Author Topic: Financial fuckery thread  (Read 195032 times)

Don Coyote

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1155 on: December 19, 2012, 01:09:46 am »
It's kinda weird seeing it all just laid out at once.
Appreciate it DS.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1156 on: December 19, 2012, 09:22:59 am »
Quote
Mark Carney is named as new Bank of England governor. Hes a Canadian. This seems to be his most important qualification according to the media.

He's also the former head of Investment Banking for Goldman Sachs, a fact curiously absent from almost all media reporting about him.

Funny, that.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1157 on: December 19, 2012, 09:30:59 am »
Quote
Mark Carney is named as new Bank of England governor. Hes a Canadian. This seems to be his most important qualification according to the media.

He's also the former head of Investment Banking for Goldman Sachs, a fact curiously absent from almost all media reporting about him.

Funny, that.

... Wooooow.

I heard that he had a fairly impressive track record in his work at the Bank of Canada, but I had missed that he was head of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs.

It is almost as though all the talk about how things need to change and how we need new ideas and new ways of doing things is bullshit, and the very same people are being put in place to keep the status quo stable.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1158 on: December 19, 2012, 09:44:35 am »
The Guardian at least seemed to realize something was up:

Quote
He and many others in central bank circles know that most of the Britain's banks are very highly leveraged. That without the support of the Bank of England's quantitative easing programme, and its very low lending rates all effectively backed by British taxpayers Britain's banks would effectively be insolvent.

And so Carney will continue with quantitative easing which has provided British banks with the liquidity needed to indulge in speculative activity both at home and abroad, speculative activity that bears a scary resemblance to that undertaken before the crisis.

Speculative activity such as laundering money for Mexican and Russian organised crime funds and the Iranian government.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1159 on: December 20, 2012, 02:22:06 am »
"Australia continues to do pretty well on the quiet."

Well, they're not so quiet about it here. It's also a little deceptive, in that we have what economists are calling "a two speed economy".

The fast speed, being the mining sector, and the slow speed, being the rest of us.

Australia has a lot of rocks and things that the rest of the world, especially China, and to a lesser extent, India, want. These keep the overall numbers up on the indicators economists like to use to determine economic strength (GDP, balance of payments, etc.). This is making miners, who in Australia seem to be very ardently right-wing and obese, extremely rich. It doesn't seem to be trickling down to the rest. The government has just reduced social security to single people with children, putting them well below a poverty line. This is a Labor government, which while having left it's socialist roots decades ago, still tries to pride itself on looking after the "battler". Some states are shedding civil servants on a Southern European scale, and removing permanent contracts. Non-mining tradespeople have a lot less work and income, as do "unskilled" labourers.

Still, it could have been worse. Aparrently our banking sector had much fewer "toxic assets" (I think that means sub-prime investments) and were thus not tied to the property markets of the USA (and at home) like banks all around the world were. I think the governments stimulus spending was better targeted than other countries, with it going into keeping building industries and "unskilled" jobs afloat with infrastructure projects.

And we're about to start selling uranium to India! Nuclear non-proliferation be gone!

There seems to be this feeling here that just as long as we welcome our new Chinese overloads with open arms and prawn feasts, we're going to be OK. We just have to accept our role as Asia's quarry, and the subsequent environmental results, to do this.

I don't really undertsand economics, which seems to make me qualified to opinionate on it.






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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1160 on: December 20, 2012, 08:16:22 am »
"Australia continues to do pretty well on the quiet."

Well, they're not so quiet about it here. It's also a little deceptive, in that we have what economists are calling "a two speed economy".

The fast speed, being the mining sector, and the slow speed, being the rest of us.

Australia has a lot of rocks and things that the rest of the world, especially China, and to a lesser extent, India, want. These keep the overall numbers up on the indicators economists like to use to determine economic strength (GDP, balance of payments, etc.). This is making miners, who in Australia seem to be very ardently right-wing and obese, extremely rich. It doesn't seem to be trickling down to the rest. The government has just reduced social security to single people with children, putting them well below a poverty line. This is a Labor government, which while having left it's socialist roots decades ago, still tries to pride itself on looking after the "battler". Some states are shedding civil servants on a Southern European scale, and removing permanent contracts. Non-mining tradespeople have a lot less work and income, as do "unskilled" labourers.

Still, it could have been worse. Aparrently our banking sector had much fewer "toxic assets" (I think that means sub-prime investments) and were thus not tied to the property markets of the USA (and at home) like banks all around the world were. I think the governments stimulus spending was better targeted than other countries, with it going into keeping building industries and "unskilled" jobs afloat with infrastructure projects.

And we're about to start selling uranium to India! Nuclear non-proliferation be gone!

There seems to be this feeling here that just as long as we welcome our new Chinese overloads with open arms and prawn feasts, we're going to be OK. We just have to accept our role as Asia's quarry, and the subsequent environmental results, to do this.

I don't really undertsand economics, which seems to make me qualified to opinionate on it.

Thanks for the rundown  :)

I didn't mean that to sound condescending in any way - I just meant that whilst we have heard that Australia has been doing well... the reasons why haven't been made very clear. I hadn't heard anything about the two-speed economy, or the mining industry for that matter, so that's all very interesting. What I had heard was that Australia's economy is tied to China's in the same way that Canada's economy is tied to the United States; so people often invest in Australia as a way to take advantage of a rise in China's economy. Which seems pretty consistent with what you said but now also makes a lot more sense.

I hadn't heard anything at all about Australia preparing to sell nuclear materials to India. That is very surprising given how much the media has loved to shriek about nuclear energy and weapons this year, between Fukushima and Iran. I wonder if we'll hear any more about that as the deal progresses.
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We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1161 on: December 20, 2012, 01:29:33 pm »
Indian nuclear program has an American blessing, possibly as part of the Australian-Indian-Japanese alliance envisioned by certain people to counteract Chinese influence in SE Asia.

The media goes quiet when strategic interests are concerned.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1162 on: December 20, 2012, 02:11:31 pm »
"Australia continues to do pretty well on the quiet."

Well, they're not so quiet about it here. It's also a little deceptive, in that we have what economists are calling "a two speed economy".

The fast speed, being the mining sector, and the slow speed, being the rest of us.

Australia has a lot of rocks and things that the rest of the world, especially China, and to a lesser extent, India, want. These keep the overall numbers up on the indicators economists like to use to determine economic strength (GDP, balance of payments, etc.). This is making miners, who in Australia seem to be very ardently right-wing and obese, extremely rich. It doesn't seem to be trickling down to the rest. The government has just reduced social security to single people with children, putting them well below a poverty line. This is a Labor government, which while having left it's socialist roots decades ago, still tries to pride itself on looking after the "battler". Some states are shedding civil servants on a Southern European scale, and removing permanent contracts. Non-mining tradespeople have a lot less work and income, as do "unskilled" labourers.

Still, it could have been worse. Aparrently our banking sector had much fewer "toxic assets" (I think that means sub-prime investments) and were thus not tied to the property markets of the USA (and at home) like banks all around the world were. I think the governments stimulus spending was better targeted than other countries, with it going into keeping building industries and "unskilled" jobs afloat with infrastructure projects.

And we're about to start selling uranium to India! Nuclear non-proliferation be gone!

There seems to be this feeling here that just as long as we welcome our new Chinese overloads with open arms and prawn feasts, we're going to be OK. We just have to accept our role as Asia's quarry, and the subsequent environmental results, to do this.

I don't really undertsand economics, which seems to make me qualified to opinionate on it.

Thanks for the rundown  :)

I didn't mean that to sound condescending in any way - I just meant that whilst we have heard that Australia has been doing well... the reasons why haven't been made very clear. I hadn't heard anything about the two-speed economy, or the mining industry for that matter, so that's all very interesting. What I had heard was that Australia's economy is tied to China's in the same way that Canada's economy is tied to the United States; so people often invest in Australia as a way to take advantage of a rise in China's economy. Which seems pretty consistent with what you said but now also makes a lot more sense.

I hadn't heard anything at all about Australia preparing to sell nuclear materials to India. That is very surprising given how much the media has loved to shriek about nuclear energy and weapons this year, between Fukushima and Iran. I wonder if we'll hear any more about that as the deal progresses.

America has a two-speed economy as well.

1.  How the stock market is doing.
2.  How the real world is doing.
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1163 on: December 20, 2012, 10:37:41 pm »
Dem Squid, I did not think you were condescending   :) I was glad to read your post on it.

In spite of the "two-speed economy", I still think our government did a reasonable job of economic mangagement. While they get criticised bu the (more conservative) oppposition for wasting money on school halls, and on "pink batts" (home insulation), for example, these were more a means to an end to keep as many people employed in the building and non-skilled labour jobs, which they thought were usually the first to suffer when recession looms.

Most Australians were given a straight $1000 from the government, and encouraged to spend it, in an attempt to keep the retail sector afloat. It seems most people did spend this straight up, even it was on imported flat-screens and American whiskeys. Not one bottle shop (off-license, liquor store) had to shut its doors!

These kind of actions, which economists termed "Keynesian", seemed to work well within the capitalist framework. Sorry to state the obvious, but politicians and media never once asked the questions of "what economic system might work better so we're not just lurching from managing economic crises every decade or so?". The media (Australia is notorious for concentrated media ownership in the hands of Murdochs, Conrad Blacks, and a couple of rich right-wing yokels) of course hated all this, and has criticised it endlessly.

