Public purse persistent pilfering promotes promiscuity, promises, profoundly poor proposals and piss-poor performance

So let’s get this right.

Fred Goodwin, the CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland while overseeing the collapse of his portion of the banking industry which led to the £45.5billion bail out funded by the tax-payer was having an affair with a senior colleague at the bank which allowed the mistress to receive two promotions (and associated salary increases no doubt).

When discovered, ‘Sir’ Fred then sought an injunction so draconian that it even prevented him being identified as being a ‘banker’ (we’re spelling it differently) and in so doing his aim was to gag the press and prevent his sordid affair from being made known to the so-called financial regulators, the FSA in case some breach of corporate governance was revealed.  More importantly, perhaps he simply didn’t want his extra-marital relationship from being known to his family and he used his position, influence and tax-payer bailout money to cover his tracks.

What hacks us off is not the fact that he’s had or is having an affair, that is entirely his own business but when Fred seeks to use our money (our bailout pays his salary after all) at a time when real people are getting on with their lives and doing their best to survive the austerity measures thrust upon them as a result of the debt caused by the bankers who still get ludicrous bonuses before their debt to the public purse has been repaid.

Questions are being asked about the relationship but we have some questions too:

  1. While this man was playing footsie on company time and abusing his position to promote his mistress, was he paying enough attention to the job he was getting paid to do – results would suggest not.
  2. Why does this man still have a job when such abject failure should be rewarded with the sack – will he, in fact, answer for his failures with his job?

We don’t give a hoot about corporate governance rules which we all know can be bent and manipulated to ensure that ‘no rules have been broken’ (ala the on-going MP expenses fiasco); what we care about is people going hungry, children being denied an education and disabled and vulnerable people being hounded to suicide due to government plans to cut budgets and services across the board in order to save money while people like this continue to receive their over inflated salary and huge bonuses because banks need to ‘retain good people’.

We extend a ‘thank you’ to Lord Oakeshott and John Hemming MP for ensuring this matter was brought out of hiding.

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Our world in their hands – scary

We’re not here to judge Dominique Strauss-Kahn on his philandering even though his allies say he is a “well known seducer” and Anne Mansouret, the mother of another supposed victim, said the he had “a kind of addiction, a difficulty in controlling his impulses”.

The question we can ask however is ‘how such a man was able to climb the ladder to the giddy heights of leader of the International Monetary Fund’ – certainly his ways are well known, even to his allies.  Supporters will say that his personal life has no bearing on his political career (and yes, it is political considering the influence the position carries) but of course, such a man would be the perfect target for blackmail and coercion which means that his past decisions may not have been entirely professional.

Here in Britain, we know that our leaders are corrupt and that they represent no-one but themselves and they are taking great pains to ensure the safety of their position while doing their utmost to criminalise anyone who dares to stand in their way.

We’re being forced to divert money that our people need to survive to yet more corrupt agencies such as the European Commission where we’ve already reported on the level of deception and privilege they enjoy at the tax-payers expense.

The IMF are positioning themselves as the World Bank which must be considered top of the New World Order and Common Purpose tree; the bail-out of countries such as Greece – for the second time – only undermines the value of the country and puts the people into perpetual slavery to pay back a debt that was generated by its government.

International aid to Greece is spearheaded by the IMF but it’s our money they are using yet do we see any return on that money?  Have we seen a return on the bank bail-out money?  Perhaps the IMF benefit the most from  these arrangements as Mr Strauss-Kahn finds it convenient to carry out his debauchery from the confines of a $3,000 a night suite in New York while riots rage in countries ravaged by debt.

This man also wanted to head the French government as a presidential candidate – the French people know how to stand up and be counted so we don’t reckon much on his chances.  With the Euro in a slump and the world going to hell in a hand-basket, this man is running around a luxury hotel stark naked – what’s he wearing; dunno, but it needs ironing…

Another £20million frivolous waste by bankers

Not content to take a back seat on the bankers gravy train, the Bank of England (BofE) has given itself a budget of £20million towards the cost of fitting out the offices of the Prudential Regulation Authority which is to be the successor for the failed Financial Services Industry – the organisation that failed to see the collapse of world banking despite having the role of ensuring that bankers and bankers could handle the job.

What scares us is that the £20million is allocated ‘towards’ the costs of setting up this new organisation and by inference we can assume that the costs will be much higher.  Work on the project is scheduled to begin in 2012 – what’s happening in the meantime?

Since the Bank of England is as much to blame for the banking failure, why is it being allowed to create what is supposed to be an independent watchdog when it may have to turn its attention to the very seat of financial power in England and there will inevitably be a conflict of interest?

It is George Osborne’s intent to place more power in the hands of the Bank of England but is this the right thing to be doing when the previous ‘tripartite’ system which included the Bank of England was such an abject failure; are we to assume that despite being part of the problem which caused the financial global mess that the BofE alone will be able to cope – highly doubtful.

We’re told that the Bank of England is being given control of “macro-prudential regulation” and oversight of “micro-prudential regulation” but what does this really mean?  What is does mean is the creation of a new Financial Policy Committee within the BofE as well as two new regulators in the form of a Prudential Regulation Authority who will regulate banks and other financial institutions and the new Consumer Protection and Markets Authority; there is also to be a new single agency to tackle economic crime.  So their putting aside one tripartite system and introducing another tripartite system – how much fun is that!

All the new bodies will be responsible to Parliament and the excuse for this given by Mark Hoban, Financial Secretary is that “never again can someone ask who’s in charge and get no answer”.  What worries us is that the financial control is now being given over to the politicians.  The government says the new system will be completed by 2012 but with work slated to begin in 2012 on the new offices, it is not clear how they are going to achieve this.

Of great concern is that Hector Sants, the current chief executive of the FSA (you know, the organisation that failed so spectacularly to do its job) will oversee the transition and will then head the new prudential regulator.

He claims that the FSA didn’t fail it just didn’t have enough scope and was not aggressive enough and although his resignation was announced in The Telegraph in March 2010 how is it that he is still heading this new regulatory body – all very strange and suspicious.

Only in government is abject failure consistently rewarded; in the real world men and women are constantly looking over their shoulder waiting for the axe to fall or being sacked for minor misdemeanour’s but when it comes to dealing with money from the public purse, the sky’s the limit and no amount of incompetence or failure will lose you your place on the gravy train.

FSA directors claimed £110,000 in expenses over a three year period including £358 for one night’s hotel stay for Sally Dewar, Managing director; while Managing director Jon Pain claimed £545 for a two-night hotel stopover (he even claimed the 70p for his newspaper); chairman Adair Turner spent £812 for two-nights at a hotel, with a total hotel bill of £5,889 between November 2008 and March 2009; Hector Sants himself ran up costs of £11,245 in transport costs over a three-year period when his full-time driver was unavailable.

What’s surprising for a financial institution is that they claim that they do not keep records of expense claims that have been rejected – this is a great mechanism for ensuring that no one gets to see the true level of false and inflated expense claims.

Can we recommend that the Bank of England saves the £20million by re-using the existing offices of the FSA, the transition will be much more effective too.  It’s only a suggestion but IT IS OUR MONEY after all.

Pyramid of power – how we live today

We just came across this brilliant illustration,  we hope that the author has no objection to us reproducing it here as we take no credit for this illustration what so ever but feel that it sums up the way we’re all living in our Big Society.

It really speaks for itself so we won’t gab on unnecessarily.

We draw your attention to the people sitting on their sofa, placated by the media and the constant deluge of programs designed to stop them thinking about the realities that surround them – who can blame them for wanting a few minutes peace and quiet from the ugliness of real life?

We’ve asked for permission to use the picture here, so if it’s subsequently denied, this picture may disappear… so be warned.

Blue Blog – Reforming the compensation culture

Oh dear, they’re at it again.

With all the problems this country has to face, Jonathan Djanogly feels that it’s wholly appropriate to waste his time on “no-win-no-fee” rules that he says are “fuelling the so called compensation culture”.  Read the entry here where he describes the cost to the NHS and blames how schools are scared to send children on field trips in case there is an accident and they may be sued.

Most people would suggest that the health and safety culture is responsible for the proliferation of unnecessary and vexatious claims for compensation as it is the rules and regulations of this executive agency of the government that has fuelled people to make such claims.

He’s right in some ways of course, a compensation culture has developed in recent years but he’s wrong to blame lawyers for the problem when the situation is no different to that enjoyed by MPs who suck money from the public purse just because they can.  Spurious claims for compensation are of course being made all the time but then so are spurious claims for expenses by the greedy bunch in Parliament.

