04 August 2010

04/08/10

Adelie penguin - uncredited

Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.
-Robert Green Ingersoll

271 comments:

  1. Another day, another demeaning job hunting process.

    I don't know why I bother...
    I don't even have enough references on my CV, no previous employment etc.. so this alone will cause 99.9% of potential employers to reject me.

    Which makes me wonder how do all these migrant workers apply for jobs without easily verifiable references, if any at all.

    Some people take great staisfaction in whatever positions of power fate has granted them, and abusing their positions and acting like narrow minded authoritarians.

    If only I was religious I could live in a monastery :)

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  2. First order of business for me is to apologise profusely to Deano.

    I read up to here:

    Seems to me not a lot to gain and a hell of a lot to loose but as I say I'm still thinking about it.

    felt like there was an implication that I would start banning people, got angry and posted my reaction. I'm sorry.

    As for how KT managed to post anonymously -- I haven't a clue. The settings haven't been changed and it doesn't show as an option for me. ??? Maybe KT has magical powers the rest of us can only dream of.

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  3. Hi Charles,

    Another day, another demeaning job hunting process.

    I don't know why I bother... I don't even have enough references on my CV, no previous employment etc.. so this alone will cause 99.9% of potential employers to reject me.

    I'm not sure whether some advice would be welcomed, but here goes anyway....

    I have considerable experience of job-hunting - largely through my habit of walking out of jobs when I'm not happy. Because of this, my CV reads like 30 years at a temp agency. Not a problem now as my boss is an idiot - I'm self-employed....

    My advice is pretty simple - don't wait for jobs to be advertised - by the time employers get to that stage, they're committed to going through the whole process of CVs, interviews and the like. You don't have much chance.

    90% of my jobs came from me finding an employer - not the other way around. Decide what you want (or are willing) to do, do some research, print up some CVs which are aimed at that work, and get out there. Send out CVs by email, phone people, knock on doors. If there's nothing going, ask if you can leave a CV.

    Above all be confident. Tell yourself you're doing them a favour - that you could just as easily give someone else the chance of employing you (doesn't matter if they believe it or not, so long as you do). If you get to talk to them, you interview them - ask them lots of questions, so they can convince you they're worth working for...

    I've always been amazed at how well it worked for me.... Only problem is keeping the job, but you'll have to ask someone else about that.

    Good luck.

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  4. Morning all.

    Those people at La Courneuve, btw, were paying rent to the local HLM (state housing agency), according to DAL.

    Interesting definition of 'squatting' or 'illegal occupation', that. Particularly as the cheques for July were cashed, even though the first eviction was planned for 8 July. Linky in my comment on the UT2 piece...

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  5. Montana - no problem. Good to read that I hadn't caused you offence. :-)

    As KT himself later said, when he came back the anon option had 'disappeared' for him too. Seems like a piece of random blogger madness!

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  6. I know that BeautifulB is preparing her post on the news today from Lloyds that the taxpayer's investment (bailout) in the bank is £3billion to the good. I know she's working on it because, although her profession is the promiscuous, advocacy bitch it is - sleeping with liars and honest folk alike as long as they pay the bills - her personal views seek truth, not victory.

    Don't want to put words in her mouth, but her praise for the government's farsighted policy of supporting the banks, of eschewing the pitiful calls to nationalise them, and for the enduring relevance of Keynesian economics is to her lasting credit.

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  7. So the Tories want to make council tenancies temporary. We're back in the purest Thatcher tradition: make people feel as insecure as possible and they'll be frightened to join a union or get involved in politics, and willing to work for less.

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  8. Peter Bracken,

    I know that BeautifulB is preparing her post on the news today from Lloyds that the taxpayer's investment (bailout) in the bank is £3billion to the good.

    What's that - for a 40% share? That means that the other 60% is £4.5 billion to the good?

    So we've effortlessly moved from the banks taking all the profits, and the taxpayer taking all the risks, to giving the taxpayer a stake in the under-regulated rip-off merchants who are repossessing his home?

    They never will be properly regulated, now that the Government gets a share of the loot....

    If you can't beat them, join them!

    Maynard Keynes would be so chuffed!

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  9. "That means that the other 60% is £4.5 billion to the good."

    Er, no exiled. The taxpayer paid 63p a share. Most institutions, meanwhile, saw the value of their stake fall from around 550p a share to, well, where it is today (73p).

    That's risk for you.

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  10. Morning all

    Briefly dropping in as I'm off to start the first day fundraising for the Guide Dogs - sadly, not training the lovely creatures ;( but at least it's an hourly rate, a good cause and I get some exercise.

    Exiled

    You got banned from CifWatch????? Hilarious - you're right though those people are out to lunch - the twisty-wrod thing was like watching a virus evolve in time-lapse - I couldn't cope.

    btw - Have you seen the 'how to spot an anti-semite Bingo' game they've come up with? It should be on a comedy show in a parallel universe somewhere.

    (and sorry if I embarrassed you - but it was the truth and fwiw - I and many others noticed your abscence)

    You and I have something in common - walking out of jobs or getting sacked - I just cannot tolerate arseholes in the workplace. My CV is proabably a slightly shorter version of your 30 year temping history.

    My best walkout was when I was working in a restaurant in Notting Hill - like working in a bloody gulag for 9 months (the manager hated me and aprt from Saturday's, kept me on nightshifts for the whole time) It was full of tight-arse celebrities (like Claudia Schiffer and Jade Jagger) and endless ridiculously spoiled trust fund kids with their pompous mothers.

    As I downed tools on a particularly busy Saturday in hell, my parting words to an 18 year old girl (who'd obviously been waited on hand and foot by servants all her life) was......

    "you're fucking rude, you're Mother's fucking rude and neither of you have a clue about decent manners or how to behave in public' - it was worth it for the look on their faces as the colour drained from their cheeks - it dawned on me that these two had never been told it like it was, by anyone, ever in their lives. Ha!

    It was pure joy ;0)

    KT

    Sadly, am going to have to decline my place on the course, but will get myself into gear for applying for next year. At least I know I can do it now and can devote more time to raising the money if I don't qualify for a bursary again. From seeing the ad, to closing date to first instlament was about 6 weeks - the no bursary made it impossible ;(

    But many hearty thanks for the lovely offer ;) a very generous thing to say. It has been noted!!!!

    As for Esmelia - the books look great!I'm going to search at my local library, if not, I'll order them in - Brixton library is pretty good like that. Who did the illustrations?

    SheffP

    I've found the Elizabeth Warren lecture on YouTube. No time to watch this morning, but I'll be watching it later.

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  11. Just read it spike. Just when you think it can't get worse.....

    Cameron today urged the public to recognise that the deficit was a moral issue and suggested public spending would not be restored to its current levels when the economy improves.

    I wonder what they have in mind for us next?

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  12. Charles buy These books, I really think they helped me get my last 2-3 jobs.

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  13. MonkeyFish

    I've been trying to avoid the arguments that have been raging, as someone who rarely ventured onto waddya, I'm a bit lost with all the historical bitch-fest etc.

    Why have a go at Exiled? Pretentious? Bollocks.

    His prescence doesn't lessen yours, nor does it lessen Hank's or Scherfig's

    I think Montana was unduly harsh yesterday, but it doesn't mean I hate Montana, I just don't agree with her synopsis, nor her description. I can't do the picking sides thing - it causes me endless anxiety, so I refuse, because I try to love pretty much everyone in equal measure ;)

    I'm not sure what the root of all this is, having been an intermittent person on here, but it would be a sad day indeed if any of you stopped. I think I know where you're coming from (but I can't be entirely sure - this is cyberspazz after all) and for a combative person like myself, I find it upsetting to witness.

