"“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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Presidential debate ? ... and who the fuck is Joe the Plumber with a Qtr Mill in his back pocket ?

The pics you don't get to see... Protesters and police clash outside Hofstra University on Oct. 15, 2008 in Hempstead, N.Y., venue of the third and final debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama. Several protesters were arrested and some were injured by equestrian police. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

For anyone seeking information, clear insights into the candidates policies, a rational and clear explanation of the "change" both candidates want, the overseas observer doesn't only suffer from sleep loss but boredom.

The nadir of rational thought and discussion was reached when the brown guy said - "in my 4 years we will make sure the US no longer relies on the Middle East and Venezuela for oil" - this followed the childlike understanding of economic matters revealed by the remark that - "We should no longer borrow 550 Billion from China to pay for Middle East Oil"

Well Mr Brown man , where ARE you going to rely on for your oil ? Certainly not the Caspian region where your brown sister Condi arrived the other day to a forest of cold shoulders and a complete lack of interest in the Nabucco pipeline. - for those interested see the article US standing in Caspian drips away By M K Bhadrakumar in the Asia Times this week.

Well you are not going to buy oil from Mr Chavez .. it's near, it's plentiful ? Oh we forgot that Mr Chavez nationalised the oilcos didn't he ? Shame on him as Mr Paulson told the 9 major banks he was buying their shares with more money the Gubment had printed ... fiat currency for Gubment by fiat. You have no choice Hank the Bank said.

Perhaps you are going to rely more on those nice Nigerian guys - whose Gubments regularly steal the revenues and launder their massive assets through Barclays Bank in London. Or maybe the colourful Government of Equatorial Guinea which Lebanese millionaire (millions made from shady deals in Nigerian oil) and close friend of Lord Mandelson , Eli Calil tried to overthrow.

"President" Obiang ( El Jefe The Boss or more formally Brig. Gen. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo) has ruled Equatorial Guinea, sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil producer, since 1979.He was elected in 1989 as the only candidate. After other parties were permitted to organize, he was reelected in 1996 and 2002 elections which were described as fraudulent by international observers.

Obiang runs most corrupt, ethnocentric, oppressive and undemocratic states in the world with the support of the US whose oilcos (ExxonMobil Corp. and Amerada Hess Corp) have a major hold on the oil fields.

Obiang deposited more than half a billion dollars into accounts controlled by him and his family at Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C

Perhaps Angola ? Well in 2003 The London-based group Global Witness, which likes to investigate the oil business in Africa, estimated that at least $1.4 billion of Angola's energy revenue disappeared.

Perhaps Iraq ? Well oil production stays stubbornly at the levels pre ilegal invasion - maybe be due to the failure to monitor oil production as testified by Stuart W. Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

In addition to the estimated $16 billion loss of potential oil export revenue between January 2004 and March 2006 alone, Bowen says Iraq is paying billions of dollar to import refined petroleum products it needs.

US$16Bn stolen whilst the US Army keeps watch ... what happens when they pull out ?

The White man looked so like Aardvarks Wallace it was difficult to believe a word he said but boy did he rile the brown man when he started talking terrorism.

But terrism is a tricky business for the Repugs...So, when the question is whether to deport right-wing Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela to face charges for the in-air bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner in 1976 (a classic act of terrorism that killed 73 people), the Bush administration finds any number of reasons why Posada must be allowed to live safely in the United States.

Suddenly the notion of “harbouring terrorists,” which President George W. Bush famously declared to be adequate grounds for invading a country anywhere in the world, doesn’t seem so bad – when his administration is doing the harbouring.

But then we are all terrists now .. there are more than 540,000 names on the U.S. government’s “terrorist watch list.” Some must deserve the government’s interest, but many others are there by mistake (in 2007, for instance, nearly 23,700 individuals’ names were removed from the database when it was determined they were improperly included).

Whoever gets in, and Lord Patel's money is on the white man / AKA Wallace .. we have 4 more years of US colonialism with an expanded military and big bucks for the military industrial complex.

