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Corporate News

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018 from FFT!

December 28, 2017

2017 was a very stable year for FFT as the company was able to further consolidate its efforts and maintain its market share, amongst fierce competition. We kept improving and diversifying our portfolio of products and service, further delving into new areas of the financial sector attempting to adhere to the needs and wants of our most discerning clients.

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations approaching, we gratefully accept and use this opportunity to extend our best Christmas and holiday wishes to all our clients both current and future, prospects, and associates. May this period of joy sparkle up your celebrations bringing you closer to your dear ones, may you find new strengths to pursue your goals and opportunities without looking back. May the New Year bring health, joy, prosperity and success to all of you and your dear ones.

FFT herewith wishes you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018.

Markets prepare for the year's end

December 28, 2017

European markets moved lower today amid a light holiday-week of trade seen across the board worldwide.

The STOXX Europe 600 closed provisionally down 0.33 percent, with most indices trading in the red or around the flatline. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 held its value on average, as miners ticked higher.

Trade was relatively lighter than usual today as markets across the globe try and get back to business amid the break between the holidays and New Year.

One of the best performers on the index was retailer Steinhoff, up 2.98 percent, despite a downgrade by Moody's.

Meantime, a number of telecom and technology companies fell to the bottom of Europe's benchmarks, including BT, Ericsson, Immarsat and Nokia. BT was sharply down, after the stock traded ex-dividend.

In stocks news, Airbus is reportedly putting together contingency plans to axe production of the A380 superjumbo if it fails to win a key order from Dubai's Emirates. Airbus shares fell more than 1.3 percent today.

Meantime, Banco BPM finished the day near the top of Europe's benchmarks, after it announced that it had exceeded the European Central Bank's capital requirements, which is slated to go into effect in 2018. Fellow Italian lender BPER Banca also traded sharply higher, up 2.75 percent for the session.

In commodity markets, oil was in focus after crude futures hit a more than two-year high earlier on this week. Prices were relatively flat on Thursday, with Brent trading around $66.40 and U.S crude hovering above $59.50. Meantime, mining stocks rose on the back of an uptick in metal prices.

Elsewhere, bitcoin fell 11 percent today after South Korea's government announced it would implement new rules in a bid to regulate trade in the digital currency in the country. South Korea is a major hub for bitcoin. The story of bitcoin this year has been phenomenal until it has hit its natural barrier, which in its case turned out to be USD 20,000,- Despite experts predictions that it will break this barrier before the end of the year, bitcoin came close, at USD 19,661.63 on December 17, however after that continued its steady decline and never recovered its ground. Ever since it has been trading between USD 12,500 and 15,500,- for most part. How does the future look for this phenomenon? As regulatory policies are slowly starting to tackle the crypto-currency markets introducing new levels of control, this crypto-sprinter seems to be loosing its pace. January of next year will show whether it’s a lack of long distance stamina, and the end of the fairytale, or whether this crypto-giant still has a couple of surprises up its sleeve.

Consumer spending rises, while saving are at their lowest level since 2008

December 22, 2017

Consumer spending in the United States accelerated in November amid an increase in demand for recreational goods and utilities, however the strong pace of consumption is unlikely to be sustained as savings dropped significantly, to their lowest level since 2008.

The Commerce Department disclosed today that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.6 percent last month after a downwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending increasing 0.5 percent in November after a previously reported 0.3 percent rise in October. Spending on nondurable goods surged 1.2 percent and outlays on services rose 0.6 percent. Spending on long-lasting goods was unchanged.

The report added to bullish data on the labor market, manufacturing and housing in painting a strong picture of the economy as the year winds down.

The government reports that the economy grew at a 3.2 percent annualized rate in the third quarter. Growth estimates for the October-December quarter are currently as high as a 3.3 percent pace.

Consumer spending could get a lift from sweeping individual income tax cuts approved by the U.S. Congress this week. The income tax cuts are, however, skewed toward higher-income households, which economists say have a low propensity to consume.

Bitcoin peaks at USD 19,661.63

December 17, 2017

Today bitcoin reached its all time high of USD 19,661.63 nearing to the estimate of USD 20,000,- it never however even grazed that figure, as shortly after the winds seem to have changed and turned the upward trend into a downward one, as investors seem to be raking-in their profit, skeptical about any future rise potential. We at FFT see this as a perfect opportunity for all more speculative clients to take advantage of this highly inflated crypto-currency, by shorting its position and playing against the market. Given the high-volatility of trade, this may be the perfect opportunity of all investors who missed the surge and are now wondering what happened, when the train left without them. Capitalizing on a market turnaround could be as much if not even more profitable than investing in the commodity itself.

Bitcoin futures soar in debut triggering trading halts

December 11, 2017

Futures on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 26 percent in their debut session on Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s exchange, triggering two temporary trading halts designed to calm the market. Initial volume exceeded dealers’ expectations, while traffic on Cboe’s website was so heavy that it caused delays and temporary outages.

The launch of futures on a regulated exchange is a turning point for bitcoin, whose surge this year has captivated everyone from geeks to Wall Street trading firms. The Cboe contracts, soon to be followed by similar offerings from CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc., should make it easier for mainstream investors to bet on the cryptocurrency’s rise or fall.

Bitcoin wagers have until now been mostly limited to venues with little or no oversight, deterring institutional money managers and exposing some users to the risk of hacks and market breakdowns.

For now, Cboe futures account for a tiny slice of the world’s bitcoin-related bets. The notional value of contracts traded in the first eight hours totaled about $40 million. Globally, about $1.1 billion of bitcoin traded against the U.S. dollar during the same period, according to Cryptocompare.com.

Bitcoin continues its monumental rise

December 8, 2017

Bitcoin surges past USD 17,000,- continuing its phenomenal run since the beginning of the year. Trading under USD 1,000,- on January 2, Bitcoin has more 17 timed its value and there seem to be no signs of slowing down. Experts predict an easy surge past the USD 20,000,- mark.

We at FFT are a bit more skeptical and see the aforementioned benchmark as a natural barrier for this crypto-phenomenon. It may be a while before it actually breaks it, or perhaps it never will. The imminent future will show who has played their cards right.

Bitcoin reaches a historical high as it grazes the USD 10,000,- benchmark

November 30, 2017

A lot has been said about the crypto-currencies this year, as they seemed to have been the bright highlight of this year’s investment opportunities. Surging even further past subsequent highs without real slowing down in sight. Is there actually an end to this saga?

Bitcoin has posted yet another record high price and does not seem to be slowing down, both experts and sceptics are almost certain that it will beat the USD 10,000,- benchmark and easily surge further in the month of December, 2017. Many foresee the USD 20,000,- barrier being broken easily. We, at FFT are not that optimistic and believe that USD 20,000,- could be a natural barrier, however our recommendation to purchase bitcoins is still standing string as the potential of beating the USD 15,000,- benchmark and surging toward USD 20,000,- is definitely there. Subsequently the crypto-currencies have caught attention of the big boys, including investment bankers and hedge funds, which are also looking to capitalize on this phenomenal surge. As crypto-currencies are becoming a global commodity and not only the ‘currency of the geeks’ the future seems to be painted in bright colors and a continuous rise in value is still possible. We will definitely watch the markets very closely in the days and weeks to come.

Kim Jong Un declares North Korea's nuclear program complete

November 29, 2017

After conducting its longest-range missile test yet, North Korea declared itself a globe-spanning nuclear-weapons power and insisted the United States deal with it on those terms. Kim Jong Un’s government claimed that it had launched a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)—a “Hwasong-15”—capable of “carrying [a] super-heavy [nuclear] warhead and hitting the whole mainland of the U.S.”

Donald Trump, for his part, isn’t conceding defeat. “This situation will be handled!” he tweeted, promising tougher international sanctions against the North. Top officials in his administration, including the national-security adviser, the CIA director, and the president himself, have repeatedly stated that North Korea must be prevented—by all means necessary, including military action—from developing the means to place a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile that can reach the United States. Now with North Korea firmly in the driving seat of its ‘Arms’ Race’ the future of the region, as well as the rest of the world is looking rather unstable, as no one wants to see him, actually fire those nukes at Americans, or any other nation for that fact.

UK agrees to pay the Brexit 'Divorce Bill'

November 5, 2017

After a lengthy and arduous negotiations, the UK has finally bowed to EU demands on the Brexit divorce bill in a move that could result in the UK paying £50bn to Brussels. This is also seen as an attempt to get France and Germany to agree to move negotiations to trade.

Non-stop behind-the-scenes negotiations have led to a broad agreement by the UK to a gross financial settlement of £89bn on leaving the bloc, although the British expect the final net bill to be half as much.

A senior EU officials commented that the UK appeared ready to honor its share of the EU’s unpaid bills, loans, pension and other liabilities accrued over 44 years of membership. The bill could total £53bn to £58bn (€60bn to €65bn), although EU officials are not discussing numbers and the British government will fight hard to bring the total down. While EU sources have spoken in recent months of £53bn to £58bn, both sides are trying to avoid talking numbers to help the British government deal with the potentially toxic political fallout.

For EU diplomats the moment of truth will come at a lunch meeting between Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Monday 4 December, when all three Brexit divorce issues will be on the table: the Brexit bill, the Irish border and protecting EU citizens’ rights. If the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, thinks the outcome is clear, he could issue his recommendation on sufficient progress the same day.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince cracks down on corruption

November 5, 2017

The newly formed committee to combat corruption moves swiftly in Saudi Arabia: 11 royals and 38 former officials have been arrested on charges including money laundering, embezzlement of public funds and personal enrichment from state-owned enterprises. It is estimated that in total some 200 royal family members, princes, prominent personas and politicians will be indicted in this new wave of an anti-corruption movement in Saudi Arabia initiated by the Crown Prince himself.

As the Crown Prince intends to introduce some serious reforms to this ‘hard headed’ yet very wealthy state in the Middle East, corruption has been selected as the first topic on the agenda. It will definitely require time, resources and a hard hand to tackle down all those who have been praying at the country’s ‘soft belly’ abusing their power and position for personal gains. The Crown Prince seems to have all the necessary tools required for the job, although many sceptics already purport that this is just a suave move by the prince, to eliminate possible opposition and consolidate his own power. Only the future will show whether this ‘bolzy’ move is only a mascaraed or a real attempt to turn the country around and bring into the 21st century liberated of a heavy burden, such as embezzlement and misappropriation of governmental funds.

One thing is certain, the west is watching closely the reforms at hand, as Saudi Arabia seems to have embarked on a new path to a more liberal and open approach to both domestic and international political agenda.

Crypto-currencies continue to rally with no signs of slowing down

October 30, 2017

This year has been remarkable so far for all so called ‘crypto currencies’ which appreciated multi-fold since the beginning of January. Despite the general conviction that many of them are already reaching their saturation limits, which in opinions of many could also mean that they are heavily-overpriced, these online phenomena continue their ‘rise for glory’. Looking at Bitcoin for instance, this industry market leader has posted yet another price record, surging past the USD 6,000,- benchmark, offering a 6 fold return on investment since the beginning of 2017 alone. Many investors have already taken advantage of this ever growing opportunity, many are pondering whether to jump on it now, or whether the potential for growth has been exhausted. We at FFT recommend our clients to closely follow these markets, as the potential for growth is still there and we foresee continues growth for all such currencies for the rest of this year if not beyond.

Why does the stock market keep going up?

October 18, 2017

So far two things have been true in 2017: The news cycle keeps spiraling downward, and the stock market keeps going up.

This year, majority of the global financial and economic news have been dominated by chaos; in Washington, the legislative machine seems even more broken than normal, and President Donald Trump continues to tweet furiously, while being a subject of investigation for possible collusion and obstruction. Furthermore, a series of historic natural disasters have ravaged Houston, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and northern California. Abroad, the U.K. is ‘sleepwalking’ toward an imminent separation from Europe, a crisis with a Middle East ally is brewing, and a missile flew over Japan.

However what visible effect, have all these shenanigans have had on the stock market? The answer is: None, really. The S&P 500 is in the middle of one of the strongest bull runs since World War II. The Dow passed 23,000 this week for the first time ever. Three theories have emerged to eexplain the current state of affairs:

1. Fundamentally, the Corporations everywhere are making a bunch of money.

It’s important to remember that the stock market is not a referendum on the state of liberalism or conservatism. It is not a barometer of moral progress’. The stock market is a collective daily wager on the current and future performance of public companies. And currently, those companies are making a boatload of money. In the first quarter of this year, corporate profits reached an all time high.

The most obvious explanation for rising corporate profits is that the U.S. economy is well into a long, slow, and steady recovery. Less obvious, perhaps, is that international sales account for nearly half of revenue in the S&P 500. Low interest rates from central banks around the world haven’t done much to move inflation, but they’re clearly succeeding in raising asset prices.

It’s a bit ironic that the global boom is feeding a so-called ‘Trump Bump’. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump threatened to start a trade war with China, leading many to assume that global trade would take a hit under his presidency. Instead, the very opposite has happened.

2. Chaos doesn’t drive the business cycle.

Many are astonished at the resilience of the stock market in the face of political chaos, it would be normal to suggest that front-page stories—political crises, geopolitical uncertainty, and natural disasters—ought to move markets.

But is it really true?

Actually, Washington’s dysfunctionality hasn’t interrupted the metronomic expansion of GDP and payrolls. As for natural disasters, the Inter-American Development Bank analyzed the long-run economic impact of catastrophes around the world between 1970 and 2008 and found almost no effect, particularly in developed economies. For example, the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan was a horrible tragedy, killing more than 6,000 people. But within a 18 months, the area’s manufacturing economy was operating just 2 percent below its pre-quake trend.

In general, chaotic news news is a mixed indicator of stock market performance. While the front pages and homepages of U.S. news organizations have been chaotic, dire, and whiplashing, the business cycle has been the opposite—steady, positive, and nearly boring.

3. There aren’t many obvious signs of bubbles, or causes for imminent corrections.

Unlike the mid-2000s, when GDP growth was battered by an unsustainable rise in mortgage debt, this boom doesn’t seem to be driven by abnormal debt or ahistorical trade imbalances. Unemployment and inflation are both low. The housing market has bounced back, but new home construction is still far below the pre-crisis high. Commercial real-estate borrowing is significantly below its levels during the real-estate bubbles of the mid-1980s and mid-2000s. Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be much fear that the Fed will panic and suddenly raise rates or sell off assets in a hurried bid to combat inflation.

Indeed, investors seem so unalarmed they are practically napping. Trading volatility is at record lows.

This week, Morgan Stanley predicted a small and imminent “correction,” due to the unwinding of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and the potential failure of the GOP tax-cut legislation. But it’s not clear that investors should worry about either of these things. Trump and his ex-Goldman economic advisers must understand that the economy is the best thing the president has going for him. It would be quite strange for a claque of former bankers to tap a new Fed chair who quickly raises rates and shrinks the Fed’s balance sheet, which would spook big banks and throttle economic growth.

As for taxes, the Republican Party might contain just enough deficit hawks to reject the current tax framework, which would add trillions to U.S. debt. But it’s almost inconceivable that a GOP-controlled government could screw up a small tax cut within 12 months of a midterm election.