    OK Paul's being a petty wind-up merchant, but does it have to devolve into a slanging match?

    I agree with most of what Hank said the other day - the middle class 'sensibilities' and bending over backwards to come over PC fails to take into account of how some sections of minority groups are playing the game for all it's worth and milking the 'victim' status to their advantage - it's an extra card in the deck - believe me, I've seen it and I've also seen it predominate amongst the middle class with and their inbuilt sense of 'entitlement' - it's two sides of the same coin and Hank was bang on the money. It's not about colour, but about morality, class and opportunity. Whilst a deeply divisive and unfair system is in play - there are going to be ruthless players. Try as I might, I'm not one of them, but I am slowly being forced to become one - it's now a matter of survival.

    Call me stupid, but throughout my life I've steadfastly tried to be honest, as a point of morality - I'm not a cheat, but as time has gone on and life has become ever harder, I've come to realise that you can bet your bottom dollar that for every one of me, there's a thousand lining up behind to play every last trick in the book to get one step ahead from the cesspool. At this juncture, it has now left me and many others, who despite the advantages available post-war to our working class parents, through the Welfare State, strong Unions etc. we morphed into a kind of working 'middle' class - but now we are at a great disadvantage once again - not as disadvantaged as those who really are at the very bottom of the pile. But with this 'goverment' in place, with the shift of economic power Eastwards, it's not too big a stretch for me to envision a pretty bleak future.

    Anyway, I'll be back later I've got to get on. Apols for the very looonggggg post.....

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  14. Peter Bracken,

    Er, no exiled. The taxpayer paid 63p a share. Most institutions, meanwhile, saw the value of their stake fall from around 550p a share to, well, where it is today (73p).

    What strange accounting methods you use!

    Lloyds shares rose to 550p on the back of their unsustainable business practices, fell to 63p when the truth of the situation became clear, and would have ended up at zero if it hadn't been for £130 billion of taxpayers' money.

    So who benefits?

    The taxpayer took a risk, and may get their money back (so far they've seen a modest rise in the share price), but at the cost of no new regulation, and continued rip-off business practices....

    The shareholders, who've been raking it in for years, have seen their potentially worthless shares rise to 73p, and with no risk of regulation, can expect it to continue climbing as the bank stitches up its poor customers....

    Truly something for the decent left to celebrate...

    ...but only if they're Lloyds shareholders....

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  15. Good luck LaRit, are you chugging? if you are you're a better perkin than me Gungadin!

    My best walk out was when my boss, who had left his wife with a 1 year old and shacked up with a younger girl, who he promptly got pregnant, started hitting on the 18 y.o saturday girl, on a works night out. I put the shop keys on the pub table and before the assembled company told him his coke habit was making him an arsehole and to have a long hard look at himself, and shove his job up his nose too!

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  16. TurminderX

    Yes, chugging away door-to-door ;-) At least it's not for a third party, it's working for the charity itself, so I feel slightly better about it and it's a nice cause ;)

    Your ex-boss - what a tosser! perhaps we should have a thread devoted to all the shit jobs we've done???? LOL x

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  17. Leni - from last night & the guy iro DLA - he shouldn't lose DLA if he starts working f/t; unless his care/mobility needs have changed it shouldn't have any effect on his entitlement. Does his wife get Carer's Allowance? That might change because of the 35hrs requirement, but work shldn't affect DLA.

    Mind you, it's a long time since I did this stuff - have I missed something?

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  18. Good luck LaRit...

    I worked in a sanitary towel factory in Brum yonks ago. Had to pack them into boxes of 12. They arrived at speed down a conveyor belt and dropped into a tea chest from where I had to collect them. By lunchtime I was usually up to my knees in the bloody things as I couldn't keep up the pace - much to the mirth of the other women there.

    When, driven by sheer despair and desperation I decided to leave in the middle of a shift, the supervisor dragged out a security man to try and stop me. Took some persuasion but I escaped.

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  19. Exiled, Turm,

    I am really against glossing up my CV becuase I view it as a form of deception, and 'selling myself' makes me vomit.

    Maybe I have no confidence in myself, but that is infinitely preferable to living an artificial, false veneer life.

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  20. The UK banks were never worthless, exiled, but the sub prime debacle made it almost impossible to value their assets. So the market applied a large risk premium and trashed the shares.

    Incidentally, Northern Rock failed because, unlike the major high street banks, it needed to tap the money markets to support its business. It went belly up when that source of funds froze.

    Still, even Northern Rock was not worthless (although the shareholders were wiped out). And you'll be aware that the taxpayer is now benefitting from its return to profitability - to the tune around £350million a year, and rising.

    But you're making an ideologically vacuous point by simply asserting that banks screw their customers, period. Sure, it'll earn you a sack load of brownie points on this site, but in most other places, trust me, you'd be regarded as a dick.

    Comforting to know we both share that reputation.

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  21. Good luck La Rit - do you get to take a dog around with you? I'm sure it would double the collection. An attractive friendly dog is an asset in fundraising..

    Mungo would be very good at fundraising as you will see if fortune favours us all and we get to meet at the Northants get together.

    I always look for the dogs in the dog's home that have 'the look', the one that could assist me in begging if I were ever so reduced in circumstances.

    I'm fairly sure that I would never have starved with any of my last three dogs in my team - I might have had to eat dog food but hey what the hell. I'm convinced that if sat on the floor outside the local Sainsbury/Waitrose with a sign ("Dog and Pups to Support") around my neck Mungo and I could coin it...we both have that friendly disheveled vagrant look and I think we would make a good team

    Shit jobs thread sounds interesting! I've done some really shit jobs in my time but I've also been very fortunate too...

    Sheff - no problems about me getting the needle if necessary, happily I'm not squeamish about such things!

    Anyway if I have to me bits fiddled about with I'm lucky in that the local Consultant has an attractive lady assistant......I must say that she put a smile on my face last time she examined me.

    Article in todays Indy on the subject confirms what I alrady know - the PSA test's predicitive abilities are in any event highly questionable.

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  22. Charles, that's why I'm recomending those books, you HAVE TO sell your self on the CV, how else will they know what a cool guy you are? Not very british I know, but unless you get work from personal conections it's your shop window. You have experience, perhaps not formal or paid but valid nonetheless, put it on the CV.

    As i've said before, if I show you a field with 500 stones in it and say there are at least 2 gold bars in there under the stones, how many do you want to turn over? YOU choose any number up to 500. It's the same with jobs.

    There is work out there, KPing, factories, care work. You could get temp work at the Edin fest for example. If you will turn your hand to anything you could have a job by next week. Just keep plugging away. Good luck, n I'll probably change my tune when I'm back on the dole come November! ; )

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  23. Bracken my dear young sir - you could earn two sack loads of brownie points if only you would tell the truth about the insider dealer allegation which hangs unanswered over your head.?

    Until then we'll just have to assume that your yet another insider dealing, self serving, officer, and failed gentleman sort of tosspot.

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  24. Come on PeterB - don't be shy your audience awaits your side of the story......

    Nap - Good luck.

    Some well intentioned and sensible advice given above to you today.

    It's a long time since I was in the job market (It's nearly 15 years since I was 'retired') so ther's nothing helpful I can add. As I understand it (and you probably already know) only a very small number of the available jobs get put to job centres these days so you really have to put yourself about to even have a chance.

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  25. Peter Bracken,

    The UK banks were never worthless, exiled, but the sub prime debacle made it almost impossible to value their assets. So the market applied a large risk premium and trashed the shares.

    What little faith you have in the markets!

    If the risk premium was too large, then there should have been hoardes of canny investors buying at the discounted price. What you fail to factor in to your rosy description is the role of the Government - when Lloyds shares were at 63p, how much of that value was down to the probability that the taxpayer would bail it out?

