London Whale Lifts U.k. Regulator To Highest Fines In A Decade

The Leo Schachter group now employs some 300 people in Botswana. A TIGHT GRIP De Beers’ London sights date back to the 1930s, when it set up what became the Diamond Trading Company to control supply, secure demand and tighten its grip on the market in rough diamonds, of which it held some 80 percent at its peak in the 1980s and 90s. Gems from all mines were aggregated and quantities for customers were agreed in advance. Buyers were vetted and could not refuse gems in their allocation without risking future supply. In exchange, they were assured a predictable, consistent quality and supply. Until this month, the London sales meetings were interrupted only by the heavy bombing during the Blitz. But times have changed. De Beers has been battling lower production and challenges to its sales model for years, in part thanks the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of mines in Australia and Canada outside the firm’s influence. Its share of rough diamond sales dropped to under 50 percent in 2006 and to 37 percent in 2012, according to consultancy Bain. In 2009, it was overtaken in carat terms by Russia’s Alrosa. De Beers says the move to Gaborone was partly motivated by wanting to keep alive the sights system, which still sells to buyers like jewellers Tiffany & Co and China’s Chow Tai Fook, and Indian family firms. “The Botswana government did not come to De Beers and say please transfer your business. The Botswana government said we would like you to sell the Botswana diamonds here,” said Varda Shine, who runs De Beers’ Global Sightholder Sales. “We believe our business model is quite strong and provides value for De Beers and its shareholders – so we came up with the idea of moving the whole business.” But some in the industry say it presents challenges that the model may not survive. De Beers already sells 10 percent of its production through auction as opposed to via sights, and according to the 2011 deal, the Botswana government will be able to sell a portion of local production through state-owned Okavango that will rise to 15 percent.

Red alert! Penelope Cruz stuns in red suit as she launches new film with husband Javier Bardem in London

Classic Hollywood style: Penelope looked stunning in her bright red two-piece by Armani

The five-star venue hosted a press conference for her new project The Counselor in which she stars alongside real-life husband Javier Bardem. Wearing a stunning red suit by Armani, which featured an over-sized bow, the 39 year-old looked elegant and timeless as she posed for photographs with her fellow cast-members. Classic Hollywood style: Penelope looked stunning in her bright red two-piece by Armani Her brunette hair was neatly contained in a loose bun, while she opted for contrasting black shoes with a simple black clutch bag. Meanwhile, her husband complimented the look with a blue jacket and shirt ensemble, worn with jeans. Acclaimed director Ridley Scott opted for a more casual look in a long-sleeved black T-shirt, while Fassbender sported a classic black-and-white combo. Longevity: The Spanish actress and model has been working consistently since she was sixteen Leading Lady: Cruz plays the fiance of Javier Bardem’s character, who is a notorious drug dealer While posing for images, Cruz and Bardem looked intimate with a clearly-visible chemistry. Fortunately, the two play a couple in the film. The Counselor sees Cruz takes on the role of his naive fiance Laura, while Bardem plays tough-talking drug dealer Reiner. Clearly in love: One of Hollywood’s most smouldering couples, the pair look stylish and happy as they appear together Also starring the likes of Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, the movie marks the first on-screen reunion between husband-and-wife Penelope and Javier since 2008’s acclaimed Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It also reunites Brad with Ridley for the first time since 1991’s cult classic Thelma & Louise and sees leading ladies Cruz and Diaz come together after their triumph in 2001s Vanilla Sky. The Counselor is scheduled for release in the US on October 25, and in the UK on November 15.

Jude Law joins Greenpeace protest in London

Regulator to Highest Fines in a Decade By Suzi Ring – 2013-10-04T15:11:31Z The U.K. finance regulator recorded its largest month of fines in more than a decade in September, buoyed by a 137.6 million-pound ($221.2 million) penalty against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over the London Whale debacle. Industry fines totaled 169.5 million pounds last month and brought total penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013 to 339.5 million pounds, according to statistics published today by Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) , Europe s largest tax and legal publisher. The year-to-date total is larger than any other full year since 2002. The regulator fined JPMorgan as part of a probe into losses exceeding $6.2 billion on a derivatives position built by a trader who came to be known as the London Whale because his bets were so large. The past year has also seen the regulator punish banks embroiled in the scandal over rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. The FCA is endeavoring to keep up with the international trend towards greater levels of fining and is continuing the trajectory started in the U.K. by the Financial Services Authority in its latter years, said Barnabas Reynolds, a London lawyer at U.S. law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP. The FSA became the FCA in April this year. FCA fines increased considerably last year hitting 313.4 million pounds at the end of 2012 compared with 66.1 million pounds in 2011. The FCA is clear that where there is poor behavior we will act quickly with punishments we believe reflect the seriousness of what has taken place, the FCA said in an emailed statement. To contact the reporter on this story: Suzi Ring in London at sring5@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net More News:

View gallery British musicians Damon Albarn (L) and Paul Simonon (R) along with British actor Jude Law (2-R) take part in a protest against the detainment of Greenpeace activists by Russia outside the Russian embassy in central London on October 5, 2013. (AFP Photo/Carl Court) 19 hours ago London (AFP) – British actor Jude Law joined hundreds of people gathered in London Saturday as part of worldwide Greenpeace protests over Russia’s jailing of activists opposed to Arctic oil drilling. “Sherlock Holmes” star Law, joined by Damon Albarn, the frontman of British band Blur, and guitarist Paul Simonon of The Clash, voiced support for his friend Frank Hewetson, one of 30 Greenpeace activists threatened with up to 15 years in prison. British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood also turned out to join demonstrators who held up placards showing the faces and names of those detained. Police said about 800 people had gathered for the protest that lasted about two hours. Organisers put the number at 1,000. “Of course I am worried about Frank because I care about his family and I care about him but I know that he is incredibly durable,” Law told reporters as he took part in the demonstration held outside the Russian embassy. “I think that it is very interesting that the people over there (Greenpeace activists) probably knew there would be an arrest involved and the threat of a conviction is probably part and parcel of the act of drawing attention to the drilling in the Arctic which we all know is an international problem which needs confronting.” Law added: “What is ludicrous is that they have been charged with piracy which has a threat of 15 years in prison.” Greenpeace supporters held vigils across the world Saturday in support of the activists, whose imprisonment has sparked a new row between Moscow and the West. A 950-tonne icebreaker sailed by Greenpeace was impounded by Russian authorities last month after it approached the world’s first oil rig in the pristine Barents Sea — the focus of energy companies from around the world. A court in Russia’s northwestern region of Murmansk has since charged all crew members — who come from 18 different countries — with charges that carry jail terms of up to 15 years. Society & Culture