Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Mervyn King 'Not Interested' In 2008 Libor Rate Warnings, Say Ex-BoE Colleagues

Mervyn King 'Not Interested' In 2008 Libor Rate Warnings, Say Ex-BoE Colleagues

Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 06:02:04 in UK Politics

The lead-in headline suggest that King has some questions to answer.

The main one: Why does anyone rely on a rate that is a truncated average of pure guesses by a number of banks. The LIBOR question is "at what rate COULD you have borrowed funds at 11am" not "at what rate DID you borrow funds."

The second question is: if you were asked to guess at something and leaning in one direction would hurt you while guessing the other direction would help you, what would you do?

The third is: what is the legal basis for assuming that the banks reporting to Thompson-Reuters acting for the British Bankers Association have a duty of care to either?

The fourth: Should every used-car salesman who says "this is the best price you'll see today" face charges of fraud?

The fifth: why does anyone assume that banks are different from used-car salesmen?
John Rocker's New Book, 'Scars And Strikes,' Aims To Fix The Former Pitcher's Public Image

John Rocker's New Book, 'Scars And Strikes,' Aims To Fix The Former Pitcher's Public Image

Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 14:14:36 in Latino Voices

Something seriously strange about people who think that language has anything to do with racism. Are they suggesting that certain races cannot learn certain languages?
London 2012: The Voice, Britain's Biggest Black Newspaper, Denied Access To Olympics Stadium

Britain's Biggest Black Newspaper, Denied Access To Olympics Stadium

Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 14:09:52 in UK

“Is the biggest paper that caters only to whites also excluded?
After the Supreme Court Ruling: The Reckoning for Health Care Costs

After the Supreme Court Ruling: The Reckoning for Health Care Costs

Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 05:33:59 in Politics

“"We cannot have widely-available and generous health insurance." Actually, there are three ways we COULD have both:

1) If we are willing to pay for it. (Okay, we're not, so next...)
2) If we slash the profit potion of the cost. (Unlikely, given the power of campaign contributions)
3) If we pay providers on outcome, not on input. (Unlikely,See 2 above)

The reason our costs are twice as high as other OECD countries, and our system produces worse results than OECD countries, is political, not financial.k
Tim Geithner's Libor Recommendations Came Straight From Banks, Documents Show

Tim Geithner's Libor Recommendations Came Straight From Banks, Documents Show

Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 05:19:58 in Politics

“Oh no! You mean he actually asked some people who knew what they were talking about? How dare he?
Jeremy Hunt: Swearing On The Football Pitch Has 'Gone Too Far'

Jeremy Hunt: Swearing On The Football Pitch Has 'Gone Too Far'

Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 05:08:11 in UK Politics

“Well, it is a bit strange that calling someone "an effing c*nt" is perfectly okay, but calling someone "an effing white c*nt" would be prosecuted as a crime.”


  • AvatarYou posted a comment in America's toughest sheriff faces his reckoning · a day ago
    Well, as conspiracies go, it is just so easy. First you fake a birth certificate, then just sit back and wait until the baby is elected president of the United States. What could be simpler?
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Bob did tell me to fix the rate, says Diamond's right-hand man · a day ago
    Hey, what is all this hoorah anyway? 
    1) the Libor is just an average of guesses: "At what rate could you borrow funds, were you to do so by asking for and then accepting inter-bank offers in a reasonable market size just prior to 11 am?”
    It does NOT ask "at what rate DID you borrow funds" but at what rate COULD you borrow funds
    2) The banks reporting their guesses to Thompson-Reuters have no legal requirement of accuracy and no duty of care to them or to the British Banker's Association
    3) The banks, arguably, do have a duty of care to their own shareholders. If reporting a high rate might damage the company or its profitability, reporting a,guess at the low end of your possible range might be defensible.
    The fact that a whole bunch of people rely on these guesses is their own fault. Caveat emptor.
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in James Moore: Danish distraction is why G4S is still in a right old mess · a day ago
    Of course, it might also have something to do with the government initially asking for 2,000 security staff - then increasing that to over 10,000 with little notice. Or that they government has drafted in troops because it decided it now needs 17,000.
    But reporting that would go against the narrative that the government and the Olympic Comittee is blameless: it's all GS4's fault.
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in BBC to be quizzed on employees who minimise tax· 2 days ago
    Good on them! We want everyone to pay more tax. 
    Except, of course, us.
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in John Kampfner: The price of our safety shouldn't be our freedom · 2 days ago
    You are so right, John: the government should make us 100% safe while not interfering with anything we'd like to do in whatever way we want to do it. And th

Friday, 13 July 2012



  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Let the moaning end and the Games begin · 20 hours ago
    They don't call you whingeing Poms for nothing, mate..
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Andreas Whittam Smith: We could tax all over 50s to pay for old age · 2 days ago
    Just looking for an explanation: if an older person has to move into a care home and the state subsidises them so that they can keep a house that they no longer need, is that not a state subsidy of an someone else's inheritance? Or a subsidy to keep houses empty? (I do accept the logic, both social and economic, for someone who has the possibility of moving back out of the care home.)
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Diamond to get £2 million pay off · 4 days ago
    Good for him. That is what i call real commitment to damage limitation and protecting the brand of your employer.
    One of the most difficult things to do in business is to create incentive schemes. There are always unintended consequences as the incentivised learn ways to game the system. We almost all think that profit is a good idea - both for our own portfolios and as a measure of how well a business is doing. But when profit is the main or only determiner of employee reward, do not be surprised if profit is sought by any means necessary.
    The real question one asks oneself is: how did the market come to rely so heavily and pin so many financial outcomes on self-report data? Was it that we thought a banker 's word is his bond or was it just that we were unable (or unwilling or too lazy) to demand hard data?

