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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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VIDEO: ‘I bought a whole Spanish village’

Category : World News

As people in Spain move out of rural areas and into cities to seek work, entire villages are being sold off at rock bottom prices, drawing buyers from overseas.

See more here: VIDEO: ‘I bought a whole Spanish village’

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Great Rock Development Corp (GROC: OTC Pink Current) | Great Rock Development Corp Updates Shareholders

Category : Stocks

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Great Rock Development Corp Updates Shareholders

PR Newswire

OAKVILLE, Ontario, April 12, 2013

OAKVILLE, Ontario, April 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Great Rock Development Corp. (OTC Pink: GROC) is pleased to provide an update on the company’s gold property in Byers Brook, Cobequid Highlands of Nova Scotia, Canada.

We have been carefully monitoring the activity by other companies in the surrounding areas as they established claims and begin exploration as a result of the original report of gold finds by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. In addition, our team on the ground has been diligently preparing to spend a very active summer of exploration beginning with our planned airborne survey, which will be completed this spring. Following the airborne survey we will be executing our first phase of ground exploration leading to our drilling program. We are very excited about this venture and expect to accelerate exploration to assess the commercial viability of our mineral rights once the airborne results are reviewed.

Danny Wong, President and CEO of Great Rock Development Corp: “Management has been in discussion to expand its claims in the area and has been in talks with potential joint development partners for other significant opportunities. We will update shareholders as these negotiations progress.”

For more information visit:

Danny Wong,

Disclaimer: Shareholders and investors are strongly cautioned against placing undue reliance on information set forth in these communications in making any investment decisions concerning our securities. The matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These risks are detailed from time to time in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the including the Company’s Annual Report, Quarterly Reports and other periodic filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Great Rock Development Corp.

View original post here: Great Rock Development Corp (GROC: OTC Pink Current) | Great Rock Development Corp Updates Shareholders

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They cost us billions, yet our disgraced bankers are still getting away with it | Aditya Chakrabortty

Category : Business

Despite HBOS chief James Crosby losing his knighthood, our banking elite remains largely impervious to retribution

First came Sir Fred of Shred, the former RBS boss who had to have both knighthood and part of his pension prised from his fingers. Yesterday was the turn of James Crosby, who volunteered for the same deal, and also lobbed in an apology for his fecklessness at HBOS. Bit by bit, the cloak of invincibility that still shrouds our disgraced banking class starts to rip. Some accountability is better than none, of course, however delayed or partial. But I can’t help feeling dissatisfied at this particular form of rough justice, which relies on one parliamentary report attracting sufficient attention from the press to catch the eye of Vince Cable – who just happens to be at a loose end during recess and looking to cause some trouble.

However improvised that chain of events sounds, it roughly describes how Crosby came to give up his gong nearly a week after a publication laid into his record at a bank which collapsed five years ago. But why should he alone take the rap, and not Andy Hornby, who replaced him as CEO in 2006 (earning £1.9m a year)? Or Lord Dennis Stevenson, who chaired the company throughout its short and calamitous life (a part-time job with a salary of £821,000)? When the failed bank finally took £20bn of taxpayer money, Stevenson argued that he should remain in post. “He was absolutely furious,” a government source told Ray Perman for Hubris: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain. “He didn’t see what he had done wrong and why he couldn’t stay.”

That executive brazenness has barely been checked since, with the trio claiming that without the meltdown on Wall Street their bank would still be upright. But as the MP Andrew Tyrie’s investigation shows, that assertion is worth about as much as a subprime mortgage on a Californian condo: by 2008, one in 10 of HBOS’s loans were bad – a higher proportion than any other big bank in Britain. These men weren’t unlucky: they were unfit to run a financial institution. The cost of their arrogance and greed will be borne by taxpayers for years. They all deserve punishment. Instead of which, Hornby is now boss of Coral the bookmakers, and Lord Stevenson has a charming portfolio career of advisory roles and trusteeships and boardroom seats. Meanwhile, the bank they used to run is now part of Lloyds Group, which is seeking to cut around 35,000 jobs.

But why stop at HBOS? Have a look at the first of our 21st-century banking failures, Northern Rock, whose former chief executive was last seen consulting to a US private equity fund. Its former chairman, Matt Ridley, writes leaders for the Times and successfully stood last year for election to the House of Lords. His shyness only appears when discussing the bank he helped drive to ruin; when this paper interviewed him in 2010, my colleague Jon Henley was forced to begin his piece thus: “Let’s get the bad news over with first: we can’t talk about Northern Rock.” That condition secured, Ridley happily plugged his latest book.

This imperviousness to retribution is the flipside of the bankers’ imperviousness to regulation; and it is borne of the same sense of untouchability. As Gordon Brown’s go-to man to chair commissions and sit on the Financial Services Authority, Crosby could easily wave away official warnings that HBOS was an “accident waiting to happen”. The collective arrogance was largely justified. The FSA has still not published a full review of what went wrong at HBOS; and its first serious publication on the fall of RBS was a one-page press release stating simply that “bad decisions” had been taken. Just as the banking elite got away with it during the boom, so they have largely got away with it in the bust.

Bank executives “have easier access to the people at the very top than the regulators have,” Mervyn King told MPs last month. This summer, he will be succeeded at the Bank of England by a former employee of Goldman Sachs.

Twitter: @chakrabortty

Rock Energy Inc. Announces 2012 Results, and Updates First Quarter Operations

Category : Stocks, World News

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwire – March 20, 2013) - Rock Energy Inc. (TSX:RE) (“Rock” or the “Company”) is pleased to report its financial and operating results for the year and three months ended December 31, 2012.

More: Rock Energy Inc. Announces 2012 Results, and Updates First Quarter Operations

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Ghana Gold Corp. (GGCO: OTC Link) | Ghana Gold Corporation Completes Corporate Restructuring And Appoints Robert Kirkcaldy As President And COO

Category : Stocks, World News

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Ghana Gold Corporation Completes Corporate Restructuring And Appoints Robert Kirkcaldy As President And COO

PR Newswire

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., Jan. 11, 2013

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

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What Happens in Vegas on New Year’s Stays… So Party All Night With International Model and Multi-Media Sensation Jordan Carver as She Puts Her Assets on Display and Rings in 2013 as Host of PBR Rock Bar’s New Year’s Eve

Category : Stocks

LAS VEGAS, NV–(Marketwire – Dec 29, 2012) – When it comes to the clock ticking towards
midnight, Times Square‘s got nothing on the Las Vegas Strip
– especially this year with Jordan Carver (
hosting PBR Rock Bar’s New Year’s Eve 2013 Celebration.

Excerpt from: What Happens in Vegas on New Year’s Stays… So Party All Night With International Model and Multi-Media Sensation Jordan Carver as She Puts Her Assets on Display and Rings in 2013 as Host of PBR Rock Bar’s New Year’s Eve

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Beijing spends a billion to get China rocking

Category : Business

A ‘Music Valley’ is among plans to boost the music industry. But will piracy and tight state control hold back progress?

From the top of a hillside in Pinggu village, an hour’s drive from central Beijing, the future of China’s music industry doesn’t look like much – just a vista of Mao-era farmhouses and parched cabbage fields.

Yet Beijing officials have announced plans to spend more than 10 years and £1.4bn turning the area into the “China Music Valley”, a sprawling compound that will be home to recording studios, instrument makers, music schools, five-star hotels and an arena in the shape of a peach.

“Music is such an intangible kind of art,” said Zhao Wei, a 30-year-old official who directed the initiative until last month. “Now with this project, we want to turn music into something that you can see, something that you can touch.”

China’s central government, concerned that progress in the country’s film, music and drama sectors lag behind its economic development, has designated culture a top national priority and promised billions of pounds in subsidies for the arts. “Culture is the lifeblood of a nation,” President Hu Jintao said at the start of the country’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition in November.

While some fields have flourished under state support – its output of films has quadrupled since 2003 – China’s music industry is still fledgling, perennially constrained by rampant piracy and a stifling undercurrent of government control. While Gangnam Style cemented Korea’s place on the world pop map, China is still struggling with how to keep many of its artists paid. “The industry is so small that we don’t have enough writers, enough song creators, enough composers, we don’t have enough bands,” said Scarlett Li, the founder of music festival promoter Zebra Media.

Analysts say the music industry’s problems are primarily economic. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has said that the country has a piracy rate of “virtually 100%”.

Yet many issues can be traced back to the heavy hand of the state. Television and radio stations are tightly regulated, giving artists little room to experiment with edgy content like the offbeat satire that propelled Gangnam Style’s singer Psy to international fame.

Rather than investing in talent, local governments frequently take cultural subsidies as a green light to build opera houses, performance arenas, and other high-profile property projects. “None of the money goes to the artists, it goes to middle men,” Li said. “But the middle men are not at the centre of creating content. This makes no sense to me.”

Things are improving. Last year, the central government formed a committee for enforcing intellectual property rights laws headed by the vice-premier. Baidu Music and Tencent Music, two leading online free music suppliers, have agreed to begin charging for downloads at the beginning of 2013. China recorded £52m in music sales in 2011, a rise of about 23% over 2010.

Over the past few years, there has been a boom in music festivals, multiple-day affairs rife with Converse footwear, neon-dyed hair and studded leather bracelets. Li said that despite their rough-edged aesthetic, many festivals are encouraged or even sponsored by local governments as a way to boost tourism revenue while increasing their cultural clout.

The official presence at many festivals is unmistakable. Flocks of green-coated security guards stand by the stage and goose-step in formation through the audience. Many ban alcohol.

International music labels are desperate to crack China’s potentially massive market – Warner, Sony and Universal all have offices in Beijing. Yet for foreign investors in China’s domestic media, the barriers to entry are sky-high.

Take Beijing startup Rock the Web, an online American Idol-style talent show whose winners will record with A-list producers in Los Angeles. According to Ilya Agapkin, the company’s Russian co-founder, gaining approval for the show was almost entirely dependent on his ability to navigate an intricate web of government contacts.

“Of course, this area that we are working in is quite sensitive, because the media market is closed to foreign investments,” he said. “The regulations are very complicated.”

Agapkin’s team spent a year acquiring permits. “To be on the internet, you need a special licence. To be an agency you need a special licence. To be a culture company you need a special licence,” said Xiong Jialin, the company’s music director. Some of these licences require employees to attend classes and pass written tests at government institutions.

The Chinese government has tried promoting folk heroes, with mixed results. In 2011, after a migrant worker duo achieved internet fame with a gruff cover of a Chinese pop song – think grainy mobile phone footage, empty beer bottles, cigarettes – the government invited them to perform at that year’s spring festival gala, one of the world’s most-viewed performances.

But soon after their debut, the group caved in under the pressures of sudden fame and an unforgiving market.

“People say that I shouldn’t be using an iPhone because I’m a migrant worker,” guitarist Liu Gang said last winter. “It drives me crazy.” In September, Chinese media admonished Liu for driving an Audi and verbally abusing a pedestrian in a traffic dispute.

Despite the odds, some artists have forged their own path. Yan Haisong, the lead singer of the veteran Beijing rock band P.K.14, said his band made a decent living performing at festivals and producing records for up-and-coming artists. Yan added that no one in his professional circle had much interest in projects such as the China Music Valley.

“Combining music and politics is really strange, because the music you get out of it just won’t be any good,” he said. “If they really want to improve this culture, they need to open up a bit.”

Northern Rock blunder: are you affected?

Category : Business

More than 150,000 people who took out Northern Rock loans will receive a surprise Christmas present

Christmas has come early for 152,000 people who have (or had) a personal loan with Northern Rock. These borrowers – most of whom held a mortgage with the bank – will each receive a windfall averaging £1,775 because of a paperwork glitch, even though no one is said to have lost out financially and nobody has complained. And the taxpayer is picking up the £270m bill because the error happened when Northern Rock was in public ownership.

What happened? As George Osborne explained to the Commons this week, some customers with certain types of loan were not given all the information in their statements they were entitled to by law. “As a result, interest payments on these loans are not legally enforceable,” he said.

Basically, the statements failed to include the original amount borrowed. The Consumer Credit Act requires such statements to contain the sum borrowed, plus the opening and closing balance. Borrowers are not liable for interest relating to a period when a lender has not provided the information.

Who is affected? This involves people with loans (mainly unsecured) of less than £25,000. In some cases, these loans have been paid off. It is thought at least two-thirds of those affected took out Northern Rock’s now-notorious “Together” mortgage, which was withdrawn from sale in early 2008. This allowed you to borrow up to 125% of a property’s value, and was a traditional mortgage with an unsecured personal loan bolted on – which is the relevant part. In addition, some people who took out a personal loan secured against their property will also be getting a windfall. The £270m figure covers the amount of interest paid by customers from October 2009 until now.

How do I know if I’m affected? Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM), the part that remains nationalised, has sent letters to all existing NRAM customers it believes could be affected by this issue. Most, if not all, of these should have arrived by now. It is also writing to those people whose loan has ended or is no longer with NRAM.

How will the windfalls be paid? The majority of people will not receive cash, but their loan account balance will be “corrected” to reverse the consequences of them being charged interest during the period when the paperwork did not meet the legal requirements. If the current balance is £15,000, it would, using the average of £1,775, be reduced to £13,225. Repayments stay the same, meaning you will pay off the loan earlier. If the loan has already been paid off – this may affect up to 45,000 people – you will get a cash refund.

When will I get the money? The letters sent out this week state: “At this stage we cannot give you specific details about when we will correct your account balance, if required. We are currently assessing the full impact on your loan and will write to you again in the next eight weeks.”

Where can I find out more? For general queries, call NRAM on 0845 609 9626 or visit

Northern Rock will repay £270m

Category : Business, World News

Some 152,000 Northern Rock customers will receive hundreds of pounds each in compensation owing to mistakes made in paperwork.

Go here to see the original: Northern Rock will repay £270m

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MPs raise doubts over bank sales

Category : World News

A parliamentary committee says the Treasury’s sale of Northern Rock was “fortunate”, and RBS and Lloyds may not be sold “for many years”.

Excerpt from: MPs raise doubts over bank sales

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