Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company

Executives at a Bermudan firm funneling money to U.S. environmentalists run investment funds with Russian tycoons
Rosneft, owned by the Russian state, is the world's largest oil company / AP

Rosneft, owned by the Russian state, is the world’s largest oil company / AP

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A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

With oil prices plunging as a result of a fracking-induced oil glut in the United States, experts say the links between Russian oil interests, secretive foreign political donors, and high-profile American environmentalists suggest Russia may be backing anti-fracking efforts in the United States.

The interest of Russian oil companies and American environmentalist financiers intersect at a Bermuda-based law firm called Wakefield Quin. The firm acts as a corporate registered agent, providing office space for clients, and, for some, “managing the day to day affairs,” according to its website.

As many as 20 companies and investment funds with ties to the Russian government are Wakefield Quin clients. Many list the firm’s address on official documentation.

Klein Ltd. also shares that address. Documents filed with Bermuda’s registrar of companies list just two individuals associated with the company: Hoskins, Wakefield Quin senior counsel and managing director, and Marlies Smith, a corporate administrator at the firm.

According to documents filed with Bermuda’s registrar of companies, Klein Ltd. was incorporated in March 2011 “exclusively for philanthropic purposes,” meaning “no part of the net earnings … inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.”

“The company does not propose to carry on business in Bermuda,” the documents stated.

The only publicly available documentation of any business conducted by Klein Ltd. were two Internal Revenue Service filings by the California-based Sea Change Foundation, which showed that Klein had contributed $23 million to the group in 2010 and 2011. Klein Ltd. was responsible for more than 40 percent of contributions to Sea Change during those years.

The foundation passed those millions along to some of the nation’s most prominent and politically active environmentalist groups. The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011.

Neither Wakefield Quin nor Sea Change responded to multiple requests for more information about their relationships with Klein Ltd.

“None of this foreign corporation’s funding is disclosed in any way,” the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wrote of the company in a report last year. “This is clearly a deceitful way to hide the source of millions of dollars that are active in our system, attempting to effect political change.”

The Sierra Club, which received nearly $8.5 million from Sea Change in 2010 and 2011, launched its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign the following year. The effort has become one of the largest and best-funded environmentalist campaigns combating fracking and the extraction of natural gas in general.

Sea Change’s “skeletal staff quietly shovels tens of millions of dollars out the door annually to combat climate change. And that’s pretty much all it does,” noted Inside Philanthropy, which awarded the foundation its “sharpest laser focus in grantmaking” award last year.

Nathaniel Simons and his wife run the foundation and are, except for Klein Ltd., its only donors. Simons, a hedge fund millionaire who commutes to work across San Francisco Bay aboard a 50-foot yacht, also runs a venture capital firm that invests in companies that benefit from environmental and energy policies that Sea Change grantees promote.

Simons himself has ties to Klein Ltd. Several Wakefield Quin attorneys are listed as directors of hedge funds that his firm manages, and in which Sea Change has assets.

Senior counsel Rod Forrest was listed on documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a director of two investment funds, Medallion International Ltd. and Meritage Holdings Ltd., in which Sea Change had tens of millions invested while it received money from Klein Ltd.

Simons’ company runs the Meritage Fund. The Medallion Fund is run by Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund management firm run by his father, billionaire and Democratic mega-donor Jim Simons. Both funds listed Wakefield Quin’s Hamilton, Bermuda, address on SEC filings.

Wakefield Quin’s Hoskins and Smith, as well as a number of other employees of Wakefield Quin, have worked in some capacity for companies or investment funds owned by or tied to Russian state-owned corporations and high-level officials in the country.

Hoskins, Forrest, and another Wakefield employee named Penny Cornell were all listed as executives of Spectrum Partners Ltd., a fund with offices in Moscow, Cypress, and Bermuda, Cornell at the address of Wakefield Quin’s offices.

According to a performance report for one of Spectrum Partners’ funds, its portfolio consisted of “Russian and CIS [former Soviet state] securities and securities outside of Russia or CIS but having significant economic or business involvement with Russia and/or CIS.”

As of 2008, more than half of the fund’s holdings were in the oil and gas sectors.

Numerous executives at Wakefield Quin have ties to Russian oil and gas companies, including Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Russian government and in 2013 became the largest oil company in the world.

Hoskins is the vice president of a London-based company called Marcuard Services Limited, and a member of the firm’s board, according to its website.

The company’s president, and the chairman of its parent company, Bermuda-based Marcuard Holding Limited, is Hans-Joerg Rudloff. Rudloff is also a former vice-chairman of the Rosneft’s board.