UK Government does more mean less ?

From a diverse range of sources it appears that the Brown Gubment payroll has swelled even more ..

1.There are now 121 ministers, whips or law officers.

2. The eager beaver crew has also got bigger Paul Waugh says ( adding in 5 backbenchers with titles as regional ministers' assistants and 2 who are "government representatives" (ie, "envoys"), 44% of the all Labour MPs have an official government post of some kind.

3. After his shuffle the Brown Cabinet has 23 members ...another 10 ministers have the right to attend on some or all occasions.

4. Canny Scot at saving the bawbees Brown has secured the services of 13 ministers or whips working without a ministerial salary.

The indefatigable and glamorous Torygraph hackette Rosa Prince ( see pic) tells us she has been truffling around the 15 members of the 2001 Labour intake who signed the letter calling for Tony Blair to shuffle off his immortal coil and let Gordy take on the heavy responsibilities of state.

Well their loyalty has been rewarded ;
Chris Bryant - Parliamentary Secretary, Office of the Leader of the House of Commons
Tom Watson - Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (described by Tony as "disloyal, discourteous and wrong" for signing the letter urging him to go.)
Sion Simon - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Wayne David - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Wales Office
Ian Lucas - Assistant Government Whip
Hywel Francis - Chairman, Welsh Affairs Select Committee
Mark Tami - Assistant Government Whip
Kevan Jones - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence
Mark Lazarowicz - Special representative of the Prime Minister on carbon trading working with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Ann McKechin - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Scotland Office - and one time romatically linked with Kelvinside MP Gorgeous George Galloway.

Chris Mole - Assistant Government Whip

Which leaves Khalid Mahmood, ***Jim Sheridan, David Wright, David Hamilton still waiting for the phone to ring.
*** he took the seat from geoff (now unbelievably Lord Rooker) who sponsors the Improving The Prospects Of People Living In Areas Of Multiple Deprivation In England and he chairs the chairs the Project Advisory Group a member of which is Sukhvinder Kaur Stubbs (Oxford First) who is the Director of the Barrow-Cadbury Trust (and a Sikh)- she is also a member of the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands . She also stood against Mr Khalid ( a community development officer ) as a Labour Party candidate and lost amongst tales of vote rigging and was said in scurrilpous articles to be a bedmate of the noble Lord.

Labour's Perry Barr branch executive committee voted to continue campaigning to have the selection of Khalid (a Kashmiri Muslim) over-turned and to force an investigation into an unusually large number of postal votes cast in Mr Mahmood's favour.

Almost half the 290 members in Handsworth ward, a Mahmood stronghold, applied for a postal vote - a virtually unprecedented percentage in constituency selection meetings.
Pre-election complaints against Mahmood included his sudden disappearance from Birmingham for over a year shortly after first being elected city councillor, and the mysterious and unexplained collapse of the council-backed British Kashmiri Association with huge debts in 1994.
see also Khalid Mahmood: A long-term embarrassment for Labour
Mr Mahmood is probably not ministerial material under Gordon. But watch out for the rise and rise of Sukhvinder Kaur Stubbs (pic)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This hurts us more than it will hurt you.

"“promoting a competitive financial services sector leading the world and supporting continued economic innovation.”...remeber that was the Bush plan ... now Hank the Bank according to the Guradian today ...An insider said Paulson dictated the terms after summoning chief executives on Monday. "It wasn't a debate."

More bollocks from Hank ... Government owning a stake in any private U.S. company is objectionable to most Americans, me included. Yet the alternative of leaving businesses and consumers without access to financing is totally unacceptable." ...This hurts me more than it hurts you.

Harvey Pitt briefly held the Chairmanship of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for two years until 2003 when he resigned on election day.

He is quoted by the BBC as having said yesterday on BBC World News, "We've got a 21st century financial services marketplace and a 19th century regulatory model."

