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Old 2013-10-13, 10:38   Link #31161
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 26
Now here is a rather interesting insight into the Japanese business world :

Lavish nights at Club Godfather opened door to Japan pension fund bribery case

Quote:
(Reuters) - When a Tokyo-based investment manager set out to win business from a pension fund in northern Japan, the cost included dozens of nights drinking at Club Godfather, a discreet watering hole with a $200 cover charge and kimono-clad hostesses.

Kazuyoshi Takahama, now 71, was treated to more than 50 nights out at the club in Sapporo as KTOs Capital Partners, a hedge fund, lobbied for a share of the $245 million pension fund he helped oversee as its chairman, prosecutors say. Takahama favored shochu, a local liquor, while his free-spending hosts ordered up expensive wines.

Somewhere along the way, by his own admission, Takahama lost his way. From late 2009 through early 2010, he persuaded the investment committee he chaired to turn over a sixth of the pension fund's assets to KTOs to manage, prosecutors say. He didn't blink when two KTOs executives handed him an envelope with about $25,000 in cash at a hotel cafe in November 2010.

"I thought the money was a thank you for all I had done and a plea for my future cooperation," Takahama told a Sapporo court last month as he pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe. Takahama was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday, a sentence that was suspended for three years.

While viewed as an extreme case, the prosecution of Takahama has been watched as a sign of the increasing willingness of Japanese regulators and prosecutors to crack down on what they see as the corrupting influence of entertainment. Like others in his position, Takahama was subject to the same regulations as public officials by virtue of the fact that the fund he oversaw was partially invested in Japan's national pension scheme.

The Securities Exchange and Surveillance Commission (SESC) brought a parallel case against KTOs in June for spending 2.6 million yen ($26,500) on entertaining Takahama and others, invoking a clause against providing "special benefits" to clients in Japan's financial instruments law.

In an unrelated case, the SESC has been investigating whether staff at Deutsche Bank AG provided what could be considered excessive entertainment to pension fund executives, people familiar with that probe say.

The securities market regulator is also looking into the same issue in a regular inspection of Goldman Sachs, one of several issues it is examining at the investment bank, people familiar with the matter said.

The SESC intends to check compliance pertaining to entertainment expenses at other investment banks, too, the people said.

Neither Deutsche nor Goldman have been accused of any wrongdoing. Both declined to comment for this article. In both cases, the investigations could end without the SESC taking any action. Club Godfather, which was referenced by prosecutors in laying out the case against Takahama, had no role in the matter apart from being a repeat destination for his entertainment.

WINDING DOWN

Wining and dining of pension fund executives had been a relatively common practice, said people involved in marketing financial products to the funds - until a 2012 scandal in which AIJ Investment Advisors was shut down for defrauding pensioners of more than $1 billion.

The lure of a big payday drove some bankers to shower pension fund executives with entertainment and gifts before that AIJ case. A broker stood to earn 3 percent of the size of a financial product sold to a pension fund upfront, regardless of its ultimate performance.

"There was a group of pension fund executives who made it clear they wanted to be entertained and treated well, and there was a group of sales professionals more than willing to oblige them," said a Tokyo-based investment adviser whose clients include pension funds.

The fund formerly overseen by Takahama manages the pensions of 7,000 employees of gasoline stand operators in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. The fund is typical of a class of nearly 600 pension funds across the country that have been formed as collectives along regional and industry lines.

Most are struggling to meet targeted returns fixed in a high-growth era and are set to be wound down as part of pension system reforms. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has championed policies aimed at pushing more of Japan's retirement savings into assets like stocks that offer the potential of higher returns for an ageing population.

Takahama first came under scrutiny because he also oversaw the allocation of pension money to AIJ, which was found to have spent lavishly to secure the business of dozens of pension funds, investigators have said. Hokkaido police initially started building their case against Takahama on the basis of entertainment, according to two people familiar with how the investigation progressed.

Club Godfather, which became the meeting place of choice for Takahama, is a converted wedding hall featuring memorabilia from the famous Hollywood mafia series. Patrons sit in plush leather sofas and enjoy the company of hostesses.

RED FLAGS

In June, a week before Takahama was arrested, a senior SESC official gave a presentation to Japan's association of investment advisers in which he warned that some pension fund executives were considered public officials, and that entertaining them was potentially a criminal offence.

It was a message that the rules - known to the financial industry following a series of high-profile prosecutions of public officials for receiving entertainment and gifts in the 1990's - would be more actively enforced.

