a group of people sitting around a living room: President Donald Trump speaks to the press after talking to members of the military via teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images


© MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks to the press after talking to members of the military via teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

  • Individuals, foreign governments, and lobbyists are spending big at Trump’s resorts and hotels and gaining from his administration, a New York Times investigation found. 
  • It found that 60 individuals had spent $12 million in Trump’s businesses and, in some form, saw their interests advanced by his administration. 
  • Trump won the election in 2016 pledging to “drain the swamp,” but is profiting from favor-seekers patronizing his hotels and resorts. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than 200 foreign governments, lobbying groups, and individuals spent money in President Donald Trump’s businesses and benefitted from his administration, a New York Times investigation found. 

It documents how foreign government officials, corporate executives, lobbyists, and attorneys patronized Trump businesses and were awarded lucrative federal contracts, ambassadorship, and appointments to federal task forces. Others secured legal changes. For some, the favor granted by the president was a tweet. 

According to the Times investigation, 60 individuals spent $12 million in Trump’s hotels and resorts, and “almost all saw their interests advanced, in some fashion, by the president or his government.” 

The Times based its report on interviews with 250 sources, including executives and lobbyists, members of his clubs and employees at his businesses, and former and current Trump administration officials. 

Individuals identified in the report told the Times that any advantages they had gained from the Trump administration were not linked to the patronage of his businesses. 

Trump won the presidency in 2016, pledging to “drain the swamp” of influence-peddling in Washington DC.

After winning the presidency, Trump stepped back from his business

LONDON (AP) — Mayors representing big cities in northern England have slammed the British government’s latest wage support package for employees in businesses that may be ordered to close as part of efforts to suppress local coronavirus outbreaks.

In a virtual press briefing Saturday, the opposition Labour leaders of the metropolitan areas around Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield sounded the alarm about the economic hardship their cities are likely to face.

The four leaders vented their frustration at what they consider to be the Conservative government’s secretive and top-down approach to decision making and criticized a failure to provide the scientific reasoning behind anticipated changes to lockdown restrictions.

“The north of England is staring the most dangerous winter for years right in the face,” said Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, a region with a population of more than 2.5 million. “We will not surrender our constituents to hardship nor our businesses to failure.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on Monday expected to back a new three-tier local lockdown system, which could see hospitality venues in coronavirus hotspots in England being temporarily closed. Though new coronavirus infections are rising throughout England, cities in the north have seen the most acute increases. Pubs in Scotland’s biggest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, have already had to close for 16 days.

Ahead of that announcement, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak revealed on Friday details of a new financial support package that will see the government pay two thirds of the salaries of workers in companies that have to shut up shop.

Under the terms of the package, the government will from Nov. 1 pay 67% of the salaries of workers who won’t be able to work, up to a maximum of 2,100 pounds ($2,730) a month. Sunak also said cash grants for businesses required

FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his second state of the union address at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday he respects the International Monetary Fund’s recommendations to Mexico but that it should “stop covering up for corrupt governments.”

On Tuesday, the IMF said Mexico should implement larger near-term fiscal support to alleviate the economic distress largely brought about by measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The IMF recommended the government expand its welfare net and unemployment benefits, and lower interest rates. It also proposed tax reform to support spending in the medium-term.

Lopez Obrador on Wednesday said he respected the IMF but that international financial entities were no longer dictating economic policy in Mexico.

“All we ask … is that they stop rescuing large corporations and that they rescue the people, that they stop covering up for corrupt governments,” he told his regular morning news conference, without providing details on any such potential cases.

The IMF declined to comment.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Raul Cortes, writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Steve Orlofsky

Source Article

Pardon me for being just a little suspicious, but when I see an avalanche of enthusiasm from such reputable institutions as the Morrison government, the Murdoch media and the Australian Banking Association (anyone remember the Hayne royal commission?) about the proposed “reform” of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, I smell a very large rodent. “Reform” here is effectively code language for repeal. And it means the repeal of major legislation introduced by my government to bring about uniform national laws to protect Australian consumers from unregulated and often predatory lending practices.



Josh Frydenberg, Scott Morrison are posing for a picture: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The banks of course have been ecstatic at Morrison’s announcement, chiming in with the government’s political chimeric that allowing the nation’s lenders once again to just let it rip was now essential for national economic recovery. Westpac, whose reputation was shredded during the royal commission, was out of the blocks first in welcoming the changes: CEO Peter King said they would “reduce red tape”, “speed up the process for customers to obtain approval”, and help small businesses access credit to invest and grow.

And right on cue, Westpac shares were catapulted 7.2% to $17.54 just before midday on the day of announcement. National Australia Bank was up more than 6% at $18.26, ANZ up more than 5% at $17.76, and Commonwealth Bank was trading almost 3.5% higher at $66.49. The popping of champagne corks could be heard right around the country as the banks, once again, saw the balance of market power swing in their direction and away from consumers. And that means more profit and less consumer protection.

Related: Frydenberg’s move to dump lending laws ‘shortsighted’, consumer groups say

A little bit of history first. Back in the middle of the global financial crisis, when the banks came on

By Tom Wilson

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters)Financial firms and governments overwhelmingly see cryptocurrencies as risky, a major survey found on Tuesday, with the potential for bitcoin and other digital tokens for use in money laundering and sanctions busting among the chief worries.

Around 60% of respondents from financial firms, government and the private sector alike to the survey by the Royal United Services Institute think-tank and the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists said cryptocurrencies were a risk rather than an opportunity. Illicit usage was the major concern.

The findings, one of the most detailed efforts yet to map out mainstream global views towards cryptocurrencies, lay bare the depth of scepticism towards the emerging tech.

They suggest an uphill struggle for the crypto industry to achieve wider acceptance, even as countries across the world grapple with how to regulate cryptocurrencies. The European Union will introduce new rules for some cryptocurrencies by 2024, documents showed last week.

The perception of criminal use of cryptocurrencies is deep-rooted, the survey found. Nearly 90% of respondents from financial firms said they were worried about crypto being used to launder money. Over 80% were worried about sanctioned actors using digital coins to circumvent the formal financial system.

“All respondents accept that cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to criminals,” the survey’s authors said.

The extent to which crypto is used for crime is unclear, with past research by major blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis this year putting the rate as low as 1% of all transactions.

Still, digital currencies are popular with cyber-criminals, as the July hack of major Twitter users to reap bitcoin shows.

Cryptocurrencies have also been used for the funding of militant groups. The U.S. Justice Department said last month it had targeted efforts by the military wing of Hamas, al Qaeda and Islamic