He further added that there was a lack of transparency both within and between organisations and businesses in the financial / insurance sectors in the US.

Belatedly he has placed his finger on the problem that has been glaringly evident to many outside the incestuous world of international finance. The current problems of credit lockdown are a SYMPTOM not a CAUSE.

The falire to close down credit both with individuals (when were you last chased down a mall to open anew Credit card ?) businesses but also between banks and quasi (investment) banks - resulting in the soaring LIBOR rate (whose calculation has been rigged for years - see Friday, April 18, 2008 British Bankers Association caught lying about LIBOR rates ) only reflects that the gig is up for the lying bankers.

Banks of all shapes, sources and sizes have been producing fraudulent balance sheets and declaring non-existent profits and paying massive bonuses and dividends for years -

1. Lloyds bank was offering a higher yield on shares than on their best deposit accounts.
2. 60% of Sacks of Gold Gross Trading profit went in remuneration of staff.
3. leveraging of 30 - 1 was (and still is) common , ie they borrowed £30 for every £1 deposits.

The result is not lack of confidence but confusion, wrought by criminal behaviour of many (but not all) - politicians bereft of ideas have decided to throw the taxpayers money at the problem.

Hank was on the blower again the last few days but we couldn't help him... he had this crazy idea of buying into banks, taking preference shares with a 5% coupon (so he gets his (taxpapyers) money back in 20 years).

Apparently hidden away somewhere was the power for him to do this with the money in his swag bag.

Can you imagine the organisation that must be put in place to oversee this massive shareholding in banks ? Who will staff it ?

Maybe the guys lining Wall Street round the corner from the door marked EXIT at Lehman Bros.

In the UK Gordon Brown...

...says he doesn't want to run banks... Ho.Ho.Ho...This on the day when the Cabinet are ready to give the go ahead to having a National database on every individual which will have details of our web browsing, phone calls .....?

Is this the end of the beginning ? NO way...not even the begining of the start of the early part of the financial holocaust that is on it's way. Especially on those nations where financial jugglery has overtekn real economies, where people make things and sell things with worth, asset value and utility.

Next up for a shock horror explosion of concern and worry is the insurance industry.

One good bit of nes is that the EU is dismantling the nonsense of carbon trading .... Old Lord Patel's Almanac says you will here no more about Global warming in 5 years time as wesern economies fight energy costs to keep their populations fed and watered.

A free Web-based Virtual Computer for every human being - G.ho.st

G.ho.st ...the shortest, neatest, url around and the product of an extrordinary alliance. Palestinian programmers in Ramallah and Israeli programmers in Israel who meet in a petrol station cafe on the Dead Sea or by teleconferencing.

G.ho.st (the Global Hosted Operating SysTem pronounced “ghost”), offers what they term ,Web-based G.ho.st Virtual Computer (VC) free of charge to every human being.

The G.ho.st Virtual Computer already allows users to access their desktop, files, settings and apps from any browser. Now they have launched a G.ho.st Mobile service which allows the same users to access their files, settings and apps from any mobile phone! The main VC service is live at http://g.ho.st/ and the new Mobile service may be accessed from any mobile phone browser at http://G.ho.st/m .

The G.ho.st VC, together with G.ho.st Mobile allows a user to keep their entire digital life professionally hosted at G.ho.st, which in turn uses Amazon.com’s data center (AWS). A user can then access heir digital life from any browser or mobile phone.

The solution requires no administration, such as installing software, backing-up or syncing, and is provided completely free of charge. For people who travel or use different devices in different locations, the G.ho.st solution provides a complete alternative to Microsoft Windows® + Windows CE which are tied to specific devices, are expensive and require syncing and other administration

Of course if you want your entire digital history accessible to an Israeli based hitech software outfit that is a choice you are welcome to make.

G.ho.st lead investor is Benchmark Capital which operates in California and Israel, has US$2.5 Bn. under management, and is known for such successes as EBay and MySQL.

