International News in Brief: Padbury’s $6.4 billion man claims of London kidnapping

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Padbury Mining’s self-proclaimed $6.4 billion man has also spoken of his negotiations with the Greek Government, his previous role at an Azerbaijani bank and meetings with the Lebanese PM prior to his assassination, and on being kidnapped in London.

Former hair clinic operator Roland Bleyer told BusinessDay on Friday that a group of companies where he is the “chairman of the finance committee”   have invested the money needed to help the mining company revive its failed Oakajee port and rail project.

Padbury is yet to confirm the identity of its funder.

Bleyer has had an interesting career which has spanned many parts of the globe. In a 2012 defamation case against Florida-based financial news website OffshoreAlert, he made a series of colourful claims.

They included once being in negotiations with the government of Prime Minister George Papandreou to lend Greece billions of euros during its debt crisis, playing a key role at an Azerbaijani bank and conducting business meetings with the later assassinated Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri, and being kidnapped while in London in 2000, the report said.

Bleyer claimed he was held captive for several hours in London until a ransom was paid after his notoriety led to gangsters kidnapping him for financial gain.
He now sometimes calls himself Ronald Husner.
Dodgy digital currency bitcoin has faced a challenging last three months: Not only is it down almost 50%, but one of its high-profile entrepreneurs has been arrested for helping drug dealers launder money, and one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges has just filed for bankruptcy.

On top of this, China has banned bitcoin exchanges from having bank accounts, and the IRS has declared that bitcoin is not a currency and is therefore subject to capital gains taxes, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Bitcoin exchange giant Mt. Gox was forced to file for bankruptcy after admitting that almost $500 million of the currency had simply disappeared. Mt. Gox Chief Executive Mark Karpelès said technical issues had opened the way for fraudulent withdrawals.

And in January 24-year-old bitcoin entrepreneur Charles Shrem was arrested in connection with an alleged drug scheme involving his bitcoin currency exchange and an online black market, the report said.
British workers have presented economists with a curious paradox by surpassing a milestone they weren’t meant to reach for at least another two years.

Unemployment rate there has just dropped to below 7%, spurring the Bank of England to start thinking about raising interest rates from their record lows, the Financial Times reported.

Despite this, indications are that there are still many people who have jobs but are not working as much as they want to be.

This means, paradoxly, that Britons are both underemployed and working unusually hard, the report said.

However Philip Rush, an economist at Nomura, said this could be a phenomenon that fades just as quickly.

“Following the large collective hit to real incomes that occurred in the Great Recession, it is rational to want to work more hours to reattain the previous standard of living,” he said. “But when real incomes start to grow again . . . it may be just as rational to decide their standard of living can be best served by not sacrificing leisure time.”


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