|GOLDMAN INSIDER STRUGGLES FOR JEWISH SOUL
Greg Smith, an Executive Director of Goldman Sachs in London, quit publicly Thursday due to the firm's culture of "ripping off" their own clients.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
"Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence."
Goldman Sachs, a part-owner of the Federal Reserve, played a key role in the 2008 credit crunch. This letter shows nothing has changed; in fact things are worse. The bank is still willing to market questionable products no matter the consequences to clients or society.
The letter also illustrates that there are two kinds of Jews: those who have a strong moral sense and those who have none. Put another way, some Jews believe in serving the world, and some believe in exploiting it.
Greg Smith, 33, is a Jew who demands the bank " Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm." He blames CEO, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, for despoiling the firm's culture.
We need more people like Smith who are willing to stand up for what's right despite career consequences. Here is a slightly abridged version of Smith's letter:
By GREG SMITH
New York Times
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm -- first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London -- I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world's largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs's success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients' trust for 143 years. It wasn't just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief....
When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, (left) and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm's culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm's moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.
Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.
"RIPPING OFF CLIENTS"
How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
What are three quick ways to become a leader?
a) Execute on the firm's "axes," which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit.
b) "Hunt Elephants." In English: get your clients -- some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren't -- to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them.
c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.
Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It's purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them...
It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as "muppets," sometimes over internal e-mail.
Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God's work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don't know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client's goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don't trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn't matter how smart you are.
These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, "How much money did we make off the client?" It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about "muppets," "ripping eyeballs out" and "getting paid" doesn't exactly turn into a model citizen.
When I was a first-year analyst I didn't know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.
My proudest moments in life -- getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics -- have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn't feel right to me anymore.
I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist.
Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm -- or the trust of its clients -- for very much longer.
Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
|THE FOLLY OF THE CAPITALIST PROPERTY CASINO
Having a house in Pepys Road, says John Lanchester in his new novel, Capital, "was like being in a casino in which you were guaranteed to be a winner". It was, he says, "the first time in history" that this had been true. Britain, he says, "had become a country of winners and losers, and all the people in the street, just by living there, had won."
FULL ARTICLE HERE
The houses in Pepys Road, which doesn't actually exist, but which is like a lot of streets that do, are three-storey terraces. They were built, says Lanchester, at the end of the 19th century for the "aspirational, no-longer-poor". But now, he says, they're lived in by the people who can afford to buy them. Who, since each house is worth several million, are mostly bankers.
Capital is a snapshot of a capital city that has become obsessed by capital, and by the idea that the roof over your head racks up value while you sleep. It's a reminder of the way that homes, which have always been a "backdrop" to people's lives, have become "central actors in their own right". It's funny, and moving, and hard to put down, but most of us don't need a novel to remind us about the "winners" and "losers" in the property game. Most of us feel we see, and hear, about them every day.
The "winners" are the people who bought a flat, or a house, at a time when it was possible to buy a flat, or a house, without having to be, or marry, a banker. The winners, in other words, are almost all homeowners over the age of about 45. If they're quite a lot over 45 – if, for example, like Joan Bakewell, they're 78 – and happened to buy a house in an area that then became very, very fashionable, they might suddenly find that the house they bought 48 years ago for £12,000 is now worth at least £4m. They might then think, or even write in a newspaper column, that although they have a nice house, they aren't really rich. Or at least they aren't really rich enough to pay more tax.
Quite a few "winners" go to other people's houses, to eat things like beetroot risotto, and talk about how much their houses are worth. Sometimes, they talk about how terrible it is that their children can't get on the "housing ladder", or wouldn't have been able to if they hadn't managed to help, but sometimes they talk about what they're doing to their basements, and their lofts.
The "losers" are the people who want to find somewhere to live, but find that even a one-bedroom flat costs 10 or 15 times their salary. And who, even if they could get that kind of mortgage, couldn't afford the deposit. The "losers" are people who don't qualify for social housing, which is housing that's meant to be available at a rent that you don't have to be rich to afford, and so have to rent from private owners who charge as much as they can get. Which, it turns out, is often an awful lot. Which, in fact, is often much more than most people pay for their mortgage.
David Cameron is worried about the "losers". "You have," he said on Monday, "got the problem of two young people who are working hard, and because they can't get together a deposit of £40,000 or £50,000, they can't buy a home." He didn't say how he knew they were working hard, or whether he just meant that they had jobs, or what you were meant to do if you quite fancied getting a mortgage and happened to be single. But he had, he said, decided to take action. "We've got lenders who aren't lending," he said, "so builders can't build, and buyers can't buy." The Government, he said, had decided to "step in and help unblock the market".
What the Government has decided to do is to start a scheme, with banks, and developers, which will guarantee loans for new homes at 95 per cent. This means that buyers in London will need a deposit of about £17,500 for the average home, at the average price of £351,305, instead of the £70,000 they needed before. It means, apparently, that about 100,000 people who couldn't buy a home, now can.