Hoskins is also a director at a Bermuda-based subsidiary of Russian investment bank Troika Dialog. That firm organized an initial public offering for Timan Oil & Gas, which is run by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev.

The Environmental Policy Alliance, which provided the Washington Free Beacon with a copy of an upcoming report on Klein Ltd.’s Kremlin ties, said Wakefield Quin’s ties to environmental financiers and Russian oil barons merit closer scrutiny.

“The American public deserves to know whether environmentalists are attacking US energy companies at the behest of a Russian government that would like nothing more than to see their international competition weakened,” Will Coggin, a senior research analyst at the EPA, said in an emailed statement.

“In the face of mounting evidence, environmental groups are going to have to start answering hard questions about their international funding sources,” Coggin said.

The overlap between executives at firms with ties to Russian oil interests and a multi-million-dollar donor to U.S. environmentalist groups has some experts worried that Russians may be replicating anti-fracking tactics used in Europe to attack the practice in the United States.

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly NATO’s secretary general, said last year.

It is unlikely that the Kremlin is directly involved in doing so in the United States, according to Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

“If anybody in Russia is behind all the secretive Bermuda investment house and law firm action, it’s most likely some oligarch bidding against U.S. competition,” he said in an email.

Arnold, the author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, said that the opacity of Klein Ltd.’s involvement with the Sea Change Foundation exemplifies attempts to shield the source of donations to such groups.

“In my experience of trying to penetrate offshore money funnels for U.S. leftist foundations and green groups, I have found that Liechtenstein, Panama and Bermuda are the Big Three green equivalents of the Cayman Islands for hedge fund managers—totally opaque and impervious to my specially designed research tools,” Arnold said.

 

Now Greeks Should Dump the Euro

Image: Now Greeks Should Dump the Euro Syriza leader and Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras. (Dani Pozo/AFP/Getty Images)

Peter Morici

By electing Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras to be premier, Greeks voted to end the draconian economic measures imposed by Germany and other international lenders. After the dust settles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will either backpedal on the austerity imposed on Athens or accept Greece’s exit from the euro.

When the single currency was established in 1999, prices, bank accounts and debts in each member state were translated from domestic currencies into euro at prevailing exchange rates.

Prices for most products that were traded within the Eurozone reasonably reflected differences in productive efficiency and wages among its members. However, owing to differences in national geography, law and culture, productivity advanced more rapidly in Germany and other northern states. Greece and other Mediterranean members increasingly borrowed to pay for imports as their exports became uncompetitive and inadequate.

By 2008, just as many U.S. homeowners were too deeply in debt to ever repay what they owe, Greece and several other southern European governments couldn’t service their debts.

Led by Merkel, the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union (the Troika) fashioned aid packages that essentially refinanced government debt but imposed large losses on private bondholders.

In exchange for loans from the Troika, Greece agreed to huge tax increases and spending cuts, privatization of government assets and market-oriented deregulation.

The goal was to boost efficiency, lower labor costs and make exports more price competitive so that the Greek economy could grow. And with a broader tax base, Athens could then service its restructured debt.

By any measure, the exercise has failed.

Since 2008, the Greek economy has shrunk by 25 percent, and the stock market is down more than 80 percent.

Starved for investment, the Greek private sector has fallen further behind the rest of Europe — one in four small and medium sized enterprises have shuttered.

Athens’ debt is now 160 percent of GDP — significantly more than before the crisis began — and 34 percent of private loans are in arears or default.

This summer Athens must pay the ECB 7.2 billion euros ($8.3 billion), and it simply doesn’t have the cash. In exchange for another loan, the Troika led by Merkel wants more taxes, spending cuts and reforms.

With unemployment at 26 percent, Greeks have had enough.

Syriza wants the Troika to mark down Athens’ debt and to boost government spending and cut taxes for low and middle income Greeks — the kind of stimulus President Obama implemented in the wake of the financial crisis.

That pretty much comes down to forcing the Troika — and Merkel — to give Greece the money it needs while letting it abandon terribly failed austerity policies.

German politics won’t let Merkel agree, and with the shadow of a Greek default hanging over credit markets, a banking crisis is likely.

Foreign businesses and Greeks will withdraw cash from Greek banks, and the ECB will have to lend Greek banks what they need or let them default.

At that point, the only options will be for Angela Merkel to blink — let Greece abandon austerity—or for Athens to issue drachma.

The Greek government could declare all bank accounts and debts, public and private, converted to the new drachma. Let to float on foreign exchange markets, the value of the currency and the price of Greek exports would fall, and the process of economic recovery could finally begin.

