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Friday, May 11, 2012

666 - The Number of the Beast - Chuck MIssler

Francois Hollande threatens to block eurozone's new financial treaty

The new French president wants the treaty, seen as crucial to ensuring the survival of the single currency, to focus more on encouraging growth.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Thursday told France that there was no alternative to spending cuts and painful deficit cutting measures, warning that "growth through debt" would take Europe back to square one.

But Benoît Hamon, spokesman for Mr Hollande's Socialist Party, said that the "politics of austerity" was failing to improve the continent's financial crisis.

He said the French president was determined to win a "trial of strength" over the new fiscal pact, which aims to impose tough budgetary discipline on the 25 European Union countries who have signed up.

"We want to renegotiate. Angela Merkel is defending her position but she cannot bypass the will of the French people," Mr Hamon said. "If nothing moves, the treaty will not be submitted for ratification."

Mrs Merkel delivered a blunt message of her own however, telling France and Greece not to abandon debt cutting policies in the wake of elections at the weekend that saw both countries turn against the path of austerity.

"The European sovereign debt crisis will not be beaten overnight, there is no magic bullet," she said. "Growth through structural reform is important and necessary. Growth through debt would throw us back to the beginning of the crisis."

Mr Hollande will meet Mrs Merkel for the first time since becoming French president next Tuesday when he travels to Germany just hours after his inauguration. There he will press his demand for a greater focus on growth over dinner in the Chancery.

In a rare ray of light, the first hopes of a coalition government forming in Greece emerged last night after the leaders of two socialist parties said they would work together in order to keep the country in the euro.

After three days of stalemate Evangelos Venizelos, leader of Pasok, said that he saw the first "good omen" in attempts to forge a government that would avert the looming prospect of a new election.

He spoke after meeting Fotis Kouvelis, leader of Democratic Left, who outlined a proposal for a unity government until 2014 that would strive to keep the heavily indebted country in the euro and the European Union, while negotiating a gradual "disengagement" from the harshest austerity measures of the 130 billion euro.

The Telegraph

The Mayans reveals secrets of their calendar in Guatemala

A vast city built by the ancient Mayan civilisation and discovered nearly a century ago in modern day Guatemala is finally starting to yield its secrets - including a hint that apocalyptic predictions around the 'end' of the Mayan Calendar may be wrong.

Excavating for the first time in the sprawling complex of Xultzn in Guatemala's Peten region, archaeologists have uncovered a structure that contains what appears to be a work space for the town's scribe.

Its walls are adorned with unique paintings - one depicting a line-up of men in black uniforms, and hundreds of scrawled numbers - many calculations relating to the Mayan calendar, and stretching up to 7,000 years into the future.

The painted figure of a man - possibly a scribe - is illuminated in the doorway of the Mayan dwelling, which holds symbols never seen before

Angelyn Bass cleans and stabilizes the surface of a wall of a Maya house that dates to the 9th century A.D. A mysterious figure is shown painted on the wall in the foreground

Four long numbers on the north wall of the ruined house relate to the Maya calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates may stretch some 7,000 years into the future. These are the first calculations Maya archaeologists have found that seem to tabulate all of these cycles in this way

Mayan temples in Guatemala: Researchers have found walls adorned with unique paintings - one depicting a line-up of men in black uniforms, and hundreds of scrawled numbers - many calculations relating to the Mayan calendar

Never-before-seen artwork - the first to be found on walls of a Maya house - adorn the dwelling in the ruined city of Xultún

The Mayan sites in Guatemala have been investigated by scientists since the Seventies

The excavations, which were funded by National Geographic, have already revealed details about the Mayan calendar and the lives of the inhabitants which were previously unknown.

One wall of the structure, thought to be a house, is covered with tiny, millimetre-thick, red and black glyphs unlike any seen before at other Mayan sites.

Some appear to represent the various calendrical cycles charted by the Mayans - the 260-day ceremonial calendar, the 365-day solar calendar, the 584-day cycle of the planet Venus and the 780-day cycle of Mars.

Four long numbers on the north wall of the ruined house relate to the Maya calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates may stretch some 7,000 years into the future.