Several individual investors are also claimed , including ex-Microsoft executives and veteran industry investors, and have participated in investment rounds in a personal capacity. These included Paul Maritz, (Zimbabwean / S African) who managed the development of Windows at Microsoft(which he left in 2000). Prior to that, he spent five years at Intel Corporation.

The plastic newspaper gets nearer the street - Plastic Logic reaches take - off soon.

We first brought your attention to Plastic Logic in March 2007 - Enfucell Oy's SoftBattery™ - a solution for a problem with their "flexible active-matrix displays" (which they were exhibiting at the Flex-Idis seminar Kings College Cambridge 29th March 2007).

Things have moved on since then - the first factory was opened in Dresden In early September and the company site video demonstrates the use of the technology in supporting paperless newspaper (or any other) production.

The Dresden factory (started construction May 2007) is, they claim, a fully automated and integrated facility that has now begun volume production of portable displays based on Plastic Logic's patented and proprietary plastic electronics technology.

CEO Richard Archuleta said portentously , "Today marks an extraordinary achievement for our company and the plastic electronics industry. It also marks a major milestone in preparation for the delivery of our first consumer electronics product early next year."

Plastic Logic's core , proprietary and heavily patented technology solves the critical issue in manufacturing high-resolution transistor arrays on flexible plastic substrates using a low-temperature. The process is simpler than conventional glass silicon processes, and produces active matrix displays that are thinner, lighter and more robust than glass.

Founded in 2000 by researchers out of the Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory, the Company has received more than US$200 million in funding from leading international technology firms and investors. Plastic Logic has research and development in Cambridge, England, high-volume, state-of-the-art manufacturing in Dresden, Germany, and executive management, product engineering, sales and marketing headquartered in Mountain View, California. NYT article September 19, 2008, Will This E-Reader Replace Papers? iRex Reader device launched ...Amazon Kindle has sold 300K devices so far.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Typhoon now to be used in air to ground support role ?

Lt Col Mark Kenyon who is the top guy with 2 Lancs tells me about his whizz bang ride as a passenger in a Typhoon with 29(R) Squadron.

This involved the simulated interdiction of a hostile aircraft from the runway at RAF Akrotiri.

" the feeling of speed was tremendous"

"2 Lancs will be relying on such aircraft to support them in the air to ground role in future operations "


Air to ground ?

They have a cannon which they cannot and won't use. They have dropped one single laser guided (Paveway) bomb - only with the help of another aircraft to "light" the target.

Are we going to soak the Taliban in air to ground missiles at £350K per throw ?

Very interesting article in Flight about the German experience with Typhooon / Eurofighter here

Jörg Haider - killed in car / alone / at night

The VW Phaeton V6 car in which Jorg Heider was killed just outside Klagenfurt ina 50 Km zone.

Traudl Herrhausen, is the widow of Alfred Herrhausen. He was was the chairman of the Deutsche Bank , West Germany's largest, and a major member of the German business elite who had driven Germany's post war economic success - whilst East Germany declined.

She has maintained a public silence about his violent assassination on November 30th 1989.

His death was the result of plot executed with flawless military precision. A sack of armour piercing explosive on a parked bicycle was triggered remotely by an infra red beam as the first of the 3 car convoy passed. An observer then activated the device.

Construction workers had previously carefully laid the wire connecting the bomb and it's trigger under the pavement in the days preceding this extraordinarily well planned event - on a route he rarely used.

His death (it was said) represented a remarkable 3rd generation of the Red Army Faction utilising new techniques and technology.

With the wall down, known Red Army cadres who had been previously been granted political asylum in East Germany were rounded up. Beginning in about 1980, the Stasi granted refuge to 10 members of the Red Army Faction in East Germany and gave them assumed identities.

They all had solid alibis.

The car in which Alfred Herrhausen was killed November 30th 1989.

Lord King saw it all coming , how it would happen ... and did nothing.