Perhaps the mere promise of future tax cuts is enough to string along an otherwise calm stock market. It might have slightly more patience than a 5-year-old child, but it’s similarly riding the forward momentum of a global recovery while marginally motivated by the promise of a future benefit. Corporate tax reform is a nice little ice cream cone that mom has promised. As long as the promise is out there, the market can keep telling itself that tax cuts are on their way, no matter how much evidence Washington provides to the contrary.

The Trump Administration is taking steps to replace the Obama Clean Power Plan

October 4, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency is now seeking to replace the Obama-era federal limits on carbon emissions from power plants, according to an internal agency document, this could be triggering what could be a yearlong process to produce with its own rules.

The move is the latest, and among the biggest, in a promise by Trump Administration to rollback those regulations it blames for hampering business. President Donald Trump began targeting the Obama rules, called the Clean Power Plan, with an executive order in already in March of this year.

Depending on how long it takes to hammer out the new set of rules, the previous agenda could remain valid for quite some time. One is certain, after the Trump Administration have finished their overhaul, the face of America will never be the same again.

Crypto-currencies go from strength to strength

September 15, 2017

As the markets continue to ‘rub their eyes’ and gaze in amazement, the prices of crypto-currencies continue their rise. Bitcoin has posted yet another record high trading, easily breaking past the USD 4,000,- mark. As anticipated earlier this year, which has also been confirmed by many analysts and the market environment itself, the trend for crypto-currencies is upward.

We believe that the opportunity is still there as the market potential for growth in this sector has not yet been saturated. A smart placement of assets into the crypto-currency markets is believer to rake in some serious profits before the end of the year. At FFT we strongly recommend our clients to create their virtual crypto-currency wallets invest in the market that has been setting the trend since the beginning of this year. As before Swiss Trust Companies come in as a handy investment vehicle allowing for a smooth and hassle-free investments.

Consumer confidence falls in September

September 15, 2017

Consumer confidence declined in September, after hitting a seven-month high in August. The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, hit 95.3 in September, a result better than anticipated by Economists and Reuters. In August the index nearly returned to peak levels recorded earlier in 2017, hitting 97.6. It was noted that hurricanes Harvey and Irma greatly impacted expected economic conditions in September. Nine percent of consumers "spontaneously mentioned concerns that Harvey, Irma, or both, would have a negative impact on the overall economy”. The index measures 500 consumers' attitudes on future economic prospects, in areas such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.

Prices of gas jumped after hurricane Harvey’s destruction of refineries

September 11, 2017

The average price of gasoline increased significantly in the past two weeks after the carnage of Hurricane Harvey prompted the closure of refineries. Industry analysts say that it was the biggest price hike recorded by the since 2011. However, gasoline prices have started to decline since refineries came back online and the expectancy is for the prices at the pumps to follow that trend.

In the survey on Sept. 8, the average price of regular gasoline was up 30 cents at $2.69 per gallon. That's 48 cents higher than a year ago. The average price of diesel jumped 16 cents to $2.73 per gallon. In the contiguous United States, gas was most expensive in San Francisco at $3.21 a gallon and cheapest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $2.31 a gallon.

Financial stability is a growing concern of central banks

August 24, 2017

Bankers of some of the largest and most prolific banks have gathered at their annual bash in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the past ten years with only one thing on their minds: the health of the global economy. This year’s gathering is different. The bankers’ preoccupations are changing, from recovery to financial stability.

Peculiarly, rising concern about the risks of financial excess is good news. It reflects the arrival of the first synchronized global economic upswing since 2010. According to JPMorgan Chase, the GDP growth in the quarter ending in June was the most rapid since then, thanks to stronger-than-expected activity in China, Japan and Europe (Britain was a notable exception).

Policymakers have worked to support the economy over the past decade. However, by keeping the interest rates low, they have also spurred investors to take extra risks in search of larger returns.

The tensions between growth and stability are most obvious and visible in China. The IMF this month simultaneously raised its growth forecasts and warned that the country was gobbling itself on debt, which jumped from 150% of GDP in 2007 to 280% in 2016. Since the beginning of this year, the People’s Bank of China has restricted the supply of short-term liquidity to banks. Regulators have also ordered them to account for loans hidden off their balance sheets. Good decisions given the current economic climate. However, the economy has recently started to lose momentum. The fear is that it will revert to type and let credit surge again.

European concerns about financial fragility are of a very different here and recovery is gaining strength. Since December, when the European Central Bank lowered its target for asset purchases, to €60bn ($70bn) a month, there has been speculation that the ECB’s program of quantitative easing must wind down soon. However, the ECB is nervous about a repeat of the “taper tantrum” of 2013, when markets were spooked by signals from the Fed that it would be stopping QE. A hurried withdrawal of QE might cause a sudden rise in bond yields as fizzy assets are repriced. That could hurt countries, such as Italy, with big public-debt burdens.

It is correct, than central banks should be vigilant about threats to financial stability. Nevertheless, the Fed should not yet put concerns about risk-taking above the immediate demands of the economy. American banks are well capitalized; and there is a decent case for simplifying some post-crisis regulations, in particular those that bind America’s smaller lenders. As far as the euro zone is concerned, its recovery is still recent and continues to require support, the ECB should not be withdrawing stimulus abruptly in any case. For China, the real test lies imminently ahead, perhaps as soon as next year. Tensions between growth and stability will become more acute as time goes on. However, as the central bankers descend on Wyoming, it is too soon for them to stop worrying about the health of the world economy.

Bluechips fall for the second week in a row

August 18, 2017

For a second week in a row, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a loss, topping a rocky stretch that included political turmoil, terror attacks and disappointing earnings.

Much of Friday has been spent by the stocks hovering between slight gains and losses, as a lack of major economic data and corporate earnings contributed to quiet trading. Then declines unfortunately transpired due to negative market and world date pouring in fast in the late hours of the trading day. The resulting outcome quickly demonstrated a trend that has been set already the week before as stocks continued their decline in a similar fashion.

As usual, whenever there is a decline in the market, there also dwells an opportunity for all those savvy investors who were able to anticipate such a state of affairs, and open the right short positions betting against the market. Many of our clients have done just that, utilizing the merits of their respective Swiss Trust Company to reap the benefits of their investments in a capital-gain tax free environment, offered to all its beneficiaries by our most prestigious and sought after vehicle, The Vintage Swiss Trust Company.

Who will be the Fed's next chairperson?

August 10, 2017

The question, whom will Donald Trump nominate to lead the world’s most important central bank, has been dawning upon us for quite some time now. Janet Yellen’s term as US Federal Reserve chair is up in February, and president Trump has waffled on whether he will reappoint her. Naturally it can be perceived that Mrs. Yellen is a person tarnished by the Obama Administration, which we have seen at the beginning of President’s Trump White House Adventure. As months went by however things seem to have changed for positive, as finally Mr. Trump expressed his amicability towards Mrs. Yellen and even explicitly stated that he liked her.

In recent days, Mrs. Yellen has been back in the lead in prediction markets—just—with political gamblers making wagers on the PredictIt site that put a 25% probability on her remaining in her post as Fed chair.

Still, some Trump aides want a different person to lead the Fed, one whose policy isn’t quite as expansive as under Mrs. Yellen and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. (Under their tenures, the Fed pumped more than $4 trillion into the economy by buying bonds.) The other contenders who fit the bill are: Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor and financier, who publicly criticized the Fed’s “make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach”. John Taylor, a Stanford professor, best known for inventing a monetary policy formula—the Taylor Rule—that takes discretion out of setting interest rates.

Mrs. Yellen, meanwhile, spoke out against financial deregulation, a hallmark of Trump’s economic policy agenda. But like every other inscrutable Fed chair, she hasn’t been drawn on any specific comments about the White House administration.

For what it’s worth, not reappointing Mrs. Yellen as chair would break the tradition of presidents re-nominating the Fed leader in charge when they assume office. Obama reappointed Ben Bernanke, a George W. Bush nominee. Bill Clinton kept Alan Greenspan, a Ronald Reagan nominee. Reagan, likewise, re-nominated Paul Volcker, Jimmy Carter’s choice for Fed chair.

The future will show who will end up at the helm of this most important financial position in modern economy, and whether the future they will be responsible for paving will be bright and President Trump would like it to see, or rather grim as it has been the case since the destructive 2008 Subprime crisis, that the world is suffering the consequences of and recovering from until this very day.

Bitcoin's steady rise

August 5, 2017

As the summer continues to unfold its charms and many professionals worldwide are vacationing as we speak, Bitcoin continues its steady rise from a ‘Penny Crypto-Currency’ to an internationally recognized mogul to be reckoned with. Today for the first time in its trading history since its launch several years earlier, Bitcoin has broken yet another record and its price surged past the USD 3,000,- benchmark. Signifying more than one thing, especially to disbelievers who are now rubbing their eyes mesmerized.

The marker for crypto-currencies is now evolving daily as we see more capital being invested and more volatility to the currency, or as some refer to it, commodity at hand.

Sceptics are already sensing another bubble if this rise continues, however the bearish attitude of investors who now include many more, than just the common ‘geeks’ sees bitcoin surging past USD 10,000,- before the end of the year, some say even much beyond that point.

One thing is certain, Crypto-Currencies are currently presenting the investment opportunity of our age & generation, allowing investors to capitalize on their investment plenty-fold rather than counting their profits in the usually common percentage points.

Us at FFT we strongly recommend looking into this opportunity, as from a marginalized online currency, Bitcoin could soon become the sole most powerful online currency in the world, the path seems to be paved already. When that happens all those, who decided and had the conviction to invest early will be able to watch their capital grow, as the market tendencies and moods strongly point towards even a further surge before the end of the third quarter of 2017.

Credit growth in China is causing jitters

July 20, 2017

The International Monetary Fund has recently branded China’s credit-fueled economic strategy as dangerous, in a strongly worded statement warning that its approach risks financial turmoil.

The IMF employed its annual health check on the world’s second biggest economy to stress that faster expansion in 2017 was coming at the cost of a jump in private sector debt and an increasing use of complex financial instruments.

While the IMF increased its forecast for Chinese expansion in 2017 from 6.2% to 6.7%, it simultaneously stressed that this was the result of the authorities in Beijing putting a higher priority on hitting a growth target than on the quality of the economic output.

The Chinese government has pledged to double the size of the economy between 2010 and 2020 and has been prepared to see non-financial sector debt rise rapidly in order to achieve its aim. Total debt has quadrupled since the financial crisis to stand at $28tn (£22tn) at the end of last year.

The IMF anticipates debt as a proportion of gross domestic product would rise from 235% to almost 300% by 2022. Previously, the Washington-based IMF – which publishes annual reports on its member countries – had said debt would peak at 270% of GDP. The international experience suggests that China’s credit growth is on a dangerous trajectory, with increasing risks of a disruptive adjustment and/or a marked growth slowdown, as expressed by the IFM.

With many of the advanced economies of the west struggling in the years since the financial crisis of 2007-09, China has acted as the growth engine of the global economy, accounting for more than half the increase in world GDP in recent years.

But the IMF expressed concern at the methods used to keep the economy expanding rapidly – an increase in government spending to fund infrastructure programs and a willingness to allow state-controlled banks to lend more for speculative property developments. It said the buildup of public and private debt would limit the ability of Beijing to act in the event of a financial crisis.

In its report, the IMF noted that debt was becoming less effective as a means of stimulating activity, noting that China needed three times as much credit in 2016 to achieve the same amount of growth as in 2008.

Since 2008, private sector debt relative to GDP has risen by 80 percentage points to about 175% – such large increases have internationally been associated with sharp growth slowdowns and often-financial crises. It was further reported, that growth in the five years between 2012 and 2016 would have averaged 5.5% rather than 7.25% had credit growth been kept to a sustainable rate.

“China now has one of the largest banking sectors in the world. At 310% GDP, China’s banking sector is above the advanced economy average and nearly three times the emerging market average.

“The sharp growth in recent years reflects both a rise in credit to the real economy and intra-financial sector claims. The increase in size, complexity and interconnectedness of these exposures have resulted in sharply rising risks.”

Beijing rejected the IMF’s criticisms, saying that the stronger growth outlook for 2017 was the result of a rebalancing of the economy and the government’s reform programme rather than a reliance on debt.

A new approach to financial regulation

July 13, 2017

The British Government’s proposes to reform the UK’s financial regulatory framework, where the Bank of England would hold control of macro-prudential regulation and oversight of micro-prudential regulation. This outlines the Government’s intention to a Financial Policy Committee in the Bank of England, a new Prudential Regulation Authority, as a subsidiary of the Bank, and an independent consumer protection and markets authority – the Government has since decided that this body will be called the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The government received over 200 responses from financial services firms, including banks, building societies, insurance firms, Independent Financial Advisors, exchanges, brokers and related trade associations, as well as consumer representatives.

The Government published a summary of responses to its consultation along with all formal, written responses received (except where confidentiality clause was imposed by the respondent). In addition to a summary of consultation responses, this document confirms the Government’s decisions, that the UK Listing Authority will remain within the FCA’s markets division and that the FSA’s criminal enforcement powers in relation to market conduct will be retained within the FCA at this time. The document also sets out the Government’s preliminary conclusions on key themes raised by respondents to the consultation.

Why is Germany's bank account surplus bad for the world economy?

July 8, 2017

The battle-lines have been drawn. The world’s big trading nations will convene this week at a G20 summit in Hamburg, the stage will be set for a close-clash between a protectionist USA and a free-trading Germany.

President Donald Trump has already pulled out of one trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and demanded the renegotiation of the North American Free-Trade Agreement. He is further weighing whether to impose tariffs on steel imports into America, a bold move that would almost certainly provoke retaliation. The threat of a trade war has been hanging over the Trump presidency since his inauguration as President of the US. In contrast, Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, the host of the summit, will ‘bang the drum’ for free trade. In a thinly veiled attack on Mr. Trump, she delivered a speech on June 29 condemning the forces of protectionism and isolationism. An imminent free-trade deal between Japan and the European Union will add substance to her rhetoric.

There is no question who of the two leaders has the better of this argument. Mr. Trump’s doctrine that trade must be balanced to be fair is economically illiterate. His belief that tariffs will level the ‘playing field’ is naive and dangerous: these actions would shrink prosperity for all. However, in one respect, at least, Mr. Trump has grasped an inconvenient truth. He has admonished Germany for its trade surplus, which stood at almost $300bn last year, the world’s largest (China’s hoard was a mere $200bn). His threatened solution—to put a stop to sales of German cars—may be self-defeating, but the fact is that Germany saves too much and spends too little. As a result, the size and persistence of Germany’s savings hoard makes it an awkward defender of free trade.

At bottom, a trade surplus is an excess of national saving over domestic investment. In Germany’s case, this is not the result of a mercantilist government policy, as some foreigners complain. Nor, as German officials often insist, does it reflect the urgent need for an ageing society to save more. The rate of household saving has been stable, if high, for years; the increase in national saving has come from firms and the government.

Underlying Germany’s surplus is a decades-old accord between business and unions in favor of wage restraint to keep export industries competitive. Such moderation served Germany’s export-led economy well through its postwar recovery and beyond. It is an instinct that helps explain Germany’s transformation since the late 1990s from Europe’s sick man to today’s muscle-bound champion.

For a large economy at full employment to run, a current-account surplus in excess of 8% of GDP puts unreasonable strain on the global trading system. To offset such surpluses and sustain enough aggregate demand to keep people in work, the rest of the world must borrow and spend with equal abandon. In some countries, notably Italy, Greece and Spain, persistent deficits eventually led to crises. Their subsequent shift towards surplus came at a heavy cost. The enduring savings glut in northern Europe has made the adjustment needlessly painful. In the high-inflation, 1970s and 1980s Germany’s penchant for high saving was a stabilizing force. Now it is a drag on global growth and a target for protectionists such as Mr. Trump.

Mrs. Merkel will now have to face and potentially solve these issues, under ever-growing pressure from the rest of the world, especially the European Economies and US to find a remedy to this situation allowing for a more balanced economic landscape.

China enters the big league of global markets

June 22, 2017

As China gets included in the main stock and bond indices, investors will be forced to put cash in China. As a result of these changes and reshuffling of the global financial players, amongst which we can now find China, global investors and clientele are now forced to put cash in China, if they ever decide to invest into Chinese companies.

By many perceived as a superpower for quite a long time, China has been hiding its true financial identity for decades. Despite its vast and quick economic development and strong economic growth, China has so far not been able to enter the financial markets as a global player. This situation changes today, as China gets included in the main stock and bod indices, giving the investors the opportunity for a direct investment into the Chinese financial products.

Many of our clients have been impatiently waiting for this day and holding back on certain of their investments just to keep the capital ready and invest when China is finally accepted as a major, global player on the financial markets. Through the merits of a Swiss Trust Company, investors are now able to freely invest into Chinese financial products, without having to worry or take into acct. any capital gain taxes, which as explained previously on several occasions, Swiss Trust Companies are exempted from.

Markets struggle to make sense out of the British election chaos

June 9, 2017

As a result of the chaotic outcome of the election, pecked with speculations and uncertainly, both the British Pound as well as the domestic stocks well sharply as a result of the Chaotic elections status and process. The other European markets witnessed a contrary reaction as majority of indices and stocks surged, leaving their British counterparts a long way behind.

Many of our clients have been able to capitalize on this market instability and having invested their funds through our most prestigious vehicle, The Swiss Trust Company, were able to rake in profits, fully exempted from any capital-gain taxation, which the Swiss Trust Company is fully exempted from. To learn more about this and other opportunities, please do not hesitate contacting us at FFT to gain full insight into our vast array of products and services. Who knows, your next big opportunity could be just behind the next corner.

Why are international fnancial crises transpiring more now than back in the day?

May 31, 2017

International currency and financial crises have become more frequent since the 1990s, and with good reason. But the contributory factors are neither simple nor straightforward. Such financial crises have, in turn, contributed to more frequent economic difficulties for the economies affected, as evident following the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession still evident almost a decade later.

The most natural cause, as named by many is acceleration of the economical cycle. With Globalization ever picking up its pace, every day lives seems to be accelerating even more than ever before. This situation finds a similar reflection in the financial markets of today. As the financial products become more and more sophisticated and packaged with more complexity; options, futures, derivatives, sub-primes, just to name a few have highly contributed to acceleration of the global economy. When things are going in the right direction the markets and economies seem to surge (at least on paper) however when the markets start to turn, the actual results and the speed at which everything changes can be tragic. This has been visibly depicted by the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

These days a lot of the investors’ conviction is based on rumors and fads, rather than substantiated evidence and economic theories. As a result the markets tend to create so called ‘bubbles’ which have the tendency of a periodic surging (sometime very high) as investors catch a fad of a new trend. In many cases however such investments are not substantiated and as soon as the trend changes, or the investors start looking at collecting their profits, the value of such an assets starts to plummet, which often leads to an implosion of that particular asset and the resulting panic of all those holding it in their portfolios.

The remedy seems to be quite simple here. Naturally there is no way to slow down the ever-accelerating markets, nor the complexity of the products on them. What can we do then? Firstly we should attempt to be the trend setters, not followers and secondly invest our funds in structures and products that we actually understand and that have some tangible collateralizing assets, which will come handy when the markets turn. This is what we recommend to our clients at FFT, use your Trust Company for making smart and profitable investments based on facts and economic theory rather than on spot market fad that could turn as easily as it was created in the first place.

Bitcoin rises above the USD 2,000 benchmark

May 20, 2017

It has been several years, since the launch of the worlds favorite Crypto-Currency Bitcoin, however only this year, and only recently we have seen some serious movements on the markets. For years, for many, bitcoin has nothing but just another way to pay for products and services online. When it first launched it was traded at less then 1 USD, then started the long, difficult and arduous climb. When it surged past USD 100,- sometime in 2013, many thought it was reaching its limits and soon will also reach the end of its potential. Such a scenario never transpired and in 2014 it surged further into the couple of hundred USD per 1 Bitcoin territory.

Throughout 2014, 2015 & 2016 the Cryptocurrency had its ups and downs, always however keeping within the USD couple of hundred per 1 Bitcoin range, and never even rubbing the USD 1,000,- benchmark. December of 2016 already, prematurely, started to demonstrate that this Crypto-Currency has some potential as the trades closed above the USD 900,- benchmark. Then finally in February of this year, it broke the USD 1,000,- benchmark. It continues its rise until this day breaking even further records along the way.

By the look of things, Bitcoin can soon seize to be just the online currency for geeks, but attract the attention of the savvy investors and the global players, who are looking aver closer and trying to asses what does the future hold for this online phenomenon. Here at FFT we strongly recommend looking into this opportunity, as from a marginalized online currency, Bitcoin could soon become the sole most powerful online currency in the world. When that happens all those who decided and had the conviction to invest early will be able to watch their capital grow, as the market tendencies and moods strongly point towards even a further surge before the end of this second quarter of 2017.

Are private equity firms killing American retailers?

May 15, 2017

Based on surfacing information, traditional U.S. retailers are experiencing a tough year, with more than a dozen already having declared bankruptcy this year so far. The growth of e-commerce, as well as competition from European rivals, are often blamed for the troubles at brick-and-mortar chains. Yet there is another, less recognized, factor weighing on a number of retailers—the role of private equity investors, which operate by loading up companies with debt.

If we look at Rue21 for instance, a teen-focused retailer that some analysts think is in imminent danger of bankruptcy. The chain was bought by private equity firm Apax Partners in 2013 for $1.1 billion. Loaded up with debt of almost $1 billion, Rue21 has struggled to make its debt payments amid waning demand for its clothing.

Further, private equity funds operate by raising money from investors and using the funds to acquire companies that, while distressed, still maintain a certain value. PE executives then direct management to making strategic and operational changes in order to boost business performance. The ultimate goal here, as expressed by the private equity firms is to sell them at a profit in the future. PE firms make money by collecting fees for managing funds and in taking about 20% of the earnings when a business is sold. But PE firms also tend to fund their acquisitions partly with debt raised by the target company. That can leave already struggling businesses swimming in red ink, hindering their recovery—or pushing them into insolvency.

When you combine the operating costs with the debt—and then something called Amazon comes along and essentially majority of the customers are gone, all that remains are underage customers shopping at the online retailers. The unfortunate result is that there’s no real solution to this ever more threatening problem.

Euro hits a 5-month high as a result of the French elections

April 24, 2017

It looks like the outcome of the French presidential elections had a very positive effect on the European economy as a whole. The euro, French government bonds and European stocks all surged in the wake of the first round of France’s presidential election, with the centrist former economy minister Emmanuel Macron edging out far-right politician Marine Le Pen. The European common currency rose as much as 1.9% to $1.0935, its highest level vs. the dollar since November of last year. Against the Japanese yen, the euro surged as high 120.82, up 3.3%. Gains moderated in recent action, with the euro up 1.2% against the dollar and 2.1% against the yen.

In turn, the traders drove down the spread between French and German government bonds, which had widened during the aforementioned presidential campaign. The 10-year French bond yielded 0.76% in early trading Monday, a spread of 0.42 percentage point above benchmark German debt. The spread was 0.64 percentage point on Friday. Meanwhile, the French CAC-40 stock market index surged 3.8% in the early minutes of European trade, driving the broader Stoxx Europe 600 up 1.5%. Across Europe, gains in equities were led by banks, which rose 3.5%, a sign that investors are again eager to bet on risk.

As much as the victory of Mr. Macron was unexpected by many, the results of this ‘surprise’ found a positive reflection in the stock and bond markets, presenting the investors with a high-yield opportunity of capitalizing on their investments. Things were not different in Switzerland, as many of the our clients benefited from the capital tax exemption of the Swiss Trust Company, reaping the seeds of their investments as the EUR surged.

Central banks are pondering how to employ all of their accumulated assets

April 16, 2017

Since the financial crisis, they have built their portfolios heavily, however now they are entering a more demanding and for many an unchartered territory. In Frankfurt, many major central banks stocked up on trillions of dollars of government bonds and other assets since the financial crisis to support lending and growth, pushing their balance sheets to unprecedented levels.

Since majority of the advanced economies are now recovering, policy makers have started to phase out their most aggressive stimulus measures. A big question hanging over financial markets, however, remains: What will central banks do with all of this cash?

Policy makers have a mind of their own and several fickle ideas have already surfaced. The most logical solution would be a gradual action of pumping the funds back into the system through a series of loans, investments, and special supervised, sponsored programs, allowing investors to grab their piece of the pie and benefit from the opportunity that has presented itself to them, at the same time spurring on further recovery and growth in the markets.

Swiss Trust Companies come handy again, allowing their beneficiaries to place and invest their assets with ease and discretion, and with the security and serenity of the Swiss financial heaven.

America holds a disproportionate weight in global stock market indices

April 8, 2017

The aim and purpose of a stock market index are threefold. Firstly, to reflect the actual economical situation of the market; secondly, to create a benchmark against which professional asset and fund managers can be judged; and thirdly, to allow investors to assemble well-diversified, low-cost portfolios, helping them generate a diversified portfolio of investments. On all three counts there are reasons to worry about the MSCI All-World Country Index, which is considered as one of the most widely used gauges of the global stock market.

The reason for this is because the American market has a weighting of 54% in the index, as high as it has ever been (previously it reached the same level in 2002). In other words, anyone, who is using the index to monitor the market is seeing a picture heavily distorted by Wall Street, due to the above referenced fact. The relative performance of international fund & asset managers against the index will largely depend on how much exposure to America they are willing to take on. Anyone buying into a tracking fund is, effectively, making a big bet on the American market. Things are worse if investors track the MSCI World Index, which covers only developed markets. In that case, the benchmark of America’s weight amounts to 60.5%.

Just to add some perspective, Japan dominated the indices back in the 1980’, we can all remember that this did not end well. In a nutshell, such a large weigh-participation of one economy has strong connotations on the market as a whole, and namely, despite the market performing well, if there are negative signal from the ‘Weight Economy’ the markets can produce a distorted image of the actual reality, which can influence not only the general performance of the indices, but in fact and what is perhaps worse, the actual investors and their perception of it all.

Positive signs as Asia-Pacific moves towards global development goals

March 31, 2017

Courtesy of Shamshad AKHTAR, Inter Press Service

With just over a year since the adoption of a historic blueprint to end poverty and protect the planet, positive signs have already started to emerge among countries in the Asia-Pacific region as they push ahead with the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Notwithstanding these incremental gains, a number of outstanding challenges remain which if not effectively addressed may scuttle our collective efforts. A joint study undertaken by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) reveals that some 400 million people in Asia and the Pacific continue to live in extreme income poverty and more than one in four people experience poverty in multiple dimensions that impact their health, education, and standard of living. South Asia is the worst affected with 15 per cent of the population living in extreme poverty, and 86 per cent residing in rural areas where income diversification opportunities are limited and challenges of poor natural resource management persist. Of equal concern is the rise in income inequality within countries. The challenge is to ensure that prosperity is felt by all, and not just a fortunate few.

With 12 per cent of the population, or 490 million people, still undernourished in our region, ending hunger and poverty will heavily depend on introducing sustainable food production systems and more resilient agricultural practices. Despite reductions in infant mortality rates, children in low income countries are still nearly nine times more likely to die before reaching the age of one than those in high income countries.

The Oscars 2017

February 26, 2017

As it has always been the case in the past years, the Oscars awards ceremony has made the headlines the following day. Unfortunately, the main story is all about the confusion caused when La La Land was mistakenly named the winner of the Best Picture award instead of Moonlight – a host of acceptance speeches from the La La Land cast and crew had already taken place before the error was realized!

President Trump strongly reacts to North Korea’s missile launch and testing

February 13, 2017

President Donald Trump vowed on Monday, February 13th, 2017 to deal “very strongly” with North Korea as it continues with missile tests and other steps toward its avowed goal of developing a nuclear weapon that can reach the U.S. Since the Nuclear tests began on the Korean Peninsula, the whole world, not only the US have been closely following the developments as yet another potential threat seems to be growing in what essentially can be described as China’s backyard.

Meeting of the Japanese Prime Minister with the US presiding President

February 11, 2017

While the aforementioned officials (Prime Minister Shinzo and President Trump) have met on this day to discuss international issues and ways of cooperation between the 2 countries, the main headlines weren’t about the two leaders. Instead, the talk of the day was all about the first wives who stole the limelight on this occasion.

Trump's inauguration gets mixed reactions across America

January 20, 2017

On January 20, the US inaugurated its 45th President. While some gathered to celebrate, others around the world spent two days protesting. #BridgesNotWalls was the key phrase that united many different groups, as banners were hung off bridges across the US. This day marks the beginning of what can be referred to as the most controversial presidency of all time in the US, with the US as well as the rest of the world highly divided amongst supporters and sceptics. The upcoming months and years will wither show veracity of these statements or abolish them completely.

January brings changes to the UN Security Council

January 6, 2017

January 6th began the rotation and replacement of 15 members of the UN Security Council. This event marks the beginning of even bigger changes to continue, as the council is expected to undergo a bigger staff-shift no later then by the end of this month.

New UN Secretary General Takes Office

January 3, 2017

On January 3rd, 2017 a Portuguese official, Antonio Gutierrez has officialy taken up the position as the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations. His duties began with an official communique addressed to the UN Staff in New York.

Season's Greetings from FFT!

December 24, 2016

With Brexit, the election of Mr Trump, and the collapse of the government of Mr Renzi in Italy just to name a few, there's no denying that 2016 has been an exceptionally turbulent year by any standard.

We hope, then, that the upcoming holiday weeks brings you and your loved ones some much needed peace, calm, and relaxation, as you wrap up your remaining business for the year and prepare to usher in 2017.

On behalf of all of us here at FFT, season's greeting's and happy 2017!

Wall Street again marks new highs in post-election run

December 8, 2016

Courtesy of Reuters

Major U.S. stock indexes climbed again on Thursday and set fresh record highs as a month-long rally following the presidential election of Donald Trump rolled on. Investors have driven up equities since Trump's Nov. 8 election over optimism about domestic economic stimulus and reduced corporate taxes and regulations. Supporting the upbeat sentiment on Thursday was a report that showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a five-month high last week, pointing to labor market strength that underscored the economy's momentum.

"This is just a continued melt-up post-election. The path of least resistance has been higher," said Jason Ware, chief investment officer with Albion Financial Group in Salt Lake City, Utah. "Seasonally, you have a strong period. You have money coming out of the bond market ... so that money has to go somewhere," Ware said.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 65.19 points, or 0.33 percent, to 19,614.81, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 4.84 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,246.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 23.59 points, or 0.44 percent, to 5,417.36. All three indexes set new records, a day after they each posted gains of at least 1 percent. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks, which has soared 15 percent since the election, also hit a new high.

While investors are still adjusting to the economy's outlook under a Trump administration, "generally speaking, the idea that taxes will be less and regulations will be dialed back seems to be creating not only optimism but laying the groundwork for economic expansion," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. "So if you own stock, you want to hold onto it. If you don’t, you want to buy it,” Hellwig said.

The Dow Jones Transport index .DJT rose 0.5 percent, a day after setting a new closing record high for the first time in two years. The fresh high triggered a bullish sign for some investors who look for parallel performance for both the Dow industrial and transportation averages. Adding to positive sentiment for equities has been recent positive economic data, as well as S&P 500 companies poised to end a streak of declining profits with their third-quarter results. Investors on Thursday were digesting the European Central Bank's decision to trim back its asset buys but also its vow of protracted stimulus to aid a still-fragile recovery. Next week's Federal Reserve meeting, at which the U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates, is also coming into focus as market participants seek clues about the future pace of any rate hikes.

Wall St. stock futures fall after Italy referendum

December 4, 2016

Courtesy of Reuters

U.S. equity index futures fell on Sunday after a stinging defeat for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said he would resign following a referendum over his proposals for constitutional reform. Exit polls and early projections on Sunday showed Renzi lost the referendum by a wide margin.

"Buy bonds and sell stocks," hedge fund investor Douglas Kass, who runs Seabreeze Partners Management Inc, said after the vote. "The technicals and fundamentals and political/geopolitical considerations are all souring."

S&P 500 e-mini futures ESv1 were down 0.3 percent shortly after electronic trading resumed on Sunday evening - paring some losses after initially falling 0.5 percent - signaling Wall Street could start the week on a shakier footing after stumbling last week for the first time since the Nov. 8 U.S. election.

Last week, the S&P 500 .SPX shed 1 percent. Major Wall Street indexes had previously hit a series of record highs over the past three weeks following Republican Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election, as investors rotated into sectors expected to benefit from campaign promises of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and bank deregulation.

Are The Saudis About To Reveal The Best Kept Secret In Oil?

November 19, 2016

Courtesy of OilPrice

The decision to bring such important data to light comes as Saudi Aramco is preparing to partially privatize its assets, an IPO that could bring in some $100 billion. The IPO will be a monumental event, one that the Wall Street Journal says could offer Wall Street some of the largest fees in history.

Saudi Arabia often trades off with Russia – and more recently, with the U.S. – as the world’s largest oil producer. But while it produces at similar levels as Russia and the U.S., it is long been a vastly more influential player in the oil world. That is because of two reasons – the size of its reserves, and the ability to use latent spare capacity to quickly adjust supply, affording it an outsized influence on crude oil prices.

But while everyone believes Saudi Arabia has some of the largest oil reserves in the world, perhaps rivaled only by Venezuela, there has been a lot of uncertainty and skepticism over exactly how much sits beneath the Saudi desert. The world’s largest oil field, Ghawar, has been producing since the 1950s, raising speculation about the longevity of the supergiant oilfield. It alone is thought to hold around 75 billion barrels, and it churns out more than 5 million barrels every single day. Surely, it cannot continue like this indefinitely, but the Kingdom has not revised its official reserves for years, which have stood at 260 billion barrels since the 1980s. It is hard to overstate how valuable this information is, and how fiercely Saudi leadership protected it.

However, the collapse of oil prices since 2014 has pushed the Saudi budget deep into the red. The Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is undergoing an historic transformation of the Saudi economy, a multi-decade plan to diversify the country’s economic base and create new sources of revenue. At the heart of the plan is spinning off roughly 5 percent of Saudi Aramco, the most valuable oil company in the world. Saudi officials believe that the company is worth between $2 and $3 trillion.

As the FT notes, this figure will have massive ramifications for both Saudi Arabia and the global oil market. Right now, everyone is operating under the assumption that Saudi Arabia can continue to pump at its current pace for another seven decades. Long-term oil forecasts are predicated, in part, on Aramco’s ability to do that. More important for Saudi Arabia itself, its credit rating as well as the fortunes of its economy over the coming decades is also predicated on that assumption. A sharply lower reserve estimate could send oil futures up if fears over supply surface, and it might also affect Saudi Arabia’s credit rating.

Aramco is preparing to launch the IPO in 2018, which means that it will need to publish data on its oil reserves before then. The oil world’s biggest secret could soon be publicly released.

Across the World, Shock and Uncertainty at Trump’s Victory

November 9, 2016

The election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States has shocked the world — and has the potential to reshape it.

“I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations,” Mr. Trump said in his victory speech.

His triumph was seen as good for Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, but made some in Mexico nervous. Trump has touted a vision of a more isolationist American foreign policy that would represent a fundamental break with decades of internationalism. His proposals include making U.S. military support for NATO, a cornerstone of global security since World War II, conditioned on the financial support of the alliance's members.

Russia is one of the few countries were polls show a majority of people favored Trump over Clinton. Trump has said flattering things about Putin's strong leadership style, while Clinton was very critical of the Russian leader while serving as President Obama's secretary of State. In sum, all expect the foreign policy of the US to change after the 20th of January 2017 but in which way in particular is still unknown.

North Korea conducts its fifth nuclear test

September 9, 2016

Courtesy of CNN

North Korea said it hit the button on its fifth and potentially most powerful nuclear test Friday morning, claiming to have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on ballistic rockets.

North Korea has continued to improve its nuclear and missile capabilities, but it has yet to pair the two successfully. However, concern has been growing that the country is testing weapons at an unprecedented pace this year.

South Korea worries that Pyongyang is progressing toward its goal of mounting a nuclear warhead to ballistic missiles "faster than previously estimated," a South Korean lawmaker told reporters. Kim Byung-kee of the opposition Minjoo Party made the remark after attending a meeting with South Korean intelligence officials.

Previous Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and launching ballistic missiles. After North Korea's test in January, the Council imposed a round of sanctions two months later. The sanctions included banning Pyongyang from exporting most of its natural resources, prohibiting the supply of aviation fuel and the sale of small arms to North Korea, and requiring the inspection of all North Korean planes and ships carrying cargo abroad.

Paris climate deal: US and China formally join pact

September 3, 2016

Courtesy of BBC

The US and China - together responsible for 40% of the world's carbon emissions - have both formally joined the Paris global climate agreement.

After arriving with other leaders of G20 nations for a summit in the city of Hangzhou, Mr Obama said: "History will judge today's effort as pivotal."

CO2 emissions are the driving force behind climate change. Last December, countries agreed to cut emissions in a bid to keep the global average rise in temperatures below 2C.

The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement. It will only come into force legally after it is ratified by at least 55 countries, which between them produce 55% of global carbon emissions. Members of China's National People's Congress Standing Committee adopted "the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement" on Saturday morning at the end of a week-long session.

Apple must pay tax bills for 13 billion Euros, Europe's top regulator ruled

August 30, 2016

Apple Inc. must pay tax bills for 13 Billion Euros and it may change a revolution on how Europe deals with U.S. multinationals causing turmoil on the markets. A first result is that Apple shares dropped 3%. Certainly, Apple will appeal the decision. The same turmoil can happen on the work market in Ireland. The European Commission decision is expected to say Ireland provided the iPhone maker with illegal aid through a sweetheart deal in return for creating jobs in the nation, the people said on condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. Ireland has vowed to fight any adverse finding.

That prompted complaints by both European and U.S. lawmakers, who argued the deal gave Apple an unfair advantage in exchange for creating jobs in Ireland. CEO Tim Cook was even called to testify on Apple's tax deal before a Senate committee in 2013.

The bill for tax benefits, plus interest, covers 2003 to 2014. Apple has more than $231 billion in cash on its balance sheet to cushion the blow.

The US Response has been immediate through the press secretary of the White House: “We want to make sure the kinds of agreements we reach with other countries are not manipulated to allow companies to shirk responsibilities.”

The current accusation towards the EU commission is that that EU regulators were changing the rules of the game without prior warning. Calling the probes "new" and "unforeseeable," Robert Stack the Treasury’s top official for international tax affairs, wrote that regulators "should not seek to impose recoveries under this new approach in a retroactive manner because it sets a bad precedent for tax policymakers around the world."

Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan hit by suspected suicide car bomb

August 30, 2016

A suspected suicide car bomber rammed the gates of the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on Tuesday, killing the attacker and wounding at least three other people, officials said.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the car exploded inside the compound and quoted Deputy Prime Minister Janysh Razakov as describing the blast as "a terrorist act".

Police cordoned off the building and the adjacent area, and the GKNB state security service said they were investigating the bombing that occurred around 1000 local time (0400 GMT).

China condemned the assault and urged the Kyrgyz authorities to "quickly investigate and determine the real situation behind the incident.

Money markets are undergoing huge changes. Here's why it matters

August 29, 2016

Courtesy of Yahoo! Finance

A large portion of the financial markets, and one that played a pivotal role during the financial crisis, is about to undergo substantial changes.

At the core of the rules is an effort to stabilize the $2.7 trillion industry, which provides a generally safe climate where both retail and institutional investors can park funds and earn modest returns with the bonus that they will never lose money. For a brief moment in time, that compact was broken.

In 2008, as the financial world crumbled under the weight of the financial crisis that took down Wall Street and threatened to crush the global economy, one fund did the unthinkable: It "broke the buck." That means its share price fell below $1 due to heavy losses it experienced from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The move by the Reserve Primary Fund set off a wave of panic over possible redemptions and the implosion of a sector that at the time boasted nearly $3.5 trillion in assets.

The new rules seek to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. They allow all funds to block investors — using what are known as "gates" — from withdrawing cash during times of market volatility, a move that coincides with a mandate that retail and government funds maintain a $1 share price. The rules allow prime institutional funds to move to a floating value, meaning they have the possibility both for greater return and greater risk.

"Essentially, the rules are intended to make sure that we don't have a run out of the funds, to protect investors," said Blaine Aikin, executive chairman at fi360, which provides information and training to financial services providers.

The new rules come from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which adopted them in 2014 and gave money market fund managers until Oct. 14 this year to implement.

One immediate effect they are having is driving more investor money to government funds, which provide more stability but less opportunity for return given that their asset value is anchored. Fidelity, which manages $2.1 trillion, has transitioned three of its biggest money market funds to government funds, and other big managers have done the same.

Vanguard, which manages $3.6 trillion, also is preparing its clients for the new rules. "We believe that these changes, along with the safeguards implemented in 2010, constitute a strong response to concerns that institutional money market funds may pose a risk to the financial system," Vanguard said in a statement.

Government fund assets passed institutional funds in May for the first time ever, one of the more significant shifts as the industry prepares for a new frontier. The institutional side has lost more than 25 percent of its total assets since mid-April. (Fund assets overall have stayed relatively steady over the past four years or so after peaking near $4 trillion during the crisis.)"The SEC gave the industry two years, and it's going to take two years to get through this," said Jane Heinrichs, associate general counsel at the Investment Company Institute, an industry service provider whose members manage $17.9 trillion. "The transition has been smooth, but not without difficulties and not without costs. But we're going to get there."

Aikin is telling financial advisor clients at fi360 to follow a four-point plan: Do your homework about the plans; perform due diligence to consider and compare the plans; document whatever funds are used and why; and monitor fund performance on an ongoing basis.

"There has been some complacency associated with the long time period where these things have been percolating," Aikin said. "These rules do have some fairly profound ramifications for fiduciaries."

Global stocks rise on hopes for higher US interest rates

August 30, 2016

Global shares were mostly higher Tuesday as hopes continued for a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike later this year. FED FACTOR: Major U.S. banks posted solid gains on Wall Street as traders bet that the Fed was likely to nudge interest rates higher in December or even at its next policy meeting in September. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a conference last week that the case for raising rates was strengthening given improvements in the economy.

"The Federal Reserve's rate-hike decision is largely based on three main indicators: the performance of the labor market, economic activity and inflation. In light of strong jobs reports over the last two months, the likelihood of an impending rate hike has substantially increased," said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

The Swiss Stock Market Climbed After Better Than Expected U.S. Jobs Report

August 5, 2016

The Swiss stock market ended Friday's session with a significant increase and finished positive for the week. Trading activity was stagnant early Friday, as the market maintained slight gains in a narrow range. However, the market broke out higher in the afternoon, following the release of the stronger than expected U.S. jobs report.

U.S. employment surged up by 255,000 jobs in July after jumping by an upwardly revised 292,000 jobs in June. Employment had been expected to increase by about 185,000 jobs. The massive stimulus package announced by the Bank of England yesterday also contributed to the positive mood among investors at the end of the week.

The Swiss Market Index increased 1.40 percent Friday and finished at 8,194.34. The SMI ended the trading week with an overall gain of 0.8 percent. The Swiss Leader Index climbed 1.50 percent and the Swiss Performance Index added 1.26 percent.

Hilary Clinton Accepts Historic Nomination for President

July 30, 2016

The final night of the Democratic National Convention was a slow burn, a series of speeches all leading up to the moment that all of the Democrats assembled in Philadelphia had been waiting for — Hillary Clinton taking the stage and formally accepting the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. Clinton was introduced by her daughter Chelsea, who gave a speech consisting mostly of anecdotes about her relationship with her mom and the times her mother touched the lives of other people.

This is a remarkable moment both for Clinton as well as US politics as a whole, as this historic moments marks the first Presidential Nomination of a woman in the US history. Hilary Clinton will now officially compete and campaign against the opposing party’s candidate Donald Trump, who continues to stay ahead in the preliminary polls.

First Signs of Brexit's Impact on the UK's Economy

July 24, 2016

Britain just got its first concrete sign that the British exit from the European Union, or so called: Brexit, will crush the nation's economy after a grim set of PMI data released by Markit showing a "dramatic deterioration" in the economy since the UK voted to leave the EU.

Markit's flash PMI readings for the UK's economy showed that composite output fell to its lowest level since March 2009, during the tail end of the global financial crisis.

The aftermath of the Brexit seems to be holding a grim future not only for the UK; the financial markets across the globe are still trembling with the echoes of UK’s decision and any recovery is not within imminent sight.

Military Coup Attempt in Turkey

July 16, 2016

After a night of explosions, gunfire and tanks rolling along the streets of Istanbul and Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkey Saturday that an attempted military coup was over and the government was in charge.

At least 161 people died and another 1,440 people were injured across the country in explosions and gunfire exchanges. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said at a press conference Saturday the situation was under control and the incumbent government were able to retain power. A total of 2,839 military officers have been detained, a source in the President's office said.

The loud message of this flamboyant attempt in Turkey has reverberated across Europe and the rest of world over the weekend. The ripples of the weekend events were also remarkably visible on the trade floors, the following Monday, which resulted in markets plummeting yet again, as investors’ uncertainly has spread even wider, as this event comes in a very close vicinity to the other significant one in European politics, Brexit.

Terror attack in Nice, France

July 14, 2016

Scores of people were killed Thursday night when a large truck plowed through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, in what President Francois Hollande called a terror attack.

The death toll grew through the night, with Hollande saying 77 people died. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 80 people were killed.

The driver first shot a gun into the crowd before driving two kilometers along the Promenade des Anglais, the main street in Nice, mowing down people who had gathered to watch fireworks, regional President Christian Estrosi told CNN affiliate BFM-TV.

Portugal clinches victory in the Eurocup after a thrilling final.

July 10, 2016

Sunday, held Europe’s biggest football spectacle’s final, between the hosts and 2 time European champions, France and the challengers Portugal. Despite first half injury of Portugal’s and Real Madrid’s superstar, Christiano Ronaldo, who then could only watch his teammates battle it out with the French, from the sidelines, after a Thrilling 90 minutes, ending with a 1:1 draw and the extra time failing to provide the winner, Portugal clinched the title, prevailing over France in the final penalty shootout. This is a first European title for Portugal, memory of which will certainly be held deeply and remembered by all of Portuguese fans.

Slight signs of recovery after the Brexit Plummet

July 9, 2016

After several weeks following UK’s decision to exit the EU and the detrimental damage that this decision had on the worldwide financial markets, the indices are slowly starting to recover from after the Brexit plummet. It is still too soon to turn whether this is the beginning of a recovery trend or whether this is due to investors’ opportunistic reaction to fallen prices of shares, etc. which they have decided to capitalize on. One thing is certain, it will takes years for the markets to recover from the overnight shrinking of the markets in excess of 2 trillion USD. What is required now, is time and solid and stable governance to remedy the current situation and wither some optimism into both the markets as well as the investors.

Brexit: The Beginning of the End?

June 24, 2016

A referendum - was held on Thursday 23 June, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. The Leave side won, 52% to 48%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.

In order for the UK to leave the EU it has now to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The incumbent Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced his resignation in a speech given at the Downing Street address, within hours following publication of the results of the Referendum, leaving the fate of the UK EU membership in the hands of his successor. This also means that the UK will remain in the EU at least until October of this year, when the new Prime Minister can be sworn into office.

The reverberating echo of these decisions have been echoed across the world almost immediately. Stocks have plummeted as markets wrestle with the biggest turmoil since the 2008 financial crisis. Crude oil fell below the historical $50 mark, even as gold soared. The volatility index recorded a 50% jump relative to the figures from before the vote.

Experts are nearly unanimous in their view that this decision will take its toll inot only on the UK, but the European Union as a whole. There are already rumors being circulated, that Scotland, which voted for the UK to remain in the EU will make an attempt to hold a second referendum on its independence from the UK.

The message from the financial markets is clear: the best possible investment grade seems to be selling push options. Those who have anticipated the outcome and reacted ahead of the vote could have made a serious buck, with this high volatility prevailing on the markets. Many of our clients have actually employed their Swiss Trust Companies and seized this investment opportunity securing their proceeds to be free of any Capital Taxation, which the Swiss Trust Companies are exempted from.

It is difficult to say at present how long the secession from the EU will take and what the future actually holds for the Union and the UK - the facts, however, speak for themselves, and figures do not lie. The Brexit vote resulted in $657 billion being shredded practically overnight, with markets plummeting on the dawn of the UK’s vote regarding their future with the EU. Unfortunately recovery will not come anytime soon, as both governments and investors remain sparked by imminent uncertainty in the months to come.

Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn for $26 Billion

June 14, 2016

Microsoft Corp. snapped up LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion in the largest acquisition in its history, betting the professional social network can rev up the tech titan’s software offerings despite recent struggles by both companies. This takeover shows yet again the how important role social media play in our every day life. Having paid $196 for a Linkedin Share Microsoft is hoping that this gamble can pay off in the future, as the giant will definitely try to tap in into Linkedin’s vast database of professional members, all of which potentially could add up to Microsoft’s customer-tally. The markets have shown a positive reaction following this merger, as the shares of Linkedin rallied into $190 territory, first time since January of this year.

European Football Championship Kicks Off

June 10, 2016

With the opening game between the hosts, France and the opposing Romania, the Euro begins in Europe. 24 teams will be competing for the next month to crown the Kings of European Football for the next four year to come. Alongside all other football fans, we are hoping for an exciting and thrilling tournament ahead.

Barack Obama endorses Hilary Clinton for President

June 9, 2016

The President endorsed the presumptive Democratic nominee in a video posted on social media. Her campaign also announced plans for a joint appearance with the president in Green Bay, Wis., kicking off a marathon push to retain Democratic control of the White House. This event came as a significant boost to the Clinton campaign, who is keeping her hopes up for winning the sit in the White House this upcoming fall.

Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest", Dies at 74

June 3, 2016

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion in his element, known as “the Greatest”, died late on Friday, June 3rd at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, the family’s spokesperson Bob Gunnell said. His funeral will take place in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.

Ali was admitted to hospital on Thursday with a respiratory problem – a move that was described at the time as “a precaution”. However, reports emerged 24 hours later which said he had been placed on a life support machine and his family “feared the worst”.

Ali had become increasingly frail since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, aged 42, and in recent years had limited his public appearances. Earlier this month his brother Rahman Ali revealed that the condition was so advanced he could barely speak or leave his house.

The whole sports world and beyond will miss one of the most heroic and charismatic athletes of all time; crowds are gathering to give their tribute to the passing champion.

The US Federal Reserve policymakers presented the option of increasing short-term interest rates at their next meeting in June of this year, even as many cautioned that a number of economic hurdles lie in the way of another rise.

Minutes from the central bank’s April rate-setting meeting showed that most policymakers believed a rise would be “appropriate” at the June meeting if the economic data and job market conditions continue to strengthen as inflation heads towards the 2 per cent target.

If the rates however do increase again, the economy could start heading towards the direction from before the global 2008 crisis and the real estate bubble, that effectively annihilated some of the US largest banks, bringing others to the brink of bankruptcy, only the be bailed out by the US Government.

As the Fed have started to tread on a very thin ice, globally shared skepticism of consumers and investors can be felt in the mood of the American public, as making ‘money cheaper’ has been the Fed’s policy since the time of the crisis in an attempt to resurrect the US economy by increased spending. Higher rates will mean more expensive loans and a possible economic slowdown, fearful aspects that that past Obama administration, which will be elected at the end of this year will have to face.

Fed Anticipates Rate Hike

May 30, 2016

The US Federal Reserve policymakers presented the option of increasing short-term interest rates at their next meeting in June of this year, even as many cautioned that a number of economic hurdles lie in the way of another rise.

Minutes from the central bank’s April rate-setting meeting showed that most policymakers believed a rise would be “appropriate” at the June meeting if the economic data and job market conditions continue to strengthen as inflation heads towards the 2 per cent target.

If the rates however do increase again, the economy could start heading towards the direction from before the global 2008 crisis and the real estate bubble, that effectively annihilated some of the US largest banks, bringing others to the brink of bankruptcy, only the be bailed out by the US Government.

As the Fed have started to tread on a very thin ice, globally shared skepticism of consumers and investors can be felt in the mood of the American public, as making ‘money cheaper’ has been the Fed’s policy since the time of the crisis in an attempt to resurrect the US economy by increased spending. Higher rates will mean more expensive loans and a possible economic slowdown, fearful aspects that that past Obama administration, which will be elected at the end of this year will have to face.

Google Paris HQ Raided

May 28, 2016

The price of oil rose above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016 as supply disruptions and increased global demand continue to fuel a recovery. Benchmark Brent crude hit $50.22 per barrel at one stage on Thursday, May 26th, its highest level since early November of last year. The rise followed US data showing that oil inventories had fallen after supply disruptions due to fires in Canada. Brent crude has now risen 80% since it hit 13-year lows of below $28 a barrel at the start of the year. US crude oil inventories fell by 4.2 million barrels to 537.1 million barrels in the week to May 20, according to US Department of Energy data. Canada is the biggest supplier to the US and wildfires in the western provinces have reduced supplies by about a million barrels per day. Talks in recent months between Opec and Russia about freezing oil production had already encouraged a price rise.

Google Paris HQ Raided

May 25, 2016

French investigators have raided Google’s Paris headquarters, alleging that the company is now under investigation for aggravated financial fraud and organized money laundering.

In a major escalation of France’s long-running enquiry into Google’s tax affairs, magistrates revealed on Tuesday that the internet giant is under suspicion of evading taxes by failing to declare the full extent of its activities in the country.

Prosecutors said they want to establish whether the Irish based company through which Google funnels the majority of its European revenues does in fact control a “permanent establishment” in France.

Google maintains that its large offices in Paris, London and other European capitals are not fully fledged businesses, but operate as mere satellites of its international headquarters in Dublin, providing back-office services such as marketing.

The company routes most of its non-US revenue from activities such as advertising through Dublin, where the 12.5% corporation tax rate is low by European standards. The structure allows the company to avoid both European and US taxes on the income.

Google released a statement saying: “We comply with French law and are cooperating fully with the authorities to answer their questions.”

The French Tax Authorities were actually looking for over EUR 1,2B in due taxes from Google, earlier in February of this year, result of the firm’s aggressive tax optimization techniques, which they have been heavily criticized for.

This comes a big blow to the Silicon Valley giant, and creators of the world’s most popular search engine. The markets were also quick to react. As soon as the news were released into pressed the shares of Google have taken a hit on the trading day.

Confidence of Americans in its economy is sinking

April 29, 2016

Despite the Federal Reseve’s so called ‘Beige Book’ Report showed modest to moderate growth across the country, with increased consumer spending, the confidence of Americans, according to the Gallup US, Economic Confidence Index has plunged relative to a similar period of last year. Due to recent developments and instability on the global markets, both consumers and investors in the US remain very skeptical and reserved, as it is virtually impossible to ascertain at present where the economy is heading next. The actual closing figures of the second quarter this year, will be essentially significant, as if positive, they could reinstate faith of consumers and investors. On the other hand if the results are negative, their confidence could plummet even more.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th Birthday

April 22, 2016

The longest ruling Monarch in the UK history Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday with a walkabout in Windsor where she met well-wishers who lined the streets. The monarch also unveiled a plaque marking The Queen's Walkway - a trail stretching nearly four miles that links 63 significant points in Windsor.

Brazil starts proceeding to impeach the incumbent President

April 19, 2016

Brazil's lower house voted to start impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff over charges of manipulating government accounts during the years of her term. The Social Democratic Party of Brazil is leading this motion, and already voted yes on the impeachment proceedings. The country however remains divided between faithful supporters of Mrs. Rousseff and those who want to have her stripped of power with immediate effect.

Mossack Fonseca Documents Leaked

April 16, 2016

A leak of confidential documents has revealed how the wealthy and powerful use tax havens and offshore structures to get around the law. Some 11 million documents were leaked from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, with offices all around the world, including Geneva, Switzerland. The leaked blatantly demonstrates how the firm has helped its rich clients to launder money and dodge sanctions to evade taxation. Although Mossack Fonseca say that the offshore companies were used for legitimate purposes, at the same time it intends to conduct a thorough and complete due diligence and regrets and misuse of its services.

Notwithstanding the above, a global investigation has been launched in the above case, leading to some 21 jurisdictions across the world, including Switzerland. Many of Fonseca’s clients have had their accts. under offshore structures in the alpine state, under the management of local asset protectors, some of them being prominent and well known individuals, not only business moguls, but also politicians and government officials.

So far it has been established that majority of the structures used were simply BVI, Panamanian, US, UK, etc. structures. It has also been confirmed that there were no Swiss Trust Companies amongst the structures used by the infamous law firm.

Despite initial panic amongst some of our clients, FFT has clearly made a stand, that none of the Swiss Trust Companies that we administer or well were affected. In fact none of the Swiss Trust Companies could have been effected, as these ultra-safe and secure entities fall under one and one jurisdiction only, that of the Confederation of Switzerland. With the world at a brink of changes in tax advisory and planning, Swiss Trust Companies still stand strong and are ready to securely and safely accommodate to the needs of even the most discerning clients. Assets and investments placed under a Swiss Trust Company are safe and secure and its ownership remains anonymous due, to its bearer share structure. The lesson from the above scandal is simple, using cheap and convenient structures from less than reputable jurisdictions is not always safe or secure, and instead using a Swiss Trust Company to safeguard one’s assets is certain way to protect the assets under management at present and in the future to come. We, at FFT are proud to continue offering this versatile and impenetrable business vehicle to our international clients.

President Obama Visits Cuba

March 22, 2016

Barack Obama became the first US president in office to visit Cuba in 88 years. The US and Cuban President, Raul Castro, addressed reporters in a joint news conference which is the first milestone in the initiated task of reviving political and economic relations between their two counties. As a further steps towards openness of Cuba towards business, 2 of the largest US Hospitality conglomerates with objects located all around the world will be allowed to enter Cuba and purchase property in its capital for the purpose of establishing hotels, adding to their global tally of locations.

Terror Attacks in Brussels Kill 32

March 22, 2016

The Islamic State Terrorist Group, referred to as ISIS, conducted yet another lethal attack, this time in the Belgian capital city of Brussels. In the early hours of March 22nd, around 8 a.m. 2 explosions went off at the Brussel Airport main terminal, causing havoc and grounding all the departures for the rest of the day. A little over an hour later, another explosion went off at the Maelbeek Metro Station in Brussel, totaling 32 casualties and leaving many severely injured. According to the Police the 5 assassins were identified as members of the terrorist group called the ISIS. 3 of them have already deceased, 2 as a result of suicide bombing, and the third during a fire exchange with the Belgian Police. The remaining 2 remain at large, however the Belgian Police have been able to secure CCTV recording of the suspect and are already circulating their photos to the general public attempting to apprehend the suspects.

Later in the day the police have also secured, what was considered to be a safe house for the group, where they found weapons and explosives, enough to conduct several such attacks, indicating that the terrorist were not working alone, and were part of an organized cell, prepared to launch several deadly attacks.

It was further confirmed that this attack was closely linked to the Paris bombings, which occurred on January 25th this year, on the isle of France, but mostly in Paris. His fingerprints were found in an escape car in Paris as well as the discovered safe-house in Brussels, linking the two attacks together.

The Belgian Government has ordered three days of mourning after the attacks as the peaceful nation, united in pain, remains in state of shock and terror after this devastating incident.

UN Toughens Sanctions on North Korea

March 4, 2016

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed another round of sanctions on North Korea, after the country launched a rocket that put a satellite into orbit in February and conducted a nuclear test in January, which sparked a magnitude 5.1 earthquake. The new sanctions call for inspections of all cargo entering and leaving the country, a ban on the import of luxury watches, snowmobiles and Jet Skis, which are favored by Kim Jong-un and his cronies, and increasing the number of people under sanctions.

Leonard Wins an Oscar - Finally

February 28, 2016

The acclaimed Hollywood Superstar Leanoardo Di Caprio was amongst those who celebrated to the full after the Oscars in late February this year. After numerous nominations in the past years and no golden statue to his name so far, his first Oscar came for the role in a generally acclaimed movie, the Revenant. "It all feels incredibly surreal," he told reporters backstage of the online push for him to win. "It's surreal because you can't reach out and physically meet everybody. You hear it on the Internet, you hear it from other people and the truth is, we always strive for the best of what we do and this year in particular I've been overwhelmed with such support." The actor added that he's filled with gratitude.

Schengen Agreement in Danger

February 17, 2016

Potential exclusion of Greece from the European free travel zone established by the Schengen Agreement is pending. The European Commission has ruled that the Athens government has "seriously neglected its obligations to control its own borders," and if the deficiencies are not corrected within three months, the other member states of the Schengen area may exclude it from the agreement. Some 850,000 people seeking asylum and work in northern European countries passed through Greece, and the influx is continuing.

Expelling Greece from Schengen makes however no political or economic sense, and it would be more harmful to countries such as Italy, as the country has no terrestrial borders with the Schengen area and so its land borders already operate as non-Schengen. The effective isolation of Greece would result in migrants being concentrated in the country. They would try to travel onwards by sea or to reach Italy through Albania. Doubts raised about free circulation in the Schengen area are not only affecting Greece. Austria, for example, has recently imposed controls on its border with Italy. Therefore, with or without Greece, the Schengen Agreement is in danger. For Italy, the potential economic cost has been estimated at 6.5 billion euros a year.

Stocks continue to plummet

February 7, 2016

The grim landscape of red figures across the trading board continues in the month of February, mostly due to unprecedented in 12 years low oil prices. Investors remain rather skeptical and many are withdrawing their interest. All of the major European and World indices continue to decrease. Banking is amongst those sectors most heavily affected by the ever spreading crisis, as their stocks continue to fall to levels from the 2008 global economic crisis.

The Davos Summit

January 19, 2016

Over 3,000 bankers, politicians, prominent people and celebrities, including Leaonard Di Caprio, met at this year’s annual Davos Summit to discuss the political and economic developments across our planet, and to decide on the courses of action for the rest of this year.

The official theme of the 2016 meeting was “mastering the fourth industrial revolution”. Which in Leman terms means the “fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres”. Automation and robotics, a key topics on the agenda, as human labor is becoming more and more expensive across the globe, intelligent robots could serve as a remedy to this problem replacing the human element in many aspects of infrastructure as well as our everyday lives.

But Davos was also looking at the threat to white collar jobs, asking if the changes are “failing the middle classes”. Another question was whether we are heading towards “a world without work” – a serious issue given that some experts reckon one in two jobs could eventually be taken by intelligent automation.

More than 7M jobs are at risk in the world’s largest economies over the next five years, according to a WEF report, with women losing out more than men as they are less likely to be working in areas where the adoption of new technology will create jobs.

Additional topics included the current threat of terrorism and the current wave of migration sweeping Europe.

Is the World at the Brink of a New Financial Crisis?

January 7, 2016

The beginning of this year 2016 has not brought as stability of serenity, as a matter fact it bestowed quite the opposite. Plummeting oil prices and fears about China resulted in almost all screens turning red in trading rooms all across the world. Although experts say that things are stabilizing since, all the indicators however seem to be pointing towards the opposite. Including the oil prices plummeting to a 12 year low, breaching the symbolic USD 30 a barrel mark. Traders were betting that demand for fuel would increase, as the big freeze gripped large parts of the US.

Additionally the world’s stock markets were also clawing back their lost ground. With many having been in bear territory – defined as a 20% fall from their peak – they were however buoyed by hints from the European Central Bank that it was considering further action to boost the Eurozone’s crumbling economy. This was the signal that the markets were desperate for after days of relentless bad news that stretched from the Arabian Gulf to Wall Street, from steelworks in south Wales to oil rigs in the North Sea, and which had begun with the bombshell announcement that China’s GDP had grown by “only” 6.9% in 2015, its lowest rate in 25 years.

The markets seem to believe that there may be a hard landing or a very significant reduction in growth which will have a big impact on the rest of the world and its economies. There is a fear that we are walking into a global recession.

At present no other place seems to be a significantly important for wealth management and securitized deposits as tycoons from across the world seem to have selected, amongst others such as Singapore and Hong Kong, this politically and geographically significant location to safely place their large assets. Once again the Swiss Trust Company becomes a historically relevant vehicle, a safe-haven choice option for many to place their assets in a secure and serene environment of this Alpine Country.

Merry Christmas and aHappy New Year!

December 31, 2015

The Year 2015 marked with instability and many acts of terror, has finally come to an end. As we recap our efforts and look back at the successes and failures that we witnessed and were part of, we proudly say that in spite of all the hurdles thrown at us this year we still recorded fewer of the latter and more of the former!! Further, despite not gaining any ground in terms of sales this year, FFT has yet again been able to consolidate its market position and maintain a stable rate of sales comparable to last year.

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations dawning upon us we gratefully accept and use this opportunity to extend our best Christmas and holiday wishes to all our clients both current and future, prospects, and associates. May this period of joy and celebration bring you closer to your dear ones, may you find new strengths to pursue your goals and opportunities without looking back. May the New Year bring health, joy, prosperity and success to all of you and your dear ones; and may your celebrations sparkle with the magic of this season.

FFT herewith wishes you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Switzerland, still one of the best place on the planet

December 21, 2015

: The enclosed report (https://startupmonitor.ch/wp-content/uploads/reports/SSM_Report_2015-2016_Final.pdf) demonstrates that despite its small size and demographics, Switzerland and its central location in Europe still provides advantage to potential investors and newcomers that wish to become part of the residents of this fabulous country, if only for a moment. The Swiss Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report, prepared by experts from the University of St. Gallen shows the country’s strong global position in almost all of the aspects pertaining to and relative in for the modern day business savvy entrepreneurs. Despite the turbulent times in Europe, including the neighboring States, Switzerland is still standing strong as the bastion for freedom of business, with its sophisticated and unmatched banking system offering a full array of Services to even the most discerning clients. We at First Fidelity Trust are proud to be part of this ‘ecosystem ‘ and happy to be able to offer our clients a piece of Swiss History, that some may refer to as ‘the diamond in the rough’. If you are interested in exploring our country and, its merits and those of our most coveted and acclaimed vehicle, the Swiss Trust Company, please contact us today for more information, our team of expert advisors will be happy to answer all queries irrelevant of their nature. Do not wait and contact us today.

U.N. Climate Summit Agrees to Global Pact

December 12, 2015

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held at a convention center just north of the country’s capital, Paris. It was concluded with a pact that commits all countries to reducing their respective carbon emissions. This is the first time that a global climate change pact has been reached. Named the Paris Agreement, the treaty is a consensus of the 196 representatives attending the conference. The agreement stipulates that all parties will make an effort to limit global warming to a temperature increase of 1.5 Celsius. The 1.5 Celsius goal will require zero emissions between 2030 and 2050, scientists say. U.S. President Barack Obama, President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, and France's President Francois Hollande all attended the conference.

Impeachment Proceedings Begin in Brazil for President Rousseff

December 3, 2015

The Chamber of Deputies opened impeachment proceedings against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff for allegedly manipulating government funds and laws in order to secure her re-election. For the impeachment to succeed, the proposal to have Rousseff removed will need the support of at least two-thirds of the deputies, meaning 342 out of 513 lower house votes.

World Leaders Gather for Historic U.N. Climate Talks

November 30, 2015

The United Nations Climate Change talks began at a convention center just north of Paris, France. It is one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in history. For two weeks, 30,000 diplomats and delegates will work to find a new global pact that all countries can agree on, a pact that will ask every nation to take action in reducing their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. President Barack Obama, President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, and France's President Francois Hollande are among the leaders present to initiate the talks.

Three Coordinated Attacks by ISIS Kill Dozens in Paris

November 14, 2015

ISIS launched three coordinated attacks in Paris, killing 129 people and wounding hundreds. Eighty-nine people died in an assault at a concert hall, the Bataclan, where an American rock band, the ironically called Eagles of Death Metal, was performing at the time. Dozens of others were killed in attacks on restaurants and a soccer stadium where France was playing a match against Germany. Seven of the eight terrorists died during the attacks. French authorities are still looking for the last remaining attacker. The attacks are the worst act of violence in France since World War II. French president François Hollande called the attack "an act of war," and retaliated with airstrikes on Raqqa, Syria, ISIS's self-declared capital, joined by the US Air Forces for the first time in an open Airstrike against the ISIS militants.

U.S. Sends Troops to Fight ISIS in Syria

October 30, 2015

U.S. officials announced that troops would be deployed on the ground in Syria to assist the rebel forces fighting against ISIS. This is the first time the U.S. has sent troops to advise and help in the fight against ISIS. Fewer than 50 U.S. Special Operations forces will be sent to a Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria where they will assist Kurdish and Arab forces in the fight against the Islamic State Militants.

2016 Democrat Presidential Candidates Hold First Debate

October 13, 2015

The first debate among 2016 Democratic presidential candidates is held in Las Vegas and included Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, former Senator and Governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee, and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. The debate was largely without drama with the candidates agreeing on many of the issues. Clinton dominated the debate and took on Sanders, her main challenger, regarding his views on capitalism and his voting record, especially the past vote on gun control. On October 20th, a week after the first debate, Jim Webb announced that he would be dropping out of the democratic primary race, but he did rule out to run as an independent candidate. During a press conference, Webb said, "It was very difficult to fundraise inside the Democratic Party structure right now. I have no doubt that if I ran as an independent we would have significant financial help from people who want me to run as something other than a Democrat." Further on October 21st, after much speculation, Vice President Joe Biden announced that he would not challenge Clinton and Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. This first exchange of punches between the potential candidates was rather a peaceful one, however it definitely did not pave a landscape of things to come in the future, as most if not all presidential campaigns have been appendaged with loads of drama and dirty punches being exchanged.

Multiple Bombings Kill Dozens in Turkey's Capital

October 11, 2015

Two separate explosions kill nearly 100 people during a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey's capital. Hundreds more are wounded in what is seen as the deadliest attack in Turkey in years. The two explosions happen 50 meters from each other and are almost simultaneous, occurring just seconds apart near Ankara's main train station. No one immediately claims responsibility for the bombings. However, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that there are "strong signs" that suicide bombers have been behind the attack. The attacks come at what is already a tense time in Turkey, which has taken in more refugees than any other country from its war-torn neighbor Syria. This horrid act of terror definitely will give the EU officials something to think about as the intensified migrant crisis combined with the imminent threat of radicalized individuals may become a serious problem within Western Europe in the years to come.

Multiple Bombings Kill Dozens in Turkey's Capital

October 11, 2015

Two separate explosions kill nearly 100 people during a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey's capital. Hundreds more are wounded in what is seen as the deadliest attack in Turkey in years. The two explosions happen 50 meters from each other and are almost simultaneous, occurring just seconds apart near Ankara's main train station. No one immediately claims responsibility for the bombings. However, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that there are "strong signs" that suicide bombers have been behind the attack. The attacks come at what is already a tense time in Turkey, which has taken in more refugees than any other country from its war-torn neighbor Syria. This horrid act of terror definitely will give the EU officials something to think about as the intensified migrant crisis combined with the imminent threat of radicalized individuals may become a serious problem within Western Europe in the years to come.

The Immigration Crisis Continues

September 16, 2015

The immigration crisis in Europe intensified throughout September. Migrants continue to flee war and conflict in Afghanistan, Syria, and the regions of Northern Africa, pouring into the Balkans at a rate of about 3,000 a day. They hope to end up in Western Europe, but many of those nations only offer refuge to a small number of migrants.

As a result the European Union officials met on September 14th to decide on how to respond to the crisis. However, no agreement was made. Officials could not agree on a proposal by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a plan that would give an additional 120,000 refugees asylum within the European Union countries. Officials will meet again in October to discuss the crisis.

Germany Backs Third Bailout for Greece:

August 19, 2015

The German Parliament voted on and approved a third bailout for Greece. Parliament's approval was seen as a victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel who supported the bailout. The $95 billion bailout still needs to be approved by other governments in Europe. If approved, the bailout will be negotiated with Greece by international creditors. August 20th sees the bailout being approved by Germany and other European governments, Greece received $14.5 billion, the first payment of a new three-year bailout that is worth a total of $95.6 billion. The reaction of the markets is rather steady however soon, the investors should be reacting positively as the situation in the region should solidify and stabilize at least for the next 3 years to come.

The Immigration Crisis Intensifies

August 8, 2015

During the summer of 2015, the Balkans route replaced the Mediterranean as the most traveled path by migrants. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees projects that 3,000 people a day will attempt to cross the Balkans to reach Western Europe in the coming months. The German government estimates that 800,000 migrants will seek asylum by the end of 2015, coming from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan to escape war and conflict. European reactions and opinions on this massive immigration are split. To shut off migrants, a fence is being built in Hungary along the border it shares with Serbia. More than 200 attacks on migrants have happened in Germany this year, including two fires set to asylum seeker shelters in August.

Iran Agrees to Historic Nuclear Deal

July 14, 2015

Iran and the group of six nations, the United States, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany, reached a historic agreement to limit Iran's ability to produce a nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting of the crippling economic sanctions. "Today's announcement marks one more chapter in our pursuit of a safer, more helpful and more hopeful world," said U.S. President Barack Obama. He also said that the agreement was "not built on trust, it was built on verification." Obama now faces the difficult task of persuading the U.S. Congress to endorse the agreement. Congress has 60 days to vote on the deal. Obama vows to veto any legislation that blocks implementation of the agreement. "This historical agreement and the lift of sanctions on Iran means opening of the country for business in the near future. This also means that the Iranian capital can begin flowing west, with Switzerland as one of the major aims on the agenda of Iranian investors. As Swiss banks are preparing to receive a flow of potential clients to park their capital in the Alp-State, FFT is also impatiently looking for a final lift of the sanctions, wanting to offer its services and the merits of Swiss Trust Companies to Iranians, who finally, after many years discrimination will now be able to enter the western world as equal business partners.

Greece Holds a Referendum

July 5, 2015

On July 5th Greece has voted in a referendum, 61% of voters backed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras call to vote "no" on the proposed budget cuts by creditors in return for loans that Greece needs. After the referendum, European leaders said that negotiations with Greece would resume. However, the chance of Greece staying in the euro-zone looks rather slim.

Cuba and U.S. Agree to Open Embassies:

July 1, 2015

On July 1, Cuba and the U.S. reached an agreement to open embassies in Washington D.C. and Havana. Reopening of the embassies restores a full diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time since 1961.