‘Why would they go into those numbers if the world is going to come to an end this year?’ observed Anthony Aveni of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., an expert on Mayan astronomy. ‘You could say a number that big at least suggests that time marches on.’

These are the first calculations Maya archaeologists have found that seem to tabulate all of these cycles in this way.

Although they all involve common multiples of key calendrical and astronomical cycles, the exact significance of these particular spans of time is not known.

Archaeologist William Saturno, of Boston University in the United States who led the exploration and excavation, said: ‘For the first time we get to see what may be actual records kept by a scribe, whose job was to be official record keeper.

‘It's like an episode of TV's 'Big Bang Theory,' a geek math problem and they're painting it on the wall. They seem to be using it like a blackboard.’

The scientists say that despite popular belief, there is no sign that the Mayan calendar - or the world - was to end in the year 2012, just one of its calendar cycles.

Anthony Aveni, professor of astronomy and anthropology at Colgate University, said: ‘It's like the odometer of a car, with the Maya calendar rolling over from the 120,000s to 130,000.
‘The car gets a step closer to the junkyard as the numbers turn over; the Maya just start over.’

Archaeologist William Saturno of Boston University carefully uncovers art and writings left by the Maya some 1,200 years ago


Incriptions on Mayan tablets found in temples such as Tortuguero refer to 'the end' - and many internet conspiracy theories have predicted our world will be swallowed by a black hole, hit by an asteroid or devoured by ancient gods.

But many ethnic Mayans dismiss the apocalyptic predictions as largely a Western idea.

Rather than the end of time itself, the inscriptions refer to the start of a new era.

The 'apocalypse' refers to the end of a cycle of 5,125 years since the beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 3113 B.C.

The paintings represent the first Maya art to be found on the walls of a house.

The walls reveal the oldest known astronomical tables from the Maya.

Scientists already knew they must have been keeping such records at that time, but until now the oldest known examples dated from about 600 years later.

Astronomical records were key to the Mayan calendar, which has gotten some attention recently because of doomsday warnings that it predicts the end of the world this December.

Experts say it makes no such prediction. The new finding provides a bit of backup: The calculations include a time span longer than 6,000 years that could extend well beyond 2012.

Aveni, along with William Saturno of Boston University and others, report the discovery in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The room, a bit bigger than 6-feet square, is part of a large complex of Mayan ruins in the rain forest at Xultun in northeastern Guatemala. The walls also contain portraits of a seated king and some other figures, but it's clear those have no connection to the astronomical writings, the scientists said.

One wall contains a calendar based on phases of the moon, covering about 13 years. The researchers said they think it might have been used to keep track of which deity was overseeing the moon at particular times.

Aveni said it would allow scribes to predict the appearance of a full moon years in advance, for example. Such record-keeping was key to Mayan astrology and rituals, and maybe would be used to advise the king on when to go to war or how good this year's crops would be, he said.

‘`What you have here is astronomy driven by religion,’ he said.

On an adjacent wall are numbers indicating four time spans from roughly 935 to 6,700 years. It's not clear what they represent, but maybe the scribes were doing calculations that combined observations from important astronomical events like the movements of Mars, Venus and the moon, the researchers said.

Why bother to do that? Maybe the scribes were ‘geeks ... who just got carried away with doing these kinds of computations and calculations, and probably did them far beyond the needs of ordinary society,’ Aveni suggested.

Experts unconnected with the discovery said it was a significant advance.

‘It's really a wonderful surprise,’ said Simon Martin, co-curator of an exhibit about the Mayan calendar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

While the results of the scribes' work were known from carvings on monuments, ‘we've never really been able to identify a working space, or how they actually went about things,’ Martin said.

The new work gives insight into that, he said, and the fact the room had a stone roof rather than thatching supports previous indications that the scribes enjoyed a high social standing.

‘It's a very important discovery. We're only getting a glimpse of it’ in the published paper, said John B. Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy in College Park, Md.

‘This is an intriguing start for this discovery.’

Xultzn, a 12 square mile site where tens of thousands once lived, was first discovered about 100 years ago by Guatemalan workers and roughly mapped in the 1920s by Sylvanus Morley, who named the site ‘Xultzn’ - ‘end stone.’