    To put it another way, if Lloyds was going to survive without taxpayers money (and not prove to be worthless), then why did the Government step in? You can't have it both ways....

    Incidentally, Northern Rock failed because, unlike the major high street banks, it needed to tap the money markets to support its business. It went belly up when that source of funds froze.

    I don't have a problem with the Northern Rock bail out - the Government effectively nationalised a company that had crashed, rather than bailed out the existing owners. That's capitalism - owners fuck up, owners lose their money, someone picks up the remaining assets.

    Still, even Northern Rock was not worthless (although the shareholders were wiped out). And you'll be aware that the taxpayer is now benefitting from its return to profitability - to the tune around £350million a year, and rising.

    There's a difference between worthless shares and a worthless company. Northern Rock shares were worthless, but the company still had assets - justy not enough to continue trading.

    But you're making an ideologically vacuous point by simply asserting that banks screw their customers, period.

    Which ideology would that be? It seems I'm a rather 'purer' capitalist than you are....

    You claim to believe in regulated capitalism, but you then support the bailing out of shareholders (rather than of the business), and the distortion of the market to guarantee share-price recovery, by the government, at the expense of the consumer.

    The Government (the ultimate regulatory authority) has no business going into partnership with private capital - it's a gross distortion of both the system of regulation and of the free market principle. I would love it if the Government took a minority stake in my business - I can't think of a better connected partner....

    Sure, it'll earn you a sack load of brownie points on this site, but in most other places, trust me, you'd be regarded as a dick.

    That's for the reader to decide, but if you'd like to lay out an economic case for regulators owning parts of the businesses they regulate, and a market in which some shareholders are protected by the state from the consequences of poor decision-making, I'll be interested to hear it.

    Comforting to know we both share that reputation.

    I think I can live with Peter Bracken regarding me as a dick....

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  26. LaRit


    ''OK Paul's being a petty wind-up merchant, but does it have to devolve into a slanging match?''

    If you re gonna make comments like that i suggest you get your facts straught.A few nights ago the Hank Scorpio who you seem to hero worship made some highly offensive racist comments for which he is yet to apologize.Involved in that 'spat were Hank,Habib and myself.Yet the following day Monkeyfish chose to wade in and attack me personally and hitherto i have simply responded.

    If you are either so blind or stupid that your hero-worshipping of Hank and Monkeyfish blinds you to the reality of what they can really be like then that reflects badly on you.However if you also chose to get involved by making cuntish comments like the one above then expect to be told to STFU.

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  27. Hi Paul - the laurel and hardy video?

    Had me smiling, but undeniably a wind up.

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  28. "Don't want to put words in her mouth, but her praise for the government's farsighted policy of supporting the banks, of eschewing the pitiful calls to nationalise them,"

    Come now Peter, really... This is economically illiterate. The banks *were* nationalised, you seem to have missed that salient point. That is what stopped them going under. The problem is they were nationalised in ownership but not purpose - they still operate for private gain rather than public good. Thats why they continue paying billions in bonuses.

    Please dont make me laugh with any "masters of the universe" spiel - i know plenty of these types so lets not waste time with nonsense.

    These banks are now in profit because they have used public funds to shore up their balance sheet, they have had billions pumped into the economy, they have had their riskiest debts underwritten by the taxpayer and have had every available helping hand from the state. Yet you seem to think this is some sort of success story for the free market. Laughable.

    So, to recap, the calls to nationalise were not "eschewed", they were not "pitiful" - they were implemented saving 3 major institutions from bankruptcy to the sound of cheers from the City.

    "Incidentally, Northern Rock failed because, unlike the major high street banks, it needed to tap the money markets to support its business."

    You think NR was the only institution to rely on the money markets?

    Its fine to steam in with pompous self adoration when you're right, but you're talking utter nonsense here.

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  29. Hi deano

    Yes the Laurel and Hardy video was a wind up as was the Hinge and Brackett clip.But the point i,m making is that these were in response to posts that monkeyfish made to me.LaRit it seems it quite happy to pass judgement on me without looking at the full facts.And as someone who is extremely adept herself at giving as good as she gets LaRit of all people should have recognized i was simply exercising my right of reply.Instead of that she chose to make a dumb comment!

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  30. I have no difficulty or shame in "back slapping" a considered contribution ...............

    Couldn't agree more Jay, well said and well put, although personally I'm not that keen on pompous self adoration even when attached to a valid point.

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  31. Also, please try to at least keep market dogma consistent:

    "The UK banks were never worthless, exiled, but the sub prime debacle made it almost impossible to value their assets. So the market applied a large risk premium and trashed the shares."

    As any free marketeer worth his salt will tell you, something is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. If the value of shares becomes worthless, then the shares themselves *are* worthless.

    You seem to be making the moronic claim that these assets were actually worth much more but the market was just being prudent.

    I hope you can see what nonsense this is: if an asset is so convoluted and mixed with so much junk that no one knows its "true value" and hence will only pay X amount for it - then it is worth X. Not a penny more.

    Imagine selling a car on the grounds that it may or may not have an engine, steering wheel and brakes - the client will find out when he hands the money over.

    You might get a few hundred for the body, but you cannot claim its actually worth £5k because it *might* also contain these other internal items which are worth more if present. It is worth what it can be sold for, Peter - this is orthodox free market doctrine.

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  32. The taxpayer did not bailout shareholders, exiled - unless you can show me the RNS that proves it paid them for their shares.

    And if you're suggesting it - the taxpayer - copper-bottomed the share price, you are, alas, wrong again.

    Lloyds' shares fell to 30p after the taxpayers injection of funds via the placing at 63p. Far from securing the interests of shareholders, many felt government intervention was a prelude to full nationalisation, in which they'd end up with nothing.

    The canny investor was buying the stock at 30p because he or she knew this was most unlikely. Why? because they understood that, having stabilised its balance sheet (thereby meeting its regulated capital ratios), Lloyds could trade clear of its bad debts, and that short of a second financial shock, the worst of the write-downs in the value of its assets was over.

    I think, also, you misunderstand the nature of the banking industry. Banks are like utilities in the public service they provide. Hence it's right that they be treated differently from, say, your business which, whilst it might provide a service, is not necessarily aligned with the public good.

    The health of the banking system clearly is.

    Jay:

    Well it's an odd definition of nationalisation you're using, to say the least.

    As for your second post, you've lost me completely. Investors by definition look to future earnings, discounted for risk. Hence buyers of bombed out bank shares certainly did believe that the assets were worth more. It'd be a dumb investor who bought believing they were worth less.

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  33. They've finally taken her out of the Life & Style page and onto the main Cif page, uh oh!

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  34. JayReilly,

    It is worth what it can be sold for, Peter - this is orthodox free market doctrine.

    Ah, but most 'free marketeers' are actually nothing of the sort - Adam Smith is just the name of a club for monopolists nowadays...

    Offer most of them a real free market, and they'll run a mile - they want corporatism, not capitalism....

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  35. Charles

    Bidisha alert!

    Oh dear, it's going to be messy...

    From the article...

    "Last weekend I attended the UK Feminista summer school. I was privileged to chair a panel with three women – Julie Bindel, Karon Monaghan QC and Dr Aisha Gill.

    And...

    "Am I optimistic? When I look at the perpetrators, the oppressors, the exploiters, the apologists, the deniers and the bullies, no. When I look at the mass awakening of women who have finally had enough, yes.

    One to watch from the cheap seats I think....

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  36. Peter - the banks are majority owned by the state. That is nationalised - the nation is the majority owner.

    I'm not surprised you got lost on the second point judging from your comments today. I'll try again:

    "So the market applied a large risk premium and trashed the shares."

    If the market "trashes" the shares, then the shares are trash. End of.

    Finally - if it were not for the bailout of course shareholders would have made serious losses, the firms were going under, Peter - it was not a temporary liquidity issue, it turned out to be a serious solvency issue.

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  37. Paul - I have no problems with anyone exercising rights of reply, that amongst other things is what UT is all about.

    Despite the assault on me by Scorpio I remain a fan of his more considered contributions here, but I'm not uncritical of his sometimes absurd utterings and occasional crass style.

    (Lucky for me it's not easy to offend an old tramp so I feel relatively flameproof when the toastings and vitriolic hurlings are being spewed out - they have little impact on rhino skin)

    I think that Hank is shit hot with his political/economic understanding but fucking hopeless in his assessment of character. The later prevents him winning more to the former.

    If only he could develop the easy winning way and persuasive skills of the Duke or A42 or Leni he could so easily enhance his corner and strengthen his cause no end.

    Still what do I know. I'm sure that I'll have more bile coming my way from him or Scherf in the near future.

    I was thinking that I might suggest a small business opportunity to Nap - he could have an internet business selling handcrafted lapel badges that read: - "I've been savaged by Hank Scorpio/Peter Bracken/Scherfig". They might sell well.

    I've been done by all three. It's a bit like the dead sheep thing.....

    Rains stopped so its time to take Mungo for a walk

    Regards to all - (those three included).

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  38. Peter Bracken,

    The taxpayer did not bailout shareholders, exiled - unless you can show me the RNS that proves it paid them for their shares.

    Of course it did - it pumped money into the business to keep it afloat.

    And if you're suggesting it - the taxpayer - copper-bottomed the share price, you are, alas, wrong again.

    Once the Government had a stake, it wasn't going to be allowed to fail - if that doesn't copper-bottom the share price, I don't know what would....

    Lloyds' shares fell to 30p after the taxpayers injection of funds via the placing at 63p. Far from securing the interests of shareholders, many felt government intervention was a prelude to full nationalisation, in which they'd end up with nothing.

    Nice interpretation, but it doesn't make sense.

    The 63p price was only at that level in the expectation of Government help. In reality, the 30p price was rather more than the shares would have been worth, had there been no prospect of Government help - it was the first stage in a rise from their true value then (less than 30p), to their market value today (73p).

    Merely the prospect of Government help distorts the markets.... But you should know that?

    The canny investor was buying the stock at 30p because he or she knew this was most unlikely. Why? because they understood that, having stabilised its balance sheet (thereby meeting its regulated capital ratios), Lloyds could trade clear of its bad debts, and that short of a second financial shock, the worst of the write-downs in the value of its assets was over.

    Nothing to do with knowing that the biggest shareholder was the banking regulator then?

    I think, also, you misunderstand the nature of the banking industry. Banks are like utilities in the public service they provide. Hence it's right that they be treated differently from, say, your business which, whilst it might provide a service, is not necessarily aligned with the public good.

    Utter nonsense. Individual banks are no more public service providers than individual bakeries, or individual oil companies.

    The health of the banking system clearly is.

    As is the health of the bakery business, or the oil business. One bakery goes bust, another takes up the slack. One bank goes bust, another takes up the slack.

    Public service cannot be a reason to protect shareholders in individual companies - competition demands that bad business must be allowed to fail, otherwise there's no advantage of private over public provision.

    Who's the capitalist here - me or you?

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  39. No Jay, the shares were trashed, not trash. End of.

    No Jay, one bank (besides NR) - RBS - is majority owned by the state. And it's not nationalised. It's what it says on the tin - majority owned.

    No Jay, it wasn't a liquidity issue for the big banks (who hoarded their liquidity), but it was for Northern Rock (who needed access to cash to service their mortgage business). For the high street banks it was a mark-to-market issue, and (an important) technical insolvency issue.

    No Jay, the shareholders were not saved from serious losses; they endured them.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Afternoon all

    Many of the High Priestesses of Feminism in both the USA and UK have historically been quite critical of what they perceive to be a major failing on the part of French women to embrace their particular brand of feminism.Yet my perception is that French women have achieved a damn sight more for themselves than women in either the USA and UK.And they,ve achieved this without resorting to variations of the 'all men are bastards' mantras.

    My understanding is that French women have access to affordable childcare that British and American women can only dream of.Which allows a higher % of them to work full time.They have access to an infinitely superior health and education service.And a benefit system that is extremely generous to mothers.Cohabiting women in France have more rights than their American and British counterparts etc etc etc.

    Of course there must be downsides for French women as well.But the point i,m making is that French women seem to achieved what they,ve achieved without alienating men.And perhaps feminists like Bidisha and co could learn a thing or two from them.

    ReplyDelete
  41. As is the health of the bakery business, or the oil business. One bakery goes bust, another takes up the slack. One bank goes bust, another takes up the slack.

    exiled, we've had a reasonable discussion today. Don't spoil it by posting undiluted gibberish such as this.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Peter Bracken,

    No Jay, the shareholders were not saved from serious losses; they endured them.

    That rather depends on when they bought and sold - the entire value of many companies is bought and sold many times a year....

    Someone who bought a few years ago, and sold before the bail-out would have lost money - as indeed they should.

    Someone who bought over ten years ago has probably made money, regardless of the current price.

    Someone who bought in anticipation of the bail-out (say at 63p) will be doing very nicely. To quote one financial expert...

    "I know that BeautifulB is preparing her post on the news today from Lloyds that the taxpayer's investment (bailout) in the bank is £3billion to the good."

    So much for enduring losses....

    ReplyDelete
  43. Peter Bracken,

    exiled, we've had a reasonable discussion today. Don't spoil it by posting undiluted gibberish such as this.

    Come on Peter - don't retreat into bombast. If you think it's undiluted gibberish, your supposed to come up with an arguement why you think it is...

    That's how debate works.

    Off out for a couple of hours, but I'll be back later.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Peter you are talking utter gibberish. If share value is "trashed" it is trash - there is no possible escaping this so please stop wasting time. This is the magic market - thing are worth what someone will pay for them and no more.

    Lloyds isnt majority owned *anymore*, fair point - but its 41% and was previously, which is the relevant point. You claimed the "pitiful calls to nationalise were eschewed". Demonstrable nonsense.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23659542-banks-dive-after-lloyds-nationalised.do

    Evening Standard, deluded leftists if ever I've seen them... Or you could try Mervyn King, he was also labouring under the same illusion that Lloyds was nationalised.

    "And it's not nationalised. It's what it says on the tin - majority owned."

    Risible.

    "No Jay, it wasn't a liquidity issue for the big banks"

    Where are you getting this from, what planet?

    "For the high street banks it was a mark-to-market issue,"

    Again, where are you getting this from?

    "No Jay, the shareholders were not saved from serious losses; they endured them."

    I honestly cant remember the last time you wrote such nonsense. Funny use of "endure" - state bailout saves your firm going under... Moronic drivel.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Paul

    In comparison with French feminists like Hélène Cixous, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray et al, Bidisha is a pussy cat. But they're all so high falutin' and intellectual I don't suppose most French men have noticed. If they have they're certainly doing so with more style than you get on a Bidisha thread.

    ReplyDelete
  46. No Jay, you're the one spouting drivel.

    Private shareholders hold stakes in the high street banks, besides NR. The government has no stake in Barclays or HSBC. Ergo, the banks have not been nationalised.

    Mark-to-market is the accounting requirement for banks to value their assets. When the value of those assets fell through the floor, the banks were faced with colossal paper losses. Paper is the key adjective. They were not realised losses, for the obvious reason that most of the banks debtors were in a position to service their debt, thereby avoiding the sale of the asset (and the crystallisation of the loss).

    Hence my use of the phrase technical insolvency. I'm not diminishing the scale of the crisis, merely pointing out that the big banks were not short of cash, except in so far as their deposits didn't meet their potential liabilities. But that's what they were, potential liabilities.

    I'm happy to explain these matters, Jay, but only if you're in the mood to listen.

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  47. Turm- . What I will do is be honest and straight, that could be selling myself, but it is not really the same. I am sorry the way things are but some things I will not do. I would rather end my life than acquiesce and take part in perpetuating the falseness and artificiality of society-- (psychiatrist told me I had a personality disorder when I said this.)

    Paul- interesting theory on Anglo Saxon feminism. It seems to be that it is just a continuation of the protestant tradition of self flagellating and/or in the extreme feminists case the black/white thinking of good and evil, ie men/women.
    also the humourlessness and dourness of protestantism.

    Anyways, gotta go out. Too long inside the house makes anyone cranky. Pissed off and borderline depressed. Go down the library, methinks. At least ont he positive side I have 2 interviews next week for the 2 volunteering positions I am hopefully going to start.

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  48. sheff

    I should have cited feminists further up the greasy pole of the feminist hierachy to make my point.Bidisha as you rightly say is a pussycat and in the overall scheme of things nothing more than an irritant.But whilst i,d need to do further research to consolidate my point i feel that rad fem dogma has had less of an impact in policy making in certain areas in France than is has done here in blighty.For whilst most women in blighty reject-IMHO- rad fem dogma i feel that rad fem dogma has nevertheless had significant input in areas such as health,education,domestic violence and child abuse to name but a few.Whereas it hasn,t had so much of an impact in France.Yet the average French woman seems to be better off than her counterpart in this country.

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  49. exiled:

    I shouldn't really need to explain this, but if you insist.

    Utilities are a distinct category of enterprise because their services are dispensed via a fixed infrastructure that cannot easily be circumvented. Yorkshire Water goes bust, and people in Yorkshire may be deprived their water, because Thames Water's in no position to take up the slack: its pipes don't stretch that far.

    The same with banks. A bank goes bust, and depositors lose their money (equivalent to their supply of water). But that cannot be allowed to happen - hence the government guarantees deposits up to £50K, and in practice up to any amount - as happened with NR.

    It's no good saying another bank will take up the slack if there are no depositors with money to take up, yes? In other words, the public utility provided by banks (as with water companies) is recognised in law. That is not true of the baker that goes pop.

    Hence the scale of the regulation that utilities (banks included) are subject to.

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  50. "Private shareholders hold stakes in the high street banks, besides NR. The government has no stake in Barclays or HSBC. Ergo, the banks have not been nationalised."

    You're backtracking. You said the banks were not nationalised, the "pitiful" suggestion was "eschewed". In fact 3 institutions were nationalised (Lloyds groups includes TSB and the previous HBOS grouup, RBS includes Natwest - a lot of banks). You were completely wrong.

    "They were not realised losses,"

    Weird, the accounts for these firms show realised losses, in the billions. When an assets value is almost totally wiped out its farcical to claim its all only "technical" because the losses arent yet realised (which much of them were in any case - check the figures).

    In the world of Bracken revisionism the biggest financial crisis in nearly a century actually had no insolvency problem, no liquidity problem, no realised losses - just one bank with liquidity issues and only *unrealised* losses. Classic.

    But very nice of you to offer to explain this all to me, you're quite literally an officer and a gentleman, Major Bracken.

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  51. Jay,

    Imagine I have a mortgage debt of £200K with Lloyds. I service that debt month in, month out.

    However, a collapse in the value of properties causes that asset to be worth £150K.

    Potentially, if I default on the loan, the bank will be left nursing a £50K loss.

    That's exactly the type of write-down losses the banks reported when they produced their financial statements.

    But the thing is, most of the write-downs were not crystallised - the assets were not sold. Because the vast majority of debtors continued to service their debts.

    If you want an explanation for the whiplash-like recovery in banking shares (Barclays, for example has risen from 50p to 350p) look no further than this.

    ReplyDelete
  52. sheff

    ''If they have they're certainly doing so with more style than you get on a Bidisha thread.''

    Didn,t respond to that part of your post because i hadn,t checked the comments of todays Bidisha blog.Have had a quick 'skim' and tbh what little of my brain that,s functioning at the moment quickly switched off.I,ve sort of petered out from CIF at the moment.Plus of course i,ve not got access to a French equivalent to see whether French men would respond with more style.My gut feeling however is that you,re probably right.

    Hope you not feeling too bad with the digestive problems.Also i,m keeping everything crossed for you work wise:-)

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  53. Peter

    Your point would be more tenable if the value of the underlying assets were suffering a minor blip, a fluctuation - this wasnt the case. The assets had been seriously mispriced. And many *did* default on the loans - remember sub prime in the US? It wasnt triggered by theoretical defaults but actual defaults and the moment of realisation that followed.

    That is why the losses in question did not need to be entirely realised to constitute real losses. There were trillions of pounds that disappeared in write downs and realised losses. Oh, its only a write down, not a realised loss, silly me... We should have told the banks that when they came begging -

    "Dont be silly, its only financial meltdown when you *realise* those losses! Off you go, back to the office, put your feet up..."

    If the debts were still being serviced and repaid there would be no need for a bailout, and the securities they constituted would not have plummeted in value.

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  54. Leave it Jay, youm messin with the big boys...

    A few months later, Peter Bracken, the former group head of communications at the Whitehead Mann Group, was told that the company was likely to issue a negative trading statement in the near future. He rang his broker and ordered a sale of his shares.

    In both cases, the Financial Services Authority, Britain's regulator with the power to impose financial penalties, fined the men for committing acts of market abuse, which includes behaviour such as misuse of information, misleading statements and impressions, and market distortion, otherwise known as insider trading.

    The cases highlight the challenges that arise for anyone in charge of communicating corporate information.

    "We will not tolerate individuals using a position of trust for their own personal financial gain ... and who, on the basis of unpublished information, deal ahead of announcements," the FSA said.


    Source.

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  55. Jay,

    In the world of Bracken revisionism the biggest financial crisis in nearly a century actually had no insolvency problem, no liquidity problem, no realised losses - just one bank with liquidity issues and only *unrealised* losses. Classic.

    Absolutely.

    The president of the European Central Bank announced last week in the Financial Times that after bailing European banks out to the tune of €4 trillion (in some countries this accounted for 27% of GDP), the European taxpayer no longer needs to stimulate the banks but now must face savage austerity measures as reward for doing their honourbound duty in bailing out thieving bastards!

    All over Europe and the US the poorest are being richly rewarded for their tax input by having public services and welfare savaged. As Paul Krugman stated in the NYT on Monday,

    what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

    and

    And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

    As Thomas Jefferson once said:

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless."

    Or that well know communist Henry Ford:

    "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

    In the immortal words of Private Eye- Trebles all round!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Peter Bracken,

    I shouldn't really need to explain this, but if you insist.

    Utilities are a distinct category of enterprise because their services are dispensed via a fixed infrastructure that cannot easily be circumvented. Yorkshire Water goes bust, and people in Yorkshire may be deprived their water, because Thames Water's in no position to take up the slack: its pipes don't stretch that far.

    So let me get this straight - if Yorkshire Water goes bust, then its infrastructure (largely paid for by the taxpayer) cannot be used by another company to supply water to the tykes?

    The same with banks. A bank goes bust, and depositors lose their money (equivalent to their supply of water).

    But it isn't equivalent to their supply of water, is it? Losing my money, whether to a bank collapse, a dodgy investment, a drop in house prices, or a punt on the Grand National, doesn't leave me without a vital service - it just puts me in the same position as millions of others... skint.

    But that cannot be allowed to happen - hence the government guarantees deposits up to £50K, and in practice up to any amount - as happened with NR.

    But that's a political decision - it has nothing to do with provision of an essential service.

    If I lose £50K on the stock market, or on the value of my house, the Government isn't going to guarantees to make good my loss. Nor is it going to connect me to £50K if I never had it in the first place (unlike water, which they will guarantee me a supply of).

    It's no good saying another bank will take up the slack if there are no depositors with money to take up, yes?

    If there are no depositors, then the bank is surplus to requirements - there is no slack. The assets can be sold off, and the bank will be no more...

    In other words, the public utility provided by banks (as with water companies) is recognised in law. That is not true of the baker that goes pop.

    But Banks are not recognised in the same way as water companies or other utilities. The utility companies effectively are licensed to run particular services (often regional monopolies) by the Government - most of which were originally public services.

    Banks are, and have always been, entirely private businesses, with the only aim of turning a profit. Your talk of "public utilities" is laughable - a sizable amount of the population cannot get any service from the banks, as they're not profitable as customers.

    Banking regulation is for an entirely different purpose - the danger to the economy of such huge businesses failing (as we've seen), the banks tendency towards anti-competative practices, and the political risks of voters losing their dosh.

    Nowhere does public service enter into the equation.

    Hence the scale of the regulation that utilities (banks included) are subject to.

    ReplyDelete
  57. 13thDuke,

    The president of the European Central Bank announced last week in the Financial Times that after bailing European banks out to the tune of €4 trillion (in some countries this accounted for 27% of GDP), the European taxpayer no longer needs to stimulate the banks but now must face savage austerity measures as reward for doing their honourbound duty in bailing out thieving bastards!

    Did he really say that?

    If he did, full marks for the "thieving bastards" bit....

    ReplyDelete
  58. Jay,

    There were more defaults in the US, but fortunately the UK banks were are only marginally exposed to the US housing market and the CDS engineered (ironically) to spread the risk (which in fact only served to spread the contagion).

    You say:

    "If the debts were still being serviced and repaid there would be no need for a bailout, and the securities they constituted would not have plummeted in value."

    In fact, there was serious debate about the mark-to-market requirement of asset valuations for precisely that reason. But, in order to restore confidence in the financial system, this idea was rejected. Hence, banks found themselves in breach of their regulated capital ratios.

    In order to plug the breach, the banks were forced to raise cash. The equity markets were once source (Barclays and HSBC, for example successfully tapped them for funds), but the scale of the capital shortfalls for banks like Lloyds and RBS required government help - hence the taxpayers debt-for-equity support.

    Duke:

    The increase in the money supply - when central banks buy government debt - amounted to classic Keynesian economics. The central banks buy the government debt from the institutions that hold the debt (in the form of gilts or treasuries), thereby raising the amount of liquidity in the financial system - with the aim of reflating the economy.

    My point being, that strictly speaking quantitative easing (as it's called) is distinct from the bank bailouts.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Can't join in the discussion re banks because I don't really understand all the ins and outs but if you haven't already seen Elizabeth Warren's lecture The coming collapse of the middle classes and you've got the time, I really recommend it as she describes in detail (with plenty of stats and in unfancy language), how global economics has impacted on ordinary people over the last 30 years - and it's not pretty and is going to get much worse.


    Yr Grace
    what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

    Yup...and I get the impression that the Brackens of this world are included in their number.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Well P-Brax ignoring me again... How much did you make on your insider deal Peter, more than the 15k fine, I assume? And of course you gave it all to good left leaning charities, like the modern day Robbing Hood you are, natch..

    I'll be Afk for a bit could you all post my 15.07 with the link any time the wanna be MP and crook comes troll, troll, trolling along? Thanks, p xxx

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  61. exiled:

    You know full well that when you or I deposit our wages in a bank, we're not taking a punt on the bank. To compare retail banking deposits with a bet on the Grand national is preposterous, and you know it to be.

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  62. Duke

    Economic distress as you know was a fact of life for many working class people pre-1945.It was only the period 1945-1979 or thereabouts that a combination of the Welfare State, Keynesian economic policies and a pro active Trade Union movement raised working class expectations.Since then a big chunk of the working classes of this country have been sliding backwards relatively speaking.And because we,re not seeing the levels of absolute poverty commonplace in this country pre-1945 successive governments have got away it.Plus of course as has been said time and time again on these threads the working classes are now so factionalised it,s easy for governments to 'Divide and Rule'.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Peter Bracken,

    You know full well that when you or I deposit our wages in a bank, we're not taking a punt on the bank. To compare retail banking deposits with a bet on the Grand national is preposterous, and you know it to be.

    In some ways, yes, but then I would place more trust in William Hill, who operate in a genuinely competitive market, than in Lloyds Bank.

    By focusing on a rhetorical flourish, you've successfully avoided the central point - that banking is not an essential public service (or at least no bank is - nor do they see themselves as providing one), and that Government guarantees on deposits are a political issue. The Government neither sees our money (anywhere else) as being worthy of guarantees, nor sees any problem with millions of people not having access to money or to banking.

    By the way, I once responded to an unsolicited offer of a £5000 unsecured bank loan, by filling in "to put on a horse" on the reason for applying - it was duly accepted....

    ReplyDelete
  64. Shaz

    Thanks for that - I know that DLA can be paid to ft workers at the moment - so far I haven't seen any proposed changes but people are getting nervous and anxious about possible changes in the pipeline.

    So many people living with this hanging over them - afraid to make decisions. This is the typical trap situation - afraid to move in case you trigger something worse.

    But I suppose as long as the banks and the traders are doing ok we shouldn't be worrying about millions of ordinary families.

    ReplyDelete
  65. exiled,

    here's the article, unfortunately you need a user name and password but it is free so you can sign up.

    Brad de Long's excellent riposte is freely avaialable here.

    It should also be noted that the European Bank 'stress tests' were a total farce. These tests undertaken to prove the stability of Banks were a whitewash. As Money Week magazine noted:

    “The European bank stress tests were a whitewash, of course. You’d have to have been particularly naïve to expect anything else… to put it bluntly, Europe’s regulators didn’t even try to pretend that this was a serious exercise. Out of 91 banks, just seven failed. And those were the ones we knew were in a mess already.”

    Der Spiegel noted that 6 German Banks withheld information regarding their stock holdings indicating that they are still loaded with toxic debt.

    Who knows how many others still are. And this is the nub of the matter. The austerity cuts being trumpeted by Trichet et al are to pay for the bank bailout and to prepare for future rescue operations of Banks they know are in trouble but daren't ask.

    It'swar on the working classes. Pure and simple. There is a fundamental rearrangement of social relations happening. All the hard fought gains made since WWII in terms of Welfare State, benefits, working conditions and wages are being diminished with a wholesale transfer of capital to the Banks and elites.

    A friend in France last week told me that a business analyst on TV said that the bailout and the Greek debt crisis had pushed European Govts to reduce social spending quicker in a year than in the previous 10 years.

    Poorer families were already being hit hardest by the bank bailout and this is before the austerity cuts being announced by the Tories.

    It's a US and Europe wide phenomenon. Nothing is being done to stimulate growth or demand, The Tories corporate tax reduction actually benefits the non manufacturing sector ie the Banks.

    Austerity cuts = less demand= less growth= less jobs= less demand etc resulting in lost tax revenues and no economic growth.

    It's an economic class war and the shit is going to hit the fan sooner or later. We already saw a taste last weekend when the Greek military were called in to break up a truckers strike.

