Why are we borrowing from Japan????????
Yep Yep Yep we are in good shape when the IMF is borrowing money. Be very afraid. Side note. I wrote about banks and drug laundering and not needing proof of ID. Some of you laughed at me and told me in this day and age it was not feasible. OK so I will only say this once. I WAS RIGHT. Nuf said.
Stanford bank's investors go home empty-handed Investors across Latin America seek to pull money from Stanford bank after US alleges fraud Ben Fox, Associated Press WriterThursday February 19, 2009, 10:37 am EST Yahoo! BuzzPrint
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) -- Venezuela on Thursday seized a failed bank controlled by Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford after a run on deposits there, while clients were prevented from withdrawing their money from Stanford International Bank and its affiliates in a half-dozen other countries.
The Venezuelan government said it would immediately put the Caracas-based Stanford Bank SA up for sale and guarantee the remaining savings of some 15,000 Venezuelans, most of them small depositors.
A group of wealthy Venezuelans also holds $2.5 billion in assets at the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, but their investments are outside the purview of Venezuelan law and will not be protected by Caracas, Banking Superintendent Edgar Hernandez said.
Banking regulators throughout Latin America are scrambling to contain the damage after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Stanford and three of his companies on Tuesday with committing in an $8 billion fraud that lured investors with promises of "improbable and unsubstantiated" high returns on certificates of deposit and other investments.
Depositors walked away empty-handed Wednesday from the bank's headquarters in Antigua after rushing to the Caribbean island only to be told their accounts were frozen and no money could be released.
"I have my life savings here and I'm scared," said Reinaldo Pinto Ramos, 48, a Venezuelan software firm owner who flew in by chartered plane from Caracas with other investors to check on their accounts.
Stanford, 58, is a larger-than-life figure in the Caribbean, using his personal fortune -- estimated at $2.2 billion by Forbes magazine -- to bankroll public works and cricket tournaments.
He also is a major player in U.S. politics, personally donating nearly a million dollars, mostly to Democrats. At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, he towered over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while giving her a warm hug at the Democratic National Convention last year.
He owns a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and operates businesses from Houston to Miami and Switzerland to Antigua, where he holds citizenship and the government knighted him in 2006 in recognition of his economic influence and charity work.
Regional Director Rose Romero of the SEC's Fort Worth office called it a "fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world."
Many details about the alleged fraud remain unclear, but the SEC alleges a pattern of secrecy, including a failure to disclose the bank's exposure to losses in money manager Bernard Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme.
The SEC said no one but Stanford and James M. Davis of Baldwyn, Miss., the Antigua-based bank's chief financial officer, know where most of depositors' cash is invested, and both men have failed to cooperate with investigators.
Stanford's companies also have been scrutinized in recent years over concerns that they were laundering drug money, according to a U.S. official familiar with the case. The Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and Homeland Security investigators often launch such inquiries when offshore banks move lots of money, and there is no indication that money-laundering charges are being prepared, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the inquiry.
Stanford wasn't talking Wednesday and a company Web site directed inquiries to the SEC. But in an e-mail to his employees last week, the billionaire said his company was cooperating with the probe, and vowed to "fight with every breath to continue to uphold our good name and continue the legacy we have built together."
A federal judge appointed a receiver to identify and protect Stanford's assets worldwide, including about $8 billion managed by the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, which has affiliates in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
Also frozen were assets of Houston-based Stanford Capital Management and Stanford Group Company, which has 29 brokerage offices around the U.S.
SEC spokesman John Nester said the agency does not know where Stanford is. He does not currently face any charges requiring his presence in court.
Governments in the region took a variety of actions to protect investors who'd deposited money with Stanford-linked institutions.
Colombia and Ecuador suspended the activities of Stanford's local brokerages Wednesday, and Panamanian regulators occupied Stanford bank branches hit by a run on deposits.
In Venezuela, banking regulator Edgar Hernandez said the government was considering a request for help from Stanford Bank SA in Caracas after a $26.5 million run on deposits removed about 12 percent of its holdings.
In Mexico, where the Stanford Fondos unit manages about $50 million for 3,400 clients, a note posted on a shuttered office door in the capital's wealthy Polanco neighborhood announced that all accounts "are temporarily frozen."
Karina Klinckwort, 38, had rushed to the office on Wednesday.
"Everything I have is with them," she said. "Everything that my husband, may he rest in peace, invested is with them."
Associated Press writers Anika Kentish in St. John's, Antigua; Jim Abrams and Matt Apuzzo in Washington, D.C.; Jeff Kummer in Dallas; Frank Bajak in Bogota; Jeanneth Valdivieso in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Olga Rodriguez in Mexico City; and Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's government is seizing a local bank controlled by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford after panicked investors withdrew $26.5 million on news of fraud charges against him, the finance minister said Thursday.
Stanford Bank SA will immediately be put up for sale and the government will back deposits, Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said. It was not clear if the government was assuming a stake in the bank and potential sale profits in exchange for insuring depositors or if the bank's board of directors had approved a sale.
"Some groups have already expressed interest in acquiring this bank," Rodriguez said.
The board asked regulators for government help late Tuesday, suggesting "an open intervention," including the possibility of the government or a state-run bank depositing funds to back deposits, Hugo Faria, one of the bank's directors told The Associated Press.
The decision to intervene follows a run on the local equivalent of $26.5 million, about 12 percent of the bank's Venezuelan deposits early this week, according to the country's banking superintendency.
The bank, which says it has 14 branches and 15,000 clients in Venezuela, reported total deposits of 473 million bolivars, or $220 million, last week.
Depositors across Latin America and the Caribbean have rushed to withdraw savings from Stanford-controlled banks since U.S. regulators filed civil fraud charges and froze assets at three Stanford companies on Tuesday, including at Antigua-based Stanford Bank International, which has affiliates in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
The alleged fraud involved a pattern of secrecy and promised "improbable" returns on certificates of deposit, among other things, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint.
A group of wealthy Venezuelans also holds $2.5 billion in assets at Stanford International Bank in Antigua, but their investments are outside the purview of Venezuelan law and will not be protected by Caracas, Hernandez said Wednesday.IMF Signs US$100 Billion Borrowing Agreement with Japan Press Release No. 09/32
February 13, 2009
Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Mr. Shoichi Nakagawa, Minister of Finance of Japan, signed today the terms of Japan's commitment of up to US$100 billion under a borrowing agreement designed to temporarily supplement the Fund's financial resources, which will bolster its capacity to provide timely and effective balance of payments assistance to its members.
The formal signing of the agreement in Rome, Italy, follows the IMF Executive Board's approval of the terms on February 12, 2009. Mr. Taro Aso, Japanese Prime Minister, announced in November 2008 that Japan is prepared to provide supplemental funding to the IMF, to help overcome the current global crisis (see Press Release No. 08/284).
"We are deeply grateful for the Japanese government's support," Mr. Strauss-Kahn stated. "This commitment is the single-largest supplemental financing contribution by an IMF member country ever, and it clearly demonstrates Japan's leadership and continuing commitment to a multilateral approach to global economic and financial challenges. We are hopeful that other countries will join Japan in providing their support to the Fund's efforts."
Japan's total commitment is equivalent to about SDR 67 billion, or 31 percent of total Fund quotas. The Fund's lending capacity was SDR 95 billion (about US$ 143 billion) before the commitment by Japan. The Fund can also draw up to SDR 34 billion (about US$51 billion) from its standing borrowing lines, the New Arrangements to Borrow and General Arrangements to Borrow.
The initial period of the commitment is for one year, and may be extended by the Fund for up to a total of five years if warranted by the Fund's liquidity situation and its actual and prospective borrowing needs. Each drawing will carry interest at the SDR interest rate, which is currently 0.62 percent.