Tag Archives: United States

Yahoo Hacked Again: “We Are Under Attack”

Usernames and passwords of some Yahoo’s email customers have been stolen and used to gather personal information about people, friends and family they have recently corresponded with, Yahoo Inc. says in a press release. It is the latest in a string of security breaches that have allowed hackers to grab personal information using software that analysts say is ever more sophisticated.

“We’re clearly under attack.”

Avivah Litan

security-breached-Yahoo-Hacked

Yahoo, the second-largest email service after Google’s Gmail. There are 273 million Yahoo mail accounts worldwide, 81 million of them in the United States. The internet company will not say how many email accounts that have been compromised.

Probably because the Yahoo-people  don’t know for sure, yet.

This is the latest in a string of security breaches that have allowed hackers to grab personal information using software that analysts say is ever more sophisticated.

Up to 70 million customers of Target stores in the US had their personal information and credit and debit card numbers compromised late last year.

“It’s an old trend, but it’s much more exaggerated now because the programmes the bad guys use are much more sophisticated now,” said Avivah Litan, a security analyst at the technology research firm Gartner.

“We’re clearly under attack”

0In a blog post on its breach, Yahoo says: “The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.”

That could mean hackers were looking for additional email addresses to send spam or scam messages. By grabbing real names from those sent folders, hackers could try to make bogus messages appear more legitimate to recipients.

“It’s much more likely that I’d click on something from you if we email all the time,” says Richard Mogull, analyst and chief executive of Securois, a security research and advisory firm.

FULL SUMMARY@ASSOCIATED PRESS

And the “bad guys” as Mr. Litan call them – that’s the NSA, right?

Related by econoTwist’s:

Skjermbilde

2 Comments

Filed under International Econnomic Politics, Laws and Regulations, National Economic Politics, Technology

Another Stress Test – Another Media Circus

Hmm…must be that time of year, or something..  Anyway – European bankers are gearing up for another stress test. Yes, their third. But, hey! This time they promise to get it right.  The ECB has even hired the best external stress tester in the business to do the job.  US-based financial consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, a company who has a proven track record for coming up with the right numbers. However, not always the most accurate ones.

“This is the last opportunity to reestablish confidence in the European banking system.”

Jörg Asmussen

SLOVAKIA-ECB-DRAGHI

Stress testing of European banks is actually one of the most entertaining parts of the financial crisis. It’s almost hilariously funny to watch the troubled bankers desperately trying to cork a swiss cheese with a soft gun – the holes just multiply and keeps getting bigger.

sterss 1For every “the worst is over” statement, the laughter grows… We’ve gone from booing to cheering…

And the preparations for stress test #3 are also promising.

strress 4

Last week the ECB announced that it had hired the US-based consultancy firm, Oliver Wyman, to conduct the test.   These guys are no strangers to the European stress testing.

  • In 2006, it famously said the Anglo-Irish Bank was the best bank in the world. Three years later, the bank had to be nationalised and almost bankrupted the Irish state, which then needed a euro zone bailout.
  • In 2012, during the Spanish bank bailout, Oliver Wyman provided the euro zone decision-makers with the numbers they expected and which were politically acceptable – around €60 billion instead of a much larger gap that the banks actually had.
  • Also 2012, Oliver Wyman did consultancy work in the Portuguese bailout, according to the central bank of Portugal.

The EU observer writes:

“The worry in euro zone central banks, according to one insider, is that if banks are reviewed too thoroughly and their problems exposed, they will stop lending and revive the financial crisis.”

stress 2Thanks for carving it out, but I think we kinda guessed that already.

But there’s another factor in play this time.

You see, the ECB is planning to step up to the role as EU’s chief supervisor next year and I believe they want to know what they’re supposed to supervise.

stress 5The ECB plans to put 130 major European banks to the test before it assumes regulatory supervision of the institutions in the fall of 2014.

“This test is not a threat,” says Jörg Asmussen, former state secretary in the German Finance Ministry, now  a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank (ECB).

“But after two failed stress tests, this is the last opportunity to reestablish confidence in the European banking system.”

stress 3I’m sorry, but I think that ship sailed the moment you signed the deal with  Oliver Wyman, Mr. Asmussen.

Additionally, many substantial estimates have already been made over the potential magnitude of the gaps the test will uncover.

stress 7SPIEGEL Online reports that Deutsche Bank estimates that Europe’s banks will need €16 billion in additional capital. Depending on which criteria the ECB applies in its tests, the gap could be much bigger.

The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, has just estimated that the seven largest German banks alone need an additional €43 billion in capital to satisfy the new international capital requirements.

stress 8I don’t think any stress test dares to go higher than that!

A comparison with the United States gives indications on how bad shape the Europeans really are in.

US financial groups are reporting record profits, while banks in the euro zone have lost more than €80 billion ($108 billion) in the last two years. In the United States, 10 times as many ailing banks were closed and balance sheets were more consistently relieved of bad debt than in the euro zone.

stress 6

The European leaders seem to have  failed to adequately address their banking crisis.

But they won’t give up!

