"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bluetongue disease reported near Ipswich for first time ever.

This is really bad, bad news.

Defra officials have confirmed discovery of the first-ever case of Bluetongue disease in Britain , in a cow near Ipswich, Suffolk.

An insect borne viral disease carried by the biting midge Culicoides imicola is the principal (if not the sole vector) in Europe and all ruminants - cattle, sheep, goats and deer, can be infected but it is not a known zoonosis - it doesn't affect human health.

Pic of head of midge - (NHI Pirbright) - The rod-shaped piece protects needle-like stylets that act as scissors to open a wound in the skin of the animal. Saliva and an anticoagulant are then injected into the wound and blood sucked up to provide the midge with its food. Note the compound eyes, looking rather like bunches of grapes.

Native to Africa it has spread in recent years northward and over 3,000 cases have have been recorded this year in Europe. Climate change mongerers claim the spread is due to the warming southern European climate allowing the midge to reproduce and spread.

Symptoms include a sort of flu, swelling and haemorrhaging in and around the mouth and nose. They can also go lame and have difficulty eating properly.

Once infected there is (as yet) no known treatment nor is a vaccine available. Death often results and milking animals have severely reduced milk production. Exclusion zones have to be massive - one hasn't been declared yet as onyl one animal has been diagnosed - but they require a radius up to 150 Km. It also imposes restriction on animal exports - a restricvtion now imposed on the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg,

Another case of Foot and Mouth found has been found within current Exclusion zones in Surrey and the herd of 40 East Sussex cows in Old Windsor killed off.

NHI factfiles here

Lord Patel posted about the Bluetongue threat earlier this year.

"In the US, " “bluetongue is a major obstacle to exportation of U.S. ruminants and ruminant products and probably affects the United States more than most countries.”

The good news is that IAH are on the case and working hard at it .... In August 2006, Dutch authorities reported the first ever case of bluetongue in Northern Europe. Since an initial report on June 14th in North Rhine Westphalia, clinical and subclinical cases have been reported from sheep and cattle in Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands over 2,000 herds so far have been infected.

IAH Pirbright is an International Reference Laboratory for bluetongue, and provides diagnostic services to the European Community (EC), the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Institute is working closely with several authorities, including the European Food Safety Authority, on the current outbreak.

Which shows how essential it is the Institute is properly funded, staffed and equipped and supported."

It is reported (BBC) that the virus types as the same as the strains discovered earlier this year in Europe. Presumably infected midges being blown over being the cause.

Saving banks in trouble - The German method. Mervyn King's lies about EU legislation exposed.

On Aug. 17 fellow state-owned banks provided emergency funding to Leipzig based Landesbank Sachsen Girozentrale to pay debt owed by a unit that invested in asset- backed securities, including subprime loans which totalled (it is reported) 3 Billion Euros.

SachsenLB is / was the last independent state - owned Landesbank, with assets declared of Euros 68 Bn and about 600 staff.

SachsenLB was formed in 1992, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany.
The total bail out is reported to have been Euros 17.3 Bn (US$23.7Bn.). The stateof Saxony is bounded by Poland and the Czech Republic.

Problems are said to have arisen at the Dublin-based SachsenLB Europe unit, that manages financial affiliates including Ormond Quay and Georges Quay, which invest in asset-backed bonds - ``one of the most profitable companies and strongest earnings drivers of the group,'' SachsenLB said in its 2006 annual report.

The division had claimed pretax consolidated income of Euros 54 Mn. last year, SachsenLB said in its 2006 annual report. It is expected that SachsenLB's activities in Dublin will be much reduced or will cease.

10 days after this bail out it was agreed that Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW) , the largest German state-owned bank, ( 1/3 rd owned by the State), agreed to to buy Landesbank Sachsen Girozentrale (LBBW Press release). In January 2005 LBBW bought Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz for an undisclosed sum. The predecessor of LBBW was one of the country's first-ever savings banks, created in 1818 in southwestern Germany.

LBBW has 12,000 employees and over 200 branch offices with total assets of EUR 428bn . They also have branches in New York, London and Singapore - it also has owned the Baden-W├╝rttembergische Bank (BWBank), which has operated as an independent part of the LBBW group since 2005 in the Rhineland Palatinate.

LBBW will pay at least Euros 300 Mn. euros for Sachsen LB and immediately provide Euros 250 Mn. in cash for SachsenLB. A final purchase price will be set by the end of the year, LBBW said on August 27th in Stuttgart.

``Someone had to act because the bank faced a shortage of liquidity,'' LBBW Chief Executive Officer Siegfried Jaschinski said at a press conference yesterday, adding that the takeover will stabilize SachsenLB. ``With a bigger partner we don't expect the lender to need any more liquidity.''

There is an opt-out clause in the purchase agreement that would allow LBBW to abandon the deal if it discovers any unforeseen risks. SachsenLB may be worth between 300 million euros and 800 million euros, Baden-Wuerttemberg state Prime Minister Guenther Oettinger said.

The owners of SachsenLB, the state of Saxony and the Sachsen- Finanzgruppe, made up mostly of regional savings banks, will transfer their stakes to LBBW in return for cash and shares in the parent company. SachsenLB will officially become a subsidiary on Jan. 1 2008. For now it will be held on a trust basis.

A financial commentator in the German press said -" ``The first big step was the bailout and the takeover is about making sure it doesn't happen again, SachsenLB was too small to survive alone and now it's in stronger hands.''

At the same time Stuttgart-based LLBW is also holding takeover talks with Dusseldorf based WestLB AG.

LBBW has 428 billion euros in assets. A combination of LBBW, SachsenLB and WestLB, which has 285 billion euros in assets, would create Germany's second-biggest bank after Deutsche Bank AG.

Frankfurt based Deutsche Bank (DB) said on Sept. 4 it has leveraged- loan commitments of 29 billion euros ($41 billion), and may have to take a 625 million-euro charge in Q3.

DB Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann (pic) said in an interview in Berlin with Germany's ZDF television on September 20th - ``We have certainly also made exaggerated commitments in the whole euphoria,'' Ackermann didn't talk about profit targets in the ZDF interview. He said he would take a pay cut if the bank didn't meet its goals.

``If we earn half, then I should get half too, or even less,'' Ackermann said. He earned Euros 13.2 Mn. in 2006, 11 % up on 2005.

Ackermann also said he doesn't expect a run on deposits in Germany like Northern Wreck.
``German banks are well capitalized,'' he said. ``We finance much more through customers' deposits and we have deposit guarantee instruments that go much further than in England.''


Mervyn King was talking bollocks about EU legislation preventing such a deal for Northern Wreck. Swift, confidential, with no bank runs, virtually zero publicity and certainly no public panic - the Krauts can do it. In ten working days.

Would Mervyn, John Gieve and the wizards at the FSA offer to take a pay cut ?

Will the Directors still collect their handsome interim dividends on October 26th at Northern Wreck ?

Bar staff and publicans have the highest proportions of alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales

The Autumn Health Statistics Quarterly Autumn 2007 from the National Office of Statistics for Autumn 2007 reports that Bar staff, publicans and seafarers were the occupations with the highest proportions of alcohol-related deaths among men.

The research also revealed that, in England and Wales in 2001-05, bar staff and publicans were also the occupations with the highest proportions of alcohol-related deaths for women.

Banning smoking has probably reduced their risk from lung cancer and cardiac problems - perhaps there should be a ban on drinking in pubs as well ?

Simple Soap and water hand washing best for controlling Clostridium difficile

No 1 in a "Cut out and Keep" series on healthy living ..

Clostridium difficile, which is the new drug resistant bacterium that is killing the elderly in hospitals across the developed world, is best removed with washing with simple soap and water a recent Canadian study concludes - this was reported to the 47th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago this week.

