Categories
News

New Report from the Public Appointments Commissioner

public-appointments

Revolving Door

This appears to be meta-corruption fest.

I recommend pages 22-27 and the final few pages.

No names mentioned and only cursory references to breaches.

With an election coming up, little of what David Whyte said in this interview has stopped being relevant:

Categories
News

5G vs Climate Change

Do we feel climate change or 5G is more of a thing?

twitter.com/akshatrathi/status/1124754851886522368

& what steps can we take to mitigate?

In the attention war, in which meaningless as well as meaningful nuance, gets freely deployed, all options are always on the table.

The engineering of consent is still a thing. And to oppose certain social shifts is to be at one with the great issues of our time. They fight on many fronts. But meaning can live anywhere. Interpretation of transactions can be as multifaceted and repurpose-able as the transactions themselves. Corruption is a single or series of acts none of which being necessarily individually illegal but when viewed as a whole can be seen to conspire against the public interest.

And then we are into modern day interpretations of the public interest. It’s words like culture and trust where the battle is fought.

The pronouncement of that judge there or this leader writer here contributes significantly to public opinion.

The shifting of sentiment in one direction or another can be seen as the the public mood becoming more tolerant of one particular set of developments or another.

And so the economic motives of lawyers and journalists is shaped by the lords and press barons. With PR people and lobbyists helping with formalities.

You know your Ps & Qs but girl, you’re giving me the Blues.

– Captain Beefheart

Categories
News

The Great British Fraud Machine

Conspiracy

The BBC, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), & Financial Conduct Authority have conspired to criminally defraud, bankrupt and asset strip thousands of small businesses throughout the UK.

New film Spank the Banker shows that other banks, including state-owned Lloyd’s, have also engaged in financial terrorism against British business.

Though the banks’ and the financial regulator’s misdeeds are well known in social media circles, the state run BBC does its best to give the government backed multimillion pound fraud campaign as little coverage as possible.

BBC Omertà

The sparse coverage the BBC has ever given has been carefully framed to disempower victims rather than to help them campaign for justice.

The following email trail reveals the BBC’s micromanagement of the RBS reign of terror coverup.

The BBC specialty is ignoring colossal collusive corruption in which state-backed banks defraud British Business to make up for the gambling losses of Britain’s most reckless high rolling investment bankers.

Neil Mitchell & Noel Edmonds

Neil Mitchell and TV presenter Noel Edmonds are victims of the Lloyds / RBS government-backed fraud machine.

But they’ve chosen to fight back.

They made Spank the Banker

Pre-emptive Gagging

BBC Birmingham producers were keen to interview Noel Edmonds at an upcoming Birmingham screening of the film.

The following mail is from Noel Edmonds’ publicist to Samir, the film’s director, and Adam, from BBC Local Radio.

This all looks very promising.

But when the BBC found out that the film was about government corruption, criminality and fraud, the BBC suddenly lost interest.

Noel’s agent:

When pressed as to why they had lost interest in the multimillion pound bank fraud story with a former top BBC presenter, Noel Edmonds, a victim, BBC News PR replied:

So there you have it.

No comment, despite the newsworthiness of the story.

We tweeted the radio programme producer.

But again, no reply.

Finally

The BBC producer who had originally expressed an interest in interviewing Noel Edmonds was asked why the content was not deemed appropriate .

And finally he replied with a definitive … fudge.

So there you have it.

The BBC requested tickets to the event and started to arrange an interview with Noel Edmonds but when they found out about the content they pulled out and then completely denied it was anything to do with the content!

Fraud on the People

The scale of political bias at the BBC is unprecedented. The merging of state and corporate interests against small businesses and the public is a clear sign of a corrupt state, a corrupt banking system, a corrupt regulator, corrupt broadcaster, zero media regulation, zero trust and a turbo-corrupt government.

No wonder people now vote for extremist parties.

The steady diet of infantilisation & middle of the road reporting masks world class fraud and racketeering operations.

The RBS & BBC information mafias happen to have claimed many innocent individuals’ lives.