So, what can we expect in the next 8 to 10 months?

stress 10My guess is – for what it’s worth – is that we will see a slow, dramatic build-up. with ECB’ers and politicians lining up to give their pledges about the truth and nothing but the truth, followed by a series of suspicious leaks, causing some market turmoil and a little bit of liquidity squeeze, and by this time next year the ECB will take on the European banking supervision with a huge off-balance sheet and the uncertainty of the euro zone bank sector will be unchanged.

stress 11

And finally we start all over again with stress test #4.

We can party for ever!

 

Full history of European bank stress testing:

8 Comments

Filed under International Econnomic Politics, Laws and Regulations, National Economic Politics

Who’s Debt Are You? – Latest Statistics

There’s been some buzz in the markets lately, concerning the health of America’s sovereign debt. The nation owes other countries about USD 5,7 trillion, and about 3 trillion is due this year. Investors are worried that the US won’t be able to borrow much more, at least not to the same low price,  and that big buyers of US Treasuries, like China and Russia, may start dumping their bonds to put USA in a financial squeeze. Well, I wouldn’t worry too much. You see, most countries who are lending money to the American government are receiving huge loans from US banks. The next victim of the debt crisis is probably not USA, nor the EU.

“Claims on advanced economies contracted by $342 billion between end-December 2012 and end-March 2013, mostly due to reduced claims on banks and related offices. This marked the sixth consecutive quarterly decline in interbank positions on advanced economies and brought the cumulative reduction since end-September 2011 to $1.9 trillion. In contrast, claims on borrowers in emerging economies increased by $265 billion between end-December 2012 and end-March 2013.”

Bank of International Settlements – BIS
vkontakte
The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) recently realised new data and statistics on global debt, an interesting oversight on who-owes-who in a world ridden by fear of economic collapse and social unrest. The numbers reveal a picture slightly different from what most people see.
F.ex: European countries owe foreign nations twice as much as the United Nations owe others. And there seem to be several groups of nations, connected through the same banks, but for some reason it is not the countries with the largest debt who are in most trouble.
We already know the US numbers, and the Americans owe most of the money to themselves, anyway… (Federal Reserve, that is.). The 5,7 trillion debt to foreign countries is a relatively small sum compared to the grand total of about 14 trillion.
Elsewhere, the sovereign debt, with all its derivatives, represent a much higher risk.
Europe’s Fab Four
Consolidated foreign claims of 24 reporting banks – immediate borrower basis.
United Kingdom – USD 3,2 trillion.
Germany – USD 1,8 trillion.
France – USD 1,6 trillion
 Netherlands – USD 1,9 trillion.
european-debt
.
And who do they borrow from?
United Kingdom:
  1. Other EU bank: 1,5 trillion.
  2. France: 200.200 million.
  3. Australia: 121.577 million.
  4. Canada: 102.963 million.
Germany:
  1. Other EU banks: 1,1 trillion.
  2. France: 198.000 million.
  3. Austria: 37,914 million.
  4. Canada: 23.838 million.
France:
  1. Other EU banks: 714,235 million.
  2. Canada: 24,612 million.
  3. Belgium: 23,536 million.
  4. Austria: 13,442 million.
Netherlands:
  1. Other EU banks: 577,427 million.
  2. France: 156,857 million.
  3. Belgium: 22,746 million.
  4. Canada: 13,722 million.
man-saw-his-fortune-sink-under-a-massive-pile-of-debt
And who have most money outstanding?
  1. United Kingdom – USD 2,6 trillion.
  2. Germany – USD 1,5 trillion.
  3. France – USD 1,2 trillion.
  4. Netherlands – USD 0,8 trillion.
Is there a pattern here?….somewhere?
The BIS writes:

“The latest international banking statistics show diverging trends in credit to advanced economies and emerging markets. Claims on advanced economies contracted by $342 billion between end-December 2012 and end-March 2013, mostly due to reduced claims on banks and related offices. This marked the sixth consecutive quarterly decline in interbank positions on advanced economies and brought the cumulative reduction since end-September 2011 to $1.9 trillion. In contrast, claims on borrowers in emerging economies increased by $265 billion between end-December 2012 and end-March 2013. The expansion was driven mostly by credit to emerging economies in Asia, especially China. In recent years, BIS reporting banks’ exposure to Asian credit risk has increased even more rapidly than their lending to Asian borrowers because lending has been accompanied by a reduction in net credit risk transfers out of the region.”

That means we now have a USD 30 trillion (+) debt bubble in transit between different parts of the world! (At the same time the richest people in the world has more than 20 trillion stacked away in places like Claman Island to avoid taxes.).

Just great….

b791

The Asians now owe other countries – mostly European – close to USD 2 trillion, with China‘s debt closing in on USD 600,000 million.

The rest is as follows:

South Korea: 309,363 million,

India: 304,920 million.

Chinese Taipei: 161,404

Malaysia: 155,500 million

Thailand: 102,299 million

Indonesia:  100,770 million.

Apocalypse

NOTE:

Statistics at end-March 2013 are preliminary and subject to change.

Data are available on the BIS website, via the BIS WebStats query tool, or in a single PDF indetailed annex tables. Developments in the latest data are highlighted in the Statistical release.

Revised data and an analysis of recent trends will be released in conjunction with the forthcoming BIS Quarterly Review, to be published on 16 September 2013. Data at end-June 2013 will be released no later than 23 October 2013.

3 Comments

Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics