The City watchdog has yielded to market pressure and dropped informal proposals that could have forced investment banks to blow the whistle if they became aware of regulatory failings by companies for which they had raised equity.

For the first time ever, the number of billionaires Forbes could identify crossed into four figures, reaching 1,125. The total net worth of the group is $4.4 trillion, up $900 billion from last year. Despite the turbulence in the U.S. markets, Americans account for 42% of the world’s billionaires and 37%, of the total wealth; those shares are down two and three percentage points, respectively, from last year. Sixteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, with 87 billionaires, is the new No. 2 country behind the U.S., easily overtaking Germany, with 59 billionaires, which held the honor for six years.

One of Gordon Brown’s top business advisers has warned the government that it needs to be “extremely careful” to ensure its tax policy does not inflict a “hugely damaging” blow on the UK’s competitiveness. In his first interview in his role as chairman of the prime minister’s advisory business council, a week ahead of Alistair Darling’s first Budget, Mervyn Davies, the chairman of Standard Chartered, sounded the alarm about the long-term effect of the Treasury’s contentious changes to capital gains tax and the tax regime for wealthy non-domiciled foreigners.


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse probed FBI Director Robert Mueller on whether there would be a scenario in which the FBI would use waterboarding during an interrogation. The Rhode Island Democrat laid out a hypothetical situation in which the FBI had captured Timothy McVeigh just after the Oklahmoa City bombing and believed he had information on another bomb that was set to explode within an hour.

“Do you waterboard Timothy McVeigh?” Whitehouse asked.

Mueller demurred, saying he would “prefer not to answer hypotheticals,” although he acknowledged under further questioning that such a ticking time-bomb scenario could happen today.

“I would not know how I would respond,” Mueller said.

It takes two to tango, Sheldon created the scenario (repeating the torture enabling ticking bomb scenario) and Bobby gave the vague answer. In a non-torture state, it would go like this-                  -nothing, the question isn’t even up for discussion. Given recent reality however at worst it should have been this-

Q. Have you or would you waterboard a suspect?

A. No absolutely not, it is torture, it is morally wrong and a crime.

And for that statement to be truthful and not a lie exposed by the actions of the administration around the world.

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