Dr. Michael Libman, director of the division of infectious diseases at the McGill University Health Centre recruited 10 volunteers and contaminated their hands with Clostridium difficile, one of the most difficult bacteria to combat in hospitals settings. Its usually spread by faecal contamination - Ygh! The volunteers washed with either:

1. Regular soap and warm or cold water,
2. Antiseptic soap and warm water,
3. An alcohol-based solution,
4. And a disinfectant towel.

"The results were striking: the protocols that involved washing with water eliminated more than 98 % of the bacteria, while washing with an alcohol-based solution eliminated almost none! The protocol involving a disinfectant towel eliminated around 95 % of bacteria." Dr. Matthew Oughton, a researcher in Libman's team said.

Clostridium is a sporulating bacterium - it produces extremely resistant spores to survive in hostile environments which develop into bacteria under the right conditions for growth.
Oughton says the results reflect the view that alcohol eliminates the living bacteria but not the spores. The mechanical action of washing combined with the chemical action of soap eliminates both.

It may be of interest that the UK department of health "A simple guide to Clostridium difficile" Dated February 8th 2007 , under notes on infection control, recommends ..".- handwashing (not relying solely on alcohol gel as this does not kill the spores)"

BBC Online, in February this year , reported by the Office for National Statistics that death certiificates issued in the England & Wales (not incl. NI & Scotland) involving Clostridium difficile rose by 69% to 3,800 from 2004-05. The same report stated that .."Rigorous cleaning with warm water and detergent is the most effective means of removing spores from the contaminated environment and the hands of staff, say experts. "

In January 2004, the Health Protection Agency introduced a mandatory reporting scheme for all cases of C. difficile in persons aged 65 and over. Data from the scheme show an increase between 2004 and 2005 in the number of C. difficile reports. (Complete HAI Stats Summer 2007 here )

UPDATE Saturday 8.00 pm BST

"Writing" in the News of the World the premiere "tits'n'bums" rag in the Murdoch stable Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he has ordered a deep clean of every hospital in Britain to tackle hospital "superbugs".

Every hospital will be disinfected and scrubbed clean over the next year

"A ward at a time, walls, ceilings, fittings and ventilation shafts will be disinfected and scrubbed clean," says the Scotsman.

In a desperate attempt to make it look like action is imminent to meet NHS victims complaints -"I've learned from what people have told me and I've heard the need for change," - he also announces some changes / face lifts / improvements ( no timetable provided) -

1. Patients to see GPs out of hours and at weekends. Ho.Ho.Ho. Not in this neck of the woods you won't - you are lucky to seem them between 9.30 and 3.00 with an hours lunch Monday - Thursday

2. He said access would also be improved, whether it be NHS walk-in centres or GP surgeries in high-street stores like Boots or Tesco.

3. Breast and colon cancer screening to include more people.

4. Cervical smear test results will be issued within 14 days, Brown said, without specifying when the changes would take place.

So if you see a nurse / doctor or the rare and stray administrator spraying / misting / their hands with alcohol gels,sprays / misters - (even Chanel No 5) just ask them to wash their hands in nice warm soapy water.

media lens - defenders of Free Speech

The above post at media lens the curiously unhumorous site of climate change maniacs and earnest, dull , worthy and windbaggery socialists, has had their dwindling band of readers directed to our coverage of the suppression of free speech - by closing down Craig Murray's blog etc., dastardly lawyers etc.,

Lord Patel enjoys a sense of schdaenfruede having been banned comprehensively by the 2 David's from their (once excellent site) some considerable time ago.

All in the cause of free speech .... of course.

Russian Crooks, Truffle ice cream, crazy chef and the Daily Mail - Mainstream press setting the priorities

In digging the dirt on Russian rapists, caspian Crooks and oligarchs with didgy UK / Israeli citizenship this story neatly combines the cloying connections of the mainstream press with the free -spending exiled crooks, and a tenuous connection with the lawyers who are currently threatening the UK blogosphere.

In a fascinating story in (the sister paper to the Evening Standard who were sued for libel by Marco Pierre White with the help of Schillings extortionists for the popstars ) the Daily Mail (The £25 ice cream that isn't to be truffled at) Mr Perendes (the man who was / wasn't beaned by the egotistical Pierre - see below) detailed the delights of a £25 a time white truffle ice cream at Rocco Forte's and White's lacklustre 3 star ersatz Italian eaterie, Luciano's (named after Marco's eldest son) in St. James's.

This concoction was created ," for the London based Russian billionaire (and crook but now of course a UK citizen) Boris Berezovsky, a regular at Luciano and a man whose love of truffles knows no bounds."

Maitre d' George Perendes (then and perhaps still unbeaned by the tempestuous chef) said: "When he is having truffle risotto and I get to his table it's 'come on, George, keep shaving - don't worry about the price'." That price, incidentally, is £1,700 a kilogram when the truffles come from Piedmont in Italy.

He is, the Mail tells us breathlessly ..." not the only member of the super-rich club to have a taste for truffles. Roman Abramovich is also said to be fond of them."

Somehow one gets the impression that the Daily Mail / London Evening Standard will not be detailing the deeply disgusting, criminal background of the wannabe owner of one of the several struggling football teams that litter the nation's capital these days.

More land theft by Government Ministers in Zimbabwe - which also threatens a farm school

Minister of State Security and Land Resettlement, Didymus Mutasa's lawyer, Gerald Nqobile Mlotshwa was allocated (Trans : given) Enthorpe Farm on August 18th which contains the 200 pupil Rydings farm school. Mlotshwa had submitted a "commercial scheme" after his application for land was deemed successful.

The chairman of the Associated Trust Schools, Jameson Timba said the lawyer attempted to occupy the farm by removing the headmaster from his residence. Mlotshwa was the interim chair of the school in November and December last year. He made an offer to buy the farm around May but was not successful.

The lawyer then appointed Mutasa's nephew, businessman Themba Mliswa, as chairman of the school’s board of governors on August 20th. The appointment disregarded a new board that had already been chosen by parents and the Association of Trust Schools and was chaired by former banker, Richard Chimuka.

Timba said the school's parents petitioned(110 signatories) Robert Mugabe,on August 3rd asking him to nullify the acquisition by Mlotshwa. The petition said in part: "We are concerned that our children's education will certainly be disrupted. We are concerned that a school has been acquired by an individual under the guise that it is land for agricultural purposes."

Mugabe has not replied to this petition and Timba said he had great concerns as the acquisition sets a bad precedent and causes instability within the private community schools in the country.
The Zimbabwe Independent revealed that Mlotshwa was forced to stand down as the interim chairperson of the school in June this year amid allegations of maladministration.

They said the lawyer had tried but failed to buy the farm and all of its immovable and fixed assets for Z$2,5 billion. He allegedly donated money to the school then turned around and took 40 cattle from the school, saying the donated money was payment. He then moved the cattle to Mliswa's farm.

On May 24 this year, Mlotshwa allegedly instructed the school bursar to transfer Z$700 million into his law firm, Antonio & Associates' Trust Account, which was then invested under a debenture trust agreement between Capital Ventures (Pvt) Ltd and Antonio & Associates.This resulted in the school experiencing a cash crisis but , Mlotshwa returned the money with interest.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Nelson Mandela, 89 dies on TV Show - Amazing Pictures


Defending crooks, cooks, catwalk cats and celebs...

Standard pays damages to chef

Stephen Brook, press correspondent Friday July 27, 2007

Marco Pierre White: paid undisclosed damages and costs by the London Evening Standard.

The London Evening Standard has paid undisclosed damages and legal costs to celebrity chef Marco Pierre White for falsely claiming that he hit his restaurant manager over the head with a saucepan. The original story, headlined "Ow! Marco wields saucepan", which appeared in Londoner's Diary on June 1, falsely alleged that the chef had hit George Perendes, manager of Luciano's restaurant in central London, on the head with a saucepan.