The scale of their truth crimes is off the charts.

For more information about uninterrupted state backed UK bank fraud, do watch Spank the Banker!

Click here for trailer: Spank the Banker

Categories
News

Nudged in New Cross

Behaviouralist Bants

So I thought Skinner was the bad guy. The really mechanistic one. Or was it Watson?

Who said we are basically all the same and that our feelings and personal stories don’t really matter.

That there is no such thing as experience. That we are all automatons. The one who put his daughter in a box.

These guys were out of fashion when I learned about them in the early 90s.

But then there was a behavioural revival of sorts. Which in turn enveloped economics.

But behavioural economics said we are all predictably irrational. That classical economics is wrong but behavioural economics is right.

But there are assumptions in behavioural economics too.

Such as that we have limited time and limited information.

Gigerenzer shows that lifting the information and time caps leads to bad decision making – even for experts.

He says we all excel at fast and frugal decision making and that overthinking things induces a form of judgment paralysis.

So behavioural economics itself is quite wrong in terms of how it is applied outside the narrowest of conditions.

And refuses to admit it only thrives under controlled conditions.

But it’s about control.

Choice architecture. Avoiding decision fatigue. Favorably automating information flows. Forcing people into certain situations and pretending it’s both logical and exemplifying freedom.

Someone tell Oliver Letwin.

He’s kind of gone now. Still an MP but not quite the eminence grise he once was.

He spoke about his ideas at the institute of government in 2014, I think.

Outlining the Road from Mont Pelerin that his parents and he had trundled. And then he admitted that he now realised that Intervention does work.

What kind of intervention do you mean, Oliver?

Surely not state intervention in markets – not a liberal like you?

Nor QE, where central banks do the heavy lifting that austerity governments ought really to be doing.

Oliver Letwin revealed that he was taking about the nudge unit.

Though he didn’t mention the job centre – he was probably talking about over there too.

His wife Isabel was head of legal services at The Department of Work and Pensions and at the Department of Health. Oliver’s crackpot ideas will have been used on mental health patients and “under” & “unemployed” people who didn’t really need them.

Of course the machinery of government exists to prevent anyone really knowing the consequences of their actions.

Agnatology is another word for ignorance studies. Sociologist Linsey McGoey has a book out on the topic next year. The Unknowers. Watch out for it.

There is always a latest fad via which the old school asset stripping is masked.

Dark Pools

At book club we looked at Dark Pools. The rise of AI and high frequency trading. I couldn’t help but think when presented with these smart idealist insurgent American price scalpers – You Got To Pick a Pocket or Two!!!

So there. From Hangman on the High Street to Richard Thaler’s Nobel 2017 Prize for Nudging.

Cancer research UK has me thinking of the Crick Institute, big pharma and the next Goldman Sachs social impact bond. This a featured big under Cameron, Osborne and Letwin and was just an excuse to privatize the NHS and get volunteers to steer the handover.

Will Davies looks at some of this stuff in Happiness Industry and Nervous States – links between neo-liberal policies, technology, happiness and “well being” discourse. I haven’t seen it yet but I’m sure big pharma has its place in there too.

There’s some great work being done on investigating all this but it’s pretty under the radar.

Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Once you start looking into any of this funny things start happening.

The Road from Mont Pelerin.

I met up with John Christensen of tax justice Network yesterday who told me about The Finance Curse, a new book out by Nicholas Shaxson.

There’s some research accompanying the launch, this Friday, which sheds light on the colossal cost to the UK of the Finance Curse.

Meanwhile check out his film The Spiders Web on YouTube and for updates on what the Tax Justice Network are up to check out the TaxCast with Naomi Fowler.

When discussing Mont Pelerin, I told John I once met Linda Whetstone, whose father, Anthony Fisher, set up the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA).

John asked me how a man who so frequently invoked freedom could make his money from forcing hens into cages barely big enough for them to even breathe.

The Macron Curse

It looks like Macron is going to copy Blair and go all out for neoliberalism.

God knows what that will do to the environment and the Paris Climate accord!