Scientists from Harvard University mapped more of the site in the 1970s.

The house discovered by Prof Saturno's team was numbered 54 of 56 structures counted and mapped at that time. Thousands at Xultzn remain uncounted.

The team's excavations reveal that monumental construction at Xultzn began in the first centuries B.C.

The site thrived until the end of the Classic Maya period; the site's last carved monument dates to around 890 A.D.

Prof Saturno saidd: ‘It's weird that the Xultzn finds exist at all. Such writings and artwork on walls don't preserve well in the Maya lowlands, especially in a house buried only a meter below the surface.’

Prof Aveni added: ‘The most exciting point is that we now see that the Maya were making such computations hundreds of years - and in places other than books - before they recorded them in the Codices.’

The findings were reported in National Geographic magazine and in the journal Science.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2142491/The-Mayans-reveal-darkest-mysteries-New-excavation-reveals-secrets-Mayan-calendar--including-black-clad-figures-symbols-seen-before.html#ixzz1uZS5txso

The Right and the Left Rising Up Across Europe - Nigel Farage

Final Nail in Euro: 'It's a programmed crisis'

New IAF chief: We're ready for anything

Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel officially took office as Israel's new Air Force commander Thursday. Eshel will replace Major-General Ido Nehushtan, who is retiring from IDF service after 37 years.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz thanked Nehushtan for his service and welcomed Eshel into office: "We have the best air force in the world. It shoulders a strategic and significant responsibility," he said.

The IAF chiefs' rotation ceremony was held at the IDF's Rabin Base – the Kirya – in Tel Aviv, with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in attendance.

"The Air Force serves as Israel's chief deterrence force and its main tactical arm," Barak said.

"The IAF is constantly vigilant, 365 days a year, nationwide and across the globe, with one goal in mind – Israel's security," outgoing IAF Chief Nehushtan said

He further wished Eshel luck in his new post, adding that he had "every faith that he can lead the IAF vis-à-vis any future challenge."

"Commander Nehushtan is leaving us with a powerful, quality air force, which is facing significant challenges. We are ready for whatever mission we me be called for,," Eshel stated.

Ynet News

JPMorgan shares dive after $2bn trading loss

Shares in JPMorgan Chase have dived 9% after the biggest US bank, revealed a trading loss of at least $2bn (£1.2bn)

Chief executive Jamie Dimon blamed "errors, sloppiness and bad judgement" for the losses and warned "it could get worse".

The risky hedging strategy could cost the bank an additional $1bn, he added.

Mary Schapiro, the head of the US market regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that "all the regulators are focused on this".

But she did not give any more details about possible action by her agency.

Shares in other US banks fell, including Bank of America which lost 2.4%. European banking shares also suffered, with Barclays down more than 3.5% and Deutsche Bank falling 1.6%.


U.S. sues Arpaio's office over a excuse

it's president's pay back time.......
If they are going after a Sheriff imagine what they are going to do with civilians

The U.S. Justice Department's racial-profiling lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will prolong a case that already has languished for years unless negotiators find common ground for a settlement.

The suit, filed Thursday, accuses deputies of discriminating against Latino residents and seeks injunctive relief from a federal judge. It marks just the second time since the federal police-reform act was passed in 1994 that the Justice Department has been forced to file a contested lawsuit against a law-enforcement agency, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez said.

The sheriff has repeatedly rejected the notion of a court-appointed monitor with sweeping powers, and his attorneys blamed the Justice Department for being intractable on the issue. Arpaio said he welcomed the court challenge.

"We are not racist, we do not racial- profile. There's no systemic proof of that," Arpaio said Thursday. "Quite frankly, I'm happy (they sued)."

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/05/10/20120510joe-arpaio-doj-lawsuit.html#ixzz1uZLjSWQM

U.S. Vows to Go Ahead with Missile Shield, Hopes for Russia's Cooperation

The United States and NATO will proceed with its European missile defense program despite Russia’s concerns while continuing to seek Moscow’s cooperation on the issue, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon said.

“NATO continues to seek cooperation with Russia on missile defense in order to enhance our individual capabilities to counter this threat,” Gordon said, addressing members the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

He added, however, that “while we strive for cooperation, we have also been frank in our discussions with Russia that we will continue to develop and deploy our missile defenses, irrespective of the status of missile defense cooperation with Russia.”

The United States and NATO say the shield will come into full operation by around 2020 and is to protect against “rogue” states such as Iran. But Russia insists the system is a threat to its national security and is seeking written guarantees from NATO that it will not be used against Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

Russia’s military and political leadership have repeatedly warned their western partners that if talks fail, Moscow may take a series of measures including deployment of Iskander short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov did not rule out delivering preemptive strikes against NATO missile defense systems in Europe if current deployment plans go ahead.

Speaking at a missile defense conference in Moscow, he said “taking into account the destabilizing nature of the missile defense system... the decision on the pre-emptive use of available weapons will be made during an aggravation of the situation.”

Gordon reiterated on Thursday that the missile shield would not threaten Russia.

“Let me be clear: NATO is not a threat to Russia nor is Russia a threat to NATO,” he said.

He also added “it's no secret that there are issues on which the allies and Russia differ. Russia has been critical of NATO's operation in Libya; we also disagree fundamentally over the situation in Georgia.”

Russia recognized two breakaway Georgian republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as independent states, following a brief war with Georgia in August 2008. The United States and the European Union have strongly opposed the move.

RIA Novosti

US officials said to be fearful of looming Israeli strike on Iran

US officials fear the unity government established earlier this week signals an impending Israeli attack on Iran, Channel 10 News reported Thursday evening.

According to the report, officials are holding marathon talks in Washington out of concern that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program may take place before the US presidential elections in November.

Undisclosed Washington sources told Channel 10 that they worry Kadima was offered a place in the coalition to shore up support for a preemptive attack aimed at halting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear drive, and that Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz would approve of such an attack.

The report added that the US officials believe early Israeli elections would have kept the F-15s at bay, but are now genuinely concerned that with political backing, there is little to stop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from ordering the attack.

In a joint press conference held Tuesday, Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said they saw eye-to eye on a slew of issues, including Iran. In the past Mofaz has been a vocal critic of the notion of Israel striking Iran’s nuclear sites on its own, but Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are both believed to favor an early strike.

Having gone to sleep with expectations of September elections, Israelis woke up to a new political reality Tuesday morning, learning that overnight, Netanyahu and Mofaz signed a deal to form a unity government.

Legislation to dissolve parliament was frozen after it had been approved on a first reading. The Netanyahu-Mofaz deal provides for this Knesset to see out its term, until October 2013.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m., Netanyahu and Mofaz arrived at the Knesset to brief their parties on the details of their secret agreement. Kadima joined the government in exchange for Mofaz’s appointment as a deputy prime minister, a minister without portfolio, and a cabinet member. No other Kadima members will join the cabinet. The new coalition is one of the largest in Israel’s history, numbering 94 MKs.

The Times of Israel

Israel-Egypt peace agreement is dead

TEL AVIV — Egypt and Israel have ended any pretense atnormalization, a report said.The Institute of National Security Studies asserted that the Egyptiancancellation of a natural gas contract marked the last element innormalization with Israel.Egypt has ended a 20-year-old gas supply deal with Israel. 

The Israeli institute said the Egyptian cancellation of was the result of Islamic pressure on the military regime.“Stopping the flow of Egyptian gas puts the last nail in the coffin ofone of the only manifestations of normalization between Israel and Egypt, and is yet additional evidence of a deterioration in bilateral relations because of the regime’s capitulation to the pressureof the masses,” the report, titled “Egypt’s Revocation of the Natural Gas Agreement with Israel: Strategic Implications,” said.

“It seems that even though 35 years have passed since the peace agreement was signed, it is still viewed in Egypt as a strategic necessity rather than the basis for peaceful relations.”Authored by strategist Shmuel Even, the report said the April 22decision by Egypt’s state-owned gas companies to annul its long-termcontract with Israel was certainly approved by the ruling military council.The report said the military preferred to cancel the agreement with Israelrather than expose Cairo to massive lawsuits in wake of repeated bombings ofthe Arab Gas Pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula.“The revocation of the agreement is a decision that was clearly made, orat least approved, at Egypt’s highest political levels,” the report said.“It may be that in light of the cumulative damage Egypt preferred to revokeits contractual obligations rather than not meet them given the number ofgrowing lawsuits.”

The report said Israel should consent to any Egyptian proposal to renewthe agreement to maintain energy relations with Cairo. At the same time,Even said, Israel, which has discovered large gas reserves, should not seekintervention of the United States.“Some in Israel see a need for an immediate American response to Egyptthat would generate a renewal of the gas flow, but it seems that this is notin Israel’s best interests,” the report said. “Pressure will not enhance therelations between Egypt and Israel and may even increase tensions.”

World Tribune

Nigel Farage - There Will Be an Attempt to Install a Dictatorship

With escalating fears regarding the stability of the eurozone, today King World News interviewed former LBMA commodities broker and trader and current MEP Nigel Farage to get his take on the situation. Farage told KWN he believes there will be an attempt, within months, to install a dictatorship in Europe. Here is what Farage had to say about the deteriorating situation: “Frankly, the whole thing is falling apart. And in the middle of all of this, Mrs Merkel came out and said, ‘The fiscal treaty cannot be renegotiated, and it must hold.’ So, I suppose, for once, we’ve got the Germans providing the humor, because this thing isn’t going to hold.”

Nigel Farage continues:

“I now believe the euro and the whole euro system are now in, by far, the deepest crisis that we’ve seen. We are in totally uncharted, chaotic territory. In some ways the ball is very much on the German side of the court. If they are unable to impose the discipline they thought this new Compact Treaty would give them, then maybe it’s the Germans that say, ‘Right, Greece you’ve got to leave.’ We know once Greece leaves, the dominos start to fall.

To say that it’s a total mess is entirely accurate. You cannot have national democracy and this new form of economic and political government. We’ve seen these guys do some terrible things. I mean they’ve gotten rid of elected Prime Ministers in Greece and Italy.

But they cannot at the moment, without imposing a total dictatorship, stop general elections from taking place in countries....

“If you put me up against a wall and ask, ‘What’s really going to happen?’ My guess is, with the whole thing being unmanageable, we face the prospects of the markets just overwhelming this.

(We risk) bond spreads heading to completely crazy levels. And French and German bank shares could be in very real trouble. I am back in Brussels today, and yeah, you can really see the fear in their (politicians) faces. They know that this thing (the EU) has become an absolute monster.

We still don’t have many political voices that have the courage to say, ‘We’re headed for the rocks, and before we hit the rocks, let’s take a different course. Let’s try to break this thing up peaceably, before it ends in disaster.’

It’s always the case in history that the establishment always supports the status quo and says, ‘If what we have today breaks up, the sky will fall.’ But actually, I think the only way we can avoid a depression is to break this (the EU) up.”

Farage also added: “It’s astonishing. I mean the European Parliament meets tomorrow, and there is a debate about the emergency. Would you believe it, that Mr. Barroso, the President of the Commission, and my old mate Herman van Rumpuy, the European President, are both not going to be there because they have previous engagements?

Even if they do have previous engagements, surely nothing could be more important than to come before the one representative assembly for half a billion people here in Europe. It looks as though these guys are hiding in their bunkers, pretending it’s not happening.

What these guys in the EU are going to try to do is, as this crisis gets worse and descends, there will be an attempt at some point in the next few months for them to set up something that will be very like a dictatorship. I’m not sure now, with the public mood, that they will get away with it ... the similarities (to the 30s) are really rather chilling.”

Farage had this to say about gold: “I think the short-term speculative market had gotten itself too long of gold, and I’ve been warning about that for some months on your program. Just too many of the weak longs were there and they need to be flushed out of this marketplace. That process is beginning to happen.

But my goodness me, with everything else I’ve seen over the last 72 hours in Europe, buy gold on dips.”
King World News

Faber sees crash like 1987 if stocks rally without QE3

U.S. stocks may plunge in the second half of the year “like in 1987” if the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbs without further stimulus from the Federal Reserve, said Marc Faber, whose prediction of a February selloff in global equities never materialized.