Greece Misses Debt Payment

June 30, 2015

Greece missed a critical debt payment of 1.5 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due on June 29th, increasing the country's financial crisis. Greece's international creditors refused to extend the country's bailout program. The IMF placed Greece in arrears, a classification used to avoid saying a country that doesn't pay its debt on time is in default. The missed payment creates alarm and chaos. Greece shut down its banking system, ordering its banks to close for a period for six days. Standard & Poor's released a statement about Greece that said, "a commercial default is inevitable within the next six months." Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calls for a referendum where voters will decide whether or not to accept the terms of the country's creditors. Tsipras urges voters to say "no," which is met with Pro-European protests in Athens. The resulting chaos could also been seen on the markets as many investors who did not anticipate this default by Greece reacted very nervously in the opening hours of the trading day. This mood unfortunately continued onwards as uncertainly is rising with the Greek case.

Millions Exposed by Computer Hacking Linked to China

June 4, 2015

Millions Exposed by Computer Hacking Linked to China: On June 4th the U.S. officials announced that at least four million federal employees were involved in a data breach by hackers who have been traced back to China. The breach is one of the largest ever of the federal employee data and involves past and present employees. The Obama administration announced that the breach was first discovered in April of this year, but may have started in late 2014.

Cameron Wins a Second Term in a Resounding Victory

May 12, 2015

David Cameron's Conservative Party breezed to victory over Labour in the general election in the UK on May 8th. The Conservatives win enough seats to secure an outright majority in Parliament, and Cameron earned a second five-year term as prime minister. It is a stunning loss for Labour's Ed Miliband, who resigned the day after the election. The Conservatives take 331 of 650 seats in the House of Commons, an increase of 24 seats from the 2010 race. Labour wins 232 seats, 26 fewer than in 2010. Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats, who joined the Conservatives in a coalition government after the 2010 election, also noted a poor result, taking just eight seats. He too resigned as party leader. This quite unexpected victory consolidated and solidified the Conservative’s position for the next term, allowing them to continue with their already partially implemented policies, aimed at intensified control and more powers to the government ran offices and officials. Due to the outcome of the election as well as the continued policy of pressure for small and medium businesses, many businessmen are leaving the UK, seeking asylum for their businesses and capital elsewhere in Europe. Switzerland and the Trust Company are here to help once again, as a certain number of them came to FFT looking to invest in Switzerland and take full advantage of the merits that the Swiss Trust Companies have to offer.

U.S. and Cuba Have Highest-Level Meeting in Decades

April 10, 2015

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met in Panama on April 9th. This signifies the highest-level meeting between the U.S. and Cuba in more than half a century. Their meeting came a day before the Summit of the Americas. According to U.S. officials, the meeting between Kerry and Rodriguez went well, lasting at least two hours. The meeting was followed by the U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro meeting on April 11th at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. It is the first time the leaders of these two states had a face-to-face meeting in more than 50 years. According to news reports, Obama and Castro vowed to open embassies in both countries. "Our governments will continue to have differences," Obama says. "At the same time, we agreed that we can continue to take steps forward that advance our mutual interests."

Iran Agrees to Nuclear Deal Despite Interference by Congress, Netanyahu

April 2, 2015

Despite the interference by the U.S. Congress and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, the U.S., and the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Germany agreed on a detailed, comprehensive framework for the future of Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's minister of foreign affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, engaged in a marathon negotiation sessions for eight days to secure the deal. The breadth of the agreement exceeded expectations. The deadline to reach a final agreement is June 30, 2015. Iran agreed to a lengthy list of concessions, including reducing the number of centrifuges spinning enriched uranium at Natanz, Iran's main nuclear facility, to 5,000 from about 19,000; not to enrich uranium over 3.67% for at least 15 years; not to build enrichment facilities for 15 years; that the enrichment site at Fordo will be converted to produce nuclear material for medical purposes for 15 years, and to allow all equipment and centrifuges not in use to be placed in storage monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA will now have access to inspect all of Iran's nuclear sites. This pact reached at the beginning of the 2nd financial quarter of the year promises a more stable and potentially profitable quarter as the investors responded immediately with a more acquisitive attitude towards the markets, resulting in the indices raising steadily. Many of our clients have also taken advantage of this opportunity conducting investments through their Swiss Trust Companies, benefiting from the excellent trading platforms the Swiss banks have to offer as well as exemptions on the capital gain taxes.

Israeli Prime Minister Makes Controversial Speech to U.S. Congress

March 3, 2015

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress in an effort to sway the US against further negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu called the negotiations aimed at Iran to freezing its nuclear program "a bad deal." In his speech, he said the deal that the Obama administration wants "could well threaten the survival of Israel" because it will certainly not prevent Iran from having and using nuclear weapons in the future. He further stated that the negotiations would have a counter-effect, in fact the deal "would all but guarantee" nuclear arms in Iran. During his speech, Netanyahu received repeated standing ovations and was greeted by bipartisan members despite the fact that more than 50 democrats were not attending. Netanyahu's speech was the most controversial speech, made by any foreign leader in years because of the subject matter and because the House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting with President Obama, a breach of protocol. The speech has been seen by many as an effort by Republicans to undermine Obama's foreign policy. Netanyahu's appearance came in a very strategic moment, just two weeks before the Israeli elections. The reaction from the markets was quite nervous, as could have been anticipated; the investors uncertain of the actual development and spurred by the allegations made by the Israeli leader decided to opt for a conservative approach as a result.

With Help From Iran, Iraq Begins Major Campaign Against ISIS

March 2, 2015

The Iraqi military, assisted by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Iranian troops and advisers, began a major campaign against ISIS in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, captured by ISIS back in June 2014.The Iranian-backed militias and Iranian troops lead the fight in Tikrit, Iraq, against ISIS; this radical militant group has the objective of implementing a radical Islamic state in northern Iraq and Syria. Iranian military leaders also provided guidance to the fighters. Fighters from Shiite militias comprise the bulk of the force, some 20,000 men, while Iraqi troops numbered only about 3,000, also small number of Sunni fighters joined the battle. On March 13th the combined forces were able to drive ISIS out of Tikrit, handing ISIS a significant defeat. The operation was conducted without the backing of the U.S.-led coalition, handing the Iraqi forces a symbolic as well as strategic victory in the region and against ISIS.

Denmark Sees Worst Terrorist Attack in Thirty Years

February 14, 2015

Two people were killed in two consecutive attacks. In the first attack, a gunman fired into a cafe where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was speaking. Vilks, who is on Al-Qaeda target-list for his caricature of Prophet Muhammad, was unharmed in the attack. One man was killed, and three police officers were wounded as a result. The gunman escaped, setting off a manhunt by the Danish police. (Feb. 15): Hours later, another attack occurred outside a synagogue. One man was killed, and two additional officers were wounded. The gunman escaped and the police continues the manhunt which began some 24 hours earlier. Later in the day, the police shoot and killed the suspect in a fire-exchange. (Feb. 16): Details emerged about the gunman, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was released from prison two weeks ago where he had been serving a sentence for assaulting a train passenger with a knife. Details suggest that El-Hussein may have been radicalized during his stay in jail. The two shootings are the worst terrorist attack in Denmark since the July 22, 1985 bombings of the Great Synagogue and the Northwest Orient airlines offices in Copenhagen, which killed one person and injured twenty-six.

Expectations Low for Renewed Truce Agreement in Ukraine

February 12, 2015

Expectations Low for Renewed Truce Agreement in Ukraine (Feb. 12): Amid the crisis in Ukraine, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France met attempting to resurrect the peace agreement signed in September 2014 in Minsk, Belarus, called the Minsk Protocol. After 16 hours of negotiations, the parties agreed to a cease-fire and to end the war in eastern Ukraine. However, some terms of the agreement leave many skeptical that the cease-fire will hold. For example, the location of the truce line is not defined. They do agree that both sides will remove heavy weapons and release prisoners, the constitution will be amended, the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk will be given "special status," and foreign troops and weapons will be withdrawn. As soon as this information leaked to the media, the financial markets reacted positively echoing the new found grounds of consolidation and peace in the region.

Attack on Charlie Hebdo

January 7, 2015

Attackers killed 12 people after storming the offices of the satirical Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo. The gunmen, who claimed links to Al-Qaeda's Yemen fraction, executed 10 staff-members and two police officers. They reportedly said the attack was to avenge the Prophet Muhammad, as the magazine had printed cartoon depictions of him, an act considered highly blasphemous in Islam.

Two of the suspected attackers, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, led police on a chase for two days, while a third suspect, Mourad Hamyd, turned himself in. Amid a huge outpouring of support under the slogan and hastag #jesuischarlie, Charlie Hebdo continued printing, with one million copies set for the following week.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 31, 2014

During this ended year 2014 we witnessed consolidation of our business ventures and opportunities for our clients combined with a very gentle growth in sales compared to last year’s results, which all of the FFT members found very pleasing.

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations dawning upon us we gratefully accept and use this opportunity to extend our best Christmas and holiday wishes to all our clients both current and future, prospects, and associates. May this period of joy and celebration bring you closer to your dear ones, may you reconcile with those long gone, may you be able to look past your differences, may you find new strengths to pursue your goals and opportunities without looking back. May the New Year bring health, joy, prosperity and success to all of you and your dear ones.

FFT herewith wishes you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sydney hostage crisis

December 23, 2014

A lone gunman took 17 hostages captive in a Sydney coffee and chocolate shop in December of this year, forcing them to display a black flag with white Arabic symbols, requesting a conversation with Australia's prime minister, suggesting to the world's media that the action was an act of terror. Sixteen hours later, the Australian police stormed the cafe and the gunman dead on site. Two hostages were killed in the fire exchange and four others were injured. Australian officials said the siege was an isolated incident conducted by a lunatic, and not a coordinated terror incident as the initial signed would tend to suggest.

The U.S. and Cuba mend their relationship

December 19, 2014

The U.S. and Cuba took a huge step in improving the diplomatic relations between the two neighbors, as on Dec. 17 after Cuba released two Americans who had been imprisoned for years. "We are choosing to cut loose the anchor of the past because it is entirely necessary to reach a better future — for our national interests, for the American people, and for the Cuban people,” President Obama said in a historic speech addressing the public. Raul Castro simultaneously addressed his nation, calling the move "progress" and saying that it proves ‘that solutions can be found for many problems in the future’.

Rosetta lands on a comet

November 13, 2014

The European Space Agency successfully completed one of the biggest space feats in years when it landed a spacecraft on a comet speeding between Jupiter and Mars at nearly 40,000 mph. The Rosetta spacecraft dropped the refrigerator-sized Philae lander onto comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, whose treacherous landscape is made up of plunging cliffs and rocky inaccessible terrain. It was the first such landing of a space probe on a comet in history. The chance of success were estimated at just 70 percent.

Many scientists think comets were a crucial part of Earth's formation because they crashed into our planet during the initial stages of its formation. Learning more about comets will ultimately reveal more about our own past and our home planet.

Canada parliament shooting

October 24, 2014

A lone gunman with prolific mental health issues shot and killed a Canadian soldier on Ottawa's Parliament Hill, before entering Canada's parliament building and engaging in a shootout with security. The 32-year-old Canadian man was shot dead by the Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, in what Canadian police called a "terrorist attack." The gunman's mother told the media he likely felt cornered by passport issues, "so the only way out was death."

Scotland votes No

September 23, 2014

Millions voted in a referendum to decide whether Scotland should separate from the United Kingdom and become an independent country. Although Scotland rejected independence and voted to stay as part of the UK, the referendum forever changed the political landscape. As many hardheaded politicians and spokesmen exposed their true identity and beliefs on the country’s political stage.

Robin Williams dies at 63

August 14, 2014

Robin Williams, the frenetic standup comedian and inimitable TV and film star whose richly dramatic side won him a supporting actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting, died at age 63 from an apparent suicide. The media have not yet confirmed the cause of death, however the actor seemed to have joined the imminent ranks of stars whose fame had the most of them, time before it was their turn to go.

World Cup in Brazil

July 17, 2014

Germany wins. Brazil, the hosts suffered an epically embarrassing loss at the hands of future World Champions. Many inspiring stories of success, fame, and drama, heroes were made and many veils have fallen stripping fans of their illusions. We have seen it all, indeed, this, the 2014 World Cup was one to remember.

MH17 shot down in Ukraine

July 19, 2014

Two of the most significant stories of the year conflated, when a Malaysia Airlines flight shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All 298 people on board were killed. Ukraine and the West immediately pointed the finger at Russia for supplying local rebels with weapons capable of downing a Boeing 777. The tragedy was the final push for a country already on the brink of war, and fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels escalated in the region, prompting the U.S. and the European Union to impose even more sanctions against Russia.

ISIS gains ground in Iraq

June 23, 2014

Although the Islamic State (ISIS) began its rise in early 2014, the world took notice of the militant group when it embarked on a bloody campaign through Iraq in June of this year, capturing city after city and forcing more than 1.7 million to flee the region.

ISIS has grown into one of the biggest radical threats in the world. The well-funded group has launched a massive online recruitment effort aimed at Westerners.

The group’s ultimate goal is to create an Islamic state and was able to gain power in areas of Syria devastated by the country’s civil war. In addition to plundering villages and carrying out mass executions, ISIS gained notoriety in the West after beheading American and English journalists and aid workers who had been captured in the region and then posting videos of the murders online for masses to witness their atrocious crimes.

Apple buys Beats

May 28, 2014

On May 28th Apple acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion — this signified by far the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Beats cofounders Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre joined Apple, as the Beats brand remains separate from Apple's mainstream products.

New world leaders elected

May 24, 2014

Ukraine, India and Egypt were among the countries to hold high-stakes elections in May. On the brink of war, Ukraine elected a billionaire and a pro-European Union candidate Petro Poroshenko as president after the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych, who sided with Russia. India voted in Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, a man whose past could be described as shady, to say the lease, as prime minister. And nearly one year after protests led to a coup in which president Mohamed Morsi was overthrown, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi clinched the presidency with 96.91 percent of the vote. A crushing victory for the opposition leaders.

Heartbleed attacks

April 7, 2014

Websites running SSL encryption — Gmail, Facebook, banks, just to name a few amongst those being affected — were exposed to a major security bug named Heartbleed. The bug forced companies to update their servers with a security patch and users had to change their passwords. But even then it wasn't a guarantee that the information was secure. This breach could come as another blow to the already shaky market as investors are staring to pull out the stock of affected corporations out of their portfolios.

Russia annexes Crimea

March 18, 2014

Just several weeks after a masked gunmen began systematically appearing in Ukraine's Crimea region, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to annex the peninsula and claim it as part of the Russian territory. Ukraine and Western leaders decried Putin's move, resulting in sanctions being imposed against the largest state of the former Soviet Block.

MH370 vanishes

March 8, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared while in air on its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A large search and rescue operation was mounted across the Indian Ocean, but the Boeing 737 was never found. All 239 people on board are presumed dead.

Facebook buys WhatsApp

February 28, 2014

Facebook entered into an agreement to acquire WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, for $16 billion composed of cash and stock. The deal is by far Facebook's largest acquisition to date. This deal has furthered deepened Facebook’s coverage of social and network media, which sees them stronger than ever. The markets are also responding accordingly giving the investors a bullish attitude towards Facebook and its stock. A great advantage for all Trust Company shareholders to use their entities as investment vehicles and earn a good buck on the markets, without having to worry about capital gain taxes, which all Trust Companies are fully exempted of.

Winter Olympics in Sochi

February 24, 2014

From dancing bears to wipeouts in the snow, to political nightmares for Vladimir Putin, the Winter Olympics were filled with inspirational scenes, sports drama and a lot of weird, yet memorable moments.

Ukraine protests spur a revolution

February 27, 2014

After months of protests demonstrators clashed with police on a tipping point, leaving more than 70 people dead and leading to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych. The recent events have shown yet another weakness and lack of consolidation in the largest former Soviet satellite. The country is being divided between those supporting the West and Ukraine opening to its western partners and those hardheaded conservatists who strongly believe in the former regime and Russian supremacy as the main partner of Ukraine in politics and trade in the future.

Polar vortex responsible for profilic floods in Canada

6 January, 2014

Polar Vortex: Some areas dropped to their coldest temperatures in years as a polar vortex flooded the country from Canada, spreading into the Midwest and expanding to other states from coast to coast.

Loosened US Policy on Recreational Drugs

17 January, 2014

After loosening of the anti-drug laws by the US government, the first ever shop selling recreational marihuana opens in Colorado. Other states following example in the same fashion loosen their anti-drug laws and policies. With this event, the US has joined the pool of states with loosened policies on use of recreational C class drugs.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from FFT!

24 December, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013 from FFT!

2013 has brought yet further consolidation of FFT and expansion to several auxiliary sectors in terms of investments and share-acquisition performed by our company. In addition our outreach to customers improved yet again, soaring more than 20% relative to last year.

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations approaching, we gratefully accept and use this opportunity to extend our best Christmas and holiday wishes to all our clients both current and future, prospects, and associates. May this period of joy sparkle up your celebrations bringing you closer to your dear ones, may you find new strengths to pursue your goals and opportunities without looking bank. May the New Year bring health, joy, prosperity and success to all of you and your dear ones.

FFT herewith wishes you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.

Fed Decides to Dial Back Bond Buying

22 November, 2013

Federal Reserve officials spent much of 2013 pondering how and when to start winding down an $85 billion-a-month, bond-buying program meant to stimulate economic growth, as President Barack Obama pondered a successor for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The uncertainty on both questions dragged on for months and drove stock and bond markets through some volatile swings. But by year's end, some important questions got answered.

After adding more than $1 trillion in mortgage and Treasury securities to its portfolio in 2013, the Fed said Dec. 18 it would gradually wind down the program in 2014, as long as the economy didn't sink again.

Meantime, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen, the Fed's current vice chairwoman, to succeed Mr. Bernanke.

The choice of Ms. Yellen, a loyal Bernanke deputy, ensures continuity at the Fed in 2014.

The big question: After rocketing higher in 2013, can financial markets thrive in 2014 in the absence of the easy-money Fed programs that so dominated attention in the year just passed?

Morgan Chase & Co. Pays a Record Fine

20 November, 2013

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. moved this year to put its legal troubles behind it. US’s biggest bank agreed Nov. 19 to pay a record $13 billion penalty to settle civil claims from the state and federal authorities that it sold mortgage-backed bonds based on loans that were weaker than advertised.

The settlement includes $4 billion in aid to distressed homeowners, such as reducing the size of mortgages that exceed the value of the property involved.

J.P. Morgan, under CEO Jamie Dimon, also agreed to pay more than $1 billion to end federal and overseas investigations into a series of bad bets made by a trader known as the "London whale." Those trades, which resulted in losses of more than $6 billion for J.P. Morgan, raised questions about the bank's governance.

The mortgage pact marks the toughest action taken after the financial crisis by the Obama administration, which has been criticized for not pursuing more aggressively criminal charges against bank executives for conduct leading up to the crisis.

A separate criminal probe of J.P. Morgan over mortgages continues.

Iranian Nuclear Pact Offers Rays of Hope for the Future

13 November, 2013

As negotiations on the Iranian Nuclear research and purification of Uranium commence heavily between the US and Iran, the goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons.

If a deal is indeed struck and Iran conforms to the rules and timeline-steps set before them, a peaceful solution will be at a reach of our hands, averting a nuclear crisis not only for the present but also for the future generations to.

These positive outcomes also see their respective reflection on the financial markets, as investors sparked with confidence decide to take on a more savvy approach to their investments, resulting in increases on the equities and bond markets. This positive ‘tune’ resonates around the financial markets across the globe.

Many of our clients having already been equipped with the Swiss Financial & Trust Companies are reaping the fruits of their labor and investments, which thanks to employment of the aforementioned Swiss Trust Company are exempted from capital-gains taxation, since the entity itself benefits from such exemptions accordingly.

Shutdown of the US Federal Government Ends

16 October, 2013

A 16 day shutdown of the Federal Government after failing to approve the budget for 2014 leads to chaos in the press and on the financial markets, as both investors and banks are trying to anticipate what is coming their way.

This very serious and troubling event not only for the US, but the observing world as well, came at a very difficult time of the global financial crisis spreading ever more into new states around the world, affecting both, normal consumers as well as investors, banks, financial markets, etc. The shutdown of the Federal Government has demonstrated to the rest of the world, how fragile and unstable the US economy and the political landscapes are, resulting in many investors moving away from the US markets and onto the European and Asian counterparts. Naturally FFT has been present and actively soliciting our services to all those who decided to look for safe and stable heavens for their investment. The vehicle known as the Swiss Trust Company came very handy to many investors who switched their assets over to the European soil, being able to consolidate all investments under the safe and secure banner of the Swiss Trust Company.

Boston Marathon Bombings

15 April, 2013

On April 15, 2013, double bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured at least 264. According to the Police report, the explosives were homemade pressure-cooker bombs, assembled and detonated by a 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers from Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are both of Chechen origin and legally immigrated to the United States at different times. According to independent media and a FBI report, the older brother became radicalized during one of his visits to the Middle East, several years back, and has been under police surveillance since his return to the US. The older brother died in a police shootout later in the evening of the day of the attack, whereas the younger brother managed to flee the scene and was apprehended sometime later by the Boston police, hiding in a boat on a private residential property in Boston.

Both the US as well as international markets have reacted to this unfortunate event, as uncertainty and the feeling of despair rose with the investors, resulting in a minor drop in almost all of the indexes on the trading days following the Boston Attacks.

China's New Leaders Consolidate Power

26 March, 2013

In March, China completed the final personnel changes of a once-a-decade leadership transition and provided some clues about the new administration's commitment to address social, economic and environmental problems that many Communist Party insiders fear are eroding its grip on power. The Communist Party leaders said markets would be allowed to play a leading role. State ownership would remain a pillar of the economy. The following months will certainly see investors and other government official eagerly anticipating and closely following the news from China, and whether the new personnel and reforms that are about to undertake will truly shape the Chinese Economic Landscape in a positive fashion in the months and years to come.

New Head of the Roman Catholic Church Elected

14 March, 2013

The Papal conclave of 2013 was convened in March of the same year, to elect a pope to succeed Pope Benedict XVI following his resignation on 28 February 2013. This was the first time in a modern history that an incumbent Pope resigned from his position before serving his term. After the 115 participating cardinal-electors gathered, they set 12 March 2013 as the beginning of the conclave. White smoke was seen emanating from the Sistine Chapel chimney on 13 March at 19:06 (7:06 PM) local time, following the fifth ballot, and the bells began pealing minutes after, signifying the election of a new pope. The conclave elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as pope, he took the pontifical name of Francis.

2013 Davos Summit

22 January, 2013

As the New Year commences and all of us are slowly returning from our family holidays back to normal, the Wold Economic Forum yet again meets in Davos, Switzerland to discuss the current global economic situation and the possible remedies of improving it.

For over 40 years, the mission of the World Economic Forum – committed to improving the state of the world – has driven the design and development of the Annual Meeting programme. The Annual Meeting remains the foremost creative force for engaging leaders in collaborative activities focused on shaping the global, regional and industry agendas.

Between January 23 and January 27, 2013 world’s leaders, economists, strategy planners and developers and financial experts have been discussing the prevailing economic climate both in Europe as well as the rest of the world.

Despite continuous negative news flowing in there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel as the experts meet to discuss the socio-economic agenda for the upcoming year, both markets and investors are holding their breath in anticipation of the conclusions and decisions to follow. The general ambiance seems to be rather positive and for the first time since the inception of the current crisis in 2008 the global markets seems to have gained some pace with a positive outlook from investors and ever increasing stocks in the automotive and financial sectors investors are more keen to consolidate their investments giving us all a positive general ambiance.

Yet again FFT AG and our flagship structure, Vintage Trust Company comes to help of all those wishing to capitalize on their investment gains without being excessively penalized by the tax man. Utilization of Trust Companies for investment and capital management guarantees secure portfolio structure and tax optimization in vast areas, including elimination of capital gain taxation and sizable cuts to all other areas of taxation for foreign beneficiaries. We recommend taking advantage of this opportunities as early in the year as possible to reap the crops of profits after successful investments at the end of the period. As we live in the world of opportunity another one is here to be grasped, make sure to be on board with the best and most prepared. Contact FFT today for a free quote on our services and Vintage Trust Companies.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from FFT!

25 December, 2012

2012 has brought a massive consolidation of FFT and expansion to several auxiliary sectors in terms of investments and share-acquisition performed by our company. In addition our outreach to customers improved yet again, soaring more than 30% relative to last year.

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations approaching, we gratefully accept and use this opportunity to extend our best Christmas and holiday wishes to all our clients both current and future, prospects, and associates. May this period of joy sparkle up your celebrations bringing you closer to your dear ones, may you find new strengths to pursue your goals and opportunities without looking bank. May the New Year bring health, joy, prosperity and success to all of you and your dear ones.

FFT herewith wishes you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013.

Christmas at Gunpoint

16 December, 2012

As the year 2012 slowly comes to an end, December 14 witnesses another tragedy which will carve its wounds deeply into the memories and lives of Americans.

On this fatal day, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Before driving to the school, Lanza had shot and killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

As yet another gun-based tragedy erupts, the nation stays divided as to the current gun-control laws and the possibility of near-future alterations. The voice of the nation seems to clearly demand for a change and improvement to the current gun-control legislation. Despite the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution still being the prevailing authority several gun-based tragedies have let to strong pressures on the government and legislative bodies to take some action and make changes, for ‘the better’.

Naturally the ‘voice of the nation’ is not shared by the huge gun producing corporations and lobbyists who make their living from selling these items. New regulations could certainly affect the scale of the industry and the profit margins that it enjoys. Smith & Wesson and Ruger corporations being amongst the highest gainers in 2012 with their stocks appreciating more than 70% & 40 % respectively.

US Presidential Election

8 November, 2012

November 6, 2012, a Tuesday witnessed the 57th quadrennial presidential election. The Democratic nominee, incumbent President Barack Obama, and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, battled it out against the Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Despite most major media outlets insisting before the election that the race was too close to predict a winner in advance, analysts using statistical models, bookmakers, and betting markets had Obama as a clear favourite.

Obama’s victory was confirmed on the next day, Wednesday, November 7, when Mitt Romney conceded the election to the incumbent losing with 206 electoral votes to Obama’s 332. The popular vote contest shows that the race was much more evenly matched with Obama claiming 51.1% and Mitt Romney 47.2% of all casted votes. Demonstrating one thing yet again that the US electoral system is very particular and in reality small margin victories can seem quite compelling when translated into the electoral vote scheme.

As this final ‘stand-off’ of the year brings no radical changes the investors moods are starting to settle and the markets seem to be recovering as a result, showing signs of recovery and stability which could be perceived as a good omen for the New Year 2013.

Sandy Hits Hard

22 October, 2012

On October 22, 2012 the hurricane Sandy hit portions of the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, with lesser impacts in the Southeastern and Midwestern states and Eastern Canada. Sandy was classified as the eighteenth named storm and tenth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, was a Category 2 storm at its peak intensity.

Yet another natural disaster has hit the US shores leaving a path of devastation and despair amongst those who were affected, losing their homes and in some cases their life-assets.

The effects of Sandy were also quickly seen on the floor of the NY stock exchange as well as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange with investors less then positive and quite sceptical in most cases. The resulting trading was very modest to say the least, resulting in corrections and drops in the agricultural sectors.

In addition, the financial aid needed to rectify the impact of this disaster has yet again stretched the budget requirements, which the congress is still to approve. A certain yet another challenge for the upcoming US presidential elections later this year.

Summer Olympics 2012

13 August, 2012

This sports-lined athletic year has yet another exhilarating event in store for all sports fans worldwide, the 2012 London Summer Olympic and Para-Olympic Games.

As the high-summer months approached the whole held its breath and stood still for this event of the year. Even the international markets, despite previous erratic trends were able to consolidate and find a certain balance in anticipation of the events to come.

July 27th, 2012 witnessed a spectacular opening to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, where 204 nations competed over 3 weeks in a series of athletic events over a multitude of arenas, from tarmac, through air to water, always exciting and always thrilling.

To no surprise it was the American athletes of the famous Team USA, who gathered the most acclaim and medals, some of them breaking their personal and world records. What di stun us all was the fact it was not the Russians or the Germans, who battled it out against the USA, but the Chinese who after successful hosting of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, demonstrated their perpetual hunger for victory and were able to take second place in the overall medal ranking. Team GB came third to a great applause of the local supporters.

We at FFT salute all great athletes, for athletics are very much like business ventures, it all starts with a great idea, and then through many commitments, sacrifices and a great deal of hard work accompanied by sweat it can finally be honed to perfection and see the daylight before a great audience to either a spectacular success or a disappointing defeat; in both cases however only the ones with strong character will persist to battle it out yet another day.

Happy New Year from FFT!

December 31, 2011

During the period of 2011 we have more than doubled the awareness for our products and services, even as global demand for Swiss Trusts surged by close to 50% compared to 2010.

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations dawning upon us we gratefully accept and use this opportunity to extend our best Christmas and holiday wishes to all our clients both current and future, prospects, and associates. May this period of joy and celebration bring you closer to your dear ones, may you find new strengths to pursue your goals and opportunities without looking bank. May the New Year bring health, joy, prosperity and success to all of you and your dear ones.

FFT herewith wishes you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Markets Plunge on Berlusconi's Demise

November 8, 2011

Italian Prime Minister, up to date seemingly untouchable media mogul known for brushing off countless scandals and challenges to his rule agreed to resign after the austerity bill has been passed, losing a governing majority in Parliament. Meanwhile the USD 2,6 trillion Italian bond market moved towards unsustainable levels as yields on the 10-year benchmark surged past 6.7%. The European stock markets also responded negatively, further slumping in the month of November signifying deepening of the crisis in Europe and investors’ reservation as to the uncertain future.

This more than worrying situation pushed investors to look for safe solutions and investments havens elsewhere once again proving that Switzerland has more to offer than meets the eye. The period of November has found FFT facing more than double demand for Swiss Trusts of last year for the same period as investors have once again found their conviction in the merits of the Swiss Trust Company. Despite the general lack of positive symptoms for recovery and market stagnation in the European realm FFT leads the market weaving certainty and investment security at the loom of a Swiss Trust Company.

Markets Chaotic with Libya, Greece Uncertain

October 31, 2011

The month of October 2011 has finally brought end to the Libyan civil war, which was part of the so called “Arab Springâ€