and essential information required to trade shares on the stock market.

The above article is a repost from ThinkProgress.


March 11 2014


Financial Blog Corliss Online Group: Two Systems, One Country

The brutal attack on the former chief editor of a major Hong Kong newspaper has appalled and shocked this city, where violent crimes are rare. Kevin Lau Chun-to, a veteran journalist who had just stepped down as the chief editor of the respected Ming Pao Daily, was stabbed six times in a hit-and-run attack last week. Fortunately, following surgery, Lau’s condition has now stabilized. But for Hong Kong, the wounds will be more lasting. Not only did the attack leave a permanent scar on the freedom of the local press, it may have also laid bare the erosion of Hong Kong’s self-autonomy under the phony One Country Two Systems.


The cause of the attack is still unknown. Sadly, as the hit men are believed to have fled to Mainland China, the hunt for suspects has become more challenging. It is likely, therefore, that the brutal assault might well remain unsolved – a grisly addition to the city’s poor record on cracking media-related attacks. Over the past few years, there have been seven other reported incidents in which media professionals and outlets critical of the Hong Kong government and the Beijing authorities were threatened or attacked; none have been solved by the otherwise effective police.


Lau was at the eye of a storm just two months ago when he was removed from chief-editorship after serving for only two years (his predecessor had held the post for 15 years) and transferred to a non-editorial position. The plan is to replace him with a Malaysian editor who seems to have little experience in Hong Kong news reporting. Pundits have linked the unusual personnel shift to Ming Pao’s owner, Zhang Xiaoqing, a Malaysian billionaire with business ties in China, who may been seeking to tone down the critical character of the newspaper. Although many Ming Pao journalists resisted the move, the soft-spoken Lau accepted it without open opposition. That is why people were shocked not just by the attack itself, but also by the fact that the target was Lau, seen among journalists as a moderate personality. Even though Ming Pao largely retained its critical voice under his leadership, Lau, who is well connected with government officials and politicians from across the spectrum, seems unlikely to have been seen as a “problem child” in the eyes of the authorities.


Dwindling Press Freedom


What is most troubling, therefore, is that even such a moderate liberal style can attract such brutal violence; a “lesson” that might well have long-term repercussions for critical journalism. The implications are important. The generally moderate Ming Pao has been renowned for its investigative journalism on socio-political affairs in both Hong Kong and China. Among its outstanding coverage under Lau, the paper worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) as the only Chinese media company on a project about offshore money leaks, which led to a story in mid-January about the offshore holdings of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s family members. Similar reports that exposed the enormous wealth of high-ranking Chinese officials that have appeared in foreign media, namely The New York Times and Bloomberg News, have also resulted in reprisals such as visa delays from Beijing. Although there is no evidence to link that particular Ming Pao story to the assault, the ICIJ report has certainly attracted the most speculation. 

January 21 2014


Corliss Group Online Financial Mag: 6 investing dos and don’ts

Successful investing depends a lot on timing. You want your money to be in the right place at the right time in order to obtain the best results.


Take Japan for example. For years, the Tokyo market was a backwater for investors. Money just sloshed around and profits were few and far between. Then last year Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced a policy of aggressive economic reform and the Nikkei took off, gaining more than 50 per cent. Anyone who invested in Japanese funds did exceedingly well.


The profits on Wall Street weren’t quite as spectacular but gains of more than 30 per cent for Nasdaq and over 25 per cent for the S&P 500 were more than most investors expected.


So where should you be putting your money in 2014? Here’s a list of dos and don’ts for the coming year that may get you on the right track.


Don’t keep too much at home. The Toronto Stock Exchange lagged well behind its New York counterparts last year, in large part because of the dismal showing of the mining sector, particularly gold producers. The outlook for resources in the coming year isn’t much brighter. We aren’t likely to see such heavy losses but the chances of a huge upside turnaround aren’t very good either. Without that, the TSX will continue to sputter. We may beat last year’s advance of 9.6 per cent, but not by much. Best bet: Industrial stocks, such as auto parts makers, which will benefit from the lower dollar.


Do have some money in the U.S. The American economy appears to be gaining momentum, albeit on a two steps forward, one step back basis. After their strong performance last year, the major U.S. indexes are due for a correction and that could come at any time. When it does — and be assured, it will — take advantage of the retreat. Best bet: Buy sound U.S. blue-chip stocks or units of funds that invest in them.