“I think the market will have difficulties to move up strongly unless we have a massive QE3,” Faber, who manages $300 million at Marc Faber Ltd., told Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” from Zurich today, referring to a third round of large-scale asset purchases by the Fed. “If it moves and makes a high above 1,422, the second half of the year could witness a crash, like in 1987.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 23 percent on Oct. 19, 1987 in the biggest crash since 1914, triggering losses in stock-market values around the world. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plummeted 20 percent. The Dow still closed 2.3 percent higher in 1987, and the S&P 500 advanced 2 percent.

“If the market makes a new high, it will be a new high with very few stocks pushing up and the majority of stocks having already rolled over,” Faber said. “The earnings outlook is not particularly good because most economies in the world are slowing down.”

More than 69 percent of companies the S&P 500 that reported results since April 10 have exceeded analysts’ forecasts for per-share earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profits are due to increase 3.9 percent in the second quarter and 6 percent the following period, estimates compiled by Bloomberg show.

Faber said a third round of quantitative easing would “definitely occur” if the S&P 500 dropped another 100 to 150 points. If it bounces back to 1,400, he said, the Fed will probably wait to see how the economy develops.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 1,358.77 at 12:03 p.m. in New York today as U.S. initial jobless claims fell last week to a one-month low. The gauge has dropped 4.3 percent from a four- year high on April 2 after some economic reports missed forecasts.

Equity markets this year resemble 1987 as they had a “very strong start” followed by a “correction,” Faber said in an e- mailed response to questions today. “If we have a rally into August it could resemble 1987 with a crash in the fall.”

On Dec. 2, Faber said global markets may drop in February and the chances of a medium-sized recession are high. The MSCI World Index climbed 4.8 percent that month after surging 5.7 percent in January.

Faber said investors should “take some money off the table” on Feb. 21 as stocks were “overbought.” The S&P 500 increased 4.2 percent through April 2.

Faber had said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on March 9, 2009, that it was “very difficult to see a scenario where you wouldn’t make any money” owning stocks over the following 10 years, while also warning the S&P 500 might lose 26 percent before the bear market ended.

In March 2007, he had said the S&P 500 was more likely to fall than rise because the threats of faster inflation and slower growth persisted. The S&P 500 then climbed 10 percent to a record 1,565.15 seven months later, and ended the year up 3.5 percent.

Financial Post

Spanish banks need €100bn amid international aid warning

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy is on Friday expected to demand that Spanish banks raise an extra €30bn to guard against toxic debts. But analysts at RBS said this was too small and that the €10bn Madrid injected into Bankia this week was “just the start”. Fears over the crisis sent the euro to its lowest level against the pound since August 2008.

“Spanish banks face a €68bn capital shortfall over the next three years on increasing bad loan provisions and regulatory capital, in our view,” analysts said. “Capital needs could exceed €98bn in a deeper recession scenario.”

They added: “The other Spanish banks will likely need external help to avoid insolvency. We think public funds alone will not be enough to support all Spanish banks.”

Experts have warned that Spain does not have the resources to support its bank and, like Ireland, will have to seek international aid.

Spain’s stockmarket fell to a three-year low on Thursday but then rebounded strongly to finish up 3.5pc. Traders were boosted by strong corporate results from Repsol. BBVA, the Spanish bank, rose 6.6pc as traders bet that the bank crisis will at last be tackled.

The Telegraph

JPMorgan hit with US$2-billion trading loss after ‘egregious’ hedging failure

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said the firm lost about US$2-billion on synthetic credit securities after an “egregious’” failure in its chief investment office, which the bank says focuses on hedging.

“This portfolio has proven to be riskier, more volatile and less effective as an economic hedge than the firm previously believed,” the New York-based company said today in a quarterly securities filing. JPMorgan declined 5.5% to US$38.50 in extended trading at 5:55 p.m. in New York.

The chief investment office has been transformed in recent years under Dimon into a unit that makes bigger and riskier speculative bets with the bank’s money, according to five former employees, Bloomberg News reported April 13. Some bets were so big that JPMorgan probably couldn’t unwind them without losing money or roiling financial markets, the former executives said.

Bloomberg News first reported April 5 that London-based trader Bruno Iksil had amassed positions linked to the financial health of corporations that were so large he was driving price moves in the US$10-trillion market.

Financial Post