  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Tories plan to axe pensioners' benefits · 4 days ago
    "The Prime Minister has previously opposed such cuts because he promised during the 2010 election campaign that a Conservative government would retain them."
    Yeah, but it was only a promise to old f@rts, so who cares. Besides, we oldies have outlived our usefulness, so if you can starve or freeze us, we'll be gone sooner. ...and TV just rots our brains anyway. Do keep the bus passes though, without the fuel allowance, public transport is the only warm place left to sleep.
    Of course, that kind of deprivation is unknown to the filthy rich amongst us (those making 11 thousand a year) who can just stay at the Ritz whenever it gets cold.
    Still, he is right, we old fogies should bear some of the pain. I've got it: how about we take a cut of the same percentage of our income as parliament plans to drop their own salaries by. Would that be fair?

  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Cameron accused of breaking election pledge to increase NHS spending · 7 days ago
    This is outrageous! We want MORE money spent on the NHS every year, as long as it comes from someone else.

  • AvatarYou posted a comment in Government plan to force ISP backups of emails could lead to leaks, warns cyber security expert · 7 days ago
    Well, I don't see what is wrong with this - provided the post office is also required to open every letter and scan it into a file.
  • You posted a comment in Bob Diamond could receive £30 million payout despite being forced to resign as Barclays chief executive · 10 days ago
    Either he knew - and should be fired for allowing it to continue or he didn't know - and should be fired for lack of control. Either way, pay him what he is owed under his contract, unless you want to continue the image of Barclays as a bunch of cheaters.
    PS: the 30 million figure is made up out of whole cloth to get a nice headline. As they say in the movies: any resemblance between this number the real payout is purely coincidental

  • AvatarYou posted a comment in What if Britain left the EU? · 11 days ago
    When considering a binary proposition, it can help to turn it on its head: How would you feel if the EU expelled Britain and what would be the consequences?
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in What if Britain left the EU? · 11 days ago
    "The EU has to date disposed of two democratically elected nation state Prime Ministers, replacing them with two unelected Brussels’ placemen, ignores voters wishes, (as seen from the Irish referendum) and threatened Greece with expulsion..."      So, not all bad then.
  • AvatarYou posted a comment in How to spend it like the Queen? Try a £1m asbestos bill · 11 days ago
    How dare she! Follow the law and protect workers in a house she does not own but is required to live in? Spend public money on a public building? What cheek!

  • Avatar
    You posted a comment in Insurers loses Supreme Court appeal over fraudulent injuries claim · 16 days ago
    Clear message: "Go ahead and lie - you might win big and even if you get caught, you'll still get a reward
    "
Geithner's Choice: Seven And A Half Things To Know
"Let's say you're one of the most important banking regulators in America, and you get word that some of the world's biggest banks are manipulating an interest rate that affects borrowing costs throughout the economy. Do you: a) leap into action and not rest until the problem is solved, or b) write a strongly worded memo and then hope for the best?"


Let's say you're a financial journalist at one of the most important media outlets in America, and you get word that an interest rate that affects borrowing costs throughout the economy is set by self-report from  some of the world's biggest banks; banks that could be damaged if they tell the truth when setting this rate.
    Do you: a) leap into action and write lots of stories about it, or b) wait 10 or 15 year, hoping for the best, until someone from inside the banks spills the beans and forces you to write something?


Geithner Libor Memo Expressed Concern Over Rate's 'Integrity' In 2008

Geithner Libor Memo Expressed Concern Over Rate's 'Integrity' In 2008

Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 13:20:38 in Business

Sorry?  The guy expressed concern in 2008 - the time of the worst banking crisis since the 30s - about some banks he did not have any influence over not being transparent and about self-report data he also could not influence having integrity issues, as any self-report may have. What did you want him to do beyond that: play Samson in the temple?

The bigger question is why the markets allowed self-report data to so heavily influence them. Were they too lazy to demand hard data or, back then, did they still believe a banker's word was his bond?
Call to End Junk Food Sponsors From Future Sporting Events

Call to End Junk Food Sponsors From Future Sporting Events

Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 04:40:16 in UK Politics

One man's junk food is another's staple diet. Still, if we just make compulsory everything that is not forbidden, everyone will be healthy and happy, right?
Syria Uprising: 'Up To 200 Killed In Homs, Taramseh Shelling' (PICTURES)

Syria Uprising: 'Up To 200 Killed In Homs, Taramseh Shelling' (PICTURES)

Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 04:07:48 in UK

The reports from Syria are beginning to suggest that one side is just as nice as the other.
Mitt Romney On NAACP Obamacare Booing: If People Want 'More Free Stuff' They Should Vote For Obama

Mitt Romney On NAACP Obamacare Booing: If People Want 'More Free Stuff' They Should Vote For Obama

Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 05:13:30 in Politics

It seems a pretty clear choice: "free" stuff or pay your own way.
Sadly, it does not even boil down to free stuff for your lot versus free stuff for my lot.  Obama bailed out big companies and banks just as eagerly as Bush did.
Mitt Romney NAACP Speech Shows He Failed To Learn Father's Civil Rights Lessons, Black Caucus Says

Mitt Romney NAACP Speech Shows He Failed To Learn Father's Civil Rights Lessons, Black Caucus Says

Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 04:42:14 in Politics

I love America: only place where you need a photo ID to ride in an airplane or to cash a check but not to vote.
Former Barclays Boss Bob Diamond Hits Out At Claims He Misled MPs

Former Barclays Boss Bob Diamond Hits Out At Claims He Misled MPs

Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 05:05:04 in UK

“Good for him. 

PS: How much of his pay and pension is Mr Mann donating to charity for his complicity in the government spending so much more than it made and running the country into debt?”