Slowing down the sun

Kiwis are going solar in record numbers to escape rising power bills and get a degree of energy freedom, but the electricity industry is responding and using a host of tactics to try and discourage them. The industry’s latest tool is a new charge on solar, which the National Government’s Electricity Authority just gave the green light to.

Goldman Sachs fined $5.1 billion over mortgage-backed securities fraud

Goldman Sachs said it agreed to a $5.1 billion civil settlement to resolve federal and state probes into its handling of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis.

The proposed deal, which the Wall Street giant announced in a Thursday statement, would settle “actual and potential civil claims” by the US Justice Department and the attorneys general of New York and Illinois, as well as state regulators, against Goldman.

World faces wave of epic debt defaults, fears central bank veteran

The global financial system has become dangerously unstable and faces an avalanche of bankruptcies that will test social and political stability, a leading monetary theorist has warned.

"The situation is worse than it was in 2007. Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up," said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD's review committee and former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The Rumor of Bitcoin’s Death is Exaggerated

Mike Hearn, one of the core developers for the last 5 years, has decided not to be a Bitcoin developer anymore and lit the roof on fire on the way out. I’m enjoying the fact that everyone is talking about Bitcoin with such ferocity again, but I’m not enjoying that the topic is based around it’s demise. People have predicted Bitcoin’s end before.

I appreciate everything Mike has given to Bitcoin and actually this blog post was the best way I have seen to lay out all of the problems and to get people talking about it and putting pressure where it is needed, but to say that Bitcoin has failed is flat out wrong.

Sixty-two people have the same amount of wealth as half the world, says Oxfam

Just 62 people own as much wealth as the poorer half of the global population, a new report reveals, as the widening of the gap between the rich and poor accelerates.

As the business elite converge on Davos for the World Economic Forum, an Oxfam report shows wealth is becoming further concentrated, with the number of people owning the same amount as the bottom half of humanity falling from 388 to 62 in five years.

Australia: One Of The Brains Behind The Dick Smith ‘Windfall’ Just Got Appointed To The Reserve Bank

In business, there are winners, and there are losers. And even though we’re only just a few weeks into 2016, we already know who this year’s biggest business losers are – the mugs who bought stock in Dick Smith Electronics from private equity firm Anchorage Capital.

Adviser to Anchorage’s Investment Committee is none other than Allan Moss, former CEO of Macquarie Bank and the husband of former Independent Commission Against Corruption Commissioner, Irene Moss.

Just three weeks before the collapse of Dick Smith, federal treasurer Scott Morrison announced that Moss would be joining the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Localbitcoins Trader Fights Back on Australian Banks War On Bitcoin

Last year, the Australian banking industry declared war on bitcoin and its related industry as they shut down BitCo's across the board devastating many companies to the point of bankruptcy and unemployment. Some even fled the country to relocate to a more friendly environment applicable to their business model.

At one point, in a single swift action they closed accounts held by over 17 bitcoin related businesses on top of other countless account closures occurring all year in 2015.

Sanders vowing to break up banks during first year in office

Characterizing Wall Street as an industry run on "greed, fraud, dishonesty and arrogance," Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pledged to break up the country's biggest financial firms within a year and limit banking fees placed on consumers, should he become president, in a fiery speech on Tuesday.

He coupled that promise, delivered in front of a raucous crowd just a few subway stops from Wall Street, with a series of attacks on rival Hillary Clinton, arguing her personal and political ties make her unable to truly take on the financial industry.

"To those on Wall Street who may be listening today, let me be very clear: Greed is not good," said Sanders, in a reference to Oliver Stone's 1980s film, "Wall Street."

Thought Bitcoin Was Dead? 2016 Is the Year It Goes Big

As a currency driven not by a central government but by a vast network of independent computers spread across the globe, bitcoin has been slowed by regulatory problems—particularly in the US. But these are easing, with regulators in New York leading the way. Ultimately, bitcoin can still provide a much cheaper and simpler way of moving money from place to place, particularly when you’re a consumer or business moving it across international borders or a retailer accepting payments from online buyers.

Dick Smith Demise a Masterclass in Cooking the Books

Want to know how to turn $10m in to $520m in less than two years? Just ask Anchorage Capital. The private equity group has pulled off one of the great heists of all time, using all the tricks in the book, to turn Dick Smith from a $10m piece of mutton into a $520m lamb.

Having spent the morning poking through the accounts, we’re going to show you how it all happened.

Firstly, Anchorage set up a holding company called Dick Smith Sub-holdings that they used to acquire the Dick Smith business from Woolworths. They say they paid $115m, but the notes to the 2014 accounts show that only $20m in cash was initially paid by the holding company.

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