What the Government has also decided to do is to "re-boot" a scheme that gives council tenants the right to buy their home at a reduced price. Sales of the "Right to Buy" scheme, which Margaret Thatcher introduced, had, apparently, dropped to 3,700 last year, from a peak of 84,000 less than 10 years before. The Government wants more council tenants to own their own homes, and is offering discounts of up to £75,000 each. It has also said it will build one new council home for each one that's sold.
Is this good? It's certainly good for the 100,000 "hard-working" people who may now be able to buy a nice, modern box, and it's good for the council tenants who will be able to make a big profit on the home where they've been lucky enough to pay quite a low rent. It's good for building contractors, and for the Eastern Europeans who will probably work on their sites. But it is, as Jack Dromey, who's the Shadow Housing Minister, and also Harriet Harman's husband, said on Monday, "too little, too late".
It's interesting that a Labour politician thought it was "too little, too late", because, while his party was in power, it built fewer homes than any government since the Second World War. It didn't start the "Right to Buy" scheme, but it didn't stop it, or replace the council houses. And it certainly didn't keep to its promise to end the cycle of "boom or bust" which turned homes into a ticking taxi meter no one wanted to turn off.
What Labour needed to do, which this Government also needs to do, is build lots and lots of homes. It needs to build, or encourage the building of, developments that will have houses, and flats, and warden-assisted homes, so that families, and single people, and older people, have some chance of living in what used to be known as a community. It needs to build enough homes so that property prices, and rents, go down.
This Government won't do it, and a Labour government won't do it, because it knows that people who own property are more likely to vote than those who don't. It knows that these people think that if something makes them poorer it's unfair, but if something makes them richer, it's not. Some of them even seem to think that if they made money through their home, they earned it. They seem to think that hard work is the same as luck.
These people seem to think that what you should feel if you borrow money from a bank to buy a flat, or house, is pride, and that what you should feel if you rent one, is shame. They seem to think that a house is the same as a dream.
A house isn't a dream. It's just where you live. And perhaps our dreams would be richer if our homes were worth less.
| BAILING OUT BANKS ISN'T CAPITALISM VIDEO
| ZIONIST MILTON FRIEDMAN TRIES TO JUSTIFY HIS BILLIONAIRE BUDDIES VIDEO
|IF ONLY THE TORY THUGS WERE AS TOUGH ON BANKERS AS THEY ARE WITH THE DISABLED
| NEW BENTLEY AT £140,000 ONLY FOR THE SUPER RICH WHO AIN'T HAVING ANY AUSTERITY
|UK'S RICHEST WOMAN TAKES DELIVERY OF £100m SUPERYACHT
SO WHY ARE THEIR MEDIA BUDDIES TELLING THE PEASANTS THERE'S NO MONEY?????????
|HANKIES OUT FOR THE SHRINKING BILLIONAIRE'S CLUB
One of the world's most exclusive clubs has seen its membership drastically shrink. The number of billionaires on the planet has fallen by nearly 30% as the financial havoc wreaked by the global economic crisis stretches from skid row to the gated estates of the super-rich.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
There are more dollar billionaires than ever before
MORE RESIDENTS OF THE BILLIONAIRE'S CLUB HERE
The founder of the Microsoft software empire, Bill Gates, has edged out the legendary US stockpicker Warren Buffett to reclaim top spot as the world's richest man, according to Forbes magazine's annual rich list, with the Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim in third place.
But as plunging stockmarkets, volatile commodities and banking collapses scar the business world, the number of people who can call themselves billionaires in US dollar terms has dropped from 1,125 to 793. It is the first time since 2003 that the billionaires' club has contracted.
The amount of money controlled by the elite group has plummeted from $4.4tn to $2.4tn. In Britain, the number of billionaires has dropped from 35 to 25 as figures such as Carphone Warehouse's Charles Dunstone and Sports Division's Tom Hunter slip off the list.
"The global economy has been battered by a financial hurricane which has brought devastating damage," said Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine. "It's no surprise that billionaires are being battered along with everybody else."
Bankers, financiers and fund managers are among the biggest losers. The former Citigroup boss Sandy Weill and the AIG insurance tycoon Hank Greenberg are out of the club, having seen their nest eggs go rotten as once mighty financial companies suffer vast losses.
One German billionaire, Adolf Merkle, threw himself under a train in January as his wealth dwindled. Donald Trump's fortune is estimated to have fallen by half, hit by a contraction in the US property market while Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is no longer judged a billionaire as the credit crunch means his social networking website is less saleable.
Tycoons from developing countries have been particularly badly affected. One of India's richest men, Anil Ambani, has lost $31.9bn as shares in his Reliance empire plunge, while the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has seen his fortune shrink by $25bn to $19.3bn. Among Russians, the Chelsea football club owner, Roman Abramovich, has suffered a $3bn fall in his net value to $8.5bn while Oleg Deripaska, once Russia's richest man, saw his fortune collapse from $28bn to $3.5bn after saddling himself with too much debt.
