Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Nuremberg Defence

So, here we go, Brown picked one of the world's worst bankers to be deputy head of the FSA in spite of allegations that he had sacked somebody at HBOS because he had warned, correctly, that Crosby was taking insane risks. Brown did so on the basis of a KPMG report apparently clearing Crosby, a conclusion from which KPMG has now backed down. Worst of all, Crosby drives a BMW X5. Meanwhile, the recession is even worse than we thought. Brown keeps saying we are leading the world - it turns out he means to hell in a handcart. The banking bastards keep resorting to their version of the Nuremberg Defence - we had to do it because we were following orders and, anyway, everybody else was at it, which is another way of saying, 'I'm so stupid, desperate, feckless and utterly devoid of conscience that I'll do anything.' And on the matter of bonuses, about which Brown is desperately trying to do nothing, I like the question from Barney Frank - 'What wouldn't you do if you didn't get a bonus? Go home early on Wednesday?' Recessions of the severity described by Mervyn King bring down, among other things, governments. I repeat my forecast - Brown will be gone by June. Yet, with Labour down to ten men and their goalie in a coma, the Tories still can't seem to score. Instead, they're playing naughty geeks.


  1. Not just a Z5, but with his silly initials on the number plate - that fact alone would alert anybody but a fool that he was a spiv.

    And despite it all the conservatives are flopping about like a dying fish.
    Is it because they all belong to the same political class? And is that class trying to ban anybody from trying to say anything contrary to their own narrow failed view of the world.

  2. This is the same Barney Frank I assume who in 2003, as the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, when the Bush administration tried to get the crime-ridden sub-prime mortgage scene under some kind of control, declared:

    These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.

    The year before another veteran Congressman, Ron Paul, had brought legislation before the house that would have ended the distortions in the mortgage market. Not one other member supported him.

    There was a lot of money flowing to go with the hypocrisy in those days. But to see Frank lecturing Wall Street fat cats yesterday, without once admitting that Paul (and to some extent the Bush administration) had called the situation right and he on every occasion had opposed the measures that could have averted disaster, didn't make me for one feel that justice was on the way.

  3. 1, Brown has Zero credibility thus even when he tells something like a truth or half truth no one listens, this is becasue he has spent 12 years lying. We all laugh along.

    2, 'I'm so stupid, desperate, feckless and utterly devoid of conscience that I'll do anything.'

    Yes this is right, as said when you are in business (even pseudo ones like shadow banking) no matter how good the going is, mortgage paid, 2nd home, nice cars nothing to worry about, you still worry that tomorrow you will fail and fall, this is the thrill of being out on your own or with a few friends doing the deals, making sure the bills are paid, and the longer you are doing it the more risks you take "i did not fail yesterday, so why would i fail tomorrow?" and you will do anything (at least some will)

    ive got a mate who put a competitor our of business last week by doing a deal at cost that put them out of the game. He has got everything, no reason you might say, but as he said to me "it might be me next time and the lads have kids and mortgages too"
    unethical? greedy?

    The banking issue is the the puzzle part of the problem, and humans tend to be puzzling.

    As Chomsky said. “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."

    You will find the questions about the problem Here.

    Regardless of the Idiot bankers, this problem that lies at the root, would have at some point manifested itself anyway, the bankers probably brought the day of reckoning forward with lots of phantom pieces of paper.

    We did not learn the lessons of the great depression and this is an institutional governmental failure.

  4. Thomas Sowell, in his summary last September of the role Pat Frank and other prominent Democrats had played in the crisis, added the salutary:

    Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been generous in their contributions to politicians' political campaigns, so it is perhaps not surprising that politicians have been generous to them.

    Let's hope he wasn't also correct in his downbeat conclusion:

    This is certainly part of "the mess in Washington" that Barack Obama talks about. But don't expect him to clean it up. Franklin Raines, who made mega-millions for himself while mismanaging Fannie Mae into a financial disaster, is one of Mr. Obama's advisers.

  5. The game is changing but so far everyone's still trying to play by the old rules.

  6. ...The game is always changing and always has, whats new? people doing daft stuff, problems to be solved, that is not new.

  7. But of course, this whole drama is quite enjoyable too. Great to see the Masters of the Universe brought so low. They may be maths geniuses, have lordships and multiple MBAs and earned millions, but they're just as stupid as many of the rest of us. Quite heartening on a number of levels.

    In the middle of my own mid-life crisis, it makes a ho-hum existence look quite decent and sensible after all.

  8. I suppose from one point of view, the bonus row is collateral damage, perhaps in some politicians' minds a small price to pay for avoiding taking the banks into full public ownership (at which point employment contracts could have been voided, presumably, so the bonus row would not have arisen). The danger is that the banks may have to be nationalized anyway at which point the bonus row will look even worse than it does today. Broon still loses either way, I guess.