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European Central Bank Calls for Global Regulations on Bitcoin…

President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde has called for global regulations on Bitcoin, labeling the cryptocurrency “reprehensible.”

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European Central Bank Calls for Global Regulations on Bitcoin…

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President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde has called for global regulations on Bitcoin, labeling the cryptocurrency “reprehensible.”

Lagarde made the comments during a Reuters Next conference earlier today, during which she asserted that Bitcoin was not a currency.

“When you look at the most recent developments upward, and now the recent downward trend … for those who have assumed that it might turn into a currency, terribly sorry but this is an asset and it is a highly speculative asset,” she said.

The former head of the IMF, who was previously found guilty of financial negligence by a French court over a €403 million arbitration deal in favor of businessman Bernard Tapie, went on to accuse Bitcoin of being heavily embroiled in criminal activity.

“(Bitcoin) has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity,” said Lagarde.

The ECB head went on to call for Bitcoin to be regulated by financial authorities.

“There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon […] at a global level because if there is an escape that escape will be used,” she said.

Globalists and technocrats have long begrudged Bitcoin because it is decentralized and therefore impossible to come under the control of centralized financial institutions. The cryptocurrency has also provided a refuge for dissidents who have been deplatformed by regular financial services and institutions over their politics.

Bitcoin recently soared to a record high above $41,000 dollars but has since fallen back to around $35,000 dollars.

After the cryptocurrency previously hit a record high of above $17,000 dollars at the end of 2017 it then sank bank to around $3,000, emphasizing the wild volatility of the asset.

However, numerous analysts are predicting that growing debt, record money printing and hyperinflation could see Bitcoin soar into the hundreds of thousands over the next year.

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Economy

US Bans All Cotton Products and Tomatoes From China’s Xinjiang…

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US Bans All Cotton Products and Tomatoes From China’s Xinjiang…

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The Trump administration announced an import ban on all cotton and tomato products from western China’s Xinjiang region Wednesday over allegations they are made with forced labor from detained Uighur Muslims.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the order applies to raw fibers, apparel, and textiles made from Xinjiang-grown cotton, as well as canned tomatoes, sauces, seeds, and other tomato products from the region, even if processed or manufactured in third countries.

The agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), estimates about $9 billion of cotton products and $10 million worth of tomato products were imported from China into the United States in the past year.

DHS acting deputy secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli told a news briefing the order sends a message to importers: “DHS will not tolerate forced labor of any kind” and companies should eradicate Xinjiang products from their supply chains.

The move is the latest by the Trump administration in its final days to harden the U.S. position against Beijing, erecting economic penalties that would make it more difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to ease U.S.-China tensions after he takes office Jan. 20.

In December, Congress passed the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which assumes that all goods manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labor and therefore banned, unless CBP certifies otherwise.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his final days in office, has been weighing a determination as to whether forced labor in Xinjiang constitutes an “atrocity” or labeling it “genocide,” which analysts say would have significant implications for relations with China.

The region wide import ban follows a move to block cotton imports from China’s largest producer, the military-linked Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC). Both will have a big impact on cotton production in Xinjiang, which produces as much as 20% of the world’s supply of the commodity.

Cotton futures prices fell slightly Wednesday, but traders attributed the drop to profit-taking after prices hit a two year high on a U.S. production outlook cut.

CBP officials said some 43 shipments of cotton-based products have been detained at U.S. entry ports since the XPCC ban was announced.

The U.S. apparel industry had previously criticized a broad ban as impossible to enforce. A coalition of apparel and retail groups said Tuesday in a joint statement that members were working to push forced labor from their supply chains but hoped to work with CBP “to make sure that enforcement is smart, transparent, targeted and effective.”

The United Nations cites what it says are credible reports that 1 million Muslims held in camps have been put to work in Xinjiang and faith leaders, activist groups and others have said crimes against humanity, including genocide, are taking place.

China denies mistreating Uighurs and says the camps are vocational training centers needed to fight extremism.

The Chinese embassy in Washington said in a statement the forced labor issue was a “political lie” and vowed to take actions to safeguard the rights of its companies.

“The U.S. side resorts to pressure, sanctions and other means to suppress Xinjiang enterprises and undercut Xinjiang’s stability, development and prosperity,” the statement said.

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Global Financial Experts: “The Bitcoin Dream Is Dead”

They say: Bitcoin’s recent 25% plunge illustrates why it will never be a true currency…

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Global Financial Experts: “The Bitcoin Dream Is Dead”

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Economy

UK Bank Threatens to Cancel Accounts if Customers Refuse to Wear Masks

HSBC has said it will “reserve the right” to cancel the accounts of customers who refuse to wear masks inside its UK branches.

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UK Bank Threatens to Cancel Accounts if Customers Refuse to Wear Masks

The British-based bank — the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) founded in 1865 — said that masks are mandatory in all branches unless visitors have a medical exemption.

A spokesman for HSBC told The Mirror on Tuesday that it advises its customers: “If you do visit us, please wear a face covering and maintain a safe distance from others. If individuals put themselves or our colleagues at risk, without a medical exemption, we reserve the right to withdraw their account.”

In December, the British multinational froze the account of a church in Hong Kong that backed the pro-democracy movement. That same month, HSBC also froze the accounts of exiled Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui, his wife, and his parents, reportedly under the orders of Chinese Communist Party-controlled police.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab criticised HSBC in July for its support of the CCP-backed security laws which resulted in the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

This week has also seen almost all major British supermarkets, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons, saying they will refuse entry to customers not wearing a mask, unless they have a medical exemption. Supermarkets like Tesco are also demanding shoppers shop alone, and several have said they have hired extra security to enforce the measures.

“Should a customer refuse to wear a covering without a valid medical reason and be in any way challenging to our colleagues about doing so, our security colleagues will refuse their entry,” an Asda spokesman said.

Reports revealed this week that German banking giant Deutsche Bank has decided cut ties with President Donald Trump, while New York lender Signature Bank has said that it will be closing down two of the Republican leader’s personal accounts.

Payment processor Stripe has also reportedly cut off President Trump’s campaign from its service. While e-commerce platform Shopify terminated stores affiliated with the President last week.

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