Stephen Cook – Progress Has Not Come To A Standstill – 3 April 2012

As Matthew Ward told us yesterday: “progress has not come to a standstill” – and in my view he was right.

Heading this progress report is the news that  James Murdoch has quit yet another key post within his father Rupert’s stumbling (and possibly crumbling) global media empire. This time, James has resigned as Chairman of BSkyB (for full story, see separate post).

Meanwhile, four other “progress” stories also caught my eye today. I thought it best to wrap them into this one post.

The first involves Former Federal Reserve Governor Alan Greenspan, who has been loudly defending his successor Ben Bernanke from the constant attacks that continue to come, amazingly, from Republican Presidential candidates. Everyone from Ron Paul to Newt Gingrich to Mitt Romney has attacked Bernanke and/or the Federal Reserve recently. Both Greenspan and Bernanke are Republicans. So, it will be most interesting, in light of all we know, to see how this pans out as we head closer to the US election.

The second story is that the woman who has been the public face of banking in Britain throughout the most recent financial crisis has called it quits. Angela Knight has been the head of the British Bankers’ Association since 2007. Almost five years to the day since she took up her position she is leaving – just as financial regulators around the globe are investigating major questions around the British-based Libor rate and how it is calculated.

Next, as predicted, Hungarian President, Pal Schmitt, has now quit his job following three months of scandal over plagiarism.

And finally, the global mass resignation tally is now sitting at 760.

Rather than post these stories in full, I have included the more interesting segments from each and have put links to the original article or source at the end of each one so you can read more, should you wish:

Alan Greenspan: Republican Attacks On Ben Bernanke ‘Wholly Inappropriate And Destructive’

Excerpt from story by Bonnie Kavoussi, The Huffington Post – April 2, 2012:

Bernanke has led the Fed since 2006, during the financial crisis, recession and recovery. His drastic actions to stimulate the economy – keeping interest rates near zero and tripling the size of the Fed’s balance sheet – have become a flashpoint in the Republican presidential primary. On top of all that, add to this the irony that Greenspan and Bernanke actually are Republicans.

Ron Paul, a Republican Congressman and presidential candidate, has long called for an end to the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard. Once seen as largely outside the mainstream, Paul’s views on the Fed have been gaining traction in the Republican discourse.

When he was still in the race, Texas Governor Rick Perry derided Bernanke saying in August that if the Fed chairman “prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.” He added that printing more money before the election would be “almost treasonous.”

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has said that if he gets elected he wouldn’t let Bernanke stay on as Fed chairman. “I wouldn’t keep Bernanke in office. I would choose someone of my own,” Romney said in October.

Newt Gingrich expressed similar sentiments: “If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is Bernanke, who is a disastrous chairman of the Federal Reserve,” Gingrich said in October.

To read the full article go here:

Knight stepping down as face of UK banking

Excerpt from story by Nick Goodway, The Independent – April 3, 2012

Angela Knight announced yesterday that she was quitting as chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), five years after taking up the role. That was only months before the first run on a British bank in more than a century, which resulted in the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

Since then Ms Knight, pictured, has defended the banking industry as two of the major players had to be bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of £65bn, bankers’ bonuses became the target of politicians’ and the public’s ire, and the sector was found to have indulged in mis-selling of insurance products which cost it £7bn in compensation payments to victims.

Asked about the widespread loathing of bankers and their bonuses, Ms Knight said: “Events have overtaken the perception of bankers. The whole business of the financial crisis overwhelmed the fact that we have a fantastic industry in this country which punches above its weight globally.”

She is leaving at a time when the BBA is coming under increasing pressure to change the way Libor, the key interest rate that banks charge for lending to each other, is calculated. Financial regulators around the globe are investigating allegations that banks and traders colluded to fix the rate to hide their true cost of borrowing

To read the full article go here:

Hungarian President Quits After Doctorate Revoked

Excerpt from story by Gergely Szakacs and Krisztina Than, Reuters from The Montreal Gazette – April 3, 2012.

Hungary’s President Pal Schmitt resigned on Monday after a plagiarism scandal, eliminating a potential distraction to his allies in the government as they try to win funding from international lenders.

An opposition party had considered trying to impeach him as he could only be removed from the largely ceremonial post by a two-thirds majority in parliament, which the ruling Fidesz party holds. Hundreds of protesters also had called for him to quit.

Analysts had said the row could have become increasingly unpleasant for the government as it tries to resolve a lengthy dispute with the European Union that has held up funding from the bloc for central Europe’s most indebted country.

To read the full article go here:

Global Mass Resignations Update

After several weeks of hard work, American Kabuki is taking a short rest from his almost daily updates on the mass banking resignations. The last tally was 450 – plus Ben Fulford’s additional reported 200. Meanwhile Kabuki’s colleague Gabriel has continued with his own updates and his tally, including government and other company departures is now 760.

Excerpt from Gabriel’s Facebook page – last update 2 April 2012

This list chronicles all top level resignations since the start of 2012.

Banking & Financing – 319

Governments – 173

Companies etc. – 268

Total: 760

To read Gabriel’s full list go here: link to original article

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