    And it is thieving bastards at the very top aided by their Political puppets who are responsible for this.

    ReplyDelete
  66. But banking is an essential public service, exiled. No company, no individual could function in the UK without it.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Tried to sign that petition Sheff, about time and who better than Tony B.. But the e-mail bounced undeliverable.. Chuckled Conspiracy Grandma : )

    ReplyDelete
  68. Happened to me too Turm....will try again later

    ReplyDelete
  69. Turm + Sheff

    I was bounced too. This is a start - have to wait and see how effective it will be. Travel in hope.

    ReplyDelete
  70. >>no individual could function
    >>in the UK without it.



    If you inhabited the real world you'd realise that plenty of people have to. I could soon be one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  71. 13thDuke

    It's war on the working classes. Pure and simple. There is a fundamental rearrangement of social relations happening. All the hard fought gains made since WWII in terms of Welfare State, benefits, working conditions and wages are being diminished with a wholesale transfer of capital to the Banks and elites.

    I wouldn't argue with that. On the face of it, economic stagnation shouldn't be in the interests of the elites, unless of course it is accompanied by a fundemental shift in the balance of power between capital and people, which opens the door for any future benefits from economic growth to be directed straight into the pockets of the oligarchy.

    We seem to be in a period in which how much of the pie is more important than the size of the pie.

    It's a US and Europe wide phenomenon. Nothing is being done to stimulate growth or demand, The Tories corporate tax reduction actually benefits the non manufacturing sector ie the Banks.

    Two issues. Firstly, this is a process that was well underway before the election (much of what is being said on the DLA thread should be aimed at that spiv Purnell, and New Labour), and secondly, I'm by no means certain that the US is on board with all this - they have much less public provision to cut, and the global nature of American business may well mean that their economy will be dragged down by European austerity.

    If anything, this is European capital casting envious glances at their counterparts around the world, who generally don't have to pay for the sort of social provision available in Europe. This is a race to the bottom, with European Governments trying to reduce social provision to the levels of the US, or developed economies in Asia.

    Europe has always been at the forefront of progressive politics - unions, pensions, free health care, free education, unemployment benefits etc. The message is being given as "we can no longer afford such things" - it should be "with such things, private wealth is limited".

    The problem is, there is no current political alternative. New Labour are as committed to the process as the ConDems, and several of the main European protagonists are nominally on the left.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Peter Bracken,

    But banking is an essential public service, exiled. No company, no individual could function in the UK without it.

    Many people do just that. Did you not realise that many people in the UK can't open a bank account?

    But that's not the point....

    Banking may be an essential service, but that doesn't mean that any particular bank is essential.

    The UK could not operate without shipping companies, road repairers, printers, petrol stations, funeral directors, and a host of other commercial businesses - that doesn't mean that any single business is essential. If P&O go bust, that's an opportunity for someone else. If McAlpine go bust, that's an opportunity for someone else. If Lloyds Bank look like going bust... well we can't have that, can we? Why the hell not?

    ReplyDelete
  73. People are prepared to compromise their principles the further up the greasy pole they rise.Tony Benn,s list is notable for the abscence of those who would have joined the fight in the battles of yesteryear but who are now part of the establishment.And their silence speaks volumes.The Dromeys are just one example that springs to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  74. PM just come on - top of the news - "Meat from a cloned cow apparently entered the food chain" If a clone is an exact replica the cow the cells were taken from what the fuck is all the fuss about?

    ReplyDelete
  75. PS I am not a fan of industrial farming but thats not what everyone seems to be concerned about. What are the health issues from eating a cloned beast?

    ReplyDelete
  76. sheff

    Cloned milk - diversionary tactic I suspect.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Sheffpixie,

    If a clone is an exact replica the cow the cells were taken from what the fuck is all the fuss about?

    I'm not sure. If there are problems with the cloning of cows, I would have thought that they were ethical concerns at the point of cloning, not health concerns at the point of eating....

    Genetically modified crops are a completely different issue, with the potential for cross pollination, environmental concerns, biodiversity concerns, and corporate control of the food supply, but cloning has few of these problems.

    I suppose that the consumer should have a right to know?

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  78. Sheff.

    Eating a cloned cow will turn you into a loyal Daily Mail reader, clinging on to every one of their 'science' stories, be they MMR and autism or cancer spreading mobile phone masts, (remedy- tinfoil hat) by some reverse law of logic.

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  79. exiled

    i am against cloning on ethical grounds. Early experiments in USA produced some very misshapen and disabled calves. They had to be killed.

    i see no reason to suspect teir ik ay e ained. Bying the stuff - if it is on sale - would encourage further experimentation.

    Lots of probs with GM crops in China and India - particularly those designed to eradicate pest damage. New pest insects simply move in to fill gap.

    GEM crops as f1 plants don't breed true so additional costs incurred as poorer, subsistence farmers can't save seed for following year.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Something odd about my post above - disappearing letters.

    I see no reason why their milk may be tainted. Buying the stuff - if it is on sale -would encourage further experimentation.

    Nap

    Could explain my new tail - very useful for swishing away the flies.

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  81. Well, I wouldn't eat clone beef or drink clone milk although I have no idea what exactly the risks would be.

    Where's Dot when you need herm?

    ReplyDelete
  82. Actually - come to think of it - if clones are sterile, as I think they are, how the fuck do they produce milk?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi Leni,

    I agree entirely about the ethical issues of cloning - the potential for abuse is staggering - but the fact that these cows were legally bought and imported suggests that the law is already past that point.

    No, if milk or meat was labelled "cloned", I probably wouldn't buy it, but then I wouldn't if it was labelled "horse" either - it isn't a health issue....

    ...though for someone who smokes and drinks like me, what is?

    ReplyDelete
  84. exiled - I raise my glass and puff my fag in your general direction.

    ReplyDelete
  85. thaumaturge

    Actually - come to think of it - if clones are sterile, as I think they are, how the fuck do they produce milk?

    Are clones sterile?

    From the article...

    "Dulsie Innes, the wife of Callum Innes, who runs a large herd of Holstein cattle near Nairn in north-east Scotland, confirmed the family had bought two bulls bred from a cloned cow in February 2008 and were aware they came from a clone."

    So the bulls, which have since fathered 96 calves, aren't clones, but their mother was.

    Hybrids are sterile, but I didn't think clones were...

    What's the point of me cloning myself hundreds of times if I can't populate the earth with my offspring? Oh well, back to the drawing board...

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  86. exiled

    Potential for abuse - cue the red calf.

    ReplyDelete
  87. exiled - I raise my glass and puff my fag in your general direction.

    Of course, chain-smoking alcoholics generally are sterile....

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  88. thaum

    I thought clones were sterile too.

    I agree there may well be ethical and welfare issues for the animals - as it seems it is part of industrialising the production of milk and meat and they're quite big on this in the US. But that's not how it was being sold on the news. They were doing a shock horror food chain thing.

    As for GM - Am a bit conflicted about this. We've been hybridising plants for millenia. I suppose putting fish genes in tomatoes to make them stay fresh longer or whatever seems a bit weird though.

    My main concern is that it's in the hands of corporations like Monsanto - who appear to be a bunch of unscrupulous, profit greedy bastards, not averse to screwing farmers in the less developed countries by tying them into growing systems that fuck up.

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  89. exiled
    you clearly haven't got the hang of this - the secrt of world domination by you and your clones is to incorpoate a repeat button in each copy.

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  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  91. Exiled/Sheff - well if the reports about them being bred are true, apparently they are not sterile!

    Hybridising is completely different from genetic tampering. Hybrids occur between different strains of the same species, which can therefore breed.

