United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)

Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Disputed Volcker rule divides financial world

Deutsche Welle, 12 December 2013

The Volcker rule, approved by US regulators this week, aims to rein in risky trading practices at US banks. Some consider it the biggest milestone in financial regulation since 1933, some say it's worse than nothing.

The Volcker rule - named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker - is a key plank of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law that was passed in 2010 in response to the global financial crisis of 2008. It was approved after two years of debate and lobbying by the big banks to modify it.

"The Volcker rule will make it illegal for firms to use government-insured money to make speculative bets that threaten the entire financial system, and demand a new era of accountability from CEOs, who must sign off on their firms' practices," US President Barack Obama said after the rule was approved by five US regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday (10.12.2013).

In essence, the rule severely limits so-called proprietary - or prop - trading, where banks trade for their own profit. US banks are required to put in place compliance programs and document trades to demonstrate that they are in a client's interest or a hedge against risk, rather than purely for profit.

Paul Volcker is a former chairman
of the Federal Reserve
Profound or inept?

"There hasn't been a change this big in the banking industry since 1933," says Mark Williams, a former Fed bank examiner who now teaches at Boston University and has written extensively on the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

"The onus has been pushed back on banks to demonstrate that they are not in violation…through good record-keeping, analysis, through back-testing. They have to demonstrate that they are using risk-management best practices in their hedging operations."

But critics say it is unworkable, as it will be hard to distinguish between mere gambling and legitimate trades.

"It won't work because it will be too easy to evade," Bill Black, also a former regulator, who now teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, told DW.

Apart from being far too much work for understaffed regulatory agencies, he says, "as soon as you tell the banks they can hedge, against a trillion and a half dollars worth of their portfolio, tell me you couldn't find something that that would be a hedge for."

"It's a tragic lost opportunity for real reform," Black told DW. "It is worse than nothing," he says.

Back to banking basics?

Many experts consider proprietary trading to be one of the reasons for the 2008 crisis, in particular the rise of a specific type of prop trading, so-called mortgage-backed securities, "manufactured by some of the largest banks…, sold by them and kept in their portfolios," Williams told DW. These securities often involved repackaged subprime mortgages that led to mass foreclosures, when people could not pay their loans off.

Working in banking now is a far cry from the 1980s when "being a banker used to be a "respected, but also a very boring profession," Williamson says.

"The traditional banking model was a two-legged stool - banks earned income through loans and through fee services, like asset management."

To make more money "the very large banks brought a third leg to that stool and that was prop trading…and that leg is being knocked out and it's going to be a tough transitional period for many of these large banks."

And, indeed, the American Bankers' Association (ABA) argues in a statement on their website that, apart from being "burdensome and highly complex," the rule will lead to "decreased liquidity and inferior product pricing" for customers.

The banks were hoping that the Volcker rule would be much less stringent, but a 6.2-billion dollar trading loss by JPMorgan Chase in the UK in 2012 - known as the "London Whale" - gave the Volcker implementation process the "momentum," Williams says, to curb proprietary trading in a more substantial way.

The London Whale debacle cost JPMorgan
Chase over 6 billion dollars, plus fines
JPMorgan Chase, he says, "was a hedge fund disguised as an FDIC- [federally - the ed.] insured commercial bank."

"There's going to be much less profit to be made from that third leg," he says, arguing that the London Whale loss, and more importantly, the fact that the trader hid the true extent of the losses from management, could have been prevented had the Volcker rule been in place.

Still too big to fail

Bill Black is among those who are calling for much tougher measures, such as cutting banks down to size to eliminate the "too big to fail" argument that he believes encourages risky behavior.

Because of the feared domino effect of one of the big banks failing and dragging the whole economy down with it, "too big to fail institutions - the systemically dangerous institutions - can borrow much more cheaply, which creates a huge competitive advantage," he told DW.

Borrowing, especially short-term borrowing, grew rapidly in the run-up to the 2008 crisis, says Benn Steil, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in a memorandum. So, an approach to reform "that restricts the scope and incentives for bank balance-sheet expansion funded by short-term debt is essential to prevent another crisis." The Volcker rule will do nothing of the sort, he argues.

Glass-Steagall to the rescue?

Black goes a step further by insisting that the Glass-Steagall Act from 1932/33 should be reinstated. It was part of the US Banking Act passed in the wake of the Great Depression. It separated traditional banking from riskier activities like investment banking. It was repealed in 1999, allowing practices like proprietary trading to emerge.

"It [Glass-Steagall] worked brilliantly for 50 years and was praised by almost everybody," Black told DW. But "we violated one of the key rules of life - if it's not broke, don't fix it," he said.

Black says it is not just the US that has so far failed to pass meaningful regulation. "Contrast the boldness of the US response to the Great Depression and the successful boldness in regulation with the timidity of the global response to the current crisis, where we feel that we can't even think boldly."

The Volcker rule will come into effect on April 1, 2014, but banks have been given until mid-2015 to fully comply.

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