Our fellow citizens, it appears that spies like us – they really like us! But lest we get puffed up with pride, it appears that spies like almost everyone these days. In recent months, countless revelations surrounding the extensive intelligence gathering work of the National Security Agency have swirled about. Accessing email messages, phone records, online data, and direct wiretaps, the NSA has compiled mountains of data on persons of interest, including many who pose no discernible threat to the physical security of the United States. Among the allegations: Words with friends: We’ve shared some tense words with world leaders in recent weeks, including our friends and allies, ever since it’s come out that we’ve been spying on more than thirty of them. Though her official calls happen on a hyper-encrypted Bundesrepublik phone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal cellphone was…

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EU Property Sector Commissioned Study Estimates EUR 64.9 Billion Of Impact From Proposed EU Derivatives Regulation November 23, 2010 Proposed EU rules on derivatives could take an estimated EUR 64.9 billion of working capital away from Europe’s real economy as property businesses risk being required to collateralize their interest rate hedges with cash. This is the main conclusion of a Chatham Financial study commissioned by the European property sector to assess the impact of the European Commission’s proposed European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) released on September 15, 2010. One of EMIR’s core requirements is that businesses deemed to be ‘financial’ entities must centrally clear their hedges and post cash collateral to a central clearing party. ‘Non-financial’ businesses, which use derivatives for hedging commercial risks are rightly excluded from these requirements. Absent legislative clarification, property businesses (which use interest rate hedges…

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