Tag Archives: BBA

Barclays Bob

Some may be wondering about the timing of Bob Diamond’s decision to “walk” from what is the best-paid and most high-profile banking job in the UK. Some may believe that he was hounded out by the banking establishment.

I reckon that he walked in order to free himself-up ahead of the ridiculous inquisition by the Treasury Select Committee. I sincerely hope that they leave their briefcases on the table in front of them and remember to wear tin hats – because Barclays Bob is going to give them hell. They will be forced to listen to a few home truths about the conduct of not-only Barclays but the entire politico-banking establishment.

Believe me, Bob knows where ALL the bodies are buried and he’s the first guest at the Wake.

As usual, we’ve had the puerile Punch and Judy exchange between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Both have diminished themselves through their conduct over the last wee. (If that was at all possible)

Meanwhile, the media (and I include the Social Media) have seen an outpouring of hysteria by individuals who hadn’t heard of Libor before last Wednesday. Mob hysteria at its worst.

Mind you, that is so typical here in the UK. First we “denounce”, then the Inquisition, followed by the Inquiry and then it’s back to normal as we look for the next victim.

If there have been transactions which have inflated profits, I hope that in their haste, government Ministers have not forgotten that there may be billions in the Exchequer which will have to be repaid if tax has been generated on illicit transactions.  Inflated bonuses have also been subject to millions in taxation.

It’s not only the banks who are going to have a lot to unravel – but of course, these days no-one thinks before they act.

Starting with the baying politicians and media, a breathtaking lack of understanding of complex banking processes has clearly been demonstrated. The same lack of understanding which was exhibited by the Directors of Banks prior-to, during and certainly after the last bank crisis.

Make no mistake both the Bank of England as well as the Financial Services Authority have been complicit. Those pre-Lehmans LIBOR deals, probably saved the British Government from having to bail out Barclays and as other banks have also doubtless been guilty of the same misdemeanours, the Government will have saved billions on the 2008 bailouts.

(What I mean to say is that the banks were bailed out  – but they weren’t bailed out enough. The last four years of  “rebuilding balance sheets”, non-lending etc have clearly demonstrated that as usual, the government only did half of the job)

It is the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the grubby British Bankers Association which should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the dock and hopefully after Bob Diamond has said what he really thinks and knows, they’ll be lined up and taken down.

Today, Mr Diamond, I’m on your side.

Show them Hell!

Mervyn’s little pump

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” Mervyn King”

Mervyn King and his band of funsters at the Bank of England are attending  their irrelevant monthly monetary policy “dither” committee again. Why “irrelevant”? Because it is the British Bankers Association ( known collectively as the Wunch”) that decides consumer interest rates. Any change in the Bank Base Rate is irrelevant  because the only direction that  the BBA will alter the rate in today’s climate is upwards.

The balloon of inflation has two pumps sticking in it.

The first is our own little pump which inflates and deflates the balloon through price and interest rate variations. This is the pump that Mervyn and his gang have a bit of control over when they are in the mood to get their hands dirty. (They spend three hours deciding whether or not to sit on the fence).

The bigger pump (by far) which has been growing over the last few years and has recently started inflating the balloon  at a great rate of knots is totally out of Mervyn’s (and the Government’s ) control. This is the massive steel stirrup pump of world commodity prices. Control of that pump is in the hands  of organisations such as OPEC, Governments such as Russia and the USA and individuals such as commodity traders and speculators.

Mervyn’s little plastic bike pump is fast becoming an irrelevance but I am sure that today after their game of bullshit tennis,  they will have a good lunch before Mervyn settles down at his battered old Remington and types “the letter” to Gordon Brown.

Dear Gordon,

Sorry mate but you know that 2% inflation nonsense that you used to bang on about? I think that it’s time to stick a “one” in front of the “two” because that’s where we really are.

The good news is that  the high figure does not apply to individuals who purchase a 42″ plasma TV every month.

Yours,

Merv

p.s. Sorry about the red ink. That’s all we use these days.

British economists are divided (?!) – depending whether they base their calculations on Keynesian Theory or the (currently favoured) back of a Marlborough packet.

In spite of the fact that they all rely on what is essentially the same computer model – half say that the rates should come down and the rest say that they should either stay at 5% or be increased.

Here’s a wake-up call boys:  It doesn’t matter.

When you have oil and commodity prices swinging by between 10% and 60%, a small 0.25% tinker with the BBR is not going to amount to anything at all.

It would be like John Prescott chipping an ice cube off the iceberg that sank the Titanic.  Or as it is known nowadays – New Labour.

Spygun  predicts zero action from Merv and the boys (and girls). Rates to remain at 5%.