Saturday, 8 August 2009

Banks: Too big to Fail?

I've been watching the financial results of the various banks this week with an amount of curiosity and some horror. Here's an overview of the various bank results on the BBC website.

Especially the Northern Rock Results. How the fuck can a high street bank, whith (as far as I know) no global presence make nearly 1 billion quids worth of losses? How can they be doing that amount of business with (again, as far as I can tell) nowhere near that amount of assets to back up the business? Isn't that classic insolvency?

When NR went bust, we were told the problem was one of liquidity, not insolvency: that the bank was having a cashflow problem. More and more it seems that the bank was trading insolvently. Maybe not knowingly: it may have believed the value of the assets it had on its books. But as the financial adverts say to inform us the public: "The value may go up and down". It seems the valuations of NR's assets and the security of it's debtors may not have been what was believed before the crash and now even worse, what it was valued at after the crash.

The whole sorry sage of NR and the other banks, lends me to say that I think the banks are too big. When a smallish high street bank is doing billions of pounds worth of business, with spuriously valued assets to back that business up, I say that business model is deeply flawed. Also to be honest, I don't think banks should be doing that amount of business, because if it fails, it puts a deep dent in the rest of the financial system. In effect the bank is too big to fail.

The reason for all the blind panic and the hundreds of billions thrown at the banks in order to prop them up is the fact that the virtual business of financial transactions have replaced traditional real business in generating tax revenues. Thats what the government was preserving when it lashed out billions: it was desperately propping up the whole virtual house of cards that tax revenue in this country is based on.

Look deeper and you see that a large percentage of tax revenue in the UK is based on financial transactions which are themselves based and secured on spuriously valued virtual assets. To me that percentage is still far too overvalued, even after the crash.

If ever a reality check did hit the financial sector, we would, as I've predicted before, be catapulted into third world status. I don't know about you, but I'm more than concerned about this.

Its no way to run a business, a bank and especially no way to run a country.

The successive government's policies that have allowed tax revenue generation to shift from hard, real industry to virtual, financial business in the volumes that they have in recent history, need a radical rethink. The downside is, how to we get back into the global business of hard industry?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Nothing Really Changes

Smug fucker Speaker Bercow (you know, the one voted in on a mandate of abolishing excesses in Parliament) has just got himself a £20,000 refurbishment of his grace and favour apartment.

Just look at the detail: nearly 7 grand for a 3-piece suite, nearly 4 grand for window locks FFS! I'd love someone to justify those costs. All at the taxpayer's expense.

Nothing fucking changes in their world does it?

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Curious Case of Gary McKinnnon

This case really makes my piss boil.

First off, lets forget the semantics about how guilty he is. He confessed and the evidence he tapped into secure US servers seems to be overwhelming.

But the things that I really, really can't get my head round with this case are:

1. Trying a man who has Aspergers: who in their right mind in this day and age tries someone with a recognised mental defect? From personal experience with my son, its a possibility Gary McKinnon although admitting to hacking, may not understand the consequences of his actions. Where's the equity in prosecuting a man who has trouble understanding the whole abstract concept of justice, of actions and consequences?

2. Having a law in place that once in motion, denies all protections for a UK citizen at the whim of a foreign government. How the fuck have we come to the state in our American arse-licking that they can snap their fingers demanding the extradition of one of our citizens and our judiciary, legislators and executive have no authority to protect on of our own citizens and stop the process? How has this come to pass especially when the reciprocal American legislation has protections for its citizens? Its bad law enacted by incompetant UK law-makers. It makes you wonder how much more crap legislation there is among the 3000+ new laws enacted since 1997. A fair percentage I'll wager.

3. Enabling extradition when the person committing the crime was in the UK when he comitted them. We have enough laws to convict the guy already, so whats to stop us trying him here instead of the US? Other than the US snapping their fingers and shouting "fetch"?

4. It really, really makes you wonder how fucking spineless the bastards in government really are that they though that this law was good, just, equitable and fit for enactment. Those people in Parliament that voted it through should be thoroughly ashamed of their spineless, treasonous actions. For treason is what I believe defines enabling the law of another country to override the law of the United Kingdom.

The Overuse of the Word Racist

Here we have a prime example.

A furniture shop owner has problems with foreign students, so puts a sign in his shop window to ask foreign students not to enter his shop.

The report says that this might clash with race relations legislation. Why? He's not barring foreign students based on race or religion, just on a legitimate greivance: the fact they enter his furniture shop and then proceed to use the merchandise as if it's a cafe.

Race relations shouldn't come into it. But of course the heavy, clunking fist of the state HAS to become involoved in every petty aspect of our lives in order for it to justify its existence and the huge parasitic drain on national resources it has become.

So, the easy option for the shop owner is to bar ALL students, domestic and foreign. So far I haven't heard race relations legislation extending to banning discrimination based on education.


Monday, 3 August 2009

Normal Service Will be Resumed

The house move, getting my son rehomed and a rather damp holiday in Devon kept me away from t'internet for a while.

I'm now back and as appalled at recent news stories as always.

I've been appalled at the stories surrounding operations in Afghanistan. I'm totally appalled that the death of eight servicemen in one week, was turned into a disrespectful media scrum. I'm appalled that predictable, inflexible strategy and procedures (just as in WW1) cost them their lives. I'm appalled that past lessons haven't been learned and that our incompetant procurement strategy has resulted in us having a complement of helicopters, most of which can't operate in the hot and high conditions in Afghanistan. I'm appalled that politicians meddle too closely in military matters, a losing strategy if ever there was one.

I'm appalled that MPs haven't learnt and are proposing to give themselves pay rises and have already implemented a raise in their allowances.

I'm appalled that the immigration problem hasn't been solved and that thousands of people that have no right to enter and stay in this country have been let in and have been allowed to stay even after committing serious crimes like murder.

I'm appalled that Gordon Brown, the weakest link in a weaker chain of morons in government is still allowing Petere Mandleson to dictate government policy and self-interested promotion.

I'm appalled that we're governed by a set of incompetant turds who are just interested in self-promotion and lining their own pockets. Those not in cabinet are in Parliament only to line their pockets (otherwise why would those standing down over expense claims not do so immediately?) and those in cabinet are there not because they are the best person for the job, but because of how well they can suck Gordon Brown and Peter Mandleson's cocks and/or lack the spine to do right by the country and stick a blade in the back of the pair of them.

I'm appalled that David Cameron appears to be just as big a turd as Gordon Brown is. I'm hearing less and less things coming from the Conservatives that I like.

I'm appalled (but not suprised) that the media will grab and promote any and every indictaor that the current economic climate is coming to an end. Fucking numbnut nownothings can't see further than the nose in front of their face. I suppose the bitter financial pill we have to swallow next year and for decades to come in the form of increased taxes and reduced services will be all the fault of whoever gets in next year will it? Fucking idiots.

I'm appalled that this once great country is now in hock up to its neck and over the past decade has been dragged down to a lowest-common-denominator country in defence, welfare, education, public services and more. Its a fucking crime and someone should do the time for it.