Yet another triumph for Schillings - see their website

Wow, defenders of freedom, truth and liberty ... and Mobsters

Marco Pierre White wins apology from Evening Standard

Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Evening Standard, have today accepted that an allegation printed in the 1 June 2007 edition of the Evening Standard was untrue. It was alleged that Marco Pierre White struck his restaurant manager at Luciano on the head with a saucepan causing a flesh wound.

The Evening Standard published an apology for any embarrassment caused and have agreed to pay Marco damages and his legal costs.

For more information on this please contact the following lawyer with conduct:

Rod Christie-Miller
Partner, Schillings

Alisher Umarov's lawyers act to close blogs, ISP threatened , voices of dissent in the UK are being silenced by forces outside the UK

Thursday, October 27, 2005 Lord Patel posted
Sanjar Umarov - Craig Murray's recent meeting with him

Opposition Leader Tortured with Drugs (he was jailed for 10 years in March 2006 - BBC Online)

This was a verbatim re-posting of Craig's blog post, detailig his meeting and discussing the treatment Sanjar Umarov received in Tashkent , which is now the source of dispute by the lawyers representing , Russian Oligarch, criminal, drug baron, mobster, rapist money laundererand wannabe owner of a struggling London Football team called Arsenal Alisher Usmanov.

This has led to the ISP Fasthosts pulling Craig's blog and also other people's including Boris Johnson, Bloggerheads etc.,

To read the original post go here.
More information at London Friends of Craig Murray (LFCM) For all posts here on Usmanov go here

See also post by Lord Patel Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sanjar Umarov - arrested, tortured - Karimov suppresses Voices of Dissent
Leader of Sunshine Coalition Sanjar Umarov arrested in TashkentArena (FreeUz.Org), Interviewed by Alexei Volosevich, 23.10.2005 Turkish Weekly

Indymedia has more in formation on Craig's blog history and also provides this information about the hosting ISP Fasthosts;

If you want to pressure Fasthosts to restore Craigs website then you could contact them directly: Fasthosts Discovery House 154 Southgate Street Gloucester GL1 2EX United Kingdom http://www.fasthosts.co.uk/ Sales helpline +44 (0)870 888 3600 Facsimile 0870 888 3760 (+44 1452 304242) Email sales sales@fasthosts.co.uk

UPDATE 9.00 pm BST Channel More 4 News had a news item and interview with Sami of Pickled Politics and showed posts from Lenin's Tomb etc., re the above. It wil be intersting to see if the printed press do anything tommorrow.

Keep in touch.

"BackNorthernRock" website and sueing the Directors - opposing views on Northern Rock wreck

Someone has set up a website BackNorthernRock to support Northern Rock PLC and is encouraging people, particularly in the North East to open Deposit Accounts with the company.

Should anyone be considering such action they might wish to consider the recent history of the company and it's Directors, Accounts they have prepared and published, plus the Dividends declared and soon payable.

On 25th July 2007 (see Co. website) the Directors of NR issued Interim accounts for 6 months to 30th June 2007.

They declared profits of £296.1 million up by 0.7% compared with H1 2006. Statutory profit attributable to equity shareholders of £188.2 million, up by 0.2%

They declared an Interim Dividend per share of 14.2p (2006 interim - 10.9p) - an increase of 30.3%

All this implied solvency of the company and gave no indication of any problems in trading - indeed the reverse ...

Record H1 gross lending of £19.3 billion - an increase of 30.5%, with record H1 net lending of £10.7 billion - an increase of 47.3%

Share of UK gross mortgage lending of 9.7% and net mortgage lending of 18.9%

Total underlying assets of £113.0 billion - an increase of 28.3% from June 2006 underlying assets of £88.0 billion. Statutory assets of £113.5 billion, growth of 27.8%

Credit quality remains robust. 0.47% of mortgage accounts 3 months or more in arrears (31 December 2006 - 0.42%) - around half of industry average

Now we are told the Directors knew on August 9th of problems in raising loans and almost immediately advised the BOE and FSA.

This was 2/3 weeks after producing the interim accounts and declaring a dividend (and prewsenting an extraordinarily rosy picture of recent history ) - which the company struggling with liquidity will no doubt be paying to shareholders in the near future.

This implies that the company was, when the accounts were issued and dividend declared, insolvent - and even more so when they approached the BOE / FSA.

There are two tests of solvency ;

1. Inability to pay debts as they become due.
2. Insufficient assets to cover liabilities.

(Bowyer and Dyer practice punch up expected between all the people denying responsibility for Northern Wreck) Northern Rock borrows money wholesale and lends it to people to buy houses. Due to the interbank rate (LIBOR) now exceeding Base Rate by over 1 % their sums don't add up. Loans are due for repayment and cannot be replaced = without recuorse to the BOE. Can they pay their debts as they become due ? - NO . Then they are insolvent.

In UK law, the people who decide that a company is solvent / insolvent are the Directors. When they judge themselves insolvent they are obliged by Company Law, to undertake certain legally prescribed steps, which effectively places control of the company out of their hands - into those of receivers, administrators.

If the BOE hadn't stumped up, the Directors would have had to file for Administrators to be called in. Period.

If the BOE hadn't stumped up, the Directors could not continue in business as they had lost their ability (and confidence of lenders) to raise capital to continue to fund their loans. Period.

That is the simple, clear, transparent unvarnished TRUTH.

It is not the duty of the FSA to determine solvency / insolvency, they do not have the time, staff, expertise, legal / statutory responsibity. Their only source of information is the Directors the Company.

Finally even with the shares trading in last hour at around £2 the valuation placed on the assets by the Directors in the Interim account were wildly incorrect - even fraudulent.

It is worthy of note that Standard & Poor's re-rated (Trans : buried ) Northern Wreck's undated subordinated debt by four levels to junk. Northern Rock's 200 million-pound 7.053 percent undated subordinated bonds trade at 75% percent of face value currently. (Pic. Martins does a Mervyn King somersault)

Furthermore it is increasngly evident that these so called assets / funds held by NR ...

"As announced on 20 August 2007, Northern Rock only has a £75 million direct exposure to the US sub-prime market which is all rated AAA, and a £200 million
exposure to the US CDO market, within which there is indirect exposure to US sub-prime.

We also have £325 million of investments in a number of Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs)of which £305 million is bank sponsored. Included in the £200 million of CDOs referred to above is a modest exposure of £22 million of SIV "Lites "

... are a Northern Wreck Crock of shite and at best can be priced at 10 cents on the, dollar wiping out any profits for this Financial Year - unless the Directors in a sudden and belated fit of honesty decide to cancel the devidend decalred and re-issue the Interim Accounts.

Whilst their support for the Directors is to be admired, those behind this action are either ignorant of the facts or sadly self delusional.

There may of course be another explanation how a company's shares were trading at £11 (giveing a NAV of £4Bn) when they prepared their accounts on June 30th and are changing hands at less than £2 (NAV 800Mn.) and no buyers can be found, even after massive , virtually unconditional cash support (excepting the shite listed above) by the BOE, political pledges and unique guarantees by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It's therefore no surprise that the Daily Telegraph reports today that David Greene, head of litigation at law firm Edwin Coe (who raised a claim for 50,000 railtrack shareholders) is assembling a class action case for some 30 shareholders - as he explains ..

"The question is were people buying stock at an excessive price bearing in mind what the company knew at the time. And whether that information should have been made available to the market and what the effect of making it available would have been. My guess is the share price would have dropped quite dramatically."

(Alan Shearer - new investor in NR - he'll need those sharp elbows when he comes to collect his deposit funds) Apparently his first step will be a complaint to the Financial Services Authority.