Don’t buy hedged funds or ETFs. Hedging works in your favour when the Canadian dollar is rising. It diminishes your returns when the loonie is retreating, as it has been for the past year. Economists disagree about where our dollar will settle against the greenback but most believe there is more downside left. In that case, unhedged funds will work to your advantage by allowing you to capture the currency gain. Best bet: U.S.-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which not only are unhedged but generally have lower fees than their Canadian counterparts.


Do diversify globally. Japan wasn’t the only overseas market to do well last year. Surprisingly, the major European markets all scored double-digit gains and frontier markets — the new leading edge of investing — gained 25 per cent. So expand your horizons. Best bets: Conservative investors should stick with funds that invest in developed markets. If you’re more aggressive, put a little cash in an emerging markets fund. They had a bad year in 2013 and are due for a rebound.


Don’t overweight bonds. Everyone should own some bonds or bond funds for stability and protection against the effects of a 2008-style market crash. But don’t overdo it. The long bull market in bonds came to a screeching end last May and our DEX Universe Bond Index actually lost ground in 2013, the first time that’s happened in several years. This year may not be as bad, but it won’t be great either. Best bets: For conservative investors, short-term bonds or funds. More aggressive investors may be able to squeeze some extra profit out of high-yield bonds or funds.


Don’t buy gold. Worries about a double-dip recession, the printing of billions of dollars a month in new money by the Federal Reserve Board, and the Eurozone crisis should have given gold a boost in 2013. It didn’t. Now, with recession fears fading and quantitative easing tapering, there’s not much to propel the price of the precious metal. There will be a time for bullion again — this just isn’t it. Best bet: If you really feel you must own some gold, buy a few shares in a royalty company such as Franco-Nevada (TSX: FNV). They carry much less risk than the miners and the stocks have stood up better as a result.

January 20 2014


Corliss Group Online Financial Mag: Japan's Abe suffers setback

A city mayor opposed to a plan to relocate a controversial U.S. airbase on Japan's Okinawa island was re-elected on Sunday, Kyodo news agency said, creating a political headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and threatening friction with Washington.


Delays in relocating the U.S. Marines' Futenma air base, a move first agreed between Tokyo and Washington in 1996, have long been an irritant in U.S.-Japan ties and Abe is keen to make progress on the project as he seeks tighter ties with the United States in the face of an assertive China.


Abe's ties with Washington suffered after the United States expressed "disappointment" with his December 26 visit to Yasukuni Shrine, a pilgrimage that further strained relations with China and South Korea, which see the Tokyo shrine to Japan's war dead as a symbol of the country's past militarism.


Susumu Inamine - a staunch opponent of the relocation plan - was assured re-election as mayor of the Okinawa city of Nago, Kyodo said, citing projections shortly after the polls closed. An Okinawa newspaper also said Inamine's victory was certain.


Inamine has pledged to use his local authority block the relocation of the functions of Futenma from a populous part of central Okinawa to Nago's coastal Henoko area.


His main opponent had backed the plan and run with strong support from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).


Last month, Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima approved a landfill project to implement the plan.


Futenma has long been a lightening rod for discontent among Okinawa residents, many of whom associate the concentration of U.S. bases with accidents, pollution and crime such as the 1995 rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen.


Seeking to soothe discontent, Abe's government earmarked 348 billion yen ($3.34 billion)for Okinawa's economic development in the draft budget for the year from April and pledged about 300 billion yen per year through 2021/22.


Abe also promised to study whether the relocation plan could be speeded up and said the government would start talks with the United States on a deal that could allow for more oversight of environmental issues at U.S. bases.


Political analysts said Inamine's win, while likely to slow progress, might not be a death knell for the relocation plan.


"Mr. Inamine says he is totally opposed and may create obstacles, but the Abe government is trying hard to keep its promise to the United States," Seiichi Eto, an LDP lawmaker and aide to Abe, told Reuters late last week.


Analysts say Abe could risk denting voter support for his government, which came to power at the end of 2012 with promises to revive the economy, if he does push ahead with the relocation of the base in the face of local opposition.


"Inamine's victory will give momentum to the anti-base movement and the opposition campaign could spread," Takashi Kawakami, a professor at Takushoku University, said. "Abe will probably try to forge ahead but there will probably be an opposition movement ... and if this is reported in the media daily, Abe's support rates could fall."