I’m meeting Chloé Farrand of DeSmogUK tomorrow and will report back where she thinks we are heading.

The finance curse has done nothing to improve the gender pay gap in London. So I wonder what the figures look like in France.

London Conversation

I’m planning on publishing more frequently.

The idea is that with heightened fluency might come some sort of style.

Categories
News

Ofcom Director denies Collusive Corruption

Ofcom’s Collusive Corruption

Ofcom Director of Communications Chris Wynn got in touch over Monday’s blogpost.

I just assumed this was spam. Later that day I got a reminder: Not wanting to seem rude, I sent Chris a reply:

The next morning Chris took things up a notch:

Chris was now doing to me precisely what he was accusing me of doing to Lord Adonis. Ascribing a meaning that simply wasn’t there.

We were arguing over the use of the word “over”. At least that’s what I thought.

I was still hoping things could stay friendly.

Getting a bit repetitive.

 

And finally:

I managed a reply:

 

Can we finish this?

And back to square one:

Let me reiterate:

Chris Wynn has been at Ofcom for over ten years and used to be a journalist. Can’t think why he feels the need to play games.

As Ofcom regulation of the BBC only started in 2017,  there might still be teething issues.

Still doesn’t explain why Ofcom are turning a tiny blogpost into such a big deal.

It’s common knowledge that the BBC is biased and that Ofcom is a toothless regulator.

And Fake News is now part of the lexicon.

Corporatist  voices and organised silence of Carbon Bubble, Clean Air and Climate Change are all classic symptoms of a captured media regulator.

How can Ofcom’s Director of Communications, Chris Wynn, deny that Ofcom, the BBC’s regulator, has a problem with collusive corruption?

The perception of bribery and corruption in UK business has been getting much worse over the last six years according to Big Four Audit firm Ernst and Young’s latest fraud survey.

E&Y Fraud Survey

Screenshot of the Executive Summary

OFCOM ruling on Climate Change

It is the first time Ofcom has found the BBC in breach since taking over regulation of the corporation in 2017.

 

So Ofcom took more than 7 months to find the BBC had breached their own broadcasting rules. From August 2017 to April 2018

That’s a long time to correct climate denier Brexiteer Nigel Lawson. Why so long?

And what have Ofcom got to say about the way the BBC legitimise deregulation, fracking and war?

BBC silence about the merging of corporate and state interests is consistent with collusive corruption and the dehumanising corporatist dismantling of public services.

BBC’s political presenters attack anyone with an ecological worldview even though it is widely understood our air is not clean and that pollution kills.

Ofcom is ok with Andrew Neil presenting BBC politics programmes while speaking at antisemitic Hungarian think tanks and chairing the Spectator whose assistant editor is racist Rod Liddle and whose culture critic is the openly fascist James Delingpole.

David Goodhart and several BBC commentators dismiss Windrush deportation cases as mere bureaucratic oversights. Imagine saying that about Nazi deportations? It was called a hostile environment. And Ofcom and the BBC did nothing to help report the illegal deportations as they happened

I wonder why.

Some of Ofcom’s top brass are very much on the gravy train. They are mainly ex-Treasury and audit people.  The ones policing the content are mainly ex-BBC. So conformity is scripted. The type of culture change we need to get a progressive agenda at the BBC and other Public Broadcasters just doesn’t exist. There is too much co-operation with the old way of doing things.

This is Lord Burns. Crossbencher in the Lords but obviously a Tory.

Terry Burns aka Teflon Terry, Lord Ubiquity, Lord Fixer (I’m not making this up) is on the Ofcom Board.

 

Talk about safe pair of hands!

He’s not on the Gravy Train. He is the Gravy Train.

There’ll be no interesting decisions under him.

Then there’s Baroness Noakes.

Jim Waterson of Guardian Media says that though Noakes is a card-carrying Tory, like others on the Ofcom Board,  she can’t be done for bias because there is no business decision that she has taken that can be seen to be influenced by her political position.

This is because Noakes deals with finance and not content. But funnily enough, I can’t find any minutes of what she has actually said in any meeting. So it looks like we can’t know.

