Thursday, 24 September 2009

Fishing for Hedge Funds - Deja Vu

Today's DT business section has their leader on the G20 entitled, "Now its down to politics the crisis is starting to turn really ugly". The brutish German finance minister Peer Steinbruck and the short 'Napoleon' Sarkozy are demanding draconian regulation of the banks, hedge funds, markets etc to 'prevent' another crisis. That is like trying to stop the tide. Financial crises, like the poor, will always be with us.

Their actions have little to do with rational banking reforms. They are mainly aimed at getting the lucrative business out of the City of London to Paris and Frankfurt. They had expected this to happen naturally when at the end of 1999 the Euro markets were formed and business was expected to flow to the Continent. Much to the chagrin of the French and Germans this did not happen and comments about German 'concrete heads' were rife. So now they are having a second bite at the cherry.

Sound familiar? It should. Its exactly what happened in 1972 when the Common Market pushed through its common fisheries policy just prior to Heath signing the accession treaty. We had the largest, richest, best run fishing grounds in Europe and the Common Market fishermaen wanted to get their hands on them. Heath gave it to them as a price worth paying but more importantly because the fishermen had few votes in Tory seats. Its the same this time except the fund managers, bankers and their staff reside in the South East where there are a large number of Labour marginals. Also the money men have the hearts, minds and gonads of many of our MPs and Lords. Its a much tougher battle for the EU this time and I would not like to bet on the result. I am certain however that if the EU wins the gnomes of Zurich will celebrate.

I see also in the DT business today that Godders Bloom UKIP MEP has been 'breaking with decorum' at a Mansion House dinner last night by heckling the saintly Lord Turner about FSA bonuses. Mr Bloom often becomes more outspoken as the evening wears on and the good Lord is quoted as retorting, "I don't know who this chap is, but could you go back and start handing out your pamphlets outside this room and stop interrupting." I think I may offer Godders my old copy of "How to win friends and influence people", that I no longer need.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Torygraph plays Cameron's long Con game

The Torygraph is the newspaper of choice for the majority of UKIP voters and sympathisers. Few can have failed to notice the large amount of anti-EU coverage that has appeared in its pages recently. This mornings little front page effort in the Sunday edition is headlined, "Voters demand a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if Cameron becomes PM". Sounds great and is sourced on an ICM telephone poll of 1018 adults conducted on 16-17th Sept with correct statistical weightings applied. The relevant questions were:

Should a Tory government hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty: Yes 70%, No 19%

Do you think the interests of Britain are best served staying in the EU, 55%, Leaving the EU 40%

Who gets the best deal from the EU? UK 10%, France 43%, Germany 25%, Italy 8%

Do you think in the future more decisions should be taken:

By Member states such as UK rather than the EU 58%
By the EU 14%
No change on where decisions are currently made 24%

and the bizarre question that I, and I think most of the sample, could not understand

If the post of the President of the European Council is created do you think the EU will or will not need a president?

Will need 44%, Will not need 47%

The key answer is that 55% think we should stay in the EU.

What the Torygraph/Tories are doing is creating the impression with UKIP voters that Cameron will have a referendum on Lisbon and so persuade them to revert to their tribal Conservatism and vote for Cameron. Its a good tactic and unless UKIP gets its act together it will work especially with the majority of our MEPs in Brussels and intent on doing their bit for the EU by diligently doing their EU committee work.

It is of course a complete con by a Conservative con man made from the same mould as Edward Heath who also conned the British people.

Where is our great soon to be ex-leader and what is he doing to oppose this tactic? Answers on a post card to Lord Pearson, House of Lords, Westminster

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Nikki or Pearson for Leader

The timing gave it away. Pearson only emerged after it was clear Nuttall & Bannerman were both hopeless and would lose to Nikki. Clearly there was some arm twisting by Farage as Pearson had said previously he did not want to job. Pearson believes in the UKIP cause but his blind spot is that he thinks Farage does as well. Farage has done what the Yanks call a snow job on Pearson. Pearson presumably got his peerage by donating large sums to Mrs T's Tories but he is not a politician. Real politicians see through Nigel Farage and distance themselves very quickly. Pearson has done a lot in the UK for the anti EU movement and deserves credit for this but he lacks real political nous.

He will clearly be a Farage placeman and power will still be exercised via Nigel's mobile working Nuttall's brain. Pearson is there as a stop Nikki candidate and maintain the Farage status quo. So the choice is clear. If you want to shake up UKIP and have the prospect of a real opposition party to the EU in the UK vote for Nikki. If you want more of Nigel's EUKIP vote Pearson.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Youf, Inexperience & Paul Nuttall

Paul Nuttall was talked about as the next leader of UKIP. I suggest anyone still harbouring such thoughts click on the link below to see yesterday's North West Politics Show interview with Nuttall. The interview starts 54:00 mins into the BBC clip so if you unless you want to listen to a load of TUC waffle slide the cursor along to the 54 min mark.

Nuttall Interview

Nuttall, Farage's nominee as chairman, was clearly nervous, not listening to the questions and just spouting a pre-prepared line and generally giving a poor performance. The interviewer was asking about what UKIP was going to do at the General Election next year in 2010 and Nuttall spent a lot of time rabbitting on about the 2014 European Election, five years away. When she finally managed to drag Nuttall back on topic he stated that Bootle would be a UKIP target seat. The interviewer gaped at him and said but at the last general election when you stood you got 4% of the vote and Labour got 75%. She could have quoted the McEnroe comment, 'You cannot be serious'. Unfortunately Nuttall was, and looked very stupid when he then tried to go on about his good District Election result in Bootle.

The naughty BBC then showed a clip from an Andreasen interview about her resignation. She was relaxed and made her points well. She wanted a party with more mature experienced professional and business people running it. Nuttall, she said, did not think this important and wanted Youf as the Beeb call it. Andreasen then finished with a telling smirk of the cat who has got the cream.

Cut back to Nuttall whose answers re Andreasen's interview points were even worse than the non-answer to UKIP's GE ideas. He parrotted the Farage line re she would be very busy clearing up UK corruption and her resignation as UKIP Treasurer was a minor matter and they were all going to work together like happy bunnies etc, etc..Clearly baloney.

Watch it for yourself and form your own judgement. What emerges clearly is the paucity of talent at the top of UKIP and that Andreasen, and I hate to say this, is correct in her interview points. The problem is all the mature people with solid business and professional experience, doctors, barristers, bankers, accountants, businessmen with sound independent judgement have been purged from UKIP and its NEC by the Cabal. Nuttall is typical of what is left on UKIP's NEC. It is not an encouraging prospect.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Denny's NEC tactics exposed

Denny has been banned from Democracy Forum for posting 'unwarranted insults' about me. Croucher had previously been banned for posting allegations about me that he had no evidence to back. Croucher has insufficient assets to be worth suing and is reported as recently losing a court case to the BNP with costs awarded against him so what is the point. Denny is similarly a person who is not worth pursuing legally although I believe David Abbott did with some success.

People like Denny & Croucher are very useful tools for the ruling UKIP Cabal. They have insufficient funds to be worth mounting a legal action against them for their allegations. The Cabal can thus hide behind them and safeguard their assets at the same time as having their views promulagated by Denny and Croucher damaging the reputation of those who oppose the Cabal.

UKIP footsoldiers who have not had to deal with the Cabal have no conception of how different these people are from the ordinary decent UKIP members. Denny's posts give some idea of what David Abbott, Del Young and I had to put up with on the NEC.

Here are a couple of quotes from Denny about me that gives the flavour of the rancid bile he threw at us.

"Ok you piece of sheiss. you have goaded me into a response - happy now?

I knew you were a nasty piece of work from the very moment you came into the NEC for the first time and opened your nasty mouth. It was one of the better decisions made in all my experience for the NEC to throw you out on your ear. You were totally disruptive to the point of anarchy. The most unpleasant person I have met in politics without a doubt. Have you practiced for years? or are you just naturally like that?

You are also full of lies and invective."

"I will not be accused, however, by that lump of excrement of giving misleading informatio

After that last comment he was banned for one week. Unfortunately on the UKIP NEC the Cabal regard their tools using that sort of language to attack their critics as acceptable. David Abbott, Del Young and I never descended to their level. We kept on asking questions and were all kicked off the NEC or thrown out of UKIP.