October 13 2013


Etihad tegn Air Baltic Codeshare og fordobler Jakarta flyrejser


Etihad udvide øst og nord som Jakarta fly sæt til dobbelt slutningen af oktober og lettiske handel links til at blive suppleret med Airbaltic's nye flyrejser fra December

UAE erhvervslivet vil snart have bedre adgang til Letland efter Etihad Airways underskrevet en codeshare aftale med airBaltic.

Den lettiske luftfartsselskab vil operere fire ugentlige returflyvninger til Abu Dhabi fra December 16 på 116-sæde A319 fly (14 businessclass og 102 økonomi klasse sæder) og billetter gå på salg i dag.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' formand og CEO, sagde handel, kultur og fritid bånd mellem UAE og Letland "har aldrig været stærkere" og denne nye direkte fly, først mellem de to lande, vil understøtte fremtidige vækst. I 2012 nåede Letlands eksport til UAE 72 mio.

Tie-up muliggør Etihad større adgang til nordlige og østlige Europa via Airbaltic's Riga hub og tillader lettiske passagerer forbedret tilgængelighed til Mellemøsten og asiatiske markeder.


Etihad vil placere dens 'EY' flight kode på de nye Riga flyvninger, og regeringen godkendelser, ud over at 19 byer, herunder Billund, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Turku, Hamborg, Alesund, Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger, Vilnius, Warszawa, Stockholm, Kiev, Vienna, Prag, Barcelona og Istanbul.


Til gengæld vil airBaltic placere sin «BT» flykode på Etihad Airways flybilletter ud over Abu Dhabi til Cairo, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Amman og Muscat.


I en separat flytte, er Etihad stigende dens Jakarta flyvninger til dobbelt daglig fra oktober 27, giver 20 ugentlige flyvninger på ruten sammen med partner Garuda Indonesien.Sidste år blev samlede bilaterale handel mellem Indonesien og UAE vurderet på 3,3 milliarder dollars.

September 30 2013


Zal de 2020 Olympische Spelen echt helpen Tokio?

Will the 2020 Olympics Really Help Tokyo?


Het Internationaal Olympisch Comité (IOC) besluit eerder deze maand om Tokio gastheer van de 2020 Olympische Zomerspelen werd begroet met vuur over Japan, verdiende de natie gelukwensen uit de hele wereld. Voor velen de komende 2020 Games zorgt voor een broodnodige boost voor de economie en het land de moraal, vergelijkbaar met de rol van de 1964 Olympische Spelen Tokio. Raak op deze gevoelens, Premier. Shinzo Abe voorspelde dat als gastheer van de 2020 Olympische Spelen zou een "explosieve agent" voor de nationale economie en zou plaats Tokio in "het centrum van de wereld."


De feestelijke retoriek is begrijpelijk, maar de beloften, met name materiële kosten en baten, vragen om een meer sober toezicht, zelfs als de champagne kurken pop. Met het evenement zelf jaren, er zijn weinig gevolgen voor degenen die beloven de maan nu, bijna tien jaar later, hun garanties blijken te hol. De gevolgen voor de bewoners van de stad kunnen echter aanzienlijk zijn.


Naast zorgen over de Noord-fukushima kerncentrale lekt, er zijn ten minste drie andere uitdagingen Tokio staan zoals bij voorbereidingen beginnen serieus, en die onoverzichtelijke andere steden. Deze overheidsschuld accumulatie, infrastructuurwerken en achteraf gebruik, en ten slotte, zorgen over woonwijk verplaatsing en verdieping ongelijkheid.




steeds meer aandacht voor kosten en baten in de afgelopen jaren is in grote mate te wijten aan de verschuiving naar gunning belangrijke gebeurtenissen in de landen die kampen met armoede en ongelijkheid. India, China en Zuid-afrika hebben beide gebeurtenissen in de afgelopen jaren, en Brazilië zullen snel host zowel de Wereldbeker (2014) en Olympische Spelen (2016).  Maar, zoals we zagen in Londen in 2012, de wereldwijde recessie en een draai richting bezuinigingsplannen hebben grote sommen geld op korte termijn evenementen moeilijker te verkopen dan in eerdere jaren, ook in rijke landen. EEN boost in staat alleen is niet langer voldoende rechtvaardiging, en voorstanders - als met het geval van display- en bedieningspaneel (Abe) eerder deze maand - steeds moeten deze gebeurtenissen als de economische kansen die winst genereren en dragen bij tot de ontwikkeling van de stad.