A falling drachma would impose significant losses on the Troika’s holdings of Greek sovereign debt — and on foreign banks who have lent money to Greek businesses and citizens. But like mortgages underwritten by Citigroup during the years before the financial crisis, those loans should never have been made.

More importantly, Spain and other Club-Med states bedeviled by double digit unemployment, thanks to Merkel’s economic orthodoxy, would see the folly the euro and her prescriptions have become.

Al Gore: Spend $90 Trillion To Ban Cars From Every Major City In The World

Michael Bastasch …

Former Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon are pushing for $90 trillion in spending to ban cars from every major city in the world and make them more dense.

Gore and Calderon presented a report from the Global Commission on the Economy & Climate (GCEC) and argued that fighting global warming will require making cities more compact and wholly reliant on public transit. This is the only way to make sure urban areas don’t contribute to global warming, the two politicians argued.

Calderon and Gore argued that $90 trillion is going to be spent anyways in the coming decades upgrading cities around the world. They argue that it should be spent on making cities more climate friendly.

“The mistake we made in Mexico was to let cities develop however they want, and it’s a mess,” Calderon told Business Insider.

GCEC’s study says that “more compact, better-connected cities with strong mass transit systems will help policy-makers tackle these pressing challenges. Such cities are more productive, socially inclusive, resilient, cleaner, quieter and safer.”

Euroflop: Europe Dilutes the Euro

Gatestone Institute – Peter Martino

Every criminal printing money can now argue in court that he should be given a medal for "stimulating the economy."

The refusal of some European countries, such as France, to tackle their high debt level and lack of competitiveness, is now also affecting the non-eurozone.

Europe now wants the rest of the world to foot the bill for its own economic mismanagement.

Suppose a family can no longer pay its debts and dad decides to solve the problem by going down to the cellar and printing extra money. Society would not approve. Printing money is a form a robbery, stealing from everyone else by diluting the value of their financial assets.

Last week, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank [ECB], announced that in the coming months the ECB is going to pump an additional €1.1 trillion into the economy, at a rate of €60bn a month. When dad does it, it is called "counterfeiting," but when Mr. Draghi does it, it is called "quantitative easing" and one euphemistically speaks of a "stimulus package for the Eurozone." Every criminal printing money can now argue in court that, rather than a jail sentence, he should be given a medal and a reward for stimulating the economy.

903.jpgThe headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. (Image source: Flickr/Solvency II Wire)

The European debt crisis began in late 2009 after Southern European countries, using the euro as a common currency with Germany and other Northern European countries, were no longer able to pay the debts they had foolishly accumulated during the preceding years. To prevent the eurozone from collapsing and its banks from going bankrupt, the ECB began to purchase the government bonds of countries in difficulty, including the junk-rated bonds issued by Greece and Portugal. As a result, the ECB balance sheet swelled to almost €2 trillion. Mr. Draghi has now solved that problem by using his big bazooka and creating €1.1 trillion out of thin air.

The effects were immediate. The euro fell against all other currencies. It hit an 11-year low against the dollar. In July 2008, one dollar was worth €0.62, and one month ago still €0.81; today it is worth €0.89. Analysts expect that the effects of Draghi’s "bazooka" will soon push the euro to parity with the dollar, perhaps even lower.

The Swiss central bank SNB anticipated Draghi’s decision. Two weeks ago, it stopped pegging the Swiss franc to the euro. In 2011, the SNB had decided to fix the exchange rate between the Swiss franc and the euro at 1.20 or higher. The aim was to keep the franc from getting too strong compared to the euro. On January 15, the SNB surprised the markets with its dramatic decision to reverse its policy. Traders came to refer to the decision as the "Francogeddon": it led to huge losses for those who had not expected it and resulted in an immediate 30% rise of the franc versus the euro. Meanwhile, the Swiss franc, which in October 2007 was worth €0.57 and on January 14 of this year stood at €0.83, is now already worth slightly over €1.

Obviously, this is extremely bad news for Swiss companies and for the Swiss tourism sector. The SNB reckons, however, that keeping the franc artificially low compared to the euro by buying large quantities of euros, which are rapidly going to lose their value as a result of Draghi’s strategy, would be an infinitely worse scenario. So they stepped out of the currency war. Other economic competitors of the eurozone, such as the British, the Americans, the Japanese and the Chinese, will either have to do the same or try to keep their own currencies low by buying large quantities of euros or by following the ECB’s example and switching on their own money presses.

Within the eurozone, however, Draghi’s decision is also leading to tensions. France and the southern countries are supporting Draghi, while the central bankers of northern eurozone countries, such as Germany’s Bundesbank president, Jens Weidmann, and his colleagues from the Netherlands, Austria and Estonia, opposed the decision.