We’ve posted a reply to the blog entry but typically it won’t see light of day, so for anyone who’s interested, here’s our rant 🙂  Don’t get us wrong, the compensation culture has gotten out of control but we firmly believe that people in glass houses should not throw stones or should that be “gated houses” as Mr Djanogly, a millionaire in his own right, claimed £5,000 from the tax payer for automatic gates to be installed and spent £13,962 on cleaning and £12,951 for gardening at his second home.

He repaid £25,000 though – good for him; bought the house for £440,000, spent £77,000 maintaining the house over four years and it is now apparently worth £750,000 – that’s a profit of £310,000 which isn’t a bad return on tax payers money.

We’re concerned therefore that Mr Djanogly feels it is now appropriate to waste his time on this minor issue when there are more pressing concerns troubling constituents although it is surprising that he finds any time away from his estimated £300million fortune, his £60,000 shareholdings in 18 other business interests, his wife’s mail order business and his legal interests to deal with matters arising from his Parliamentary £65,000 salaried role.

Since when are the government concerned about justice or the cost of delivering justice?  Having removed legal aid for disability issues; removed legal aid for just about everyone else with the income threshold being around £13,000 not even someone on state benefits can qualify for assistance then clearly justice is available only to those who can afford it.

Yet councils spending £427million on worthless training for worthless councillors and fraud running rampant in most government departments and MPs themselves riding a gravy train that drains public funds and Euro MPs using public funds for spa treatments, liposuction, fertility treatments and other health options all funded by the tax payer, why on earth would you choose to focus your attentiion on the “compensation” culture that has arisen as a direct result of the insane health and safety legislation.

Why not deal with bankers compensation culture which has brought this country to its knees and has cost the tax payer more than a trillion pounds. Any fees paid to lawyers as a result of injury compensations is a drop in the ocean compared to that lot.

Watch any commercial TV channel and you’ll be buried beneath an avalance of adverts, one for “buy-now-pay-later”, the next for “get-out-of-debt” and the next for “no-win-no-fee” compensation.

There is more to the culture that what you suggest, there is a fundamental problem with the whole ethos of spending – perhaps directly relating to the attitudes of MPs and the revelations around the John Lewis List – if MPs can have everything their little hearts desire, why then should the average Joe go without?

Abraham Lincoln – shot for his beliefs!

The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of diversity. It is more despotic then monarchy. More insolent than autocracy. More selfish then bureaucracy.I see the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned.

An era of corruption will follow and the money power of the country, will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people. Until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless. – Abraham Lincoln

There is debate about whether Lincoln said this or not or what exactly was said but either way, these are powerful statements that are suspiciously descriptive of what is happening today.  The bankers wield such power it seems that no one and no government can stand in their way; either you give in to their demands or they threaten to pull out – do we really want governments that bend to such pressure and take from the poorest to bolster the richest?

HSBC’s highest-paid executive defends huge payouts

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/01/hsbc-michael-geoghegan-bonus-charity
Date: 1 March 2010
Author: Jill Treanor – guardian.co.uk

• £10m bonus makes Stuart Gulliver best-paid executive
• Bank reports 24% fall in pretax profits for 2009 to $7bn
• Michael Geoghegan give his payout to charity

Stuart Gulliver, whose £10m pay deal made him the highest paid banker at HSBC last year, defended the practice of big payouts today as Europe’s largest bank reported a 24% fall in pretax profits.

Gulliver was one of five bankers to share a £38m bonus bonanza at HSBC, which suffered a 5% fall in its share price to 682p after its profits announcement. To comply with rules in Hong Kong, where it is based, the bank must reveal the pay of its five highest earners without naming them. Gulliver topped a list in which two people received more than £9m each, another £5.7m, and chief executive Michael Geoghegan received at least £4.3m.

Gulliver and Geoghegan lose their anonymity because they sit on the board.

While discussing the merits of paying a levey and complaining about how “unfair” it would be to their business we continue to see reports of obscene developments in the Bankers Bonus Culture where even a fall in profits is a cause for celebration and gives an excuse for more money to be shared out to these Banksters while at the same time the customer is being charged an “administration fee” of £15.00 and a “daily charge” of £6.00 for an unplanned overdraft of £12.00 which immediately means that the £12.00 becomes £33.00 with the first notification and then £133.00 within the first month – that’s an 1100% markup which is exactly how debt is accumulated in the first place.

When we see these obscene bonuses being handed out, we begin to understand where the additional charges, penalties and fees are being directed.