A Northern Rock spokesman said to the Daily Telegraph: "The Bank of England and FSA were kept fully informed of the situation as the Governor made clear at the Treasury Select Committee this morning." (Trans : We thought by telling them all our problems in confidence it would not only absolve us of our duty as Directors but provide us with a "Get out of Jail Card"and lots of cash to ...er ... tide us over)

The Directors cannot claim ignorance - although in the case of Derek Wanless and Adam Applegarth, natural stupidity would appear to be a plausible defence.

Jackie Milburn, of Newcastle United, sponsored at huge cost by Northern Rock Directors - famous for having been watched by Tony Blair many years before he was born.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jon Moulton of Alchemy warned us earlier of a mortgage famine - Citigroup put a possible value on Northern Wreck shares of 6p.

After an interesting day in the City , Tom Rayner of Citigroup tells us he has cut his target price for Northern Wreck's shares to 150p although he thinks 220p a share if a buyer emerged, but thinks this is unlikely. Wound-down in an orderly fashion, investors could get around 130p a share, he calculates.

Worst-case - savers withdraw all their deposits - Northern relies on the Bank of England for expensive emergency funding on a long-term basis, the shares would be worth just 6p - £25 Mn for the whole company. ...which the FSA said last week was solvent. Ho.Ho.Ho.

"An aggressive assumption, highly unlikely to play out," he laughs," but we believe it provides a useful base valuation," he said and put the phone down

So it was useful to listen to Peter Day's "In Business" which included discussion with Jon Moulton and his previous warnings about parcelling debts, collateralised loan obligations CLO's , bubbles, etc., ... It can be heard again here (best with Real Player) for 7 days or repeated on Radio 4 on Sunday 9.30-10.00pm .

Alchemy head warns of grim times , Martin Arnold ,Financial Times 25th August 2007
Published: August 25 2007

Jon Moulton, the British private equity veteran, has warned that the buy-out industry is heading for a dramatic drop in the returns it generates for investors as the credit crunch hits the value of companies acquired at the top of the market.

The boss of Alchemy Partners, a mid-market buy-out and distressed debt investor, predicted that large private equity firms would need to write down the value of the companies they own and consider selling subsidiaries to raise cash.

The outspoken buy-out boss also forecast an increase in debt-for-equity swaps by companies acquired with high levels of debt that are unable to refinance their loans, forcing them to hand over ownership to creditors.

“There are companies out there that I would be personally willing to take 10-to-one odds on them needing debt-for-equity swaps, because they are over-levered to any reasonable base and cannot possibly be refinanced,” he told the Financial Times.

He said that “in many cases” this trend would be “precipitated if a company needs more cash”.
“The large private equity funds have been booking very large stated rates of return for a long time and they are now going to have unrealised write-downs.”

Predicting a long grim period for buy-out firms, Mr Moulton said the UK seemed on the brink of a “mortgage famine” that could erode house prices, eat into consumer confidence and hurt economic growth.

“A mortgage famine is, I think, one of the most likely events. It will have an impact on the economy. It will hit house prices, and they are such an important factor in consumer psychology that it will feed through into the economy.”

Mr Moulton owns stakes in several mortgage and loan companies, including mortgage broker John Charcol, Swift Advances, the consumer loan and mortgage business, and Everyday Loans, the subprime lender.

Mr Moulton said his distressed debt team was “working long, hard hours”.
He said about €4bn ($5.5bn) of leveraged loans had been refinanced in the second quarter that would not have been completed in current market conditions.

“This gives you some idea of the magnitude. It doesn’t mean there is a €4bn write-off, it means that €4bn could probably be replaced with €3bn, not €4bn,” he said.

“That number will go up now every quarter, because of the growth that occurred years back in those highly leveraged loans. So it is a big market coming.”

This is what he said in the Independent in October last year .
"Dicing with the debt meister", by Maggie Lee 29/10/06

"Jon Moulton, founder and managing partner of the private-equity firm Alchemy, has never shied from speaking his mind. "We're looking at an overheated market right now," he says, "and we'll see some spectacular falls in the next year or two. It's just a matter of time."

Crude oil reaches highest price ever US $83.84 a barrel

Crude oil for October delivery rose US$1.91, or 2.3 % to US$83.84 a barrel at the 2:30 p.m. close of floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

October Futures (last day of the account) touched $83.90, the highest since the contract began trading in 1983. Prices are up 39 % over the last 12 months.

The more-active November contract was up 95 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $81.80 a barrel.

U.S. Minerals Management Service said production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut because of a storm threat reducing output by more than 360,000 barrels, or 28%, of daily oil production .

U.S. crude-oil supplies fell 3.87 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 14, the 10th drop in 11 weeks, the Energy Department reported yesterday.

Pic ? Heavy Ethannol user - first to identify gets a free barrel of oil.

Northern Rock - Treasury provides guarantee details

HM Treasury have announced the details of the Guarantee for depositors of funds with Northern Bank PLC.

This extends for retail customers to -

1. Accounts existing at midnight on Wednesday 19 September.
2. Re-opened accounts that were closed between Thursday 13 September and Wednesday 19 September.

Putting them on the same basis as National Savings and Premium Bonds and Government Stocks - opened an account since yesterday - Tough Luck pal, according to the Treasury such a gurantee would be - quote - "unfair".

For wholesale market funding the arrangements would only cover:

1. Existing and renewed wholesale deposits; and
2. Existing and renewed wholesale borrowing which is not collateralised.

The arrangements would not cover other debt instruments including, covered bonds,securities issued under the “Granite” securitisation programme, subordinated and other hybrid capital instruments. i.e All that asset backed shit on their Balance Sheet of at least £550 Mn. etc.,

"The guarantee in relation to Northern Rock plc will remain in place during the current instability in the financial markets.", whatever that means - but it is obviously at the discretion of the Treasury.

There is nothing said about the guarantee being transferred with ownership should a successful take-over be concluded.

Northern Wreck on the Markets today

Northern Wreck closed down @185.2 ( Daily low of 174) down 28% - Bradford & Bingley Plc fell 8.6 % and Alliance & Leicester Plc 7.3 %. Bloomberg reports that the shares may drop to 150 pence, reflecting Northern Rock's ``maximum bid value'' in a takeover, Citigroup Inc. said in a note today.

Standard & Poor's re-rated (Trans : buried ) Northern Wreck's undated subordinated debt by four levels to junk. Northern Rock's 200 million-pound 7.053 percent undated subordinated bonds trade at 75% percent of face value currently.

RAB Capital Plc, London-based hedge fund managers, bought 20.5 million shares (4.87% of the equity) of Northern Rock yesterday.

RAB capital Plc was founded by Philip Richards (Ex Army and PPE at Oxford) and the dapper suited Michael Alen-Buckley (Rocco Forte's bro. in law) and launched on AIM in March 2004 at 40p and closed today @ 95p. They have £6-7Bn assets under management in a range of funds. Ex Chancellor of the Exchequer, man about town, ex bon viveur, ex MP Norman Lamont who has seen his fair share of Treasury cock-ups is a non-Executive Director.

The Mittal steel family also have a discloseable interest of 4.5 % of RAB through their private vehicle Karrick Trust.

Northern Wreck- a lesson in terminology, Insolvency v Liquidity

It is evident that in the various discussions about Northern Wreck there is a great deal of confusion about liquidity and insolvency. The reasons vary from ignorance , through to a high capacity for self-delusion, and ultimately the criminal, depending whether you are simply a retail depositor, a politician, or a banker , be it at the BOE or Northern Wreck.

To repeat

There are two tests of solvency ;

1. Inability to pay debts as they become due.
2. Insufficient assets to cover liabilities.

Northern Rock borrows money wholesale and lends it to people to buy houses. Loans are due for repayment by NR cannot be replaced. Because they are illiquid ? NO

Because the lender does not think they have sufficient assets to cover their liabilities, or the assets offered have no or little value - the lenders believe NR to be insolvent - they have Insufficient assets to cover liabilities and vote with their closed cheque books.

Once the Tripartite parties BOE / Treasury / FSA had muddled this up and failed to grasp the nettle of insolvency, and suspend NR share trading , the credibility (and hence creditworthiness) of the City and it's Bankers were in jeopardy.

Now they are all lashing out pointing the finger at each other and are ready (as ever) to "learn lessons".

More tears before bedtime.

PS Mid day - The London Stock Exchange (Shares up 0% today) said it "welcomed" the 20% stakeholding from the Qatar Investment Authority - Dubai Bourse has taken the 28% owned by NASDAQ.

Mervyn Milobender gets his speech ready for Treasury Committee on the Northern Wreck

At 9.40 shares in the Egyptian cotton speculating industry are quoted at 201/202 (down 22%on the day...so far) and have been as low as 176 - which is good news because it provides a yield of 49%.

Perhaps Mervyn has gone off for a "haircut" before his performance in Westmintsre and has not been able to ..."monitor all the time and regularly whether or not there are risks to the stability of the financial system as a whole " (Press Conference Sept 8th concerning his appearance today.)

11.30 and Egyptian cotton speculating industry shares have rallied slightly.

Aged and crippled sports stars muster support for crippled Home Loaner - Northern Wreck

Northern Echo "Buyers Circle round ailing Northern Rock" ...today

"The bank did receive a vote of confidence by one famous name yesterday. Alan Shearer, the England and Newcastle United legend, opened an account in a show of confidence. He said: "Northern Rock have been great for the people of the North-East, particularly with sport."

England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, whose team Newcastle Falcons is sponsored by Northern Rock, described it as a part of the fabric of his club.

With fellow England and Falcons team-mates Mathew Tait and Toby Flood, he left messages of support for the bank on the club's website."

So that's alright then. The Falcons and the Toon should start looking for another sponsor ... pronto... and England look for a stand off who can ocassionally feed the ball out to his backs instead of fucking kicking whenever he gets possession.

UPDATE 8.40 BST In the real world oil is US$82 a barrel and rising and the US$ is now worth Euros 1.40..... and Northern Wreck have slumped to 2.28 in trades in the last minute - down 11% ... P/E of 2.42 41.5 % Yield Ho.Ho.Ho. Chance of a lifetime sir, roll up ! roll up!

Miss Ryan of Bloomberg - filleting Mervyn King and exposing the rotteness at the heart of the City

We wrote about Mervyn King's Press Conference (Sept 8th ) when he released his statement for the House of Commons Treasury Committee which he appears before today. ...

It took a shrewd American lady scribbler from Bloomberg to remind my Lord King with a sharp question ..

"Hello, Jennifer Ryan from Bloomberg News. I wondered if you could elaborate a bit on the extent to which the volatility in financial markets is complicating your forecasts. And also if you could discuss what kinds of concerns you have about the availability of credit going forward, both to businesses for investment purposes and to households?"

So Mervyn slaps the bitch down with some firmly worded clear observations that make it clear that they have 3 jobs to do ..

1 "The first is that monetary policy is set to meet the inflation target."

2."...interest rates are not a policy instrument for protecting unwise lenders from the consequences of their past decisions." ( Evidently not having read (or ignored)Walter Bagehot's views onthe topic in Lombard Street pub. 1862)

3." .....a central bank, obviously always monitors all the time and regularly whether or not there are risks to the stability of the financial system as a whole and whether there are any systemic risks posed by problems arising in particular institutions or markets."

Here we go again , monitoring something over which they have neither influence nor control, and there is even more of this bland wisdom of the elderly ... for Miss Ryan.

"we cannot be sure, no one can be sure at this stage whether what we're seeing so far foreshadows a more disruptive movement in financial markets or whether it's the sign of a gradual easing of pressure that allows credit spreads to return to more normal and sensible levels. That remains to be seen. I don't pretend to be able to know what will happen but we'll be ready to respond to it."

Ho.Ho.Ho. "I don't pretend to be able to know what will happen but we'll be ready to respond to it."

It is now evident that Mervyn was not jesting when he said he didn't know what will happen to the sharp minded Ms. Ryan. (It does occur to us that it took a lousy Yank to expose the Court of King King - the UK scribblers having long since settled down to hoovering up and correcting the Government's Press releases.)

Readers are directed to what we said on Thursday last week September 13, 2007 Bank of England is out of control... ... in the sense that the BOE is not IN control.

"Prudent savers will be moving their deposit accounts out of Northern Rock in the morning... where to ? Try Santander AKA Abbey"

Which is precisely what happened..... now many Billions later, the Directors of Northern Rock are still unsuccessfully hawking their bag of ordure round the golden pavements of the City.

It is now evident there is almost no price that is acceptable to potential buyers - and the BOE cannot offer their undiluted support to any private company. The consequences for ;

1. Mortgage Holders in the Northern Rock
2. Shareholders in Northern Rock
3. Employees of Northern Rock

The Housing market and its many suppliers has been forced in to turmoil by the dishonest, deceitful and illegal attempts to shore up the crooks who ran Northern Rock into the ground.

On the 7th it looked like Mervyn was going to hold out ... now he has evidently caved in to political pressure. His premature de-fenestration will of course solve nothing although it may feed the frenzy and a few baying scribblers.

"I don't pretend to be able to know what will happen but we'll be ready to respond to it." is what he said on the 7th the response is there for all to see, mervyn has stood on his head, done a U turn , swept aside all his prudent and cautious policy statements - Miss Ryan exposed his nonsense and the rank dishonesty that is at the heart of the City and it's Golden Square Mile.

We all now have to live with the consequences of his failure. For a long time.

PS it is interesting to see ..."Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has grabbed a high-profile role advising Northern Rock on the crisis that has engulfed the embattled UK mortgage lender" - the hyenas and vultures gather to pick over the corpse. - "Freshfields cashes in on Northern Rock crisis "- Author: caroline.grimshaw@legalweek.com in legalweek.com
Adam and his co-conspirators are going to need all the legal help they can get.

It's been a good year for the poppies in Afghanistan ....

How soon before the MP's / talking heads show a rash of their concern about the dead strewn across Helmand and Iraq ? Can we have a "first sighting" ?... there was a time when you could always rely upon the ridiculous Nicholas Fairbairn.

Perhaps the Spread betters could run a book. Favourite would almost certainly be fellow Scot of Auld Nick the Shagger of Ayr, Des "I speak your weight" Brown from nearby Doon Valley, with Ed Balls following right behind.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Northern Rock Directors are crooks - guilty of preparing false accounts and trading whilst insolvent

Northern Rock shares closed today at 257 p. per share. In the last Financial year they earned 94.6 pence per share - that is a yield of 37%. and a Price / earnings ration of 2.72.

This a company whose CEO claims on the company website that it "remain(s) a well-managed company and continue(s) to be a safe place for your savings, loans and mortgages."

"I want" he says,"to make it emphatically clear to all Northern Rock customers that we are open for business as usual."

This is self evident bollocks. It is a lie.The company is not only insolvent, but it is evident that the last year's accounts are mis-stated and the profits overstated proably by at least £500 MN which is represent the cupboard full of dodgy valueless Financial instruments....

"As announced on 20 August 2007, Northern Rock only has a £75 million direct exposure to the US sub-prime market which is all rated AAA, and a £200 million
exposure to the US CDO market, within which there is indirect exposure to US sub-prime.

We also have £325 million of investments in a number of Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs)of which £305 million is bank sponsored. Included in the £200 million of CDOs referred to above is a modest exposure of £22 million of SIV Lites."

