Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Viva La France!

How to make USD100k/year without working... a la Francaise!

Here's how...


Fallen high-flyers exploit French loophole...

THEY were denounced as traitors when they left France for lucrative jobs in London, and as irresponsible fools when crisis overtook the global economy.

Now French traders dismissed by banks in London are at the centre of a new furore after it emerged that many of them were exploiting France's generous welfare system to claim unemployment benefit of more than E75,000 (USD96,000) a year.

"I find it very shocking," Alain Vidalies, an opposition Socialist MP who raised the issue in parliament last week, said. "These people went to London to earn lots of money when the economy was booming there, and as soon as the wind turned they have come back to France and they are using a trick to ensure a very high revenue.

"It's not acceptable."

The controversy has further dented the reputation of a profession accused by President Nicolas Sarkozy of plunging the world into "catastrophe" through ill-judged speculation.

But it has also served to highlight flaws in a French social security system seen by its supporters as a safety net in times of turbulence and by its detractors as an unsustainable burden for the national economy.

Under French rules, the jobless are entitled to unemployment benefit equivalent to 57.4 per cent of their salary if they earned more than E1845.88 a month in their last job and up to 75 per cent if they earned less than that. Payments are made for 23 months and there is a ceiling of E6366.80 a month.

In most circumstances, it is impossible for workers to receive French unemployment benefit if they have been employed in another country, but they need to do only one day of work in France to be able to make a claim there. And if they have worked fewer than 28 days, that claim will be based upon their previous salary.

In other words, traders earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in London need to do a few days' work in a fast-food restaurant or a shop in Paris to ensure a revenue of E76,401.60 a year for almost two years.

Some do a shift in McDonald's. Mathieu, a trader sacked by a London bank, told the weekly magazine Le Point that he would do a day's babysitting to obtain French unemployment benefit on the basis of his British salary. "It'll be enough to cover my airplane tickets and my telephone bills," he said, adding that he was planning to look for a new job in Hong Kong.

Officials at the Pole Emploi, the French unemployment office, said that 24 claimants were receiving the maximum of E6366.80 a month after a job overseas. That figure dates from the northern autumn and Mr Vidalies said that the number had climbed steeply since then. "I think there must be several hundred, and they're getting the sort of revenue from unemployment benefit that most people cannot dream about even when they have a full-time job," he said.

About 300,000 French people moved to Britain before the crisis.

(The Australian)


Great Drivers


Watch out! Crazy drivers on the road!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hilmi Baby


Is this the famous upskirt photographer?

Wah! Quite handsome wor! Add as a friend?

Selamat Datang!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Ugly Pic


Will it turn out to be a "V", "U" or "L"?


Obama Porks America?


Congressmen voted for the 800 billion Dollar stimulus bill without even reading it.

Why so rush?


Glenn Beck, "Why you should be outraged at rush to pass the stimulus bill"

Obama Porks America


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ghost Town Dubai


February 12, 2009

Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Sofia, a 34-year-old Frenchwoman, moved here a year ago to take a job in advertising, so confident about Dubai’s fast-growing economy that she bought an apartment for almost $300,000 with a 15-year mortgage.

Now, like many of the foreign workers who make up 90 percent of the population here, she has been laid off and faces the prospect of being forced to leave this Persian Gulf city — or worse.

“I’m really scared of what could happen, because I bought property here,” said Sofia, who asked that her last name be withheld because she is still hunting for a new job. “If I can’t pay it off, I was told I could end up in debtors’ prison.”

With Dubai’s economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills). Some are said to have maxed-out credit cards inside and notes of apology taped to the windshield.

The government says the real number is much lower. But the stories contain at least a grain of truth: jobless people here lose their work visas and then must leave the country within a month. That in turn reduces spending, creates housing vacancies and lowers real estate prices, in a downward spiral that has left parts of Dubai — once hailed as the economic superpower of the Middle East — looking like a ghost town.

No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.

Instead of moving toward greater transparency, the emirates seem to be moving in the other direction. A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams (about $272,000). Some say it is already having a chilling effect on reporting about the crisis.

Last month, local newspapers reported that Dubai was canceling 1,500 work visas every day, citing unnamed government officials. Asked about the number, Humaid bin Dimas, a spokesman for Dubai’s Labor Ministry, said he would not confirm or deny it and refused to comment further. Some say the true figure is much higher.

“At the moment there is a readiness to believe the worst,” said Simon Williams, HSBC bank’s chief economist in Dubai. “And the limits on data make it difficult to counter the rumors.”

Some things are clear: real estate prices, which rose dramatically during Dubai’s six-year boom, have dropped 30 percent or more over the past two or three months in some parts of the city. Last week, Moody’s Investor’s Service announced that it might downgrade its ratings on six of Dubai’s most prominent state-owned companies, citing a deterioration in the economic outlook. So many used luxury cars are for sale , they are sometimes sold for 40 percent less than the asking price two months ago, car dealers say. Dubai’s roads, usually thick with traffic at this time of year, are now mostly clear.

Some analysts say the crisis is likely to have long-lasting effects on the seven-member emirates federation, where Dubai has... (continue reading here)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

GreatEST Depression Ever?


The outlook looks really really bleak according to Trend Forecaster, Gerald Celente.

Take cover! More crap to come!

' Worst economic collapse ever'


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Hope for the People


Obama Ma mak


Monday, February 9, 2009

All Hail the King of Kings!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

All Hail the King!

Truly a PEOPLE's King... Sure!


Friday, February 6, 2009


Some people in Perak feels they're being robbed.




Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yup!... You've Got It!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Go Figure!


February 2, 2009
Big Risks for U.S. in Trying to Value Bad Bank Assets

As the Obama administration prepares its strategy to rescue the nation’s banks by buying or guaranteeing troubled assets on their books, it confronts one central problem: How should they be valued?

Not just billions, but hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake.

The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, is expected to announce details of the new plan within weeks. Administration and Congressional officials say it will give the government flexibility to buy some bad assets and guarantee others in an effort to have a broad impact but still tailor the aid for different institutions.

But getting this right will not be easy. The wild variations on the value of many bad bank assets can be seen by looking at one mortgage-backed bond recently analyzed by a division of Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency.

The financial institution that owns the bond calculates the value at 97 cents on the dollar, or a mere 3 percent loss. But S.& P. estimates it is worth 87 cents, based on the current loan-default rate, and could be worth 53 cents under a bleaker situation that contemplates a doubling of defaults. But even that might be optimistic, because the bond traded recently for just 38 cents on the dollar, reflecting the even gloomier outlook of investors.

The bond analyzed by S.& P. is just one of thousands that the government might buy or guarantee should it go forward with setting up a “bad bank” that would acquire $1 trillion or more of toxic assets from banks.

The idea is that, free from the burden of carrying these bad assets, banks would start lending again and bolster the faltering economy. The bad bank set up by the government would, over time, sell the assets and recover some or most of what it had paid.

While the government is considering several approaches to helping the banks, including more capital injections, buying or insuring toxic assets is likely to be a centerpiece. Determining the right price for these assets is crucial to success. Placing too low a value would force institutions selling and others holding similar investments to register crushing losses that could deplete their capital and make it harder for them to increase lending.

But inflated values would bail out the companies, their shareholders and executives at the expense of taxpayers, who...

(full story at