Author Topic: Financial fuckery thread  (Read 138829 times)

Demolition Squid

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1590 on: January 26, 2015, 01:23:49 pm »
Just listened to an interesting interview with Alexis Tsipras (new Prime Minister of Greece) on Today.

He was calm and collected, and made some very cogent points. The one which most struck a chord with me was his answer to the question 'What would you say to a German politician who has to tell his electorate why they are giving more money to Greece?'

His answer was that the entire problem has been too much money going to Greece. Greece has been turned into a debt colony, and of the massive amount of cash poured into the country, only 10 per cent has actually reached the Greek government - the rest has been immediately forced out to debtors, accomplishing nothing for the nation or Europe as a whole.

He wants to bring structural reforms into Europe to deal with the debt at the same time as rebuilding their shattered public services and infrastructure - instead of the current system imposed by Brussels which, he believes, was naive and not really thought through at all. It was refreshing to hear a politician saying what has been obvious to most of us for years - that the debt is so absurdly huge that trying to devote the bulk of resources to paying it back is infeasible. He didn't quite use the words 'default', or 'debt writeoff' but I wouldn't be surprised if Greece starts to push for, say, legislation to tackle the interest on government debt throughout the Eurozone. So at least it stops getting bigger, and governments can start charting a course to pay it off in the next two hundred years.

I doubt that it'll be taken up, I don't even know how feasible it'd actually be, but at least there's one high ranking politician who is finally prepared to say that the debt is just too much to be dealt with by paying it back in a normal way. It'll be interesting to see where things go from here. People have been saying that Greece won't get very far because it has a very weak bargaining position, but I'm not so sure that is the case. Whilst it is in severe trouble and needs European help if it is going to pay back the debt, the sense I got from Tsipras was that - whilst he said repeatedly 'a greek exit is not on the table', it was clearly in his mind. Greece loses a lot by leaving Europe, but does it lose as much as it would staying in and being forced to devote almost its entire national finances to paying off debt? I don't think the people on the ground believe so, and they're the ones he is accountable to.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1591 on: January 26, 2015, 01:40:37 pm »
Krugman seems to agree.

Quote
As we head for the big Greek face-off, Francesco Saraceno makes a point I’ve also made on a number of occasions: although many of the press reports describe Syriza as “far-left”, it’s actually preaching fairly conventional economics, while the supposedly responsible officials of Brussels and Berlin have been relying on radical doctrines like expansionary austerity and a growth cliff at 90 percent
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Demolition Squid

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1592 on: January 26, 2015, 01:45:57 pm »
Aaaaand listening to George Osbourne's rebuttal is truly enraging.

He's babbling about how the UK is so great and how Greece needs to bring its public spending under control because that was where the problem was born.

Apparently Greece should just create jobs and attract businesses. Because that's something that a government can just wave its hand and do, especially when devoting the bulk of its resources towards paying back debtors.

Krugman seems to agree.

Quote
As we head for the big Greek face-off, Francesco Saraceno makes a point I’ve also made on a number of occasions: although many of the press reports describe Syriza as “far-left”, it’s actually preaching fairly conventional economics, while the supposedly responsible officials of Brussels and Berlin have been relying on radical doctrines like expansionary austerity and a growth cliff at 90 percent
.

Anything which doesn't involve giving as much money as possible to the financial services sector seems to be portrayed as one step away from Communism. I guess that makes sense when you look at the interests behind much of the media.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1593 on: January 26, 2015, 01:53:37 pm »
Aaaaand listening to George Osbourne's rebuttal is truly enraging.

He's babbling about how the UK is so great and how Greece needs to bring its public spending under control because that was where the problem was born.


Bring public spending under control.  You mean like this:



Blue line is what was initially proposed for Greek spending in 2010.  Red line is what actually happened, because the EU kept bitching.




As an aside, I realize I rely on Krugman for economic advice almost exclusively, which can be dangerous.  However, it appears that his predictions have been more accurate than most.  I'd be happy to bookmark any other economist's blog, if y'all have one you have confidence in.

Demolition Squid

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1594 on: February 09, 2015, 01:09:39 pm »
BREAKING NEWS: Bank helps clients evade tax, government slaps wrists.

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Panorama has seen accounts from 106,000 clients in 203 countries, leaked by a whistleblower in 2007.

The documents include details of almost 7,000 clients based in the UK.

HSBC admitted that some individuals took advantage of bank secrecy to hold undeclared accounts. But it said it has now "fundamentally changed".

The bank now faces criminal investigations in the US, France, Belgium and Argentina.

The government is pursuing civil rather than criminal prosecutions because - they say - they'll get some money quicker. There are calls amongst some MPs to press for criminal charges because, you know, they broke the bloody law. As one person on the news said 'if they were benefit scroungers, they'd be queuing around the courts to have their cases heard - it is disgraceful we've only seen 1 prosecution so far'.

Which might be a fun new rhetorical spin. Tax evasion = benefit fraud, because in both cases you are laying claim to money you don't deserve, from the government purse.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1595 on: February 09, 2015, 01:42:39 pm »
Reminder: this is the same HSBC that laundered organised crime money originating from the drug trade, managed financial resources for terrorist groups and also helped Iran get around international sanctions which the UK voted for in the UN.

Demolition Squid

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1596 on: February 12, 2015, 12:44:43 pm »
Greece has failed to even agree the terms for future talks today.

Germany has been described as 'extremely relaxed' about the crisis.

I get the feeling that Greece is being treated like a petulant child, and everyone else is expecting them to stop throwing their silly tantrum and come sit back down at the table under the terms Germany sets.

I sincerely hope that they don't, and the whole thing collapses in a flaming wreckage just out of sheer spite at this stage.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1597 on: February 12, 2015, 01:04:23 pm »
I'm pretty sure, at this stage, Germany's intentions are to force an exit by the Eurozone of Greece.

I wonder who could've sold them on that idea?

I wouldnt be surprised to find Russian whispering is also encouraging such an outcome....the new coalition has some interesting links with the Kremlin, and a closer relationship between the two would be mutually beneficial.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1598 on: March 14, 2015, 01:40:39 am »
Quote
Stock buybacks were once considered a form of illegal stock manipulation, until 1982, when President Ronald Reagan’s Securities and Exchange Commission chair John Shad (a former Wall Street CEO) loosened the rules.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/biggest-scam-bankrupting-business-middle-class/
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Demolition Squid

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1599 on: April 16, 2015, 07:53:51 am »
I'm gonna look a little pedantic here but... from last night's David Cameron interview.

Q: Well let’s talk about 12 billion and what 12 billon is, ‘cause I think most people will find that abstract. Let’s suppose you took 12 billion in a year – that’s your saving – and you divided that across all the households in the country. What would it be roughly?

A: Well it is half as much as the 21 billion that we saved in the last parliament.

Then later...
A: We’ve set out – we’ve set out the biggest ones as you say of the 12 billion. The 12 billion is half of the 21 billion that we achieved in the last parliament
 

I'm annoyed for all sorts of reasons. The main one, though, is that the interviewer didn't pick him up on the fact that 12 billion just isn't half of 21 billion. I can see why Cameron wants to make it sound like it is - he probably isn't so stupid that he thinks 21 is actually 24 - but if you pick apart his answer what he's actually implying that 1.5 billion is a pittance he's happy to just wave away.

The other way of looking at it is that in this parliament he's managed to get all 21/33 billion in needed cuts - which is just under 2/3, and presumably he took the easy stuff first so needing to get that last 1/3rd is going to be tough.

It is irrelevant anyway in the broader scheme of things because Cameron is probably using the numbers he was specifically shot down for using a few months ago and he hasn't actually achieved close to 21 billion in savings, but the fact a man can repeatedly state '12 is half of 21' whilst discussing his financial strategy and not be called on it says a lot about the interview.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1600 on: April 16, 2015, 08:10:59 am »
The entire Tory financial plan is complete fuckery, so I'm not surprised they misplaced a couple of billion in it all.  The entire manifesto read like a fantasy, or some sort of fever dream.  And the housing policies  :x

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1601 on: April 30, 2015, 09:56:51 am »
Reminder: this is the same HSBC that laundered organised crime money originating from the drug trade, managed financial resources for terrorist groups and also helped Iran get around international sanctions which the UK voted for in the UN.
Absolutely ludicrous, same bullshit, different day.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1602 on: July 12, 2016, 10:14:01 am »
It has been far too long since this thread has been updated. It's been earning it.

Today:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36768140

Quote
S officials refused to prosecute HSBC for money laundering in 2012 because of concerns within the Department of Justice that it would cause a "global financial disaster", a report says.
A US Congressional report revealed UK officials, including Chancellor George Osborne, added to pressure by warning the US it could lead to market turmoil.
The report alleges the UK "hampered" the probe and "influenced" the outcome.
HSBC was accused of letting drug cartels use US banks to launder funds.
The bank, which has its headquarters in London, paid a $1.92bn (£1.48bn) settlement but did not face criminal charges . No top officials at HSBC faced any charges.

Quote
The report says: "George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, the UK's chief financial minister, intervened in the HSBC matter by sending a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke... to express the UK's concerns regarding US enforcement actions against British banks."
The letter said that prosecuting HSBC could have "very serious implications for financial and economic stability, particularly in Europe and Asia".
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said a series of factors were considered when deciding how to resolve a case, including whether there may be "adverse consequences for innocent third parties, such as employees, customers, investors, pension holders and the public".
The report also accuses former US Attorney General Eric Holder of misleading Congress about the decision.
The report says Mr Holder ignored the recommendations of more junior staff to prosecute HSBC because of the bank's "systemic importance" to the financial markets.

With everything else (Elections/austerity/brexit/ISIS/etc.) that's currently going on, I can see a great deal of financial fuckery to come.
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Cain

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1603 on: July 12, 2016, 10:25:15 pm »
One might almost be tempted to say that HSBC is...too big to fail  8)

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