Hoewel deze shift moedigt een welkom bij onderzoek van de economische waarde van grote evenementen, het is inderdaad erg lastig om een zinvolle berekening van totale uitgaven versus totale opbrengsten, met name jaar voordat het evenement plaatsvindt. Pre-event schattingen van kosten, in vele gevallen van rapporten in opdracht van overheidsinstellingen, zijn gevuld met rosy voorspellingen en vaak gelezen als public relations documenten. Jaren van onderzoek, aan de andere kant blijkt hoe vaak deze verslagen enorm onderschat de kosten en corrigeer indien nodig de voordelen van het evenement.


Als Kevin Rafferty meldde onlangs in De Japan Times, initiële ramingen voor de kostprijs van de London Games houdt ongeveer £2,4 miljard euro nog niet in het einde bereikt bijna €9 miljard. Schattingen voor de 2014 olympische winterspelen in Sochi begon op ongeveer $12 miljard, maar nu voorspeld dat hit $50 miljard. Twee recent afgesloten gebeurtenissen laten zien hoe misleidend vroege voorspelling kan worden. Officiële schattingen voor het wk 2010 in Zuid-afrika begon bij $500 miljoen in 2004, maar het kost bijna $5 miljard. En de 2010 World Expo in Shanghai was oorspronkelijk geraamd op $4,2 miljard euro, maar door een aantal post-event berekeningen uiteindelijk meer dan $50 miljard. Op de Olympische Spelen, Rafferty merkt op: "Kosten overschrijdingen voor de Olympische Spelen hebben gemiddeld 179 procent sinds 1960, en de meeste games hebben verliezen of kleine winst."


De kwestie van de ontvangsten is evenzeer belangrijk voor schatting van de kosten versus baten. Die hebben ook de neiging om teleur te stellen. EEN rapport uit 2010 over de onlangs afgesloten America's Cup race in San Francisco, in opdracht van de stad, wat zij herhaaldelijk opgeroepen een voorzichtige schatting dat de race zou leiden tot meer economische activiteit totaal $1,4 miljard. Dit is een conservatieve schatting ten opzichte van de $9,9 miljard uit eerdere verslagen, maar zelfs dan is het onwaarschijnlijk dat het geval iets dicht bij dat bedrag. De huidige officiële word op de Olympische Spelen van Londen van het Organiserend Comité is dat de 2012 games alleen kostendekkend.

August 15 2013


Peter Styles, Senior VP, M&A, The Corliss Group, to Attend Hedge Funds World Asia

Peter Styles, Senior Vice-President, Mergers and Acquisitions, The Corliss Group, is scheduled to attend Hedge Funds World Asia Conference from September 3 to 5, 2013 at the Harbour Hotel, Hong Kong. The conference provides great opportunities for participants to interact with industry colleagues and develop new networks among potential clients to whom they can advance their corporate profile during the entire promotional event.


THE CORLISS GROUP looks forward to having the opportunity to contribute to the campaign table its special expertise and experience in investment strategies, whether in traditional asset management or in alternative investments. Joining the event will significantly improve the firm’s reach in its effort to provide financial management advice in a wide array of investments, particularly in the main topic of the conference, which is such as Hedge Funds, as well as other vehicles, for instance, funds-of-funds, private equity and real estate.


With its vast and long experience in many forms of investment markets, THE CORLISS GROUP has built a stable platform of offerings to provide perceptive investors’ increasing needs in an increasingly multifarious investment environment.


THE CORLISS GROUP has built its operations on the underlying foundation of answering the growing need for alternative investments among high net-value and smaller institutional investors in today’s present vibrant markets. In sourcing hedge funds, equities, private equity, fund-of-funds and real estate ventures, the Group’s knowledgeable managers develop offerings that are well fitted to a vast range of qualified investors.


As an independent investment advisory company with several qualified affiliates to support it, THE CORLISS GROUP has a firm foothold on an investment platform that can efficiently develop strategies that through years have proven successful.


THE CORLISS GROUP’s involvement in many successful investment deals designed for institutions and qualified private client-investors is far-reaching. The firm places these offerings through U.S. brokerage firms, private banks, financial planning firms, registered investment advisors and family offices.


At the root of THE CORLISS GROUP’s philosophy is that of efficiently selecting qualified Investment Managers to handle clients’ accounts. The firm’s excellent capability to identify asset management ability in the field of investments has continually confirmed the company’s qualification to function well in this market field. Candidate managers are primarily sourced out through a network of strategic associates, long-standing relationships and referrals from managers, trading desks, service providers and other prospective sources.


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