Do she, or the other Tory directors,  have any say in choosing who regulates the BBC? .

It’s still altogether wrong that Noakes retweets Brexiteers, Privatisers, the Israeli Ambassador and Climate Deniers while chairing top committees at Ofcom and RBS. She’s also on an EU Lords Subcommittee.

It’s plain wrong to act as though she has no authority. She has. How is she using it? We deserve to know.

It’s a common perception that the BBC is super biased.

How can Noakes get away with being at the top of Ofcom and voting with the Government, but never get questioned over conflict of interest?

 

And when this government goes?

Ofcom will still be staffed by Lords and Baronesses on the Boards of several other firms.

IT’S NOT RIGHT.

In 2016 former Minister for Culture, Karen Bradley kicked former editor of the Economist Bill Emmott, off the Ofcom content and main board for being too pro-EU.

But Noakes is allowed to stay because her politics don’t actually affect her ability to be on the board.

What does the rest of the country think? Most people will never know as our media keeps this type of thing quiet.

 

 

Even former staff say it’s corrupt at the highest levels.

 

 

Categories
News

What happened to that €1 trillion?

stealing QE

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

Under normal circumstances the transfer of €1 trillion of public money to ANONYMOUS BANKERS with no meaningful audit trail would be representative of a society with corruption tolerance levels so staggeringly off the charts that they be as palpable as they be endemic.

Just contemplating such a state would have one feeling as out of place as Gulliver in Lilliput and the flying island of Laputa.

en.wikipedia.org en.wikipedia.org

Yet this is what the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Union (EU) have done to their own people who’ve been deprived of all national sovereignty in place of which they’ve had a currency foisted upon them over which their every national parliament and government has completely ceded control.

When I asked the EU & ECB what happened to that €1 trillion, they wouldn’t say.

The debt is on the ECB’s balance sheet – there are plenty of assets to show for it – but we’ll never know what exactly was bought, who did the buying, who off, nor for how much.

Inventing Money

The European Central Bank, the world’s third largest printer of money  — behind the US Federal Reserve and the People’s Bank of China —  distributed a trillion Euros to private financial institutions in exchange for various bonds over a two year period.

In November 2014 at the beginning of what became known as their Quantitative Easing (ECB QE) programme, I asked them to disclose exactly which bonds they were buying. I also asked them whom they were buying them off, the price of each bond and the amount spent on commission.

As they were spending billions of euros of public money during a time of extreme austerity – it felt quite normal that EU citizens be told where their money was being spent (and sent).

Disclosure

The only information the public had been told at that time was that the ECB were buying repackaged bank loans (Covered Bonds) and Asset Backed Securities (ABSs) in order to stop deflation and maintain inflation at 2%.

Despite the simple nature of my request — I asked for a country by country, bank by bank, product by product breakdown of what the ECB had been buying — the bank refused to disclose the full nature of its holdings.

Decision

Mid 2016, more than a year and a half after I originally asked them, the ECB — and the European Ombudsman — ruled against my appeal for transparency.

Click below for the link to the EU Ombudsman decision on the case:

www.ombudsman.europa.eu www.ombudsman.europa.eu

But the question remains: What happened to the money?

Groupthink

Bizarrely the woman who runs the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has a reputation for being a fair-minded adjudicator.

Also in mid-2016 the Irish papers portrayed O’Reilly as a friend of transparency who had rebuked the Irish Central Bank and the ECB for not publishing their correspondence during the Irish Bailouts of 2010.

If only those newspapers had known how O’Reilly has sided with the ECB’s right to hide behind ‘commercial confidentiality’ to prevent its citizens from knowing who got the trillion euros.

O’Reilly ruled in favour of the ECB without once consulting me — the complainant — to find out why I had brought the case or to let me challenge the groupthink logic of her flawed judgment.

Too little, too late

Ironically on the date of the ruling (18th July 2016) the ECB itself announced that another slice of its QE programme, the Corporate Bond Purchase Programme, would publish its ISIN codes.