The negative of all this for this country is that it seems to have consolidated, or increased, the power of miners. We had a Prime Minister who, I think rightfully, thought increasing the taxes on the huge mining companies would be worth pusuing. Around the same time, he suggested his labor Party should be less influenced by unions. Having pissed off the mining industry and the unions, he was replaced as Prime Minister by his own party within weeks, and his suggested legislation was watered down after Labor "consulted with" the mining giants. The banks here have come out of the crisis with good PR, but don't seem to be using it for the power grab the miners are.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1164 on: December 26, 2012, 12:09:40 pm »
And of course, the increased influence of the mining lobby means the increased influence of Gina Rinehart.

What are Ms Rinehart's politics?  Well...

It also makes my uncle, a miner, increasingly obnoxious, which I didn't think was possible.  If I wasn't already arranging a tragic series of accidents to occur to him for other crimes, I might just have to do something to stop his annoying bleating.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1165 on: December 26, 2012, 10:44:39 pm »
Rinehart's politics... :horrormirth:

After Lord Monkton, professional climate-change denier/skeptic, advised her to take control of Australian media, she quite publicly tried to take over Fairfax (runs the broaodsheets in Sydney and Mebourne, and other smaller papers) and a national TV network. She doesn't seem to have been successful, YET.

She's also also vanity-published (self-) a book of her very own, which I will not read. There's a titillating review here - http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/12/mad-beyond-the-dreams-of-tamburlaine-rinehart-book-reviewed/

which includes a poem she wrote in tribute to Joh Bjelke-Petersen, remembered as a hillbilly dictator by the rest of Australia who ruled a large state with an iron fist. The review makes her book sound like a long "let them eat cake" statement to everyone else. This would include her family, as her relationship with her parent/s was filtered through court time while she they suing each other for control of the family wealth. This is the same relationship she is presently having with all her children also.

Not trying to get off topic, but these are the kind of people keeping Australia's economic numbers afloat.

Edited to fix link.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 11:19:18 am by Deepthroat Chopra »
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1166 on: December 27, 2012, 10:13:37 am »
No, I think it is entirely relevant.  As things stand, Rinehart is about the most powerful female non-politician in Australia (depending on if you define "the Queen" as a political role), and one of the most influential in the whole SE Asia region due to the family business.  Her politics, and so attempts to shape the policy-making of the Australian government in this regard are highly relevant to the topic at hand.

She kinda strikes me as a 21st century, derp-tastic version of Rupert Murdoch.  I mean, we all know Murdoch is a bastard.  No argument there.  But he wasn't ever accused of being a stupid one.  Rineharts frequent failures and public outbursts, combined with an apparent lack of media skills of any kind, make her even less sympathetic, and she simply doesn't have the business acumen or common sense to use the media to her advantage.

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1167 on: December 31, 2012, 08:33:47 pm »
Oh look.  HSBC have entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department in the US over allegations of money laundering for terrorist groups and organised crime.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/December/12-crm-1478.html

$1.256 billion isn't being left off cheaply by any normal standard, but for a bank with $16.8 billion profit in 2011 alone, it's not exactly what you'd call a strong deterrent to future acts.

Why?

Well, supposedly the Justice Department  "decided against indicting HSBC in a money-laundering case over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world's largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system."

So, Too Big To Fail Be Prosecuted.

Except, uh, it's not immediately clear how indicting HSBC or its managers would cause problems for the international financial system.

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/12/the-second-great-betrayal-obama-and-cameron-decide-that-banks-are-above-the-law.html

Quote
Prosecuting HSBC's fraudulent controlling managers would not harm anyone innocent other than their families--and virtually all prosecutions hurt some family members. Breuer claims that virtually all of HSBC's senior officers have been removed, so his argument is doubly absurd.

http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/beware-snake-oil-salesmen-saying-that.html

Quote
"Whose confidence, their Mexican drug traffickers, their international sanctions breakers, their global tax evaders, or the ordinary, law-abiding clients who are entitled to assume that their bank will obey the laws imposed on them and will provide a safe place of deposit?"

Now, why on earth would US prosecutors approve of a bank being involved in obviously illegal activity?

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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1168 on: December 31, 2012, 08:40:10 pm »
HELLLLOOOOO, PLUTOCRACY!   :lulz:
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Re: Financial fuckery thread
« Reply #1169 on: December 31, 2012, 08:56:39 pm »
Certainly part of it.

However, I was thinking more hegemony.  Funding insurgencies is expensive, even with the CIA's budget.  A massive protection racket conducted by US intelligence agencies and their allies within various government departments, however, is not only a tidy little earner for all involved, but keeps organised crime and terrorist movements solvent.  The money sweetens the deal, but is only to ensure compliance, not the terminal goal of such a venture.

I mean, the CIA were palling around with the Mafia back when Castro still had real hair, and the Mafia were idiots compared to, say, the UAC or the Northern Alliance.