Europe Prepares To Come Clean On Hidden Bank Losses

IMF and Europe Part Ways Over Bailouts

So the next best thing might just be to choose an e-mail provider that will collect as little of your information as possible and will not easily turn over what other information it does have, such as IP logs or even user e-mail accounts themselves. (And yes, you can roll your own mail server or have proper hostingbut a lot people want just turnkey e-mail. Again, think about what your family members use.) In terms of privacy, anything is better than Google, I’d guess, Ralf Bendrath, a senior policy advisor to a German member of the European Parliament, told Ars. In terms of usability, of course not. Everybody has to decide for himself or herself where the priorities are, I guess. Yknow, principles Lavabits own privacy policy at the time that Snowden was believed to have been using it stated that premium users would benefit from having their e-mail secured with an asymmetric encryption process that guarantees that it cant be accessed by anyone except the holder of the account password. For these accounts, only the encrypted version of the message is ever saved to disk. Lavabits policy further stated: It is also important to know what information Lavabit does NOT store. We do not keep a record of the IP addresses used to access our services (except in the web server logs), and we do not keep a record of what information was accessed during a particular session. In other words, Lavabit was providing a very user-friendly way to protect its customers’ e-mail, even from Lavabits own staff, and it appeared to minimize its other data collection. By contrast, Google says that it collects a ton of information about Gmail users: When you use our services or view content provided by Google, we may automatically collect and store certain information in server logs . This may include: Location information Details of how you used our service, such as your search queries. Telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls.

Energy leaders warn of blackouts across Europe

“Too many subsidies are being given on intermittent renewables, too many to local coal and all of these are [leading to] a disaster. ) The end result, Conti noted, was that the environment was not seeing any benefit to subsidies meant to encourage the development of greener energy anyway a moot point for the EU which has carbon emission targets for energy companies in the EU as it aims to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020. The shale gas revolution in the U.S. has further upset European energy companies’ competitiveness and their profits, however. While energy prices have fallen in the U.S. due to the abundance of the cheap natural gas, in Europe, energy especially natural gas prices from Russia — have risen. Europe has subsequently turned to importing cheaper U.S. coal in a bid to offset higher energy prices that have caused controversy among consumers. Gerard Mestrallet, the chairman and chief executive officer of French utility GDF Suez, said the EU was now in a “paradoxical situation” as it turned to coal against a backdrop of greenhouse gas emissions targets. “The cheap gas in the U.S. is used to produce electricity and U.S.

The European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi reacts during the monthly news conference in Frankfurt, February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

including through the provision of a public backstop,” Mario Draghi said on Friday. “These arrangements must be in place before we conclude our assessment,” he said. But the ministers’ talks face an additional hindrance because Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, is not expected to attend the two-day Luxembourg meeting. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, in talks to form a new government. During the region’s debt turmoil, the European Union conducted two bank stress tests, considered flops for blunders such as giving a clean bill of health to Irish banks months before they pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The ECB’s new checks are seen as the last chance to come clean for the euro zone as the bloc tries to set up a single banking framework, known as banking union. The debate opens amid ebbing political enthusiasm for banking union – originally planned as a three-stage process involving ECB bank supervision, alongside an agency to shut failing banks and a system of deposit guarantees. It would be the boldest step in European integration since the crisis. “We have to find a solution now,” said Michel Barnier, the EU Commissioner in charge of financial regulation, urging faster progress in the slow talks. “The next financial crisis is not going to wait for us.” ANGLO-GERMAN AXIS? In one sign of the divisions, Britain has repeatedly refused to sign off on the first pillar of the banking union framework, allowing the ECB monitor banks. Having earlier agreed, London now wants additional assurances from ministers this week that Britain, which is outside the euro and polices its own banks, will not face interference from the ECB-led euro bloc. Britain is likely to find a sympathetic ear in Berlin, which wants to keep London on side in its push to prevent stricter EU emissions rules to protect its luxury car makers.

It also admitted that the fund had bent its own rules to lend to Greece. The report was received badly in Brussels. Olli Rehn , the commission’s economics chief, reacted angrily. “It isn’t fair and just for the IMF to wash its hands and throw the dirty water on Europe’s shoulders,” he said. He later dismissed the controversy as “a storm in a teacup.” Mr. Rehn supports the idea of an independent European crisis mechanism to tackle future crises, without IMF involvement, as do top officials such as the ECB’s powerful German executive-board member, Jorg Asmussen, and Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. For its part, the fund is reluctant to see its credibility continue to erode in Europe, officials say. To prevent that, it has been contributing less and less over time to new bailouts, while retaining a de facto veto over policiesmuch to the irritation of European officials. European policy-making institutions are also emerging more confident as the crisis has waned, making them feel less dependent on the IMF. Klaus Regling , the head of the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund, reflected this new boldness when he dismissed as “meaningless” the debt ratio used by the fund as a lending benchmark. The ratio, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, failed to account for the very low interest rates and long maturities on Greece’s debts to its Euro-zone neighbors. It was a none-too-subtle hint that Euro-zone governments are rethinking a late-2012 pledge to the fund that they will forgive some of that debt. Christine Lagarde , the fund’s chief, pushed back Thursday, in comments at the IMF meeting in Washington. “I have no reason to doubt [the governments] will honor and, if needed, they will reiterate their commitments,” she said.