Lord Mervyn King's address to the assembled City Glitterati at the Mansion House on Wednesday 20 June 2007 will be seen historically as the turning point when the double firsts in Threadneedle Street finally understood the mess they had overlooked (in the sense they had been responsible for) ...but which they had overlooked (in the sense of ignored what was happening) ...

Well worth a re - visit (We brought this to your attention previously)

Your decision to grant independence to the Bank of England ten years ago is widely and rightly regarded as a fundamental improvement to the conduct of economic policy in this country, and we in the Bank are grateful to you for giving us the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of an independent central bank.

This is of course a delusion - for example King , 30 odd working days later he was asked by Loyds Bank to be allowed to take over Northern Wreck with support from the BOE but handed this hot potato very swiftly (within hours) to the Chancellor in the lievely expectation that he would refuse. Which he did.

Financial stability more generally is a topical concern in financial markets. More than
one banker and merchant in the City has said to me recently, “I cannot recall a time when credit was more easily available”. How worried should we be?

His answer takes some time to deliver - it is one that changed the world. It's force has been overlooked, misjudged and largely unheard.

Securitisation is transforming banking from the traditional model in which banks
originate and retain credit risk on their balance sheets into a new model in which credit risk is distributed around a much wider range of investors. As a result, risks are no longer so concentrated in a small number of regulated institutions but are spread across thefinancial system. That is a positive development because it has reduced the market failure associated with traditional banking – the mismatch between illiquid assets and liquid liabilities – that led Henry Thornton and, later, Walter Bagehot to promote the role of the Bank of England as the “lender of last resort” in a financial crisis.

Distributing credit risk around may spread it, but it fails to reduce it. The result is that the "the mismatch between illiquid assets and liquid liabilities" is further from understanding, monitoring and control. The total risk is the same but identification is more difficult and deliberate concealment on many, many more balance sheets, not only within the control of the FSA but often offfshore is not only made possible , but certain. Control by the Central Bank has evaporated.

As we have remarked many times the bnk of England was out of control - int he sense that the Bank of England was not in control.... and the supine fucker at the top just let the good times roll.

New and ever more complex financial instruments create different risks. Exotic instruments are now issued for which the distribution of returns is considerably more complicated than that on the basic loans underlying them. A standard collateralised debt obligation divides the risk and return of a portfolio of bonds, or credit default swaps, into tranches. But what is known as a CDO-squared instrument invests in tranches of CDOs. It has a distribution of returns which is highly sensitive to small changes in the correlations of underlying returns which we do not understand with any great precision. The risk of the entire return being wiped out can be much greater than on simpler instruments. Higher returns come at the expense of higher risk.

Mervyn has identified the increase in risk - he fails to say what he intends to do about it, unless the key is here ...

Whether in banking, reinsurance or portfolio management, risk assessment is a matter of judgement as much as quantitative analysis. Ever more complex instruments are designed almost every day. Some of the important risks that could affect all instruments – from terrorist attacks, invasion of computer systems, or even the consequences of a flu pandemic – are almost impossible to quantify, and past experience offers little guide.

Then he adds a lesson we all learnt at a very early age... are we to assume this modest understatement encapsulates a policy ?

Be cautious about how much you borrow is not a bad maxim for each and every one of us here tonight.

The wonderfully understated double negative is a kicker - he continues....

The development of complex financial instruments and the spate of loan arrangements without traditional covenants suggest another maxim: be cautious about how much you lend, especially when you know rather little about the activities of the borrower. It may say champagne – AAA – on the label of an increasing number of structured creditinstruments. But by the time investors get to what’s left in the bottle, it could taste rather flat. Assessing the effective degree of leverage in an ever-changing financial system is far from straightforward, and the liquidity of the markets in complex instruments, especially in conditions when many players would be trying to reduce the leverage of their portfolios at the same time, is unpredictable. Excessive leverage is the common theme of many financial crises of the past.

To which he adds ..

Are we really so much cleverer than the financiers of the past?