Even those at the top of the list are suffering. Buffett, the so-called Sage of Omaha who was the world's richest man last year, has seen his net worth slump by $25bn to $37bn after a dismal year for his Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway empire. He has been overtaken by Gates, who held up only marginally better as his fortune dropped by $19bn to $40bn after a slowdown in trading at Microsoft.
Few tears will be shed for some of the bankers and speculators whose involvement in financial "innovation" on Wall Street and in the City is widely blamed for contributing to the global credit crunch.
"Some of them may have got their just desserts," said Forbes, although he cautioned that others were genuine wealth creators. "These people, most of them, are entrepreneurs - they started their own businesses. They're both creators of capital and employers of capital. They make it possible for people to get ahead and to realise their ambitions."
In Britain, the Duke of Westminster remains top of the pile with $11bn followed by the property magnates David and Simon Reuben. The owner of Top Shop and Bhs, Sir Philip Green, ranks third in the UK and 105th globally with $4.8bn. But British wealth was badly affected by the sharp decline in the value of sterling. Among those who can no longer call themselves dollar billionaires are the Daily Mail chief, Viscount Rothermere, and the City money broker Michael Spencer.
Experts said that a shrinkage at the top does not necessarily mean inequality has narrowed. Heidi Shierholz, a specialist in inequality at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, said: "This is nothing to cheer about. It's a symptom of a huge economic crisis which is hitting everybody - it's not just happening to billionaires."
A minority of shrewd billionaires have succeeded in prospering despite the tumultuous conditions. New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, saw his wealth swell from $11.5bn to $16bn after buying back a portion of his financial information empire. The Hedge fund manager John Paulson prospered by betting against sub-prime mortgages.
Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour, who owns Manchester City football club, is a new entrant to the billionaires' club. A less illustrious admission to the ranks of the super-rich is Joaquín Guzmán - a Mexican drug trafficker known as El Chapo, who is wanted by the US government with a bounty on his head of $5m.
|WE NO LONGER TRUST BANKS WITH HOME CASH HOARDING TOPPING £5,600,000,000
More than £5.6bn in cash is stashed away in the UK’s homes, with one in 10 people believing their money is safer there than in banks, the savings compensation organisation has found.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Excluding wallet contents, people typically keep £218 at home, while about one person in 33 has more than £1,000 squirrelled away where they live, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has revealed.
These hoards, kept under mattresses and in jam jars, are largely unprotected, with even top insurance policies only covering people for as much as about £1,000, the FSCS has warned.
The organisation said the current poor returns on savings, as the Bank of England maintains the base rate at a record low 0.5 per cent, should not put people off using accounts, where as much as £85,000 in savings per person per firm is protected.
It suggested the large sums being kept at home could be attributed to 13 per cent of those questioned believing their money is safer there than in banks or building societies.
However, people are hoarding less than a year ago – about £282 each – when a similar study took place.
But the FSCS, which protects savers when financial services firms go bust, said the decrease could be partly due to squeezed households having less spare cash generally.
FSCS chief executive Mark Neale said: “In these tough times, no-one can afford to lose any hard-earned cash. It is encouraging that people are keeping less money at home than they did in 2011.
He added: “In part this may be because people have less spare cash than they did 12 months ago, but hopefully it also reflects the fact they recognised it is safest in a bank, building society or credit union which is protected by the FSCS.”
|DON'T BE FOOLED THERE'S NO MONEY WITH CRUISES COSTING £1,000,000 SELLING OUT
FULL ARTICLE HERE
THE RICH GET RICHER WHILE THE POOR PAY A HEAVY PRICE
A CRUISE company expects to sell out on a round-the-world cruise costing a mere £1million per couple.
Strictly for the well-heeled, the 115-day cruise takes in 52 ports in 28 countries, with guests enjoying the height of luxury.
Couples will find themselves paying around £8000 a day to sail on the Silversea cruise company's Silver Whisper vessel which will depart from Los Angeles on January 14 2013.
The voyage will begin with a pre-cruise gala at LA's Peninsula Hotel and Easter will be a distant memory by the time the cruise ends with disembarkation at Fort Lauderdale in Florida on May 1.
With all couples in suites on the 610ft-long, 382-passenger Silver Whisper, the voyage will take in such spots as Tahiti, Auckland in New Zealand, Sydney, Manila in the Philippines, Bangkok, Mauritius, Cape Town, The Gambia and Bridgetown in Barbados.
With a staff-passenger ratio of almost one to one, guests will enjoy boutique shopping, a wellness spa with beauty salon, fitness centre and sauna and full-scale productions in a multi-tiered show lounge.
