Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bankers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but cocaine!

Peter Oborne? Charles Moore? These days it’s the right (not the left) we find meditating upon the excesses of capitalism. Maybe we never had a free market in the first place (under left... under right...)

Here’s a perspective (re-hashed from the archives).

Bankers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but cocaine!

“Brother Bankers! Faced with the unrelenting tide of criticism and abuse emanating from the capitalist media on a daily basis, I call upon you today to be resolute. I urge you not to waver, not to cower, but to stand firm and show solidarity with your brother bankers worldwide. For we have a strength that far outweighs that of our enemies. And that is the strength of numbers.

“Now when I say numbers, I do not mean how many of us there might be. For we are, of course, an oligarchy and we number relatively few in the grand scheme of things. Nor by numbers am I referring to the size of the bonuses we receive. Though these do indeed comprise many, many numbers - telephone book sized numbers by the sarcastic reckonings of some wags in the media.

“No, I’m talking about the ability of us brothers to use numbers to our own advantage - to shape a new reality out of numbers, to forge a new numerical Jerusalem if you like. For we have shown that we can create “value-added” out of numbers. We have shown through our efforts we can create a bold and booming housing sector by making the value of those houses rise significantly year on year. We did this through the clever invention of those credit derivatives that we traded to our hearts’ content some years back. We've also shown we can take the money that government printing presses have been churning out since 2009 and we can use that money to sell back to the government the debt we'd purchased previously. By this means we were able to charge commission not once but twice and made a handsome profit. And though no real value was created, we nevertheless managed to create our very own kind of “value-added” that we call "massive bonuses". And with those massive bonuses we paid our taxes, or not as the case may be. And remember, those taxes are what really matter to ordinary folk and to governments alike - assuming we actually pay them!

“So fear not brothers. For we can make two plus two equal five, two billion plus two billion equal five billion. And, let me tell you, those numbers, however they appear, will always win over the trust and the faith of people. For we understand the very numbers that make up those numbers... whilst the people, whose money we control, do not!

“And if indeed these naysayers in the capitalist media carry on with their gripes and their attacks upon our very person or persons, then we’ll take our numbers and head off to the lands of the orient to build an even greater numerical Jerusalem, and an even greater oligarchic collective to boot.

“For over there in the orient they behold with even more wonderment the power and the value of numbers. Over there they understand the importance of brothers like us who control the money supply using the armoury of those said numbers that I've described. Okay, so they might not tolerate the coke-sniffing activities in which some of our number occasionally partakes and they might imprison folk for such activities. But that is a small price to pay, Brothers. For control of the money supply is the greatest drug of all!

“Was it not Brother Nathan Rothschild himself who once said two centuries ago: "I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply."

“Never a truer word was said brothers. And these days we have a far wider reach than the British Empire, or, at least, those countries that once made up said Empire. These days, thanks to the benefits of globalisation, we can extend our reach to all the Empires of this planet!

“So brothers, stand firm! Be true to yourselves (even if not to anybody else)! Be resolute! Show solidarity! And, brothers, last but not least, get you down to your local Porsche dealership and buy yourself a nice little run-around before the prices go up!”

Sunday, 21 August 2011


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Monday, 15 August 2011

The Generation (Blame) Game

“Nice to fleece you, to fleece you nice.  This is the bit where people tell us who they think’s to blame for last week’s UK riots. See how many of these opinions you find yourself agreeing with. There’ll be a test for you at the end. Probably.”

Young person:  I blame the older generation for not listening to the demands of young people and leaving us with no hopes nor dreams for the future.

Prime Minister:  I blame the policies of the last government that led to the slow motion moral collapse of our society.

Opposition leader:  I blame the feral elite - bankers, phone hackers, dodgy coppers, expenses-fiddling MPs – for setting a bad example.

Investment banker:  I blame politicians for failing to get to grips with the harsh economic realities. Which means:  You mess with our bonuses and we’ll take our business elsewhere.

Newspaper magnate:  I blame corrupt politicians, greedy bankers, vacuous celebrities and police-on-the-make for creating this moral wasteland in the first place.

Senior police officer:  I blame ministers for cutting police numbers, even though they haven't cut them yet. What really counts when it comes to policing is quantity not quality. Well, that and having faith in the police to do their job in the first place, whatever that is.

Ex-Headmistress:  I blame social theorists who, for too long, have undervalued discipline in Britain’s schools.

The ghost of Lord Reith:  I blame the makers of reality TV shows like Simon Cowell who offer unattainable dreams and peddle the idea that 15 minutes of fame beats a decent education.

Simon Cowell:  I blame anyone who hasn’t got a dream. And I offer young people dreams. I offer them a way out of the ghetto.