This is a screenshot of the paywalled Financial Times story with the announcement about the new stance on ISIN codes.

ft ISINsHow funny that I had to wait 18 months to get a definitive ‘no’ on receiving the ISIN codes for the Covered Bond and ABS QE programme, only for the Corporate Bond Purchase Programme to publish its ISIN codes on the very same day.

A Pyrrhic Victory perhaps?

Time will Tell.

Corruptissima respublica, plurimae leges

The most corrupt state, the most laws – Tacitus

My feeling is that the ECB don’t want the public to know how much they are protecting the very same German financiers that benefited from the ECB’s imposition of austerity, deregulation and privatisation policies in southern Europe.

I believe the worst offender is DePfa / Deutsche Pfandbriefe.

Just as the IRA and Baader Meinhoff are known for their politically inspired terror campaigns in the 1970s so has Deutsche Pfandbriefe exported financial terrorism throughout Europe from its tax avoiding, financial engineering Dublin Headquarters as of the early 2000’s when it re-domiciled to save cash.

ECB QE and commercial confidentiality for public money are the very definition of double standards and, in this case, perpetuate the myth that North Europeans are honest and that everyone else is corrupt.

I appreciate that this is not something many people are willing to accept – such is the scale of our programming.

Just as with PPP / PFI in the UK, commercial confidentiality and financial engineering remain the respectable face of corporate fascism and fraud.

This piece was originally published in July 2016. I have decided to republish. Many older londonconversation / financialeyes posts have sadly somehow disappeared. I’m treating this as a chance to reflect on and revisit some of what I’ve been up to these last few years.

I was a reluctant Brexit voter.

This post shows how strongly EU decisions are stacked in favour of capital.

Although in many ways I do regret having voted for Brexit, the fact remains that we are now closer to having a credible opposition in this country albeit one which has difficulties reconciling itself with its recent warmongering, PFI-promoting, Blairite past.

I’m not saying I feel vindicated as the signs of more equal society just aren’t there.

But I don’t think I believe the notion of economic equality is ever going to serious take root in this country again so the best we can hope for is to protect freedom, root out rampant corruption when we see it, and contemplate why, for whatever reason, it can’t be stopped.

Categories
News

Theresa May decriminalises Bribery, Fraud & Election Rigging

The American satirist HL Mencken famously quipped that no-one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people.

But here in Britain we have a different maxim:

No Tory ever lost out overestimating the gullibility of the British Voter

I interviewed David Whyte of the University of Liverpool about various aspects of corruption last week.

He called for an investigation into allegations  the Tory party has received funding from laundered HSBC money.

Yesterday the Conservative Manifesto included proposals to scrap the Serious Fraud Office :

Tories are also proposing that all voters provide ID cards to vote – a move which has been criticised by the Electoral Commission which itself recently concluded that the Tories themselves broke electoral rules regarding local spending limits in the 2015 election.

The Tories got away with this and are now seeking to undermine the smooth running of future elections.

This is the sort of thing you expect from Turkey, Russia, or even Iran.

May is very scary. I cannot emphasise enough what  a bad idea it would be to vote for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
News

Breaking: Corrupt Money Launderers HSBC bankrolled Corrupt Cameron & Corrupt Osborne’s Trips to Davos

Corrupt Money Launderers HSBC bankrolled David Cameron and George Osborne’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009, it has emerged.

The controversial lender lent the gaffe-prone billionaire bookie and former Tory Treasurer Michael Spencer £200 million pounds just a day before the massive Iceland Crisis that wiped billions of pounds off the balance sheets of many UK Local Authorities.

Many of these cash strapped Local Authorities had invested in Iceland because of advice given to them by one of Michael Spencer’s firms — Butlers.

Shortly after getting a £200million bailout from HSBC and narrowly avoiding bankruptcy because of the Iceland debacle (unlike his local authority clients), Spencer donated a million pounds to the Tory party.

It was around this time that Spencer’s holding company IPGL paid for Cameron and Osborne to fly to Davos by private jet.