The royal suite comes available as a one-bedroom configuration or as two bedrooms, with those able to afford such luxury having a large teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
The royal suite has two marbled bathrooms, as well as walk-in wardrobes and flat-screen TVs.
|THE BEST WAY TO ROB A BANK IS TO OWN ONE VIDEO
| $15,OOO,OOO,OOO,OOO FRAUD EXPOSED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS 16 FEB 2012 VIDEO
|VERY BAD TASTE PICTURE OF 'BILLIONAIRE' ECCLESTONE'S DAUGHTER TAMARA
|HOME OWNERSHIP AT LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1988( OR THE ILLUSION OF OWNING A HOME)
AS WE HAVE BEEN WARNING FOR MANY YEARS THE FACADE OF BUYING A HOME IS MASKED BY THE DODGY
MORTGAGES THAT BANKS PROVIDE OVER ANYTHING UP TO 25 YEARS AND ANY LEGAL ISSUE BEFORE THAT
MORTGAGE ENDS WILL SEE YOU THROWN ONTO THE STREET. ASK ANY DIVORCED MAN IF HE NOW THINKS HE
OWNED PROPERTY WHEN THE LEGAL MAFIA CAN SO EASILY EVICT MEN ON A WHIM AND PROVIDE THE THIEVES
WITH AN ENDLESS MERRY GO ROUND OF PROPERTY'S TO SELL TO THE NEXT UNSUSPECTING VICTIM (MUG)?
FULL ARTICLE HERE
WHEN HOUSE OWNERSHIP IS A MONOPOLY IN THE HANDS OF THE BAR ASSOCIATIONS AND LAW SOCIETY'S
IT IS A LICENCE FOR MASSIVE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION TO TAKE PLACE BY THE VERY SAME THUGS WHO HAVE CHARGED THEMSELVES
WITH THE UPHOLDING OF THE LAW WHEN THEY ARE IN FACT THE BIGGEST ABUSERS OF THE 'LAW'AND THE
BIGGEST CRIMINALS WHEN HOUSE THEFT BY THE LEGAL SCUM IS A MULTI-TRILLION DOLLAR RACKET.
Britain's pursuit of the "property-owning democracy" has come grinding to a halt amid the debris of the credit crunch, with the proportion of people owning their own houses slumping to the lowest level in a generation.
A new government report into the state of housing in England shows that the proportion of owner-occupiers has fallen to 66 per cent, its lowest level since 1988 – when Margaret Thatcher was freely declaring her ambition "to create one nation by creating a property-owning democracy".
The anaemic housing market is expected to suffer another major blow next month, with the ending of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers on properties worth less than £250,000. The 24 March deadline has triggered a minor flurry of sales. It could explain why the number of first-time buyer mortgages rose in December, up 14 per cent year on year to 18,700.
Most lenders have withdrawn 95 per cent mortgages, which helped many first-time buyers. The rate of owner-occupation in the housing market has fallen for the sixth consecutive year, official figures have revealed – but three-quarters of all non-homeowners still aspire to owning their own property. The financial meltdown has made new mortgages harder to get and existing ones harder to pay off, and the knock-on effects have exposed long-term failures to provide new homes to buy or rent.
Many existing borrowers are being forced into giving up homes they can no longer afford. The average age of a first-time buyer, which fell to about 25 in the 1980s, is now up to 37 – and the National Housing Federation has warned that it could soon reach 43.
While those already on the property ladder have relished the seemingly remorseless rise in property prices, for the next generation it has meant the dream of home ownership has never seemed further from becoming a reality. Even recent house price falls have done little to help would-be first-time buyers. At 2011 prices, the average house price in 1975 was £80,280. At the end of last year it reached £164,785, having peaked at £212,319 in 2007. Since the mid-1990s the ratio of house price to earnings for first-time buyers has doubled to 4.4 times salary.
Anna Wesson is one of the lucky ones. The 30-year-old probation officer bought her first one-bedroom flat in Stockwell, south London, 18 months ago. "My parents bought their first home when they were much younger than me, about 25," she said. "I wanted to buy a house so I could stop paying so much rent and could have something to show for the money I was spending on it before."
But with house-buying increasingly out of reach, millions are forced to rent instead, at the mercy of private landlords. The English Housing Survey reveals that the proportion of householders renting from private landlords has risen for the 12th year in a row. But in Scotland, home ownership levels have remained stable after a sharp rise from 55 to 63 per cent in the 1990s.
Housing is at least becoming a big political issue once again. The housing minister, Grant Shapps, insists the Government is trying to help the "incredibly high" numbers of people who still want to own their own homes. The NewBuy Guarantee scheme will underwrite 95 per cent mortgages on properties worth up to £500,000, which ministers hope will assist 100,000 potential buyers who have struggled to get on the housing ladder.
The crisis provoked the Government into producing a housing strategy, with a series of controversial schemes for tackling problem areas. Where houses are "under-occupied", Mr Shapps would like homeowners – typically older people – to rent rooms to people who cannot find accommodation elsewhere.
He is also considering freeing developers from promises made before the financial crisis, as a condition of gaining planning consent, in order to get stalled housing projects started. The move would be controversial as the "planning gain" agreements, which include pledges to build free community facilities, were often critical to the developments being granted planning permission in the first place.
The National Planning Policy Framework caused a storm of protest last year, with campaigners including the National Trust warning it would unleash a wave of new developments in the countryside. With experts pointing to a growing shortage of housing, Mr Shapps has already identified plots for 80,000 homes on publicly owned land which he wants to release for construction to begin. "We need housing growth," he said. "We need it to happen in the right places but we need communities to get something back in return."
But, for some experts, the Government has neither identified the real problems nor come up with workable solutions. The homeless charity Shelter claimed the failure to build enough new homes had led to the growth in the private rented sector, which now accounts for 3.6 million people a year. Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: "Some of the most vulnerable have no other choice than to live in overcrowded and hazardous conditions at the hands of rogue landlords. A huge opportunity was missed in the recent housing strategy to set out what the Government will do to help the rising numbers in private rented housing."
Labour said rents in the private sector had risen by 4.3 per cent in the past year, and claimed this contradicted previous assurances from Mr Shapps and the Prime Minister. The shadow housing minister, Jack Dromey, said: "David Cameron and Grant Shapps are simply out of touch with the everyday lives of millions of people who hand over rent each month."
Peter Tutton, a Citizens Advice debt and credit policy officer and author of Set Up to Fail, the charity's 2007 report on sub-prime lending, said the key issue in the housing debate was not "whether home ownership is a good or bad thing per se". He added: "The real questions, whether you're looking at home ownership or the rented sector, are around affordability and what there is by way of a safety net. If more people on low incomes are encouraged to become homeowners, how do you make sure home ownership is sustainable and what support is there if things go wrong?"
A report into attitudes towards housing last year found that 77 per cent of all non-homeowners still aspired to owning their own home – but many younger people expected renting to become the norm. The study, produced for the Halifax by the National Centre for Social Research also found two-thirds of non-homeowners believed they had no prospect whatsoever of buying a home. The report found that 95 per cent of 20- to 45-year-olds questioned said they had no spare cash, no interest in saving for a deposit or were trying to save but failing to do so.
Property ladder(The myth of owning a home)
More people are choosing to rent – with the idea of buying a home a distant dream. The average house price for a first-time buyer at the end of 2011 was £139,471, 4.4 times average earnings. In London it is £256,035, or 6.4 times earnings. In Scotland it is £100,952, or 3.3 times earnings.
|TK MAXX WITHDRAWS FROM TORY SLAVE LABOUR SCHEME
A BOYCOTT ON ANY STORE THAT USES A FORM OF SLAVE LABOUR IS THE ONLY WAY TO STOP
THESE CORPORATE GIANTS FROM ABUSING THOSE LEAST ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Tesco and other corporations using unemployed as unpaid skivvies thanks to tory policies
Disabled the new slave labour for tory bosses, coming soon the concentration camps
Mass exodus of poorer families from central London to leave space for the tory toff supporters
A central plank in the government's unemployment strategy has suffered another set back after another high street retailer confirmed that it had withdrawn from using unpaid benefit claimants to work in its stores.
The discount clothing store TK Maxx has said it no longer supports the Department of Work and Pensions' work experience schemes in which jobseekers can have their benefits removed if they do not work unpaid for up to 30 hours a week. TK Maxx said: "We take our responsibilities as a retailer and employer very seriously and work with a number of bodies that help people get into work. We do not currently support compulsory non-paid work experience in our business."
Sainsbury's and Waterstones announced during the last fortnight that they had pulled out from such schemes. The Guardian understands that Poundland is also reviewing its policy towards the schemes, variously known as work experience, mandatory work activity and sector-based work academies. Poundland was named in high court papers alleging that a placement at its store in Birmingham had breached a jobseeker's human rights.
Tesco faced criticism and abuse after a link to a jobcentre advert was posted on Twitter appearing to show it hiring for a permanent role as a night shift worker for which it would pay only jobseeker's allowance as a wage.
Customers began bombarding the the store with complaints on Twitter and on the company's Facebook site threatening to withdraw their custom.
The Guardian also found adverts for similar unpaid Tesco roles in Clevedon, Somerset, and Dinnington, Yorkshire, posted on the government's job search site this month. A 21-year-old jobseeker told the Guardian last November that he had worked for Tesco for seven weeks stacking and cleaning shelves and doing the same work as other employees with little support or training.
Tesco, the UK's largest private employer which made over £3.5bn profit last April, said that it had taken on 1,400 such claimants in the last four months amounting to 168,000 hours of unpaid work assuming all participants in the scheme work for 30hrs a week.
The supermarket has since blamed an IT error for the posting and the DWP also said that it was an error for the role to have been described as permanent. Under current government rules, it is illegal to take on jobseekers for longer than six months.
The DWP added that other details in the advert were misleading and should not have been posted. But the department confirmed that the post would involve unpaid work at Tesco for several weeks with the prospect of an interview for a job.
Joanna Long, spokeswoman for campaign group Boycott Workfare called on Tesco to follow the lead of other companies and quit the schemes.
"Tesco counts its profits in the billions yet is getting thousands of people's work for nothing. This is bad news for jobseekers who risk having the pittance that is JSA stopped if they refuse to take part. It is also bad news for paid staff – as workfare on an industrial scale is seeing overtime cut and staff sent home.
"Since there is no recourse for people forced to work without pay, unemployed people are often forced to do the worst jobs and have been denied adequate safety equipment. We look forward to seeing Tesco join the growing number of high street brands opting out of the government's forced labour schemes.
Tesco said: "We take our responsibility as Britain's biggest private sector employer seriously and are playing our part to help tackle unemployment in these challenging times.
"We are participating in a government-led voluntary work experience scheme to help give young people valuable experience of the workplace. Over 300 young people have recently gained a paid job at Tesco following their work experience in recent months."
A DWP spokesman said: "A vast number of businesses are involved in providing work experience schemes, including some of Britain's biggest names, and they are a valuable way to support young people to get jobs; and of course, work experience placements are voluntary until after the first week's experience when we expect people to turn up to placements."
|ASK THIS LOT OF ROYAL SCUMBAGS WHERE ALL THE WORLD'S MONEY IS HIDDEN
Kings of the World – Rich Living Monarchs and their Royal Residences
FULL ARTICLE HERE
TOP FIVE BILLIONAIRE HEDGE FUND MANAGERS ARE ALL JEWISH
Zionist hedge fund manager John Paulson made $5bn last year
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” – so goes this age-old proverb. However, it is not just uneasiness in store for a monarch. Emperors globally have enjoyed and continue to enjoy luxurious lifestyles. Some even have 13 brides. The best levels of comfort that money can fetch are in store for the emperors globally. Be it the Sultan of Brunei or Queen Elizabeth, plush lifestyle is the mark of monarchy. There are currently 44 monarchies in the world and their combined royal wealth has shot up over US $10 trillion. One of the royal attractions is the palace of the King or the Queen. In this article, we will try to catch a glimpse of royal residences of some of the richest ruling monarchs in the world today along with a brief introduction about them.
1. Bhumibol Adulyadej – King of Thailand
King Bhumibol, the 80-year-old king of Thailand, is worth US$ 35 billion. He is the longest serving monarch in Thai history. He has benevolently used his royal wealth in over 3,000 rural development projects in the country. He has a world record in having the highest number of honorary university degrees (136). The royal palace in Bangkok was built in 1782. The palace consists of an aggregate of buildings on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The total area is 218,400 sq. m. The palace has a sacred Buddha temple. You have to follow a strict dress code to enter the royal palace (this is applicable for both men and women).
Official residence: Grand Palace – Bangkok
THAI'S LIVING IN UTTER POVERTY THANKS TO THIS SCUMBAG
2. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
– President of UAE and hereditary ruler of Abu Dhabi
The 60 year old president of UAE is worth US$ 23 billion. The oil reserve pool is the president’s source of wealth. Amiti Palace is the official residence of the President.
Official residence: Amiti Palace
Emirates Palace – This luxurious hotel, managed by The Kempinski Group, is probably the most expensive hotel ever built in the world, costing the Abu Dhabi government roughly US$3 billion. Often mistaken as the presidential palace. It has about 400 rooms and gold has been used to decorate the interiors along with highest quality of marble. Several classical and popular music and ballet performances have been staged at the Emirates Palace’s Conference Centre since its inauguration.
3. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud – King of Saudi Arabia
The 84-year-old king of Saudi Arabia is worth over US$ 21 billion. King Abdullah is known for his benevolence. He bore the entire expenditure of operation of Polish conjoined twins. He was reciprocated with “honorary citizenship” of the Polish town where the twins were born. The King’s palace in Riyadh is more than 1 sq. mile in area. The palace has polished stone walkways and serene water bodies. The pink palatial buildings are true architectural marvels.
Official residence: King’s Palace in Riyadh
4. Haji Hassanal Bolkiah – Sultan of Brunei
The 62-year Sultan of Brunei, the 29th heir to the throne of an unbroken 600-year-old Muslim dynasty, has a net asset worth of $20 billion. The Sultan has anything between 3000 to 6000 cars in his collection. The Istana Nurul Iman palace, the Sultan’s official residence, provides visitors a spectacular sight. It is the biggest palace in the world, much bigger than the Vatican palace. US$ 350 million was spent in erecting the palace. It has 1788 rooms, 257 bathrooms and the total floor area is 2,152,782 sq. feet.
Official residence: Istana Nurul Iman Palace
5. Hans-Adam II – Prince of Liechtenstein
The 63-year-old prince is the 15th in succession to the throne of Liechtenstein. His net worth is 5 billion US$. Castle Schloss Vaduz is his official residence. The palace overlooks the town of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. The main alter has a late-gothic architecture. The original entrance of the spectacular palace has a height of 11 m.
Official residence: Castle Schloss Vaduz
6. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani – Emir of Qatar
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and his daughter and chief of staff Sheikha (Princess) Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani
Sheikh Hamad, Emir of Qatar is aged 56 and worth 2 billion US$. Sheikh Hamad is instrumental in developing Qatar’s oil and natural gas resources. His fame is also attributed to the modernization of the country’s armed forces. His Royal Palace is in Doha. He does not live there. The palace is mainly used for parliamentary affairs and for receiving guests.
Official residence: Royal Palace in Doha
7. Mohammed VI – King of Morroco
The 46-year-old Moroccan king has asset strength of 1.5 billion US$. The king is reputed for his drive to modernize the society and inject a culture of accountability. He has tried to eradicate poverty from Moroccan society. The Royal Palace in Rabat is open to the public. The king has a personal mosque within the palatial complex. The palace is famous for its lush green gardens and the entrance gates are truly majestic.
Official residence: Royal Palace in Rabat
8. Albert II – Prince of Monaco
Prince Albert II, aged 50, is the current ruler of the Principality of Monaco. His net worth is 1.4 billion US$. He is the first head of state to have visited the North Pole. He is also the Global Advisor to Orphans International. His palace remains open to the public during the summer. The palace hosts many functions ranging from open-air concerts to children’s Christmas parties. It has an Italian-styled gallery and lot of awesome salons. The palace has several attractions. Among them the Throne Room, which overwhelms you with memoirs of the Renaissance period, and the Sainte-Marie Tower are notable.
Official residence: Prince’s Palace of Monaco
9. Qaboos Bin Said – Sultan of Oman
Qaboos Bin Said, the Sultan of Oman, has royal properties worth $1.1 billion. The 67-year-old Sultan captured the throne after overthrowing his father. His riches are accounted to surplus oil production. He owns a 500 ft yacht. The Al Alam Royal Palace, the residence of the Sultan, overlooks the serene Muscat harbour. The regal palace is an exquisite marvel of art and architecture. Simply stated, the palace seems to be taken out of a fairy tale book.
Official residence: Qasr al Alam Royal Palace
10. Prince Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan – leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims
Prince Aga Khan, aged 71, is the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims. Aga Khan, worth 1 billion US$, chairs the Aga Khan Development Network that invests in Asian and African development projects. He donated his palace to India in 1969 in the honor of Mahatma Gandhi and the Gandhian philosophy. The palace, located in Pune, India was built in 1892. The main aim behind construction of the Aga Khan palace was to provide employment to local people hard-hit by famine.
Official residence: Aga Khan Palace
11. Elizabeth II – Queen of U.K.
Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest living emperor in the history of United Kingdom at the age of 82. Her net worth is 650 million US$. She plans to rule until she becomes physically unable. The Buckingham palace is the official residence of the royals. It is also a site for hosting state occasions and welcoming international guests. The palace, having 775 rooms, is kept open for visitors on a regular basis.
Official residence: Buckingham Palace
MASSIVE UNDERESTIMATION OF HER WEALTH AT THE LAST COUNT SHE CONTROLS ONE SIXTH OF THE
WORLD'S LAND MASS INCLUDING THE SEAS AROUND THAT LAND. FREEMASONS ACROSS THE GLOBE PROTECT
HER VAST EMPIRE , RUTHLESSLY TARGETING ANYONE WHO GETS IN HER WAY.
12. Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah – Emir of Kuwait
It is interesting to note that Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, does not have a royal blood. He was the foreign minister of Kuwait and ascended to the throne in 2006 after the crown prince became too ill to rule. The royal wealth is estimated at 500 million US$. However, his wealth comes in the form of a stipend. He is promoting economic reforms in Kuwait currently. Dar Salwa palace is the official residence of the Emir.
13. Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard – Queen of Netherlands
Queen Beatrix Armgard, the queen of Netherlands, has a net asset worth of 300 million US$. The queen is rumoured to have stepped down so that his eldest son can ascend the throne. This will make her son the first Dutch king in over a century. Huis ten Bosch Palace is the official royal palace of the queen.
Official residence: Huis ten Bosch Palace
14. Mswati III – King of Swaziland
Swaziland’s King Mswati III (in the foreground)
King Mswati, the king of Swaziland, has a net worth of 200 million US$. The king, ascending to the throne at a tender age of 18, has reportedly spent 2.5 million US$ to celebrate 40 years of his country’s independence along with his 40th birthday. He leads a lavish lifestyle and has 13 brides. Lozitha Palace is the official residence of the king.
Official residence: Lozitha Palace
15. Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa – King of Bahrain
Sheikh Hamad is the emir of Bahrain since 2002. He is an alumnus of the Cambridge University. He takes active interest in preserving the country’s cultural heritage. Sports and fishing are also his areas of interest. The Riffa Palace is his official residence.
Official residence: Riffa Palace
16. Albert II – King of Belgium
Albert, the king of Belgium, is the titular head of state. He symbolizes the entire nation and appoints the Belgian cabinet after an election. The Royal Palace in Brussels, known as Palais Royal, is the King’s palace. However, he prefers to live in Chateau de Laeken. The Royal palace is a neo-classic architectural marvel. It is open to public during summer.
Official residence: Royal Palace in Brussels
17. Yang di-Pertuan Agong Mizan Zainal Abidin – Sultan of Terengganu, Malaysia
Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al Wathiqu Billah, Al-Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Al-Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah Al-Haj (Center)
Yang Zainal Abidin, the Sultan of Terengganu, is the youngest Malay ruler. There are six sultans in Malaysia. One of these six, in this case Yang Zainal Abidin, has been elected as the King of Malaysia. He is the constitutional head of the country. His official residence is Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. The palace has a ground area of 28 acres. It overlooks the Klang River.
Official residence: Istana Negara – Kuala Lumpur
18. Margaret II – Queen of Denmark
Margaret II, the queen of Denmark, is a great painter. She is also known for her addiction to tobacco. The queen has multiple palaces. The winter residence is at Amalienborg palace; the summer residence is at Marselisborg palace (or Graasten Palace or on the royal yacht); and the spring and autumn residence is at Fredensborg Palace.
Official residence: Amalienborg Palace ( winter )
19. Akihito – the Emperor of Japan
Emperor Akihito is the 125th emperor of Japan. His rule is now merely ceremonial. The king is considered to be a direct descendent of God. The Imperial Palace in Tokyo is the official residence of the emperor. It is open to the public on just two days of the year – January 2, when the king wishes New Year to his subjects, and on December 23rd – his birthday.
Official residence: Imperial Palace in Tokyo
20. Abdullah II – King of Jordan
King Abdullah is the constitutional head of Jordon and retains substantial power. He has contributed greatly to the economic revival of the country and he is applauded for his pro-reform outlook. He is an alumnus of the Oxford University. The Raghadan Palace is the official residence of the King.
Official residence: Raghadan Palace
21. Henri – Grand Duke of Luxemburg
Henri, the Grand Duke, is the head of the state of Luxemburg. He is known for his anti-euthanasia stands. Interestingly, he is a member of the International Olympic committee. The Grand Ducal Palace is his official residence. It is an awesome palace, located in the middle of the city. Built in 1572 as a town hall, it has become a palace replete with history.
Official residence: The Grand Ducal Palace
22. Harald V – King of Norway
Harald V is the king of Norway. The king has no real powers, but only ceremonial authority. He resides in the Royal Palace in Oslo. The palace was built in the first half of the 19th century.
Official residence: Royal Palace, Oslo
23. Juan Carlos I – King of Spain
Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain, is highly popular among his subjects. He helped in establishing democratic governance in Spain. The Royal Palace in Madrid is the designated residence of the King, although the king prefers to live in a smaller palace on the outskirts of Madrid. The Royal Palace is still used for state occasions. It is the largest palace in Western Europe. It has a total area of 135,000 sq. m and has over 2800 rooms.
Official residence: The Royal Palace of Madrid
24. Carl XVI Gustaf – King of Sweden
The present monarch of Sweden is King Carl XVI Gustaf. He is the seventh king in the Bernadotte dynasty of Sweden. The Royal Palace of Stockholm is the official residence of the king. However, the private residence of the royal family is the Drottningholm palace. The palace has 609 rooms and is considered as one of the largest royal palaces in the world.
Official residence: Royal Palace of Stockholm
25. Norodom Sihamoni – King of Cambodia
Norodom Sihamoni is the king of Combodia, although under the present constitution, he has no real power. The royal palace of Phnom Penh is his official residence. The palace was constructed over a century ago and it hosts all major ceremonial functions of the country. Foreign dignitaries also stay here.
Official residence: Royal Palace of Phnom Penh
26. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk – The Dragon king of Bhutan
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchukm is the Dragon king of the secluded Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. The Oxford-educated bachelor of 28 years is the youngest reigning monarch in the world. The Tashichoedzong Palace is the official residence of the royal family. The palace houses the government and the central clergy of monks. It remains open to the public during festivals, weekends, and after office hours.
Official residence: Tashichoedzong Palace
27. George Tupou V – The king of Tonga
George Tupou V is the ruler of the Polynesian archipelago that consists of 150 islands. The king lives in the royal palace of Nukualofa, the capital. The palace is wooden and is not open to the people. The king made strong fencing arrangements after some people broke the old, sacred fence after 1990.
Official residence: Royal Palace, Nuku’alofa Tonga
28. Letsie III – The king of Lesotho
Letsie III is the king of Lesotho. Interestingly, Lesotho is the only independent state in the world that lies over 1000 meters above sea level. The Royal Palace in Maseru is the official residence of the king.
Official residence: Royal Palace in Maseru, Lesotho