So there we have it , Uncle Mervyn's Old fashioned Home Remedy for Financial Stability ...be careful how much you borrow - be careful how much you lend

Nearer at home the rate at which bankers charged for interbank lending reflected Uncle Mervyn's Old fashioned Home Remedy for Financial Stability be careful how much you borrow - be careful how much you lend .... was kicking in.

Read the full speech here
Lord King's silence during the last few weeks has been deafening.

Hank's unresolved dilemma and the power of prayer

Apologies for the break in transmission since Friday . It has been rather busy round here this weekend since Hank called up having read - Hanks Dilemma - How to get a Goodeal for both Uncle Sam and the cousins on Wall Street .

Still he has US$700 very, very, very, big ones to splurge with, and want's to get on the inside track about what Gordon and Alastair are up to. We have to tell him that Gordon is on the other line hanging on for some goodideas(sic).

Anyway the bottom line this side of the turbid fishpond is that the UK Government now own ..

Northern Rock ... at least £27 Billion in the hole so far
Bradford and Bingley .... Ditto £4 Bn for those nice Spanish gents and £45 Bn (and counting) for te "assets"
Royal Bank of Scotland .... Ditto £20 Bn for a 60 % chunk - the result- shares drop even further in the market. Down 7%
HBOS / Lloyds ...Ditto £17 Bn for 41% odd chunk - the result- shares drop even further in the market. HBOS down 27% Lloyds down 18%

Plus all interbank loans guaranteed

Like rats in a corner, the tax payers money has been pissed away supporting banks who for years have been producing under the noses of the triumvirate of regulators fraudulent balance sheets, declaring non-existent profits and leaking capital away in unsupported dividend payments.

The whole principle of unregulated markets is to let them fail.

Now we have endless needs for even greater taxation, more unemployment, dearer food costs, dearer energy costs.

Remarkably the Government have just ensured the latter by handing their 33% of British Energy to EDF (AKA Mr Sarkozy's French Government).

So we explained the follow of Gordon's plan to Hank and he said..."Well Lord Patel what do we do now ?"

Lord Patel asked Hank if he was a religious man.

Hank said he was, maybe he choked a bit on that.

Well said Lord Patel ..."the best thing to do now is to pray"

Wall Street feels the "surge" .......

Lord Patel's favourite bank - Bank Santander , (STD)has taken up the remaining part of Wyomissing, Pa.-based Sovereign Bancorp.(SOV: Sovereign Bancorp Inc) in which they bought 24.9% three years ago.
The WSJ reported late yesterday they would announce buying the company shares at the Friday close price of US $3.81-a-share, or US$2.53 billion.

When they bought in Santander had an option to pay $38-a-share for the entire bank - it is unlikely that they paid anuythign above Friday's price.

Sovereign shares have dropped nearly 80% on the year and 60% in the last month - Long time Head Jay Sidhu collected his lunch pail recently - last week named Paul Perrault was named as CEO to replace Joseph Campanelli, who ran the bank following Jay Sidhu.

Morgan Stanley feels the heat from the Asian Tigers

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MTU )has closed the deal on a US$9 Bn. equity investment in Morgan Stanley (MS) which gives it a whopping 21% stake. (Press release)

MUFG has picked up US$7.8 Bn of perpetual non-cumulative convertible preferred stock with a 10% dividend and a conversion price of $25.25 a share. Under the revised terms of the deal, MUFG also gets US$1.2 billion of non-convertible preferred stock with a 10% dividend.

Morgan Stanley shares closed Friday at US$9.68 (80% down YTD).MS have slimmed down and now claim that , " As of today, total assets are now under $900 billion, down from $987 billion at August 31, 2008 "

Regulatory approval obtained

" The investment has been approved by the Federal Reserve in the United States and other key global regulators. Additionally, “early termination” under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act has been granted by the U.S. government. The transaction is expected to close promptly after the expiration of the Federal Reserve five-day post-approval waiting period."

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