KPMG Might Have Huge Role In The Collapse Of HBOS

The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority places KPMG under pressure to detail how the giant accountancy firm failed to alarm authorities over the quality of HBOS’ loan book before it even collapsed.

Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and previously the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Andrew Tyrie said:

“It’s clear from this report that the audit process was an important part of the story of HBOS’s failure.

“They will need to consider afresh… that there were no grounds for an investigation of KPMG [and] relevant senior KPMG people,” said Mr Tyrie.  He added: “It is surprising that the FRC didn’t conclude, and a long time ago, that this work was needed – not least to provide greater public confidence about bank audits after the catastrophe of 2008.”

KPMG Was “Careless”

The auditor KPMG was reckless, according to HBOS Whistleblower Paul Moore.

KPMG was tasked to have told investors before the bank collapsed that HBOS only survived due to special liquidation measures from the Bank of England. The market did not know about this, which made it a deliberate misinterpretation of a material fact.

Moore was dismissed in 2004 sacked by James Crosby, the former HBOS Chief Executive, after his warning of the bank’s high risk and toxic financing and product mis-selling.

Volkswagen Could Undermine German Economy

Volkswagen’s blunder regarding an emissions scandal costing it about 11 million cars worth all over the world could mean the world for Germany. Analysts said it could mean a bigger threat to the Euro than the Greek economic crisis.

Volkswagen is Germany’s biggest automaker and employs the largest number of Germans. About 270,000 jobs for Germany come from Volkswagen. Suppliers have circled their business around Volkswagen as well.

Chief Executive martin Winterkorn had announced the admission of Volkswagen regarding the scandal.

He said a special software allowed the cars to minimize their fume emissions, helping them pass the strictest emission tests in the world.

Plenty of car owners may have their vehicles recalled due to the incident.

Once the Juggernaut of the German economy, Volkswagen could possibly drag the German economy into something larger than the Greek debt crisis. According to ING Chief Economist Carsten Brzeski:

“If Volkswagen’s sales were to plunge in North America in the coming months, this would not only have an impact on the company, but on the German economy as a whole.”

Volkswagen could face penalties up to $18 billion, which is more than its operating profit for 2014.

In consequence, the company may cut jobs, which could affect Germany’s entire economy.

A&P May Likely Close With Upcoming Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

In the span of five years, US retail store A&P has filed twice for bankruptcy. According to analysts, A&P may likely sell or close its remaining stores as it struggles to compete with discounters and specialty chains in the supermarket industry.

A&P has been one of the oldest US supermarket brands. Originally called the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, it started as a retailer in 1859. During the 1950s, the A&P had more than 4,200 stores. However, due to struggling sales and inability to keep up with the competition, A&P had filed for bankruptcy first in 2010.

Dollar stores, convenience chains, discount groceries and Waltermart chains had downplayed the higher-up costs of A&P with its products. While it could have moved to avert the situation, it did not move fast enough, according to most analysts.

It was also troublesome to show that the stores were quite dirty and have empty shelves due to cost cutting and quick-hiring of replacement staff.

It has about 28,500 employees and has 296 grocery stores nationwide. So far, it has found 120 bidders for its 296 grocery stores.

Now it is actively searching for buyers of the rest of the shops. It plans to shut down 25 underperforming stores.

Cabinet Sajid Javid Accuses Theresa May Of Introducing State Censorship To United Kingdom

According to Home Secretary Theresa May, she was accused of seeking to introduce Government censorship by Sajid Javid, a Cabinet Colleague and then-Culture Secretary

In his letter, Javid said Theresa May’s plan to use regulator Ofcom to survey programmes before they were broadcast posed a threat to the freedom of speech.

He added that Ofcom could become a state “censor” rather than a regulator. He compared the activities of Ofcom to “regimes” with lacking human rights records.

Home Secretary Theresa May’s plan was to use Ofcom to prevent programmes that may contain “extremist content” given the increasing presence of the Islamic State and militant groups in social media and the rest of the Internet and television.

Javid argued that Ofcom had already prohibited “hateful broadcasts.”

“Ofcom does not have the powers to approve programmes before they are broadcast and nor do we consider that it should have these powers as has been proposed,” he said.

“Extending Ofcom’s powers to enable it to take pre-emptive action would move it from its current position as a post-transmission regulator into the role of censor.

“This would involve a fundamental shift in the way UK broadcasting is regulated, away from the current framework which is designed to take appropriate account of the right to freedom of expression.”

It was, he agreed, “absolutely vital” that the Government take steps to protect society from extremism.

But he added: “It must also continue to protect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that these proposals do not restrict or prevent legitimate and lawful comment or debate.

“It should also be noted that other countries with a pre-transmission regulatory regime are not known for their compliance with rights relating to freedom of expression and government may not wish to be associated with such regimes.

“I am concerned about the risk that the powers would be used otherwise than intended, not least given the difficulty of defining extremism, and the consequent likelihood of the Government being seen to be interfering with freedom of speech without sufficient justification.”


Bankruptcy Threshold Increases to £5,000 in the UK

UK’s debt numbers may be reduced after the UK government had announced a seven-fold increase in the minimum amount of debt necessary to trigger it. Ministers have hiked the individual debt needed from £750 to £5,000. This is its first increase in the last 30 years.

This will prevent many creditors from declaring people bankrupt with such a small amount of £750.

However, many said its implications could become difficult for consumers pursuing people who are refusing to pay.

Meanwhile, the Debt Relief Order has increased to more than £20,000. The UK government said it was widening the eligibility criteria for DROs to help people struggling with debts as a cost-efficient way to lower bankruptcy numbers in the country. Today, the asset limit is at £1,000, including a vehicle that is not worth more than £1,000.

An individual who is owed more than £750 can still declare the individual bankrupt by using a bankruptcy petition. If the court allows it, the individual could get a bankruptcy order. However, according to UK Business Minister Jo Swinson, the government ensures that this form of insolvency would only be reserved for those with sizeable debts.

Insolvency Trade Body R3 President Giles Frampton said “The rise in the petition threshold will require creditors to look at other options for the pursuit of low-value debts. While a bankruptcy petition is not always the most proportionate tool for this, it’s very important that the insolvency regime maintains a balance between protecting the interests of both debtors and creditors.”


Three Tips To Improve Your Post Readability Online

Post readability does not rely on grammar and topic alone. People nowadays are allergic to walls of texts. But inserting photos within the post is not the only thing you’ll need to do. Here are three more that you might have missed.

  • SEO

Search engine keywords should be found in your title and meta description. If you’re using WordPress for your blog, a great number of SEO plugins is useful to help Google instantly index your website and edit the post’s appearance in search engines. Make sure to keep your titles and meta description short and concise.

  • Creating Sub-Headers

A 1,000-word post that contains extensive research but is well-written for general audiences will need good formatting. Subheaders should follow the h1-h5 HTML header tiers. Using italics and bold fonts instead of underlines could help highlight important details in the post that you would want readers to see while they are skimming. Use font colours only when necessary.

  • Outbound Links

Your aim is to gain a huge number of inbound links from other websites. However, search engines could index your post better if you use outbound links. It also helps improve reader trust because you are using a viable source of information where your article was based on.

Why It Would Be Better To Start Curating Posts Than Creating Content

Even if many internet marketers predicted that content will be the heart of any website, not all administrators need to consider getting writers to produce content. They may actually need researchers who could curate very good media and material from the internet because curation is becoming the better trend for increasing your market.

The curating trend has been amplified with tons of interesting blogs, photos, videos and ideas shared all around the internet. Social media networks have increased visibility for famous blog personalities. The reason why most readers subscribe to blogs is because these personalities can produce or find posts that are interesting, and adds to the knowledge base of their audience.

In most cases, many people have begun sharing very high quality media from their respective tools using more affordable methods (usually digital) to enhance their produce. Because of the great influx of these content, it is important that publishers are wise in finding some of the best content around.

Nowadays, copywriters will just need to write an interesting headline for these content to have people see them and watch the curated media. The creators of these curated media could then pay for their continued exposure for as long as their quality continues to improve. Monetising a website can become easier with curation, without the added hassle of trying to create something

Getting Thousands of Subscriptions for Your Newsletter Instantly

Like any other blog, company blogs provide information. The more reliable your information is, the more people value it. When you begin having people sign up for your newsletter, you have something going on, but sometimes, people are put off by the idea of paying for information. Here are a few ways to shrug this off and have thousands of reader subscribe overnight.

1. The Value of Information
Stock-market focused journalism, such as The Financial Times, provide certain articles that talk about the inside headlines of different industries. The FT had proven themselves as reliable sources of information that had saved some investors in the past. With such credentials, the value of information they provide is of high-quality. High-quality information stands scrutiny and the test of time through reliability and good sources.

2. Ask People
Most blogs are afraid to ask their users to sign up for their newsletter simply because they do not know what more it could offer readers. Some are afraid to use other semi-intrusive communications such as pop-ups or direct mail. Producing a good pop-up or email asking the reader to join the newsletter will always be welcomed as long as it does not include any form of spam. Including an option to join the newsletter as a call to action with free posts is also a good way to market.

3. Day-Length Trial Period
Offering a free trial of your premium blog service would help convince your readers that your information is highly reliable and that they should subscribe for the service. You could even have them affix a credit card to their subscription, starting with the first 30 days without any charge. They may forget about subscribing, but they will find the continuous stream of useful information advantageous and encourage others to do the same.

Microfinancing: The Ups and Downs of the Financial Venture

Microfinancing captured the minds of big companies because of the solid financial discipline small-income workers have, and the high interest rates in every transaction. But is it really all it is cracked up to be?

Here’s Smith Clark, a Microfinancer from Wessex:

I’ve been wondering where to put my money ever since I had saved it when I was 27 years old. A fund is highly important especially if I am to retire within 30 years afterwards. However, I had money too low for hedge funds, and I found the stock market highly risky. Properties never return profit quickly, until a friend gave me an idea.

He told me he’d borrow money from me and pay it back double by an appointed date. I learned this was microfinancing, then I got interested.

I lent money from different neighbours, from those who needed roof repair funds, to those wanting to purchase a new car. I set an interest rate depending on how much I knew the person in the community, and they all paid back quickly.

However, there are those that had escaped paying for their own money. Most gave an IOU note before they left the community.

The upside of microfinancing is that the returns are great. You get to help your local community too. The more you earn their trust, the more they introduce new people, and your money continues to grow.

The bad news is that you deal with people’s credit based on how well you know them. Making things worse, the risk is very high because some people you think they are, may not really be who they seem to be.