Posts Tagged ‘Italian organized crime’

The Mafia Gains Ground

She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a
simple twist of fate. 

The Mafia Gains Ground

Italian organized crime is profiting from hard times, using cash and violence to defy Berlusconi’s government and dig deeper into the economy.

By Steve Scherer and Vernon Silver
Bloomberg Markets, July 2009

In the southern Italian port city of Palermo, home to bustling outdoor markets and Arab-influenced architecture, prosecutor Roberto Scarpinato has hunted Mafia money for two decades.

Now, as the rest of the world tightens its belt in the global recession, he’s tracking how the mob is profiting by lending and investing what’s become a scarce commodity these days: a growing hoard of cash.

Scarpinato points to the 2.7 billion euros ($3.8 billion) of assets he’s seized on the island of Sicily, where Palermo is located, since the start of 2008. In one haul, he confiscated 12 businesses, 220 buildings, 33 plots of land and a 25-meter (82- foot) yacht from grocery-chain owner Giuseppe Grigoli…

Unlike overleveraged companies burned in the credit crisis, the Mafia and its cash-based, debt-free business model are breezing through economic hard times. With young, savvy leaders at the helm, organized crime is poised to expand as legitimate companies founder.

“There’s a risk that Mafia organizations can profit from the current crisis by buying control of struggling businesses, infiltrating all regions of the country,” Italian President Giorgio Napolitano cautioned in May…

“There’s a credit crisis that’s putting many businesses in a difficult position,” says Scarpinato, 57, whose dark suit sets him apart from his jeans-wearing bodyguards who tote pistols under their black-and-blue windbreakers. “The banks have tightened the purse strings, and many companies risk going bankrupt. Then there’s the Mafia world, which has vast amounts of cash.”…

“The Mafia is ramping up its investing,” says Antonino Di Matteo, a fellow Mafia prosecutor whose bodyguard stands watch outside his office door in the Sicilian capital’s fascist-era courthouse. “The Mafia’s financial managers are trying to invest now, while the time is right, so that they can launder their fortunes once and for all.”

Italy’s cash-depleted banks may be helping the Mafia become even stronger, says Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations’ Vienna-based Office on…
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Puerto Rico - Here's Why the New York Fed Does Not Feel Your Pain

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

William C. Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

On Thursday, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William C. Dudley, held a press conference to effectively tell Puerto Ricans to suck it up as they attempt to recover from an epic humanitarian crisis caused by Hurricane Maria, which devastated infrastructure and wiped out electricity to the entire Island in September.

When it comes to corrupt Wall Street banks that are in the process of failing, the Federal Reserve can always find trillions of dollars to funnel into the banks’ coffers at almost zero interest rates to prop them back up. It does that through its power ...



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ValueWalk

Is College Really for All?

By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In the last two and a half generations, the number of students who go on to attend college, as a percentage of the population, has tripled. In 1959, about 20 percent of high school students went on to college. Since relatively few people were earning degrees, having one all but guaranteed getting a good, high-paying job. As a result, parents, high schools, and colleges began encouraging more and more high school students to go to college. Today, about 60 percent of high school students go on to college. But has the big push to get kids into college done anything to improve outcomes? Is the average $250,000 investment in a four-year degree at all worth it? If not, what alternatives exist? Join Antony Davies and James Harrigan as they talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Num...



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Zero Hedge

It's Not Just The Homicides: Commercial Robberies In Baltimore Are Up 88%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

We now have supporting evidence that Baltimore is the “nation’s most dangerous city,” according to a new report issued by USA Today’s crime desk. The implosion of Baltimore’s inner city comes as little surprise to us, considering our recent reporting of out of control murders and violent crime plungin...



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Insider Scoop

Imperial Capital: MINDBODY Has The Keys To Success

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 7 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's After-Hours Session 50 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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Digital Currencies

US Olympians Are Turning To Bitcoin To Offset Competition-Related Costs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As many college athletes know all too well, funding for more niche sports like - for example - luge is often lacking, and securing more often requires hours of fundraising by the team's boosters.

Which is why, ahead of the Winter Games in PyeongChang, some teams started getting creative. For instance, fundraisers for the US luge team have started accepting donations in bitcoin. Indeed, the team has raised several thousand dollars worth of bitcoin.

...



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Chart School

'Bull Trap' in Dow Jones Industrial Average

Courtesy of Declan.

Starting to see evidence that the February bounce in markets is fading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a 'bull trap' as it ducked below breakout support despite finishing above yesterday's close. Volume dropped as relative performance against tech indices took a marked step lower. Troubling times for the 'flight-to-safety' route.


The Semiconductor Index had looked like it was ready to mount a challenge of the January 'bull trap' but the last couple of days have seen a second attempt at a reversal ...

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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Morten Wendelbo, Texas A&M University and Timothy Callaghan, ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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