This revelation is all the more galling given that Cameron and Osborne are known to have shaped regulation to favour HSBC and Spencer’s ICAP and torpedoed investigations into both firms both in the UK and the USA.

Some anti-corruption researchers and campaigners raised this issue with the HSBC board at the Bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London on Friday but were sidelined.

The Canary have run a piece on the scandal which has received zero pick-up in the mainstream press.

For more info on Spencer read this article by the excellent I am Incorrigible :

 

Categories
News

What happened to that €1.1 trillion ?

stealing QE

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

Handing €1.1 trillion of public money to ANONYMOUS bankers with no publicly available audit trail is an act so corrupt as to be beyond comprehension.

Yet that is what has happened to residents of that well known museum — the European Union.

Inventing Money

The European Central Bank, owner of the world’s third biggest money printing machine — behind the Federal Reserve’s and the People’s Bank of China’s — has already printed and distributed the best part of a trillion Euros to private financial institutions in exchange for various bonds over a two year period.

In November 2014 just as they started what became known as their Quantitative Easing (ECB QE) programme, I asked them to publicly state exactly which bonds they were printing money to buy.

Seeing as they were spending billions of euros of public money per month during a time of extreme austerity – it felt normal that EU citizens be told how the money was being spent.

Disclosure

The only information the public had been told at that time was that the ECB were buying repackaged bank loans (Covered Bonds) and Asset Backed Securities (ABSs) in order to stop deflation and maintain inflation at 2%.

Despite the simple nature of my request — I asked for a country by country, bank by bank, product by product breakdown including ‘ISIN’ Codes for what the ECB had been buying — the bank refused to disclose the full nature of its holdings.

Decision

This week, more than a year and a half after I originally asked them, the ECB — and the European Ombudsman — ruled against my appeal for transparency.

Click below for the link to the EU Ombudsman decision on the case:

www.ombudsman.europa.eu www.ombudsman.europa.eu

But the question remains: What happened to the money?

Groupthink

Bizarrely the woman who runs the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has a reputation for being a fair-minded adjudicator.

This week the Irish papers portrayed O’Reilly as a friend of transparency who had rebuked the Irish Central Bank and the ECB for not publishing their correspondence during the Irish Bailouts of 2010.

If only those newspapers had known how O’Reilly has sided with commercial confidentiality and non-disclosure of the multibillion Euro QE recipients.

O’Reilly ruled in favour of the ECB without once consulting me — the complainant — to find out why I had brought the case or to let me challenge the groupthink logic of her flawed judgment.

Too little, too late

Ironically on the date of the ruling (18th July 2016) the ECB itself announced that another slice of its QE programme, the Corporate Bond Purchase Programme, would publish its ISIN codes.

This is a screenshot of the paywalled Financial Times story with the announcement about the new stance on ISIN codes.

ft ISINsHow funny that I had to wait 18 months to get a definitive ‘no’ on receiving the ISIN codes for the Covered Bond and ABS QE programme, only for the Corporate Bond Purchase Programme to publish its ISIN codes on the very same day.

A Pyrrhic Victory perhaps?

Time will Tell.

Corruptissima respublica, plurimae leges

The most corrupt state, the most laws – Tacitus

My feeling is that the ECB don’t want to the public to know how much they are protecting the very same German financiers that benefited from the ECB’s imposition of austerity, deregulation and privatisation policies in southern Europe.

I believe the worst offender is DePfa / Deutsche Pfandbriefe.

Just as the IRA and Baader Meinhoff are known for their politically inspired terror campaigns in the 1970s so has Deutsche Pfandbriefe exported financial terrorism throughout Europe from its tax avoiding, financial engineering Dublin Headquarters as of the early 2000’s when it re-domiciled to save cash.

ECB QE and commercial confidentiality for public money are the very definition of double standards and, in this case, perpetuate the myth that North Europeans are honest and that everyone else is corrupt.

I appreciate that this is not something many people are willing to accept – such is the scale of our programming.

Just as with PPP / PFI in the UK, commercial confidentiality and financial engineering remain the respectable face of corporate fascism and fraud.

For more adventures in Bazookanomics: