Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How Successful People Handle Toxic People























Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.
Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.
Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It's the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.
Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it's negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize toxic people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep toxic people at bay.
While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when dealing with toxic people, what follows are twelve of the best. To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.
They Set Limits (Especially with Complainers)
Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.
You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.
They Don’t Die in the Fight
Successful people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.
They Rise Above
Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. Which begs the question, why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?
The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.
They Stay Aware of Their Emotions
Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.
Think of it this way—if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.
They Establish Boundaries
This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.
You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.
They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy
When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them.
While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.
They Don't Focus on Problems—Only Solutions
Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.
When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you're going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.
They Don’t Forget
Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Successful people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.
They Squash Negative Self-Talk
Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.
They Limit Their Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re surprised in the hallway by an angry coworker.
They Get Some Sleep
I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present.
A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.
They Use Their Support System
It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. 
Bringing It All Together
Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you’re going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people.Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.
I always love to hear new strategies for dealing with toxic people, so please feel free to share yours in the comments section below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Travis Bradberry, Ph.D.
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider ofemotional intelligence testsemotional intelligence training, and emotional intelligence certification, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

It's no secret that reading is good for you. Just six minutes of reading is enough to reduce stress by 68%, and numerous studies have shown that reading keeps your brain functioning effectively as you age. One study even found that elderly individuals who read regularly are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's than their peers. But not all forms of reading are created equal.
The debate between paper books and e-readers has been vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the studies are on the side of paper books. 
Reading in print helps with comprehension. 
A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback. Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway's Stavanger University concluded that "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does."
Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page. 
The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. Mangen hypothesizes that the difference for Kindle readers "might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you're reading."
While e-readers try to recreate the sensation of turning pages and pagination, the screen is limited to one ephemeral virtual page. Surveys about the use of e-readers suggest that this affects a reader's serendipity and sense of control. The inability to flip back to previous pages or control the text physically, either through making written notes or bending pages, limits one's sensory experience and thus reduces long-term memory of the text. 



Source: John Keeble/Getty Images

Reading long sentences without links is a skill you need — but can lose if you don't practice. 
Reading long, literary sentences sans links and distractions is actually a serious skill that you lose if you don't use it. Before the Internet, the brain read in a linear fashion, taking advantage of sensory details to remember where key information was in the book by layout. 
As we increasingly read on screens, our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning. A 2006 study found that people read on screens in an "F" pattern, reading the entire top line but then only scanning through the text along the left side of the page. This sort of nonlinear reading reduces comprehension and actually makes it more difficult to focus the next time you sit down with a longer piece of text.
Tufts University neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf worries that "the superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing." Individuals are increasingly finding it difficult to sit down and immerse themselves in a novel. As a result, some researchers and literature-lovers have started a "slow reading" movement, as a way to counteract their difficulty making it through a book. 



Source: Kathy Willens/AP

Reading in a slow, focused, undistracted way is good for your brain.
Slow-reading advocates recommend at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily reading away from the distractions of modern technology. By doing so, the brain can reengage with linear reading. The benefits of making slow reading a regular habit are numerous, reducing stress and improving your ability to concentrate. 
Regular reading also increases empathy, especially when reading a print book. One study discovered that individuals who read an upsetting short story on an iPad were less empathetic and experienced less transportation and immersion than those who read on paper. 
Reading an old-fashioned novel is also linked to improving sleep. When many of us spend our days in front of screens, it can be hard to signal to our body that it's time to sleep. By reading a paper book about an hour before bed, your brain enters a new zone, distinct from that enacted by reading on an e-reader. 
Three-quarters of Americans 18 and older report reading at least one book in the past year, a number which has fallen, and e-books currently make up between 15 to 20% of all book sales. In this increasingly Twitter- and TV-centric world, it's the regular readers, the ones who take a break from technology to pick up a paper book, who have a serious advantage on the rest of us. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to debug your brain

Our brains are the most bug ridden pieces of junk since Internet Explorer.
To replicate one common bug, try telling your brain to “go to the gym”. Most brains will respond by updating their Facebook status, and watching cat videos. This is not the desired behaviour.
Error: work attempted
Fortunately I’ve developed a fix. Let me just explain how the whole human brain works first.

This code is a mess

Looking at our brain, it’s clear it was developed by a team of ten thousand monkeys with a serious drinking problem. You know, like Windows 8.
The Microsoft Development Process
The brain is event-driven, which is to say it does almost nothing until an event occurs, and then it responds to the event. Your hand gets hot, you pull it back. Your stomach rumbles, you look for food.
How our brain works, sort-of
Unfortunately there are a lot of events. There are events for shiny objects coming into view, or for scary monsters, or for boobs – actually, there are 856 different events for boobs, but I digress – and all of these events are firing in our brain and competing for our limited processing ability.
Too late the developers realised this would leave us bouncing between distractions like a cat chasing a laser pointer, and they hacked in a priority system.
The Brain's Priority System
Unfortunately, our priority system is a bit pants: the default priority for sitting down is higher than the priority for working out.

But wait! We’re smarter than – ooh, a squirrel

Don’t we have some kind of clever, conscious brain though? The part that does math and plays chess and copies Sally’s homework?
Well, yes. But that part is event driven too, which is to say it’s not on all the time. It turns out our brains were optimised for energy efficiency, and they only turn on their CPU (Consciousness Processing Unit) when absolutely necessary. If you’ve ever realised you’ve been driving for an hour and hadn’t even noticed, that was your consciousness going into Standby Mode.
It’s your consciousness that tells you to exercise, even if you don’t want to, because it can see the long term benefits are greater than the short term pain. And when it’s in control, you do so. But consciousness demands a lot of power. When your mental battery is low, it’s easily overpowered out by higher priorities, like playing Hearthstone or squeezing a particularly awkward spot.

The bug fix

We’re going to add a new event of our own to fix things. Non-programmers might call this a ‘habit’.
Our new event is triggered by a transition. For example, if you wake up, that’s a transition. Arrive at your desk – that’s a transition. Arrive home – that’s a transition.
It’s at the transition that our behaviour is most likely to be hijacked by the highest priority event that happens to be in our brain at the time. If you’ve arrived home, chances are that event is “I’m knackered” and you’ll fall onto the sofa. We need to stop that.
Here’s your new event:
Bug fix for the brain
Don’t worry if you’re not fluent in Brain Programming (B#) – just remember three words: “No. Right. Now.” Let’s break it down:

“No”

Firstly, we need to interrupt all other events. There’s a trick for overpowering mental distractions, and that’s to make your intention insanely simple. No is about as simple an intention as you can get.
No means simply reject everything. If you want to check Facebook, the answer is no. If someone is asking you if you have 5 minutes, the answer is no. If this will piss someone off, it’s still no.
Don’t complicate this with exceptions. Exceptions will happen anyway – if your house is on fire, primal instincts will take over. But 99.9% of the time, in our comfortable modern lives, the greatest danger to you is that you live by your outdated survival impulses. Start by saying no to everything.
You might worry that by declining everyone and everything you’ll become some kind of sociopathic robot. You’ll still have time for those distractions later. Tell people that. The trick is to get done what matters first.

“Right”

Now ask yourself what is the one ‘right’ thing you should be doing now.I did not say three things. There can be only one.
There Can Only Be One (appropriate top priority at one time)
You shouldn’t need to think about this much, because your conscious brain should already have decided for you the night before: it’s usually the one thing you want to do all the time, but never find time for.
A crucial distinction here is importance versus urgency. The most important things in life – like eating healthy – are rarely urgent. And our brain’s buggy events are great at dealing with urgent things – like the phone ringing – all by themselves. So when given the choice,choose importance over urgency. It makes the most difference in the long run.

“Now”

Start doing the right thing immediately. Not after you’ve checked your email – immediatelyDon’t give yourself time to even think about it, just start. Starting is always the hardest part; the very inertia which makes something hard to start can make it equally hard to stop.

This simple fix works because when you transition from one place to another, your brain is unusually receptive to events. It needs to decide on a new course of action, and once it chooses one it tends to stick to it.
Unfortunately we tend to make stupid decisions at transitions, because we don’t think about them:
Default buggy brain behaviour
Interrupt your transitions with the right choices, and you’ll find yourself doing what matters far, far more often:
Patched brain behaviour
Just remember: “No. Right. Now.” Three short words to program a life changing habit.
As for how you fix Windows 8, I have no idea.


http://oliveremberton.com/2014/how-to-debug-your-brain/

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Beginner’s Guide To Money Laundering

Money Laundering Cover_03
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider
Let’s say you have a little spare cash — a couple hundred grand, maybe a million — burning a hole in your pocket. Maybe you’ve come upon it through questionable means. Or maybe you would prefer to keep it out of the grubby hands of various tax authorities. Or you don’t want your spouse to know about it. Or your kids.
Fear not. With a little financial detergent, your dirty money can be rendered more or less untraceable.
It must be said that the flow of illicit capital is distorting the global economy, draining wealth from emerging nations and inflating the cost of assets in the developed world. Neither of which seems to deter people from doing it every day.
China leads the world in this ancient art. Between 2002 and 2011, some $1.08 trillion departed the country illegally, despite currency-control laws that require people to obtain a permit to exchange more than $50,000 a year worth of yuan into any foreign currency.
But this is a truly international pastime. During that same period, some $880.96 billion was spirited out of Russia, $461.86 billion left Mexico, $370.38 billion left Malaysia, $343.93 billion left India, $266.43 billion left Saudi Arabia, and $192.69 billion left Brazil. The total outflow, among 20 emerging economies, was $5.9 trillion, equivalent to $49 billion a month.
From corrupt politicians and drug cartels to tax cheats and alimony deadbeats, more or less everybody’s doing it.
Americans wishing to spirit their cash offshore are increasingly finding their efforts thwarted by Washington’s 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires foreign banks to turn over information about accounts held by US citizens. But plenty of avenues remain for the dedicated money launderer — particularly if he or she is willing to violate the law.
Here are the basics:
casino_new
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

LESSON 1: THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF OFFSHORE

Macau and Hong Kong are considered Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, and part of what makes them special is that they are great places to launder cash. Macau is the casino capital of the world, with seven times more gaming revenue than Las Vegas, and Hong Kong is home to plenty of compliant banks and other intermediaries willing to transfer funds anywhere in the world without asking too many questions, for a fee.

First, Find Yourself A Junket

Let’s say you live or work in China and want to hide a massive bribe. First, you must convert it from yuan into another currency without the government knowing. The easiest way to do this is to contact a junket, an agent in mainland China who will give you casino chips for your cash, minus fees of up to 20%.

Hit The Casino

Take the chips to a friendly, cooperative casino, where you can gamble with them, cash them in for Hong Kong or US dollars to then spend as you see fit, or deposit in a Hong Kong bank branch. Or, for extra safety, take them to a lawyer specializing in offshore laundering. Meanwhile, the casino will mix your chips with those from legitimate gamblers, and its accountants will book your $1 million as paid-out winnings.

A Whirlwind Tour

Your bank or lawyer must wire-transfer the funds in such a way that the money crosses multiple borders, to frustrate detection or confiscation. For instance, the money might end up in a US trust managed by a shell company in Grand Cayman, owned by another trust in Guernsey with an account in Luxembourg managed by a Swiss or Singaporean or Caribbean banker who doesn’t know who the owner is.
smurf_new_03
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

LESSON 2: LITTLE BLUE MEN

You remember the Smurfs, those adorable little blue creatures? In financial circles, “smurfs” aren’t so innocent. They’re everyday folks who help the big guys launder their cash by making tons of tiny bank deposits and transfers in order to move money without detection.

Find Yourself A Smurf

After arranging a smurf deal by phone or email, you’ll be asked to have the cash couriered to a smurf’s residence (probably not a mushroom in the forest, but you never know). The smurf will then deposit small amounts of your cash into an account every day for weeks or months — or years — avoiding watchful eyes by keeping the numbers small.

Make A Withdrawal

Along the way, you can ask your smurf to withdraw some cash — which has since been rendered untraceable — for a shopping spree. But don’t go crazy. Better to have a bank wire-transfer the money to your offshore accomplices or your shell companies.

Beware Of Cocky Smurfs

Smurfs are supposed to stay under the radar. That’s what makes them smurfs. But the rise of internet banking had made smurfing even more lucrative, and some top practitioners became so big they began to draw attention. For years, Hong Kong’s most prolific money launderer was a teenager named Luo Juncheng, who originally opened a Bank of China account with a $500 deposit. During the next eight months, he made nearly 5,000 deposits, and more than 3,500 withdrawals electronically, moving $1.67 billion offshore before attracting notice. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2013 — bad news for the smurf, and his clients.
Other smurfs come to attention of authorities through their flamboyant lifestyles. In March, another Hong Kong resident, Carson Yeung, was sentenced to six years for laundering $91.27 million through his bank accounts between 2001 and 2007. A former hairdresser who’d since bought the UK’s Birmingham City football team, he claimed he had accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from stock trades, a hair salon, and gambling.
corporate_new
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

LESSON 3: GOING CORPORATE

The real big shots don’t bother with casinos, crooked bank managers, junkets, or smurfs. They manage to transfer millions, or billions, without handling cash or involving banks at all, instead funneling their money through corporate deals (bribes, kickbacks, and embezzlement schemes), which are exempt from currency controls.

How To Over-Invoice

Let’s say you’re a government official or corporate executive, and you want to receive a $1 million bribe or kickback for giving a lucrative and excessively priced contract to a foreign or local business. You approve the contract, and its payment, and pad the consideration by a few million, which includes $1 million for yourself.
The client puts your $1 million overpayment into a shell company in an offshore jurisdiction, where your ownership can remain anonymous. You are then free to invest or spend the money. The business writes it off as an expense, paid out to an offshore consultant.
Or perhaps you’d prefer that your $1 million be used to buy an asset offshore for you, or that it be paid out gradually in salaries or fees to family members. Either way, you’re good to go.

How To Under-Invoice

It’s the same thing in reverse. Simply sell your goods or services to a business at a price that is less than the goods or services are worth. Then, out of the embezzled funds, you get $1 million directly from the company that got the bargain. These funds can be placed directly into anonymous offshore account or into an asset of your choice.
diamonds_new
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

LESSON 4: SAY IT WITH DIAMONDS

They are a girl’s best friend and a government regulator’s worst nightmare.

Tartar Control

Let’s say you want to bring $1 million into the US without detection by tax authorities. One UBS whistleblower testified that clients were urged to buy diamonds for cash, then smuggle them overseas in toothpaste tubes to fool authorities. The gems can then be sold for cash, to private dealers, once you rinse off the Colgate.

Stamps And Plastic

Another technique is to transfer your funds to anonymous debit cards. And if you want to go old-school, collectible stamps still have their fans.
In May, Credit Suisse admitted guilt to such activities and others — such as shredding documents and keeping transactions below the US $10,000 reportable limit — to help American clients avoid taxes, paying a fine of $2.6 billion. But nobody really thinks they’re the only ones.
yacht_new
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

LESSON 5: TROUBLE AHEAD?

The would-be launderer should take note: Crime still pays, but the costs are on the rise. A gigantic crackdown in the West, and a similar one against corruption in China, will abate illicit money flows in the long run. In the short term, however, both crusades appear to have escalated the exodus of cash.
According to the UN, the largest recipient of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in 2013 was the British Virgin Islands, an archipelago with 23,000 residents. About $92 billion in foreign cash washed up there, more than India and Brazil combined. Other havens receiving massive “investments” included the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, and Vanuatu.
But the money doesn’t necessarily stay there. In 2014, the Chinese overtook the Russians as the largest buyers of New York City condos. Other laundered money is used to purchase London mansions, yachts, securities, art, and luxury estates around the world.
These funds also dominate stock and bond markets. By 2012, tax havens held about 29% of the total foreign investment (corporate, bonds, stocks) in the US. By comparison, China held only 7% of assets.
But the hard reality for launderers is that “good” banks are harder to find every day, and so are jurisdictions providing complete anonymity. As a result, some very big fish are starting to get caught in the dragnet. One high-profile case in is now underway in Spain, where the world’s greatest soccer superstar, Lionel Messi, and his father stand accused of laundering $5.56 million (4.2 million euros) worth of sponsorship dollars. They deny all allegations.
Meanwhile, the third Smurfs movie — said to be a thorough reboot — is being prepared for a2016 release after the first two films grossed a total of nearly $1 billion worldwide. It sounds like a fine investment opportunity.
Diane Francis is editor at large with The National Post and a professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.


http://www.businessinsider.sg/beginners-guide-to-money-laundering-2014-10/#.VDnUQSmSypE

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

IT Geek Jokes

1. There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
2. How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. It's a hardware problem.
3. A SEO couple had twins. For the first time they were happy with duplicate content.
4. Why is it that programmers always confuse Halloween with Christmas?
Because 31 OCT = 25 DEC
5. Why do they call it hyper text?
Too much JAVA.
6. Why was the JavaScript developer sad?
Because he didn't Node how to Express himself
7. In order to understand recursion you must first understand recursion.
8. Why do Java developers wear glasses? Because they can't C#
9. What do you call 8 hobbits?
A hobbyte
10. Why did the developer go broke?
Because he used up all his cache
11. Why did the geek add body { padding-top: 1000px; } to his Facebook profile?
He wanted to keep a low profile.
12. An SEO expert walks into a bar, bars, pub, tavern, public house, Irish pub, drinks, beer, alcohol
13. I would tell you a UDP joke, but you might not get it.
14. 8 bytes walk into a bar, the bartenders asks "What will it be?"
One of them says, "Make us a double."
15. Two bytes meet. The first byte asks, "Are you ill?"
The second byte replies, "No, just feeling a bit off."
16. These two strings walk into a bar and sit down. The bartender says, "So what'll it be?"
The first string says, "I think I'll have a beer quag fulk boorg jdk^CjfdLk jk3s d#f67howe%^U r89nvy~~owmc63^Dz x.xvcu"
"Please excuse my friend," the second string says, "He isn't null-terminated."
17. "Knock, knock. Who's there?"
very long pause...
"Java."
18. If you put a million monkeys on a million keyboards, one of them will eventually write a Java program. The rest of them will write Perl programs.
19. There's a band called 1023MB. They haven't had any gigs yet.


20. There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors.