Finance (International)

Putin pushes back economically

A suggestion last October that the European Union could sell seized Russian assets to help to rebuild Ukraine has prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to take what he says is temporary control of the Russian subsidiaries of German and Finnish energy companies. Putin’s decree today suggested that the EU notion is “unfriendly and contrary to international law.” [node:read-more:link]

Fiscal brinkmanship slammed

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen worries that if Congress fails to raise the government’s $31.4-trillion debt ceiling, the resulting default could trigger “economic and financial catastrophe.” She says Congress has a “basic responsibility” to increase or suspend the cap unconditionally and “not wait until the last minute.” [node:read-more:link]

No Trudeau Foundation audit planned

Auditor General Karen Hogan said today that will not investigate how the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation handled donations with possible Chinese government links. “This decision is based on the scope of my authority under the Auditor General Act and our review of the endowment agreement between the government of Canada and the foundation,” she said. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian banks back fossil fuels

Oil Change International, an international coalition of environmental groups coordinated in Washington, reported April 13 says that Royal Bank of Canada was the biggest fossil fuel financier in the world in 2022, providing more than US$42 billion in funding of nearly $140 billion in lending by the five major Canadian banks. Scotiabank and TD ranked ninth and 10th globally at $29.5 billion and some $29 billion, respectively, while Bank of Montreal and CIBC were 15th and 16th at $19.3 billion and $17.9 billion, also respectively. [node:read-more:link]

Greek parliamentarian released

Eva Kaili, a Greek Member of the European Parliament who became the face of a corruption scandal, was released today after four months in prison but remains under house arrest with a tracking bracelet. The former vice-president of the Brussels-based assembly is one of five MEPs arrested and criminally charged. [node:read-more:link]

More Trudeau Foundation trouble

The Montreal-based Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation tried unsuccessfully to refund a 2016 Chinese donation due to concerns about political interference. It turned out to be legally difficult because the named donor was a Chinese billionaire but the actual source was the Chinese government. [node:read-more:link]

Oil prices surge on production cut

International benchmark crude oil prices rose after Saudi Arabia, Iraq and several Gulf states announced April 2 that they were daily production by more than a million barrels (159,000 cubic metres). Russia also said it will extend its cut of 500,000 barrels a day until the end of 2023 as economists warned that higher prices could make it harder to deal with inflation in export markets. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. targets unexplained wealth

The B.C. government is planning to widen the scope of its money-laundering legislation to crack down on organized crime assets by compelling people to explain how they acquired assets. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said March 30 that it will, among other things, facilitate finding criminal assets hidden with family members but the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says B.C. “are going to have to go to court to prove that they are not criminals, and that's just unconstitutional.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. ordered to compensate Iran

The International Court of Justice has ordered the U.S. to compensate Iranian companies whose assets have been frozen. The UN court did not specific exact amounts in its March 30 ruling and acknowledged it has no jurisdiction over Iranian central bank assets frozen in a New York Citibank account. [node:read-more:link]

Swiss banks on notice

Four bankers who enabled a family friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin to deposit the equivalent of US$30 million in Swiss banks over three years have been fined and suspended for two years. The three Russians and one Swiss national helped cellist Sergei Roldugin to deposit the funds even though he could not explain their provenance. Their lack of due diligence evidently puts the famously secretive Swiss banking sector on notice to heed the country’s banking laws [node:read-more:link]

Hungary fed up with critics

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says “inacceptable” criticism of his country’s democratic and cultural issues is undermining cooperation within NATO and the EU. Members of the European Parliament say Hungary is “a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” under President Victor Orban, who has not criticized Russia for invading Ukraine and continues to block Swedish and Finnish membership for Sweden and Finland. [node:read-more:link]

Britain hikes key lending rates

The Bank of England today raised its key lending rate by a quarter of a point to 4.25 per cent, its highest in 14 years, after inflation spiked unexpectedly in February. “We were really a bit on a knife edge as to whether there would be a recession, Bank Governor Andrew Bailey said. “But I’m a bit more optimistic now” even though the economy was “not off to the races.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada moves to ease banking fears

The Bank of Canada was among the ranks of the world’s largest central banks which came together on the weekend to stop a banking crisis from spreading as Swiss authorities persuaded UBS Group to buy rival Credit Suisse Group for the equivalent of C$4.4 billion while assuming C$7.4 billion in losses. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Finance (International)