The whole thread gives a window into how UKIP operates at the highest level. Click on link below to see the full thread:

Is a good read and I recommend reading the whole 9 pages or so. I use the nom de plume SomersetYokel on the forum. Mathematicians are fond of doing this. Charles Dodgson was probably the best known but only by his nom de plume Lewis Carrol!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Youf, Inexperience & Financial Cock ups

Tempting as it is to write on the latest doings of the UKIP folk, I feel it is being so well covered currently by GLW, Junius & Democracy Forum that I can add nothing to the debate for the time being.

One headline that struck me from Monday's Business Telegraph was, "Lenders face interest rate cut on reserves", a kite flown by the Governor, Mervyn King, to include even negative interest rates according to an original and best member of the MPC, Charles Goodhart. I had a good chortle at this but first a little tutorial. The Bank of England is the bankers bank. All the major banks have accounts at the BoE and settlement of debts between banks takes place over the BoE books. Banks that do not have an account with the BoE have to have an account with a bank that does. Hence all debits and credits drain into the BoE just as all almost all rivers drain to the sea.

Banks are not allowed to have overdrafts with the BoE hence all their accounts have to be in credit. This used to happen on a daily basis but since 2003 an average credit balance over a four week is all that is needed. This 'modernising reform' came about with the influx of new blood at the top of the bank and the departure of the old, Eddie George, guard and brought us into line with, yes, ECB practice. The public reason was to curb volatility in the overnight rate that under the old daily square system meant banks sometimes had to borrow large amounts overnight to be in credit at the BoE. Another reason was to reduce the frequency of BoE market operations from a possible 4 times a day, like Jack Kennedy, to once a week, more in keeping with MAK.

In order to persuade the banks to buy the new system the BoE said they would remunerate bank deposits left on their books overnight at 1% under repo policy rate. Under the old regime bank deposits left at the BoE overnight were unremunerated i.e. zero interest. This had led to the market being manipulated by one or two major players who by building up a monopoly short postion could pick off the many small longs and force them to lend well below the policy rate or less usually, build up a monopoly long postion and force the small shorts to borrow from them at well above repo.

This was undesirable certainly but it did force banks to lend to each other! A price worth paying for inter-bank liquidity, one might say. And what was the major cause of the credit crisis in the UK? Banks refusing to lend to each other because of credit concerns. So what did long banks do with their money? They safely left it at the BoE at 1% under policy. And the short banks? Well they sweated their small business customers , cut back on their lending and abracadbra you have a credit crunch.

Well I suppose its nice to know that MAK has seen the light but it would be better if they owned up to the part they played in formenting this human tragedy. Eddie George was always strongly opposed to remunerating bankers balances as they are called in the BoE. It was a nice little earner for the BoE but it did get the money moving between banks. What of the people of experience who knew the reasons and arguments against remuneration. Well, they were all gone and Youf had its day but in retrospect the old guard, as Napoleon knew, had its uses.

The worrying thing is that this scenario is being played out most boardrooms in the land. Northern Rock only became Northern Wreck after the long serving Finance Director retired and Applegarth had a free hand with his new FD he had appointed. Youf has its place but needs to be buttressed by experience to avoid predictable disaster.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A week is a long time in politics

When I returned from the Athens of the North where they were preoccupied with things Libyan I found the UKIP landscape dramatically changed. The great leader was stepping down but not from his lucrative EU positions, only the unpaid domestic job which needed a lot of effort and hard work as well. I have tried to find copies of the non-Farage Southport speeches on the web but without success.

Mr F however to keep up his domestic profile has decided he will be the UKIP PPC for Buckingham and oppose the slimy Tory Bercow, Speaker of the our Parliament. This is an excellent move by Farage and he should get a good result as Bercow is detested by the entire Conservative party and was of course was the Lab/Lib choice as speaker. Of the existing UKIP BuckinghamPPC nothing was said.

I expect the BNP and Greens may also put up a candidate so Mr F may not have it all to himself. Also, he should ponder on the fate of a previous Buckingham MP, Cap'n Bob Maxwell and be careful when having a pee on board yachts.

I switched on the A Marr show this morning and there was Mr F talking about his decision to oppose the Speaker. Andy Pandy delivered his usual patsy interview questions and Mr F did very well I thought. Its what he is good at, no opposition or nasty interviewer like Paxo to put awkward questions. Anyway it was good for UKIP.

Bercow or Farage? The unspeakable or the uneatable? The voters of Buckingham have a tough choice.