The Great Recession: JPMorgan Chase to pay $2bn in Madoff probe

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Madoff masterminded a massive and long-running so-called Ponzi investment fraud which came to light in 2008

People pass a sign for JPMorgan Chase at its headquarters in Manhattan on October 2, 2012 ( Spencer Platt (Getty/AFP) )

JPMorgan Chase, the US bank used by Bernard Madoff who masterminded the biggest fraud on record, has agreed to pay about $2 billion to US authorities to avoid litigation, press reports said Monday.

Madoff masterminded a massive and long-running so-called Ponzi investment fraud which came to light in 2008 as the financial crisis gathered speed.

At the time of its collapse in 2008, Madoff Securities claimed it had about $65 billion in client assets, whereas in fact it had only about $300 million.

The fraud ruined many investors and stoked public anger over the causes and consequences of the crisis.

Reports in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, citing people close to the matter, said JPMorgan Chase would announce the settlement this week.

The Wall Street Journal said: “The bulk of the fines are expected to be routed to victims of Mr. Madoff.”

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by assets, was the main bank used by Madoff for more than 20 years.

The sources quoted by the two papers said the bank had agreed to pay up to close criminal and civil investigations by federal authorities which suspected that the bank had ignored signs that Madoff was operating a fraudulent scheme.

The New York Times said that the expected announcement would take to $20 billion the total amount paid by the bank in the last 12 months to settle various government investigations.

The paper noted that the bank had declined to comment on its report but had insisted that all of its staff had acted in good faith.

The various authorities involved also declined to comment.

The New York Times also reported that in a highly unusual move demonstrating the extreme gravity of the case, the settlement would include a deferred prosecution agreement suspending criminal action provided that the bank acknowledged the facts against it and changed its behaviour.

The expected settlement indicated a new conciliatory stance by the bank, the report said, adding: “Within the bank, there is growing impatience among executives who worry that the scrutiny distracts from its record profits.”

However, the bank was the target of recent bribery investigations by US authorities over its practise of hiring in China the children of people among the country’s ruling elite, the newspaper noted.

In 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

His Ponzi or pyramid scheme was based on using money from incoming investors to pay high returns to longer standing investors. When the financial markets collapsed and investors withdrew their funds, the Madoff illusion was exposed.

The liquidator of the Madoff business, Irving Picard, had begun action against the bank with a claim of up to $20 billion in damages, but a federal judge and then an appeal court rejected this action, arguing that only investors who had been deceived could launch them.

However, that procedural issue is now before the Supreme Court.

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History of Earrings – The Ancient World

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General comments: It would be convenient to draw a single time-line describing the history of antique earrings, but in reality, different cultures exhibited different fashions and technical abilities at any given time. The antique earrings in the Ancient Orient differed to those worn in the Middle East, which were  superior to anything known in Europe at the time. As men began to travel further afield, there was cultural and technical interchange and influence for what we call antique earrings.  And yet, even today, while economists speak of globalisation, there are vast differences between earrings in the West and those worn in the Far East and Africa.  Here, we will talk about some of the general trends.

 

The  Ancient  World:

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photo of antique earringsEarrings compliment out looks, but in the Ancient world, they served to show which social, political or religious group or clan you belonged to, your social status, wealth and class within the group. Antique Earrings flashed wealth or divulged your status as a slave. Today, there are clear distinctions between earring styles worn by different cultures in the non-western world. Antique earrings, both pendants and hoops, worn 7000 years in Egypt or Asia, signified that the wearer belonged to a particular class. Early cultures believed that evil spirits could enter the body via any orifice.  Earrings were seen as a means to plug up the ears and prevent such an invasion. The magical powers attributed to antique earrings are wide and varied, for example is the belief that they strengthened weak eyes. This belief persisted in France as late as the 1800’s.

 

While earrings are clearly mentioned many times in the Old Testament (stories about Moses and Abraham mention earrings to name just two), antique earrings for pierced ears were known in the Middle East from at least 3000 years ago. The oldest antique earrings were found in the royal graves in Iraq, home of the Ancient Assyrians. In 1989 the treasures of Nimrod, their capital city, considered on a par with King Tut’s tomb were excavated. About 50 kg of marvelous jewels including 8 pairs of identical earrings, owned by the Assyrian Queen were found. This intricate gold jewelry was technically superior to anything produced for many years afterwards. During the recent chaos and looting of the war in Iraq, some of these earrings landed up on the auction block in the USA and amidst much scandal, including Interpol’s swooping intervention, was finally brought back to the Iraq Museum.

 

If not clear by now, it should be pointed out that in Ancient times, jewelry was predominantly worn by men.  Some walls of the Persian ancient palace of Persepolis, c500 BC., show carved figures of soldiers wearing earrings.

 

These Fascinating Maps Show The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time

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These Fascinating Maps Show The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time

U.S. playwright Rita Mae Brown said: “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”

That quote comes to mind looking at these fascinating European etymology maps of various commons words posted by reddit user sp07, which provide a kind of cultural commentary on Europe.

The word for “church” shows the influence of ancient Greece:

“Bear” appears to be influenced by Russia, where largest brown bear population in Europe can be found. Notice the dominant word literally means “honey-eater.”

Another reddit user noted that “pi” is a prefix for “beer” in several European countries while the “pi” in the Mandarin Chinese word for beer,  啤酒 pi jiu, is a loan word from Europe.

“Apple” has a lot of diversity: Notice how the word in Finland and Estonia may come from a Indo-Iranian origin.

“Orange” is an interesting one. In the west it comes form Sanskrit while the dominant word in much of eastern and northern Europe comes from a word meaning “apple from China.”

“Garoful,” the ancient Greek word for “rose,” only remains in northeastern Italy.

Most of Europe derives “pineapple” from the Guarani language, which is an indigenous language of South America, although the U.K. (and consequently the U.S.) get the word from Latin.

Pineapple Mapimgur/u/Bezbojnicul

Tea comes from China, naturally, except for a few Latin holdouts in eastern Europe.

This one is the word for “cucumber,” which may be even more diverse than “apple”:

cu6amudh_updatedimgur/u/Bezbojnicul

Now Watch: These Maps Prove That Americans Speak Different Languages

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/european-maps-showing-origins-of-common-words-2013-11#ixzz2m4Muj1Zz