"If there are cases of huge entertainment then it's something we cannot ignore. We have to step in and send a signal to the market," another senior SESC official told Reuters.

Deutsche Bank has internal guidelines for entertainment. But a review of procedures within the bank found efforts to circumvent them, including the filing of inaccurate expense receipts, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

KTOs also had a check in place. According to the Sapporo prosecutor, the investment firm's compliance officer told the head of the company, Shin Tokioka, that the money being spent on entertaining Takahama was too much and had to stop.

Tokioka, 56, and another KTOs executive, Masashi Kikuhara, 47, pleaded guilty to paying a bribe, and were also given suspended sentences on Thursday. Tokioka has disputed the prosecutor's assertion that the money was aimed at keeping the fund's business, telling the court he paid Takahama for introducing him to other pension funds.

The Sapporo case highlights core governance issues that experts say are common to such pension funds in Japan. Takahama, a veteran of the defunct Yamaiichi Securities, was one of the few people at the pension fund with a strong grounding in finance, allowing him to easily sway the judgement of the investment committee he chaired, the prosecutor said.

Similar to the arrangements at other pension funds, Takahama also did not draw a fixed salary as chairman. That lack of compensation could leave people in Takahama's position susceptible to feeling they should be compensated in other ways, people involved in marketing to pension funds said.

"Despite your position as a quasi-public official you willingly and frequently accepted entertainment ... over several years," Shusaku Tatara, the presiding judge, said on Thursday in sentencing Takahama. "And on top of it all, you accepted a 2.5 million yen bribe."
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-10-13, 21:20   Link #31162
JokerD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Now here is a rather interesting insight into the Japanese business world :

Lavish nights at Club Godfather opened door to Japan pension fund bribery case
At least they prosecuted both side of the case, the recent cases in Singapore only went after one side.

But frankly even over here, I've heard stories of bankers using honeypots to lure rich folks into using them as their private bankers. Bars, parties and hotel rooms are the norm...
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Old 2013-10-13, 22:04   Link #31163
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Social Security raise to be among lowest in years
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...10-13-12-45-54

Ex-US Rep. Gabby Giffords attends NY gun show
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...10-13-18-20-59

Stampede near Indian temple kills 89 people
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/stamp...s-dozens-india
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Old 2013-10-15, 01:55   Link #31164
aohige
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Yanase Takashi, the artist of Anpanman just passed away!!!!!!
At age of 94, he was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, manga artist who was still active. A GREAT man.

Rest in piece, master Yanase...
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Old 2013-10-15, 04:53   Link #31165
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
German index brushes off US debt-ceiling debate
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/germa...ceiling-debate

Senators closing in on deal to reopen government
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...10-15-03-31-59
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Old 2013-10-15, 08:29   Link #31166
SaintessHeart
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Age: 26
Coca-Cola reports higher quarterly profit, lower revenue

Quote:
(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) reported higher quarterly earnings and lower revenue on Tuesday as strong sales of its namesake products offset the effects of global economic pressures and the costs of restructuring bottling operations in Brazil and the Philippines.

Net income rose 6 percent to $2.45 billion, or 54 cents per share, in the third quarter from $2.31 billion, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, earnings were 53 cents per share, in line with what analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $12.03 billion from $12.34 billion, slightly below analysts' estimates of $12.05 billion.

Coca-Cola shares rose 1.1 percent to $38.33 in premarket trading.

Coke does not give quarterly forecasts, but the company said its long-term goals and strategies remained unchanged and that it would continue to invest in its brands.
Coca-cola is one of the major winners of WWII. What else can it not win?
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-10-15, 09:30   Link #31167
Cosmic Eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Coca-Cola reports higher quarterly profit, lower revenue



Coca-cola is one of the major winners of WWII. What else can it not win?
Your health
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Old 2013-10-15, 09:48   Link #31168
JokerD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Coca-Cola reports higher quarterly profit, lower revenue



Coca-cola is one of the major winners of WWII. What else can it not win?
Currently? A certain company named after a fruit...
Apple Overtakes Coca-Cola as World’s Most Valuable Brand
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Old 2013-10-15, 10:50   Link #31169
SaintessHeart
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Ok now I am confused.

Senators hopeful fiscal deal could pass on Wednesday

House Republicans to pass own debt limit plan on Tuesday

So will the bill pass or not?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-10-15, 14:57   Link #31170
Lord of Fire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I thought both bills were already shot to pieces?

As long as Obamacare is still the Republicans' main issue in these negotiations, I doubt we'll see anything constructive happen anytime soon.
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Old 2013-10-15, 15:14   Link #31171
Urzu 7
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Age: 31
Why are they so hellbent on putting a stop to Obamacare? I seriously don't know the main reasons why they are fighting it tooth and nail. They hate healthcare reform that much? All I know is they say it'll be expensive, but will it really be as expensive as they make it sound? Really, I don't know how viable that is coming from them, as they'll oppose anything Obama and his administration do regardless of the matter.
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Old 2013-10-15, 16:41   Link #31172
Ithekro
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To some it is as simple as they don't want the Federal government (whom they do not trust) to have a say in their health.
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Old 2013-10-15, 17:36   Link #31173
Urzu 7
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
To some it is as simple as they don't want the Federal government (whom they do not trust) to have a say in their health.
But yet these same people want to have all the say on gay marriage and abortion. Gotta love these twerps. Outright banning both everywhere because "lol our personal beliefs should dictate these things k?" just doesn't cut it.
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Old 2013-10-15, 18:47   Link #31174
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Fitch puts US AAA rating on rating watch negative
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101093033

Boehner Puts Off Vote as G.O.P. Balks
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/us...e.html?hp&_r=0

Coast Guard Stops Renewing Ship Certificates
http://www.nytimes.com/news/fiscal-c...-certificates/
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Old 2013-10-15, 19:17   Link #31175
maplehurry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
To some it is as simple as they don't want the Federal government (whom they do not trust) to have a say in their health.
But it's still managed by private insurance.

The only "valid" argument(without digging too deep) is that people are forced to buy it.
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Old 2013-10-15, 19:33   Link #31176
Urzu 7
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Originally Posted by maplehurry View Post
The only "valid" argument(without digging too deep) is that people are forced to buy it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the republicans fight to make that a part of Obamacare to make it less appealing, in the hopes that it would never get the votes to pass (and then it passed anyway)?
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Old 2013-10-15, 19:59   Link #31177
maplehurry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the republicans fight to make that a part of Obamacare to make it less appealing, in the hopes that it would never get the votes to pass (and then it passed anyway)?
Sure, there's no way private insurance would be willing to cover people with pre-existing conditions without gaining something else for trade off.
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Old 2013-10-15, 23:04   Link #31178
kuroishinigami
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Coca-Cola reports higher quarterly profit, lower revenue



Coca-cola is one of the major winners of WWII. What else can it not win?
Wow, a PER of more than 35 with only less than 10% earning growth and the stock is still going strong Brand name power sure is scary Then again, it's a consumer good company and those tend to have higher PER.
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Old 2013-10-16, 04:31   Link #31179
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
To some it is as simple as they don't want the Federal government (whom they do not trust) to have a say in their health.
That's just a pretense. If Obama's main political achievement was the organization of volunteers who polish WW2 memorials, they'd be every bit as rabidly opposed.

What's currently happening has got nothing to do with healthcare really. In a nutshell, it is about whether the US congress approves paying the bills for money that they has already been spent. Does the US honor their obligations to pay back what was borrowed or not?

Politically, the question of healthcare has been decided. There were elections over the issue, the law has been challeged in Supreme court and prevailed. It's law of the land. These are also no budget negotiations (there, discussions about funding would have a place).

This is a simple matter of political extremists hijacking a political party, who are about to fail an extortion attempt, and who are dead set to rather shoot the hostage than giving in.

Bizarre.
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Old 2013-10-16, 04:36   Link #31180
Libros
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Where the wild things are--Hell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
That's just a pretense. If Obama's main political achievement was the organization of volunteers who polish WW2 memorials, they'd be every bit as rabidly opposed.

What's currently happening has got nothing to do with healthcare really. In a nutshell, it is about whether the US congress approves paying the bills for money that they has already been spent. Does the US honor their obligations to pay back what was borrowed or not?

Politically, the question of healthcare has been decided. There were elections over the issue, the law has been challeged in Supreme court and prevailed. It's law of the land. These are also no budget negotiations (there, discussions about funding would have a place).

This is a simple matter of political extremists hijacking a political party, who are about to fail an extortion attempt, and who are dead set to rather shoot the hostage than giving in.

Bizarre.
Instead of bizarre I'd say irresponsible.
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