It is highly likely also, that the mortgage portfolio has a nightmare clutch of overvalued properties, many the product of this spring's manic sales drive to conceal their threadbare balance sheet. Many lent on the most dubious security. It is a fair guess that the total book is wholly unprofitable now and in the near future, however many of our golden duckets King throws at them.

Even now with the somersaulting Governor's pledge of pissing even more money up the walls of the City Bankers Parlours no-one wants even a piece , a sliver, a chip of Northern Rock.

The first impression was, that Adam J. Applegarth, Chief Executive was simply an over promoted, overpaid wanker. He isn't , he is a crook and so are the rest of the Board of Directors who are collectively guilty of preparing and issuing false accounts and trading whilst insolvent.

Far from declaring the company solvent ,the FSA should be getting the bastards disquakified and locked up.

There is undoubtedly a strong case for prosecuting the Bank of England, The FSA and the Treasury as well as the Chancellor of the Exchequer personally for acting as Shadow Directors and making false assurance to shareholders and depositors concerning the affairs of the company - resulting in massive financial losses.

UPDATE 0048 20th Sept

This note by Robert Peston on his BBC Blog has appeared - timed at early 2000hrs BST

IMPORTANT UPDATE: 19:59 The Bank of England has now told me that individual banks can only apply for £1.5bn each under the £10bn facility. It says that Northern Rock would have needed far greater funds - and that if this finance had been provided three weeks ago or so, the liquidity would not have eliminated the Rock's funding difficulties.

It is slightly odd that the Bank should divulge this to me now, because it failed to provide this detail (or any answer at all) when I asked this afternoon whether what it announced today could have provided succour to Northern Rock. So although the Bank of England has changed course in respect of the way it is prepared to tackle the crisis in the money markets, it is sticking to the position that it has no regrets about the way that it provided its initial support to Northern Rock.

If the above statement is correct (and there is no reason to doubt it) It is evident that the situation is a great deal worse than was at first understood. It is also evident that the Bank / FSA / Treasury are not providing information which can affect the share price in the appropriate and legal way.
It is further evidence that the company was insolvent prior to the first announcments made about BOE funding for the company.

The shares must be immediately suspended.The Directors must make a statement on insolvency and Administrators brought in to run the company.

Warrantless surveillance - Back to normal spying for NSA - now it's immunity for telco's .. Fine says Nancy

Democratic leaders (Granny Nancy and her pals at AIPAC) have accepted the idea of warrantless surveillance of international telephone and data traffic .... as long as the target is foreign, (Ho.Ho.Ho.) whilst making b leating noises about ..a special court should play a stronger role ... reviewing the surveillance ....er ....after it has been conducted, to make certain that Americans are not being caught up in the program. (Ask Granny Nancy Pelosi how you identify the nationality of someone using a public / hotel / club / office phone ... er .. magic ?)

Now Mike McConnell ,U.S. National Intelligence Director, and head of the National Security Agency tells the House Judiciary Committee they haven't been conducted wiretapping without warrants on the telephones of any Americans since ... well let's say February (when he got the job) and except when the government has conducted electronic surveillance only after seeking court-approved warrants.

So that's alright then.

He did go on to say that the expanded surveillance powers granted under the temporary measure before the August recess should be made permanent. He explained that the Bill passed in August had ended a "bottleneck", and the N.S.A. was back up to speed about 5 days after it was signed into law.

He also wants legal immunity for the telecommunications companies that secretly cooperated with the N.S.A. on the warrantless program.

Democratic Congressional aides say they believe that a deal is likely to provide protection for the companies.

So that's alright then.

Bizniz as usual.

PS Dubya visited the National Security Agency at Fort Meade in Maryland today and made a poibt of asking Con gress whilst he was there asked Congress to adopt liability protections for telecommunications companies that had cooperated with the government's warrantless surveillance program.

Cheney appoints retired Judge Mukasey as Attorney General

VP Dick "Deadeye" Cheney, the guy who shoots lawyers (and they apologise) apointed Judge Michael B. Mukasey a retired federal judge from New York as the third Attorney General to serve under his friend Dubya. The President met Mukasey on Sept. 1 for the first time and spent an hour with him.

"Mukasey is a fine public servant who knows from experience the challenge that terrorism presents to our country," Dick said when nominating him yesterday.

Mukasey, is now 66 and in private practice in Manhattan (Patterson BelknapWebb & Tyler LLP). Since 9/11 he has repeatedly vigorously supported the administration's assuming broad powers in pursuing terrorist threats, that undermine the US Constitution. He was especially active in supporting the conducting electronic surveillance of terrorist suspects and in imprisoning them before trial.

Which is why Dick chose him. He claimed yesterday that Mick Mukasey would "ensure that the rights and freedoms of the American people are protected, and that includes the freedom from fear of terrorist attacks."

Mick was enthusiastic about the USA Patriot Act, that grants wide new law-enforcement power to the executive branch, in the teeth of oposition by civil liberties groups. "I think one would have to concede that the USA Patriot Act has an awkward, even Orwellian, name, which is one of those Washington acronyms derived by calling the law "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Interrupt and Obstruct Terrorism. That awkward name may very well be the worst thing about the statute," he said in a WSJ OP ed in 2004.

Mick also presided over major cases involving the dispute between Larry Silverstein and his insurers concerning insurance proceeds related to the World Trade Center site when somebody ran planes into it just after he had purchased it.( A Federal jury (Dec '04) ruled the 9/11 attack on the WTC was two events for insurance purposes. So Larry was open to collect up to $2.2 billion from nine insurers.)

Previously he had he consigned Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman to the slammer for life for his role in the 1993 half - assed bombing of the World Trade Center.

This enthusiasm may not be unrelated to his actions in putting several young Muslim men as so-called material witnesses in terrorism cases in the slammer which was loudly criticized by immigration lawyers. ...but praised by the Justice Department. He also signed in 2002 the material witness warrant that let the FBI arrest U.S. citizen Jose Padilla and keep him in prison for 4 years without charge.

Mick has other high profile admirers amongst whom he can count on Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat who led the campaign to oust runty, sweating, lying Alberto Gonzales from the Justice Department.

Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Mick's sone is an Attorney in his law firm), and Manhattan's Democratic district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau will also admire Dick's choice. William Kristol, (signatory and co-founder of the PNAC) the editor of The Weekly Standard, published an article on Saturday "Michael Mukasey to be Attorney General ... And conservatives should be happy." and pointed to an OP-ed pice in the WSJ he penned last month about "the inadequacy of the current approach to terrorism prosecutions."

Kristol wrote that 'the most contentious fights over the next year are likely to be on war-on-terror issues," and he said that Mukasey "is first-rate on these."

“I think that he’ll not only provide the president with first-rate legal counsel, but this nomination will go through Congress without much, if any, partisan politicking, and I think the country needs a break from another explosive, controversial nomination,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who knew Mukasey at Yale Law School in the mid-1960s.

Sen. Arlen "One Bullet" Specter, senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary panel, has spoken for a quick resolution ..“There is no doubt that the Department of Justice has been in disarray for some time, So that I think it is very important to act promptly, but not with undue haste, getting an opportunity to review Judge Mukasey’s background.”

The White House expect no problems with his speedy confirmation.

Meanwhile Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler who has been nominated as a federal Judge will will serve as acting attorney general during Mukasey’s confirmation process... and hopefully sirt out the fucking mess left behind by the President's Lying Lawyer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Summary Justice in the Phil Spector Trial

Is this really what the Daily Telegraph meant today ? Seems a bit excessive when the jury have spent 5 months listening to how Ms Clarkson met her death and a further 7 days deliberating on murder / suicide without reaching a conclusion.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner - ex Boeing engineer with 46 yrs experience raises major concerns about safety on Dan Rather show tonight

The battle between Airbus's gargantuan 380 and Boeing's sleek 387 Dreamliner is not only a battle of marketing philosophies. Hauling up to 800 passengers between major hubs and 200 'ish loads door to door in a sense simply segments the market. Both manufacturers will win.

Airbus in making the 380 have scaled up from their smaller (but still big metal people carriers) using much the same design / technology and providing users with a massive loadspace to allow interior design concepts to flourish - a policy not without it's problems in fitting all the wiring in for the In Flight Entertainment systems, telephone communications, internet accessibility not to mention a huge headache in coping for 800 passengers to ease their bowels.

Boeing have taken a massive and daring step. The Dreamliner is a Lego plane, with the bits made worldwide by many, many manufacturers and assembled at Everett, an accountants dream and outsourcers nightmare of logistics. This implies many problems of delivery, quality control, co-ordination all the while dealing with advanced material and manufacturing techniques that have not been attempted before.

Therefore the news that veteran newsman Dan Rather, former CBS News anchor,on his weekly investigative show on cable channel HDNet (8.00 pm ET 5.00 PT "Plastic Planes" also 11.00pm ET and 2.00 am ET)) is going to present a devastating analysis of problems with the Dreamliner by an ex Boeing employee backed by several anonymous current employees must worry the shareholders who have seen a handsome run in Boeings share price as sales have soared.

Vincent Weldon has worked for Boeing for 46 years from 1969-2006 - he has worked on structural design of the Space Shuttle Orbiter and wored on composite structures from 1973 - 2006. working with USAF and NASA. He gives his address as 2970 Initial Avenue,Enumclaw, WA 98022 (360)825-78.

Vicent wrote to The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on July 24thb 2007 (11 page pdf text in full) and outlined his concerns abaout the Dreamliner as a response to the FAA invitation for people to submit comments in rule making - advertised in the Federal register on Monday 11th 2007.-"proposed Rules"

It is evident that Vincent is not your average whistleblower - he is deeply committed to engineering excellence which he sees as a proud Boeing and American heritage, which he is proud to be part of.

He is concerned however that in this big stakes game some of those values / standards are being neglected , ignored, and bypassed .

His major concern is that whilst "composite structures have far superior fatigue and corrosion resistance" to aluminium structures whose performance is well understood, proven in use and whose performance can be predicted with accuracy - and he is concerned that the analysis of composites is complicated because of this.

Consequently he feels that proceeding with "an unproven composite ... without throughly testing a prototype"" he admits significantly shortens development but is grossly inconsistent the the companies previous policies.

At times he is evangelical about company policy.. "One of my purposes in sending this disclosure to you is to solicit your help in helping Boeing to recover its former soul"... he is not short on technical analysis.

"The kind of composite structure used for the 787 is combustible and burns furiously in a fuel led fire, liberating highly toxicsmoke and tiny inhaleable carbon slivers"

He is also concerned about lightning strikes which occur about 2 times a year in commercial jetliners - this presents no problem to aluminium framed craft but the current dispersion system consisting of a partly conductive screen bonded to the surface ply does not provide section to section transfer and because it adds a weight penalty is kept as light as possible.

A fascinating comparison with the B2 over the flammability of the fuel tanks which will have a nitrogen inerting system, but Boeing maintain that the plane will be safe if this is inoperable is he thinks unsatisfactory.

Comparisons made with the B2 (as made by Boeing) are pointless as the B-2 has only 2 passengers with ejector seats, rarely flies, and never flies through thunderstorms as commercial airliners often have to.

Another major issue is crash worthiness or survival after a crash - a requirement changed when the FAA drop / crash tested a Boeing 737 for a 30 feet per second (it was dropped from 14 feet) impact in 2000 when the 787 was well on its design path. (UPDATE 20/7/07 go here to Randy's Blog - Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle for more detail on testing - see pic above - note half barrel test)

Results from these tests of passenger survivability, fuselage dynamics, with full overhead lockers is now known. Evidently Vincent had a row with the Head of Structures in December 2005 about the comparison of the survivability of the airframe, and the g - forces on seated passngers and the known brittle structure of the 787 which "computer simulations show them to cause unsurvivable g force loadings on the passengers". (ie in excess of 20g's)

He identifies that Boeing (and the FAA) introduced revised methods of testing (without fully loaded lockers in a "half barrel structure ie. the lower half of the fuselage) and suggests a "very cozy Boeing / FAA relationship" . He mentions Jerry Costello, chairman of the House Aviation Sub-Committe who wants .." aggressive oversight of the FAA .. the number one goal of our Government is safety and security". Although if you closely observe the activities of the mining industry and its regulators you might not think that.

A compromised fuselage would allow smoke from a burning composite carbon - epoxy structure (so toxic it is not allowed in any jetliner) to enter and poison the passengers before they could escape.

Vincent lists a range of tasks that the FAA should adopt to overcome these problems but concentrates on what is called the vertical shock loading and the need to limit this to passengers to a 20g force.

This is vital he says as survivability depends on the integrity of the aircraft structure, even if a fire breaks out and points to the A 340-300 Toronto crash on August 2nd 2005 when all 309 occupants escaped in 2 minutes even though fire erupted . The Garuda Boeing 737-400 with 140 occupants burst in to falame when crash laniding at twice normal speed and two thirds of the passengers could escape.

"Overall " he says ,"it is easy to see that what has been allowed in the rush to extreme innovation is a new world of fuselage materials and construction technologies that should have been well understood through extensive testing, under oversight of the FAA, before ever being allowed to be the fuselage primnary structure material"

In an article in the Seattle Times today (where so many Boeing jobs are on the line) .."Boeing vigorously denies Weldon's assertions, saying the questions he raised internally were addressed to the satisfaction of its technical experts."

Vincent was fired in July 2006. He alleged in a whistle-blower complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that the firing was "retaliation for raising concerns throughout the last two years of his employment about the crashworthiness of the 787."

According to a summary of OSHA's findings, Boeing told investigators Weldon was fired for threatening a supervisor, specifically for stating he wanted to hang the African-American executive "on a meat hook" and that he "wouldn't mind" seeing a noose around the executive's neck.

Weldon denied to OSHA investigators that he had referred to a noose and said the "meat hook" reference had not been a threat.

Boeing's current compressed schedule calls for a six-month flight-test program and federal certification in time for delivery in May.

There is no doubt that the plane when rolled out looked magnificent. If Boeing can keep their worldwide suppliers on time, on cost, meeting the correct quality and safety standards ad do it on time it will not only be a magnificent acheivement but will also be a very profitable one.

One has to say that making a whole plane from a material so toxic when on fire that it's use is not allowed in jetliners today does sound scary.

In that trade off between safety and cost, let's hope that the FAA get it right.

Interesting article here from the Seattle Intelligencer which has one short sharp comment from a reader ..

"Actually offgassing of composites in a fire situation has never been a problem before now, but with a fire outside the fuselage the gas released would quickly suffocate. If the FAA order some kind of test to prove a fire situation then Boeing are in trouble. A thicklayer of intumescent paint or something may help but its all weight folks..."

...oh by the way the Airbus 350 (which may/may not compete head to head with the 787) still in the headscratching design phase, will NOT have a composite barrel / fuselage.

UPDATE 19th September 17.42 BST ( 12.42ET)

Someone at Boeing is very interested - judging by the traffic half the company has been reading about this today.

Also of interest Ziff brothers the secretive Investors (They once owned Personal Conputing ) have been spending some time rooting .... looking at where Mr Wheldon lives.

UPDATE 23rd Sept 2007 Usefule aricle in Wired Science with extensive and often well informed comment about the Dan Rater programe - most pro composite technology.

Alliance and Leicester / Northern Rock - how the smart money men made their money out of the turmoil - big wallets, strong nerves and weak politicians

This chart tells a fascinating tale.

1. Share price marked down on opening and drifts down all day
2. Last thing in the afternoon the market makers mark it down heavily as some fairly big sales come through from major investors bailing out and post a spread of 300 /600 halting sales.
3. Opens at £7.80 providing anywhere between a £1 and £1.80 per share for the market makers overnight - luvvly jubbly with massive volumes in first half hour.
4. Back to where we were yesterday morning as some take a profit on the day.

This looks like the boys shorted this one to perfection. Some cashing in yesterday but the ones with stronger nerves hung on until today and closed their positions first thing (probably 50 Mn shares in total) which brought in some more buyers - on the back of Darling's lies and smokescreen.

Alisher Usmanov , the gross Russian Oligarch extends ownership of struggling London football club

Curious how the criminals who want to control the Premer Division end up trading with the some fairly unpleasant people - Alisher Usmanov , crook, murderer and rapist has bumped up his Arsenal (third rate London soccer club) holding in Red & White Holdings Ltd., buying shares off tax exile and fugitive from the UK authorities Asil Nadir via his son.

David Dein calls to tell us that Alisher splashed out on (2.7% of the total according to a passing dickie bird) shares from 'oirish "financier", Alan Dargan at Lansdowne Holdings at £10,000 a share and poor old Dave only got £8,250. That must now value the club at somewhere north of £600Mn.

This puts the gross and unpleasant Russian Oligarch, Billionaire and Thief holding somehere below 3% less than those owned by Mrs Fiszman's diamond boy Danny.

Oh my - only 3% short of Danny Fiszman. If rumours are to be believed and Kroenke's shares are next, this would take Red & White Holdings to around 33% of the club.

Readers will of course remember that Lansdowne Holding's founder Alan Dargan (father of 4 children) whilst dining with luscious 27 year old irish doctor's daughter and convent educated colleen Carina Coleman (£200K p annum financial advisor) with some clients at Scalini, an Italian restaurant in Chelsea in early 2001 referred to Carina in the phrase ``We'll use Carina as our tethered goat,'' - for the thrd time - a phrase he picked up from the then popular fillum Jurassic Park. Coleman, who assumed it meant she was sexual bait, scolded him, saying ``Alan,'' and everyone laughed.

Coleman says the ``tethered goat'' incidents were just the beginning of a campaign of harassment that ended with her being forced to resign in the August. She lost a case for sexual harassment but won a case for unfair dismissal.

At the tribunal (which sat for 4 weeks) she said Dargan had ``suggested in front of others that (the bank) should install a red warning light outside the main office that should be lit when I had my period in order to warn my colleagues to keep away from me''.

On another occasion, she claimed her boss publicly humiliated her by saying she might ``get lucky''at a wedding and wake up next to someone. She also claimed Dargan had joked that a newborn baby had been ``staring in amazement at the sizeof (her) breasts''.

In their defence the company disclosed an e-mail she sent which included the following "joke"

Q: What do you call the useless piece of skin at the end of a man’s penis?
A: His body.

Alan will be well pleased with his turn on these shares , and even more so with his wife's horse Sedna who with O'Donahugh up won the 4.10 pm Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Handicap on Sunday at the Curragh with an SP of 10/1.

Fascinating people who follow football.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dick Cheney's Room 101 - his e-mails consigned to blanks in cyberspace

Speaking on Friday at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dick "Deadeye"Cheney - the man who shoots lawyers - said that because he served as President Ford’s chief of staff, “researchers like to come and dig through my files, to see if anything interesting turns up.”

I want to wish them luck,” he quipped, eliciting laughter from the crowd, “but the files are pretty thin. I learned early on that if you don’t want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don’t write any.”

This blisteringly funy apercu, was no doubt something for the republican scum who had turned up to hear the war criminal speak , to chuckle over and remember to tell their grandchildren.

Dick wasn't joking. Oh No.

The Committee on Oversight and Government reform chaired by Henry Waxman has been delving into the way White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Bush Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications.

(The Presidential Records Act requires the President to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented … and maintained as Presidential records.” )

So far, we now know ...

1. At least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts, including Karl Rove (Rtd.) the President’s senior advisor; Andrew Card (Rtd.), the former White House Chief of Staff; Ken Mehlman, the former White House Director of Political Affairs; and many other officials in the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Communications, and the Office of the Vice President.

2. The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts. Other heavy users of RNC e-mail accounts include former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.

3. Of the 88 White House officials who received RNC e-mail accounts, the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials. In a deposition, Susan Ralston, Mr. Rove’s former executive assistant, testified that many of the White House officials for whom the RNC has no e-mail records were regular users of their RNC e-mail accounts.

4. There are major gaps in the e-mail records of the 37 White House officials for whom the RNC did preserve e-mails. The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.

5. In her deposition to the Committee, Ms. Ralston testified that she searched Mr. Rove’s RNC e-mail account in response to an Enron-related investigation in 2001 and the investigation of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald later in the Administration. (Mrs Ralston resigned in Oct. 2006 over Jack Abramoff's White House contacts) According to Mrs. Ralston, the White House Counsel’s office knew about these e-mails because “all of the documents we collected were then turned over to the White House Counsel’s office.” There is no evidence, however, that White House Counsel Gonzales initiated any action to ensure the preservation of the e-mail records that were destroyed by the RNC.

"It is troubling that so many senior White House officials, including Karl Rove and his former deputy Sara Taylor, were engaging in an effort to avoid oversight and accountability by ignoring the laws meant to ensure a public record of official government business," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "This extensive end run around the laws leads one to wonder what these officials wanted to hide from the public and Congress."

On June 21st 2007 it was reported that according to Waxman, Cheney’s office blocked the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office from an inspection, who argued that it “does not consider itself an ‘entity within the executive branch.’” A curious view to take of the Office of Vice President.

When the Information Security Oversight Office appealed to the Department of Justice, Cheney’s office reacted by trying to abolish it altogether, Waxman said in a letter sent to Cheney ...."“I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions,” Waxman wrote.

“[I]t would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials,” he added in reference to the Plame outing and a guilty plea of a staff member who gave classified information to people in the Philippines .


So that is as far as it goes but the Committee "should investigate what former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales knew about the use of political e-mail accounts by White House officials. If Susan Ralston’s testimony to the Committee is accurate, there is evidence that Mr. Gonzales or counsels working in his office knew in 2001 that Karl Rove was using his RNC e-mail account to communicate about official business, but took no action to preserve Mr. Rove’s official communications."

As the sweating runty liar is now history, no doubt nothing will happen about that. As to Dick's e-mail traffic in 2001 when he was busy organising the bombing of New York and Washington - on 11th September - simply lost in the office cleanout by the RNC.

"I learned early on that if you don’t want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don’t write any" .. and if you do, he should have added, make sure they get destroyed.

Pic U of Texas - President Ford meets with Deputy Chief of Staff Dick Cheney and Chief of Staff Don Rumsfeld in the Oval Office. April 28th 1975 Top 21st April bottom.

But that's not all folks ....... Think Progress have more -

Cheney lawyer told Secret Service not to keep visitor logs: A lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service in September 2006 “to eliminate data on who visited Cheney at his official residence.”

Exempted himself from executive order protecting classified information: Since 2003, Cheney’s office has failed to provide data on its classification and declassification activities as required by Executive Order 12958, which President Bush has endorsed. “Cheney’s office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped.”

Attempted to dodge Information Security Oversight Office: In 2004, Cheney’s office specifically intervened to block an on-site inspection by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is a requirement of an executive order from the President.

Sidestepped travel disclosure rules. Cheney and “his staff have been unilaterally exempting themselves from long-standing travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the executive branch, including the Office of the President,” reported the Center for Public Integrity in 2005.


(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish