Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Reuters Investigates:
If the life settlements market seems ghoulish, here’s a British scandal which isn’t doing the image of the business any favours. It’s one of the worst the country’s seen.
Around 30,000 mainly elderly investors in the UK put their money into a company called Keydata, hoping to make a little extra cash to fund their own retirement with the promise of a healthy return.
What they were buying sounded kosher, even if it did depend on how fast their wealthy American counterparts were dying. Of course, the investors may not have known that.
As is so often the case with these things, the projections were a little optimistic. And then some other irregularities blew up. Around 100 million pounds went missing, one of the business’s partners dropped dead in Singapore and the investment company was shut down by the regulators, leaving British pensioners like Tony and Pam Tobin out of pocket. The Serious Fraud Office is investigating.
By Dan Williams
A Reuters investigation into how the Israeli domestic intelligence service Shin Bet is tackling threats from Jewish ultranationalists has raised intriguing parallels with Britain’s handling of the sectarian “troubles” in Northern Ireland.
Radical Jewish settlers who might turn to violence in a bid to wreck Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking are, increasingly, the quarry of the Shin Bet’s shadowy “Jewish Division”, whose operatives draw on a range of spying and interrogation tactics.
Depending on where you stand, the financial crisis has been catastrophic or brought a much needed shake out in the financial sector; it has been disastrous for home owners or proved the folly of lending to people with poor credit histories; it has rightly rolled back the clock on naked capitalism or undermined a system that, in essence, functions perfectly well; it has punished bankers’ hubris or thrown many talented individuals out of work.
What you see depends on where you stand.
According to Italy’s economy minister, Giulio Tremonti, the current economic crisis was the inevitable consequence of policies championed by former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan.
Soaring energy and food prices are the top concern at the Group of Eight finance ministers meeting in Japan this weekend, while central banks are keeping their fingers crossed that they can find a solution without killing off shaky economic growth.
U.S. consumers’ mood plunged to a 28-year low in June as soaring inflation pinched at their purse strings.