They are, however, outnumbered by the southerners. The northerners fear that Draghi’s program will reduce the pressure on governments in the south, including France and Mr. Draghi’s own Italy, to reform their economies and stop living beyond their means. The Greek elections yesterday resulted in huge gains for the far-left Syriza party, which opposes the current austerity policies. Now that the ECB is buying Greek junk bonds with newly created money, the Greeks may well feel that they no longer need to reform their economy.

Last week, in Davos, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb warned that there is a bottom line when it comes to Greece. He said that he even preferred a "dirty exit" of Greece from the eurozone, rather than allow it to shirk further economic reforms. "All of us have taken very difficult structural reforms," Stubb said. "I can’t take issue with the Greek elections. The Finnish position is: we will deal with any democratically-elected government that Greece has, but it will be very difficult for ?us to forgive any loans or restructure debt at this particular moment."

On Sunday, Bundesbank President Weidmann reiterated his doubts about the effectiveness of the ECB bond-buying plan. He questioned whether quantitative easing in the eurozone would lead to an economic stimulus — as it did in the US after the financial crisis of 2008 — because the sluggish growth in Europe is largely due to high levels of debt and, in certain countries, a lack of competitiveness.

It seems that the refusal of some European countries, such as France, to tackle their high debt levels and lack of competitiveness is now also affecting the non-eurozone. As a result of the ECB’s decision, non-eurozone countries, such as Switzerland and America, will also be affected. Their companies will have more difficulty exporting to the eurozone because their currencies will become too expensive. In short, they will be paying the price of the ECB’s decision to lift the burden from the economies in Southern Europe.

Peter Schiff: ‘Dollar Weakness’ Will Replace ‘Euro Weakness’

 Dan Weil…

The dollar’s strength isn’t going to last, Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, told Newsmax TV.

The greenback soared to an 11-year high against the euro last week amid concern about Europe’s economic weakness and speculation that a big quantitative easing (QE) package will come from the European Central Bank at its meeting Thursday.

But, “ultimately, euro weakness is going to be replaced by dollar weakness,” Schiff told the “America’s Forum” show on Newsmax TV.

“Everybody is convinced that Europe is going to pursue this QE policy, and I don’t think it’s going to be nearly as large as people are hoping for. Meanwhile, the U.S. is going to surprise everybody when it launches QE4.”

The Federal Reserve ended its third round of quantitative easing in October. But it’s going to act again, “because we have a much weaker economy than is generally perceived,” Schiff said. GDP growth averaged 4.8 percent in the second and third quarters.

He scoffed at those who worry about deflation in Europe. “That’s just nonsense. Inflation can never be too low,” Schiff said.

“But what they are going to get with more QE is not more economic growth, but higher inflation. And that’s going to be a detriment to economic growth and ultimately cause Europe to back off on QE.”

Schiff cites a contradiction between the way economists are treating the plunge of oil prices and deflation. “Everybody is talking about the benefit of lower oil prices on the consumer and on economic growth,” he said.

“Why are falling oil prices a good thing, if deflation supposedly is bad? Falling oil prices are themselves deflationary. ”

“This is all a myth,” Schiff said. “There is nothing wrong with falling consumer prices. That means that our money is more valuable, that means that we can buy more stuff, we can have a higher standard of living.”

The deflation flap is “a smoke screen,” Schiff said.

“What governments are really concerned about is repudiating their debt. You have governments that have a lot of debt. They can’t possibly pay it back, and so they want to inflate it away. But the pretense that we need inflation for economic growth is complete nonsense.”

Meanwhile gold has soared 13 percent since early November, trading at $1,292.80 an ounce Tuesday afternoon. “Gold has been exploding upward in all currencies,” Schiff said.

“It’s moving more slowly against the dollar, but the trajectory of gold’s rise is going to increase in coming months. And this really shows you that it’s never been about dollar strength. That’s not the real story. It’s just been about euro or yen weakness.

Jim Chanos: ‘Days of Finding Cheap Oil Are Over’

Dan Weil…

The 56 percent plunge of oil prices since late June has put major oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell in big trouble, says legendary short seller Jim Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates.

He told CNBC that he has shorted oil majors for a couple years.

‘The fracking and shale revolution was propelling us [the United States] to be the largest oil producer in a way that I thought was uneconomic and still is uneconomic for the drillers," he said. But it was going to be enough supply to really disrupt the markets."

U.S. oil output has hit its highest level in at least 31 years. Experts say producers of shale need a price of $60 to $70 a barrel to stay profitable. U.S. crude traded at $47.65 Friday afternoon.

"The days of finding cheap oil is over," Chanos said. He’s also short Caterpillar, which supplies equipment for oil production.

