DINNER PARTY INTEL: Harare’s ivory payday
Zimbabwe wants to trade in ivory, a move it says will help balance its ecosystem, which it says is overburdened by a thriving elephant population
1. Mark, it’s an AIR sign
Facebook will launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020. But unlike currencies such as bitcoin, Libra will have a reserve of assets — every unit of Libra currency will be backed by something of intrinsic value.
Facebook wants to create a form of payment that is as stable as the US dollar, can be used to buy anything, and can support financial products such as banking and loans. And even though Facebook is building Libra, it plans to cede the project. It has already formed a nonprofit Libra Association with 27 others, including Visa, Mastercard, Uber and Naspers-owned PayU.
2. Well, in hindsight …
KPMG will pay $50m to settle claims that it went back to alter audits it had already completed, after using stolen data from a watchdog that revealed they were about to be scrutinised. The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) said this week it charged the audit company with changing past audits ahead of inspections by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The SEC also found that KPMG auditors cheated on internal training exams by sharing answers and manipulating test results, the FT reports.
3. Harare’s ivory payday
Zimbabwe wants to trade in ivory, a move it says will help balance its ecosystem, which it says is overburdened by a thriving elephant population. Authorities says the country has enough habitat to sustain 55,000 elephants, but it has more than 84,000.
The country’s hoard of ivory, which has been accumulating for decades, is estimated to be worth $300m. It will now consider pulling out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which has a long-standing ban on international ivory sales to curb poaching.