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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gaza war grips Israeli economy

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 11:14:49 GMT   |   PressTV

Israel's economy will fall this year for the first time since 2002 because of the gloomy global economy and the effect of the Gaza offensive.

In its latest report Israel's central bank said Tel Aviv's budget deficit would stand equal to about 4 percent of the gross domestic product. The bank says the economy is expected to fall by 0.2 percent in 2009.

The report noted that the deficit is a part of the cost of Israel's 23-day offensive in Gaza, which killed 1330 Palestinians and injured 5,450 others.

The war, according to the bank, will widen the budget deficit to 4.1 percent of the GDP from 2.1 percent in 2008 and will also discourage tourism.

The bank revised its estimate from 1.5 percent growth for 2009, saying the economy will plunge this year for the first time since 2002.

"We are producing much less than we predicted and much less than in previous years," said Yosef Saadon, a spokesman for the Bank of Israel.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's benchmark TA-25 Index shrank by 4.4 percent to 637.23 last week.

The bank is preparing to cut the key interest rate from a record-low 1.75 percent to help the ailing economy.

After the start of the war, economists warned that the Israeli economy would be threatened if the invasion of the Gaza Strip was prolonged or the scope widened.

The estimated daily cost of the military operations stood at tens of millions of shekels (dollars).

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli economists acknowledged that the costs of the attacks on Gaza would skyrocket if Tel Aviv called up large reserve forces or launched a ground attack.

The Israeli Defense Ministry declined comment. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

France offers Islamic finance degree

Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:26:20 GMT | PressTV

The financial success in the Persian Gulf region has turned Islamic banking into a fast-growing section in Europe.
A French business school has offered an Islamic finance degree for European Muslims who seek to pursue a career in Islamic banking.

Strasbourg University's School of Management has accepted 36 students from France, Algeria, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Tunisia into the 11-month postgraduate masters-level course.

Islamic bankers avoid 'Riba' -- usually translated as 'usury' -- and promote investments under the precepts of Sharia law, sharing the risk and profit among partners in a way that does not resemble gambling.

"It's another way of investing, another way of acquiring property. We prefer to avoid risky ventures," explained Strasbourg school researcher Ibrahim Zeyyad Cekici.

The financial success in the Persian Gulf region has turned Islamic banking into a fast-growing section in Europe, dominated so far by London-based institutions.

"Financial institutions and regulatory authorities are faced with more and more demand from new economic actors that have ethical and religious concerns when seeking finance and investment," AFP quoted the school as saying.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Liberty Dollars - what happened to it now?

Myself (Von NotHaus) and a few Ron Paul compatriots were interviewed today on our local Fox 7 News affiliate and our NBC affiliate here in Evansville, Indiana. At issue was the seizure of Liberty Dollar property and freeze of assets by FBI and Secret Service agents. In an effort to make the best of a bad situation, we went to first see if we could help in any way, and were at least able to get Ron Paul in the local news for the first time. Thanks to Fox 7 WTVW in Evansville for their fair and sympathetic coverage. Don't know if I can exactly say the same for our NBC affiliate. They obviously had an agenda in their coverage and made several mistakes in their coverage, including saying that the man they interviewed who lost $5000 was suing the Liberty Dollar, which is NOT true! He was actually joining a class action lawsuit to sue the Federal Government. That broadcast can be found among my other videos. 

Liberty Dollar office raided :

The future of an Evansville-based company that produces a "private voluntary barter currency" known as the Liberty Dollar is in question after federal agents raided the facility this week, according to an e-mail sent by its founder.

Federal officials reportedly raided the group's headquarters, located in a strip mall at 225 N. Stockwell Road, early Wednesday morning and seized documents and precious metals.

FBI Agent Wendy Osborne, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Indianapolis office, directed all questions on the raid to the Western District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney's Office. A spokeswoman there said she had no information on the investigation.

Bernard von NotHaus, the group's monetary architect and the author of the e-mail, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Von NotHaus developed the Liberty Dollar in 1998 as an "inflation-proof" alternative currency to the U.S. Dollar, which he has claimed has devalued since the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. The silver medallions are produced by a private mint in Idaho on behalf of Evansville-based Liberty Services, which also issues paper notes which the group says are backed by silver reserves.

Liberty Dollar employees were at the office this morning cleaning up after the raid. They referred all questions to von NotHaus.

According to the e-mail, about a dozen agents arrived Wednesday morning and seized gold, silver, platinum and nearly two tons of recently delivered Ron Paul Dollars. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze the group's bank accounts, the e-mail said.

"We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed," von NotHaus wrote in the e-mail, which was sent to Liberty Dollar customers. "We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution. We should not to be defrauded by the fake government money."

The e-mail said the gold and silver that backs up the paper and digital currency was confiscated, as were the dies used to mint the Liberty Dollars themselves. As a result, it warns that recent orders placed for Liberty Dollars may not be filled and it encourages supporters to band together for a class action lawsuit.

The e-mail repeatedly defends the Liberty Dollar as legal.

"You did nothing wrong," von NotHaus wrote. "You are legally entitled to your property. Let us use this terrible act to band together and further our goal to return America to a value based currency."

- Gavin Lesnick   |   courierpress  |   November 15, 2009

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