Simon Cowell’s banker:  I haven’t a bad word to say about Simon Cowell.

Politicians:  Nor have we. None of us.

Newspaper magnate:  Me neither. He fills column inches.

Investment banker: The guy makes a shed-load of money. So, what can I say?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Riots - An ex-Mayor gives his take

"It's obvious to anyone (such as myself) who knows a thing or two about the citizens of the capital city as well as of this country, and especially the young citizens moreover, that this outbreak of violence we're seeing around the country is due to the vicious cuts perpetrated by this coalition government. Just because these cuts haven't actually had any impact yet is neither here nor there. It's the prospect of these cuts having an impact that is worrying young people and getting them onto the streets to protest, burn down buildings and steal plasma televisions and Adidas running shoes.

"When I was Mayor, I increased police resourcing and police numbers to an enormous extent. And you can see the beneficial effects this has had in recent months and years. You only need to think of the G8 protests or talk to the people of Tottenham to realise how successful my policing policy was. For example, the people of Tottenham absolutely love the police (or at least the ones I was responsible for putting there) and their rioting in recent days was not an example of their hatred of those policemen and policepersons, but rather their contempt for Boris Johnson who is more interested in attending black-tie dinners than caring for ordinary people.

"But there is another important matter here. And that is the one of respect. And by that I mean respect for drunk alcoholic young people. Over recent years, the young have become increasingly frustrated by the fact that when they fall out of pubs and clubs and start beating the crap out of people, the police show them no respect. This was evidenced the other day by one young inebriated lady in Hackney who said: "If the police doesn't show us no respect, then why should we show them any?" And I have to say that this fine lady with her no-nonsense attitude has a fair point.

"And the reason is this: People don't rape and pillage just because they want to, just because it brings them some kind of gain (although I have to admit that I wouldn't say no to a 42" plasma TV screen were I in Ealing the other night.) NO! They do it because they know that when everyone else is doing it, they’d be a fool not to.

"Do you think that, back in the dark ages, the Vikings raped and pillaged for some kind of arbitrary gain? Do you think the Vikings did it because they wanted to engage in some kind of drunken criminality where they all hoped they could go back to Denmark with sacks full of plasma TVs (assuming they had plasma screens in those days)?

"No! They did it because they felt frustrated by the lack of opportunity on their home turf. They were angry that the powers that be had no respect for their brutal, thuggish, drunken behaviour, which to some could be considered quite admirable in many ways. They, like all young greedy drunken yobbish people needed to let off steam now and again and gain the respect that they deserved.

"And last but not least, the Vikings came over here and raped and pillaged because, let's face it, they were totally and completely sick of the territorial ambitions and the dreams of empire that the ancient Britons possessed - even though they had no empire back then. But they would go on to rule the world. And with this in mind, they decided to teach the arrogant British a lesson.

"So, next time you see young persons engaged in drunken, wanton violence, spare a thought for the Vikings, and ask yourself this: Is what they are seeking nothing more than a bit of respect?”

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Financial Crisis - News in brief - Where did all the money go?

S&P downgrades US debt - The ratings agency Standard and Poors, renowned for the triple A ratings it gave to a pile of crappy credit derivatives instruments, is to downgrade US debt. Has S&P got it right this time round? Impossible to say really. After all, who rates the ratings agencies?

Jupiter Probe - The rocket has blasted off and is wending its way to Jupiter or Juno, or somewhere remote. Everyone's asking: "So, what's the payload?" Rumour has it the probe's stuffed full of dollars and Euros belonging to wealthy investors seeking a new off-shore tax haven. As the global economy falls apart, is outer space the next frontier for the planet's indifferent rich?

Tulips - Investors are looking far and wide for safe havens. We asked Rotterdam based investor, Ruyd Van  Dem Tulipshe where he'd park his money: "Vell, we Dutch are shimply shuperb when it comes to shee real shmart inveshting shtrategies. Remember folkshs, we shold our ABN bank to RBS back in 2007 - jusht in zee nicks of time. And now we Dutch are shinking zat zee tulip musht be zee next shafe havens."

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

News in brief: Celebs rule UK!

- Figures just released show a three percent rise in the number of primary school pupils achieving a grasp of the three Rs. This is proof, were it needed, that the celebrity culture we inhabit ain't as bad as it seems. But what are the three Rs, you ask? Er, like, obvious! Reading, riting and reality TV.

- Billions have been slashed from the cost of the useless NHS computer programme. Officials have found that by scrapping the project, launched in 2002, only £6.4bn will have been wasted as opposed to the entire £11bn. The software company working on the programme has called it a win-win situation. "We made loads of money trying to implement this useless idea. And now its mothballing has saved taxpayers billions."