The oil price drop will have mixed effects on economies, says Bill Greiner, chief investment strategist of Mariner Holdings.

"The economic growth of nations consuming oil will benefit mightily at the expense of oil-producing nations,"The effects will be mixed within some economies too, Greiner says.

"Segments of our domestic economy will struggle. Capital spending growth will be stunted. Segments of the high-yield fixed income market will struggle," he writes.

But consumers will benefit, as falling gasoline prices boost their spending power. U.S. families on average spend 4 percent of their income on gas, Greiner notes.

Gas prices have dropped to a 5 ½-year low, averaging $2.08 a gallon for regular Friday.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: “The Internet Will Disappear”

Eric SchmidtEric Schmidt

Georg Szalai …

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Thursday predicted the end of the Internet as we know it.

At the end of a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where his comments were webcast, he was asked for his prediction on the future of the web. “I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear,” Schmidt said.

“There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it,” he explained. “It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.”

Concluded Schmidt: “A highly personalized, highly interactive and very, very interesting world emerges.”

The panel, entitled The Future of the Digital Economy, also featured Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and others.

Earlier in the debate, Schmidt discussed the issue of market dominance. The European Union has been looking at Google’s search market dominance in a long-running antitrust case, and the European parliament late last year even called for a breakup.

“You now see so many strong tech platforms coming, and you are seeing a reordering and a future reordering of dominance or leaders or whatever term you want to use because of the rise of the apps on the smartphone,” Schmidt said Thursday. “All bets are off at this point as to what the smartphone app infrastructure is going to look like” as a “whole new set” of players emerges to power smartphones, which are nothing but super-computers, the Google chairman argued. “I view that as a completely open market at this point.”

Asked about his recent trip to North Korea, Schmidt said the country has many Internet connections through data phones, but there is no roaming and web usage is “heavily supervised.” Schmidt said “it’s very much surveillance of use,” which he said was not good for the country and others.

Sandberg and Schmidt lauded the Internet as an important way to give more people in the world a voice. Currently, only 40 percent of people have Internet access, the Facebook COO said, adding that any growth in reach helps extend people’s voice and increase economic opportunity. “I’m a huge optimist,” she said about her outlook for the industry. “Imagine what we can do” once the world gets to 50 percent, 60 percent and more in terms of Internet penetration.

She cited women as being among the beneficiaries, saying the Internet narrows divides.

Schmidt similarly said that broadband can address governance issues, information needs, personal issues, women empowerment needs and education issues. “The Internet is the greatest empowerment of citizens … in many years,” he said. “Suddenly citizens have a voice, they can be heard.”

During another technology panel at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries and others answered questions on the need to regulate privacy standards on the Internet and for tech companies following the Snowden case, the Sony hack and the like.

Mayer said that the personalized Internet “is a better Internet,” emphasizing: “We don’t sell your personal data … We don’t transfer your personal data to third parties.” She said users own their data and need to have control, adding that people give up data to the government for tax assessment, social services and other purposes.

Fries said Liberty Global subscribers view billions of hours of content and generate billions of clicks, but added that “today we do nothing.” He explained: “We generate zero revenue from all of that information.” But he acknowledged that big data was big business for a lot of people.

Both executives said transparency was important to make sure users know privacy standards and the like.

Gunther Oettinger, a conservative German politician serving as the European Union’s commissioner for digital economy and society, said on the panel that “we need a convincing global understanding, we need a UN agency for data protection and security.” Asked what form that “understanding” should have, he said he was looking for “clear, pragmatic, market-based regulation.” Explained Oettinger: “It’s a public-private partnership.”

Fries said such a solution was likely not to happen in the near term, given the size of the EU. “I think it is going to take several years,” he said, adding that some countries’ parliaments would likely take a stab at it.

But he warned that a joint solution would make more sense. “We don’t want Germany to have its own Internet,” Fries said. “Some countries may build their own Internets” and “balkanize” the web, he warned.

Mayer said on the issue of regulation: “I like Tim’s idea better of the beneficent marketplace.” She spoke of fellow panelist and computer specialist Tim Berners-Lee, known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Asked how Yahoo stores and handles client records, she said the online giant “changed the way we store and communicate data” after Snowden and also changed encryptions between data centers. And the company protects users through encryption methods, she added. Mayer said that trust and confidence of Yahoo users has rebounded since.

Mayer was also asked what happens if a government asks for a user’s data, a question that has new significance after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, which have led some to call for increased surveillance powers of the Internet for governments. Mayer said Yahoo always assesses if such a request is reasonable. “We have a very good track record for standing up to what’s not reasonable,” she said.

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