By Dialogo August 25, 2009 The man Iran’s president has named to be defense minister is wanted in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, and his nomination drew an outcry Friday from Argentina and Jewish groups. Ahmad Vahidi, who commanded a unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force at the time of the attack, was nominated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday along with others named to fill Cabinet positions. The Quds Force is involved in operations abroad, including working with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which is accused to carrying out the Buenos Aires attack. Argentina Prosecutor Alberto Nisman told The Associated Press Friday that Vahidi is accused of “being a key participant in the planning and of having made the decision to go ahead with the attack against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association.” Nisman has led the investigation into the July 18, 1994, bombing _ Argentina’s bloodiest terrorist attack. The bomb exploded inside a van outside the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association, killing 85 people and wounding 200. “It has been demonstrated that Vahidi participated in and approved of the decision to attack AMIA during a meeting in Iran on Aug. 14, 1993,” when he led the Quds Force, Nisman said. He added that Vahidi was never in Argentina. Argentine officials claim that Iran orchestrated the attack and that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah carried it out. The United States and Israel also say Iran is behind the bombing, but Iran has denied it. Ahmadinejad submitted his 18 Cabinet nominees late Wednesday to parliament, which must approve the list. Most of the nominees were close Ahmadinejad loyalists or little-known figures, while public critics of the president from his previous Cabinet were purged. At least four nominees _ for defense, interior, intelligence and oil minister _ had ties with the elite Revolutionary Guard, a powerful base of support for the president. “It’s significant, this nomination, but not surprising,” said Nisman about Vahidi’s nomination. “Iran has always protected terrorists, giving them government posts, but I think never one as high as this one.” The president of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, Guillermo Borger, told Argentina’s Jewish News Agency Friday that “we are completely surprised and outraged by the nomination of Ahmad Vahid. … His nomination is shameless and insulting.” Interpol said in 2007 it would help Argentina seek the arrest of Vahid and four other prominent Iranians wanted in connection with the attack. Among the others is Mohsen Rezaei, who ran against Ahmadinejad in the June 12 presidential election and is a former leader of the Revolutionary Guard. The other wanted Iranians are former intelligence chief Ali Fallahian; Mohsen Rabbani, former cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires; and former diplomat Ahmad Reza Asghari. Interpol had also sought Hezbollah militant Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria, in February 2008.
Large scale redemptions from investment funds could spark turbulence in the corporate bond market and threaten the stability of financial markets and institutions, according to a new paper published by the Bank of England.The paper – which is intended as a first-step in developing a financial system-wide stress simulation framework – looked at how the behaviour of several sectors like investment funds and broker-dealers could “interact to spread and amplify stress” in corporate bond markets.“Under a severe but plausible set of assumptions regarding market participant behaviours, investor redemptions could result in material increases in spreads in the corporate bond market and, in the extreme, in corporate bond market dislocation, threatening the stability of financial markets and institutions,” the paper said. Explaining the rationale behind the paper, Alex Brazier, executive director and member of the Financial Policy Committee, said a key priority for the Bank was to assess how the non-bank part of the financial system, which includes investment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, responds to economic shocks. He noted that globally, assets held by non-bank financial intermediaries had increased by more than a third since the financial crisis. And while this growth had been beneficial, Brazier said the new structure of the system had yet to be tested by “severe shocks”.The Bank’s simulation model found that weekly levels of redemptions from funds equivalent to 1% of their total assets — levels experienced in the financial crisis — could increase corporate bond interest rates for companies with high credit ratings by around 40 basis points.The model also examined the scale of redemptions that would be needed to overwhelm the capacity of dealers to absorb those sales, resulting in market dysfunction.“Investor redemptions one third higher than those observed during the crisis could be sufficient for this to happen — an unlikely, but not impossible, event,” Brazier said.And while such market dislocation was a “tail risk”, the paper said the probability of it crystallising could increase, especially if the potential demand for liquidity, including that arising from the investment fund sector, continued to grow relative to the supply of liquidity by dealers and other investors.“[This paper] has allowed a scenario to be explored in which large scale redemptions from open-ended investment funds trigger sales by those funds, with resulting spillover effects to dealers and hedge funds,” Brazier said.The paper noted funds’ liquidity mismatch during the summer of 2016, when following the Brexit vote, a number of UK open-ended property funds experienced significant outflows and had to suspend any further redemptions.Brazier said that while it was too soon to use these simulations to draw policy conclusions, they could be used to inform macroprudential policies regarding market-based finance activities; the appropriate level of bank resilience and the “precise design of regulations placed on banks and others to ensure that their individual safety is achieved as far as possible in a way that also promotes the stability of market-based finance”.The paper was written by Yuliya Baranova, Jamie Coen, Pippa Lowe, Joseph Noss and Laura Silvestri. read more
ACCESS/LAGOS MARATHON The process of accreditation for media practitioners hoping to cover the 2017 Access Bank/ Lagos City Marathon has now been opened by the organising committee.Head of the Communication Department for the race, Olukayode Thomas, stated that forms for the media will be available for collection at the Marathon Office at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere starting from Monday, January 23rdThomas who hinted that a lot of innovations have been introduced to allow for a smoother coverage stated that collected forms are to be returned before Friday, February 3rd“Yes, the process for media accreditation has started, interested journalists can now pick up the forms at the Marathon Office to fill and submit promptly. Thomas stated. “We are bringing a lot of innovations into this year’s race to further enhance the media coverage.” He added,With as much as 50,000 athletes expected across the world, Thomas said the Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon which is already ranked second in Africa can only get better.In this light, he thanked the esteemed members of the media who he described as partners in progress.The 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is billed to take place on Saturday, February 11th. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram read more