    One of the problems with GM crops is that you cannot contain the seeds in one GM field - they spread, so other food is contaminated and you cannot be sure of having non-GM food.

    Being one of the organic-eating yoghurt-knitters this concerns me. I don't want to ingest GM crops. (I think I have heard of a first study or two coming out that has shown deleterious health effects on those eating them, but I could have made that up subconsciously.)

    Of course, chain-smoking alcoholics generally are sterile....

    Which is precisely why I lurve chain-smoking alcoholics. ;-)

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  92. Hi Leni

    you clearly haven't got the hang of this - the secrt of world domination by you and your clones is to incorpoate a repeat button in each copy.

    Have you been speaking to Arec, CIF's own super-criminal?

    I was rather hoping to leave the sex bit in...

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  93. Cloning cows? Just think of the implications.

    Imagine the daily cruel dilemma that the dairy farmer must go through on entering the milking shed "... Good morning Daisy, Daisy .. and Daisy .. oh, and Daisy, Daisy .. looking good .. and Daisy, Daisy ... Strewth! I must be turning racist .. they all look the bloody same to me."

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  94. MIE - actually they won't look the same, unless they're Aberdeen Angus or something. Pattern variations in skin/coats occur in the womb according to how the foetus lies, I b'lieve. So a cloned foetus will have different markings from it's parent.

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  95. Martyn Richard Jones said...

    This post has been removed by the author.

    What a strange thing to say....

    thaumaturge

    Hybridising is completely different from genetic tampering. Hybrids occur between different strains of the same species, which can therefore breed.

    Are you sure about that? I thought that inter-species hybrids were sterile? Mules, Tigon and Ligers etc...

    Which is precisely why I lurve chain-smoking alcoholics. ;-)

    Wouldn't you get the same result, and better breath, with a clean/living man and a condom?

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  96. thaumaturge: Oh right, so it's not like sheep then.

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  97. Thaum

    Yes, I agree - there appear to effects on the ecology, insect life etc where you get GM crops growing, see The Risks and Benefits of Genetically Modified Crops:

    But part of me thinks that in the right hands the technology could be used for good. Huge ethical probs though - especially if we start genetically modifying for inherited illness.

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  98. Actually, Martyn, yes, you're right about mules etc. They are closely enough related to breed, but the offspring are sterile. There is no doubt a very good reason for that, Darwinically speaking!

    However, I *think* that, say, two different strains of tomatoes (or dogs) will not have the same problem.

    Wouldn't you get the same result, and better breath, with a clean/living man and a condom?

    Not nearly as much fun, and not as safe as 'sterile'.

    But you will never be able to breed a fish and a tomato naturally.

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  99. Actually, Martyn, yes

    It's not only sheep that look the same....

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  100. This off an organic farmer's blog:

    What they [supermarkets] look for is high meat to bone ratio, which is achieved by using continental breeds that are fast growing and respond well to intensive systems. These breeds grade well at the abattoir and achieve the best prices. All the meat you buy at the big supermarkets will be Farm Quality Assured under which government inspired scheme the public are re-assured that the meat has been produced in an acceptable way. I always remember speaking to the Livestock and Meat Commission who told me that under the Farm Quality Assurance scheme, you could feed your cattle and sheep anything, including GM, ‘as long as it’s legal’. Not terribly re-assuring when you remember that until quite recently the FQAS encouraged the feeding to cattle of scrapie infected sheep brains. The same organisation exactly that permitted BSE to become a reality still runs the FQAS. It is unbelievable.

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  101. I've never seen a red ant in Spain.

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  102. Paul - interesing point earlier:
    "My understanding is that French women have access to affordable childcare that British and American women can only dream of.Which allows a higher % of them to work full time.They have access to an infinitely superior health and education service.And a benefit system that is extremely generous to mothers.Cohabiting women in France have more rights than their American and British counterparts etc etc etc."
    Thing is, I'm not sure that these are seen as 'feminist issues' - they are social issues, primarily. You're right on all fronts but all of those rights extend 'beyond the woman' - mainly to the family as a unit or the children particularly, or just everbody generally. throw in cheap travel and automatic discounts in some shops for 'familles nombreuses', and the year-on-year tax breaks for family units (so all longer-term relationships get it, not just married/PACS'd couples), yes, it's very good. But it's very good all round, which I think is an important point to note.

    How exactly it happened, I don't know, but however it did, that might be a better way of addressing current issues than the sort of divisive radfem voices referred to.

    I have had a couple of interesting conversations on 'french feminism' (mainstream rather than philosophical!) and there is, perhaps, a feeling that 'looking good' within the classic french template is actually a feminist act. which is a bit odd for me, but there you go...

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  103. thaumaturge .. them "mules" ain't mine.

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  104. Ah yes, sorry, that should have been exiled

    Here's another, er, interesting Q&A from the same (pro-cloning) site:

    Q: What caused Millie's death?

    A: Millie's death was caused by a bacterial infection that started in her intestines. The pathogen Clostridium is common on dairy farms and dairy cattle are routinely vaccinated against the bacterium. And although records show that Millie was vaccinated against the pathogen, for unknown reasons the vaccine did not protect her against the disease.

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  105. PhilippaB ... maybe it costs as much to look good as too look anything else. Also, I'm not sure that the most comfortable clothes are necessarily the most aesthetically boring.

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  106. Thaum

    Isn't there an issue of clones being more vulnerable to disease and infection? i seem to recall hearing something to that effect.

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  107. Here's a nice little powerpoint about intensive farming.

    Please note that growth hormones fed to livestock can cause moobs, as verified by numerous proper scientific studies, not just a nice teachers' ppt.

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  108. PeterBracken

    Before responding to your latest, I am interested to hear you defend your initial point, that the "pitiful" suggestion to "nationalise" banks was "eschewed".

    That the majority of UK banks were nationalised is a matter of historical record. They included NR, RBS, Natwest, Lloyds, TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, BM, IF as these all are part of the nationalised groups. You do remember the comment, presumably, you were mocking BB.

    Your most recent:

    "There were more defaults in the US, but fortunately the UK banks were are only marginally exposed to the US housing market and the CDS engineered (ironically) to spread the risk (which in fact only served to spread the contagion)."

    Excellent news. We were barely touched. When the banks told the government that they needed trillions or else the "system would collapse", they were obviously confused. Had they been privvy to your wisdom the whole bailout could have been averted.

    You are making a really quite astonishing argument. Many trillions of pounds around the world were required to fill a hole in the banking sector. You repeatedly claim that this hole didnt really exist - no losses were actually realised, there was no liquidity problem and there was no solvency problem.

    Could you please explain why trillions of pounds were pumped in, why most British banks were nationalised, and why enormous firms like Lehman Brothers went under (LB, presumably, had no liquidity or solvency issues either).




    "In order to plug the breach, the banks were forced to raise cash."

    Why? If no value was lost from the banking industry, and no huge surge in assets, how did their capital ratio come to be so devestated? What was "the breach", what went walkies?

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  109. Ethical reasons notwithstanding I think I would probably eat anything that didn't actually glow, GM, clones it's all the same to me, my system is so trashed with all the crap I have put it through (I am potentially mutating my own genes with a rollie as I type) that I think some kind of sci-fi food might be the only thing that could save me. ;)

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  110. One question that hasn't been answered satisfactorily IMHO is: what collateral did the banks in the UK put up in order to receive the loans?

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  111. Martyn

    One question that hasn't been answered satisfactorily IMHO is: what collateral did the banks in the UK put up in order to receive the loans?

    None, as far as I know. They weren't loans, so much as money for shares (as they didn't buy them on the open market, which wouldn't have injected any money into the banks, presumably through the issuing of new shares?).

    The big problem is that we overpayed. With Lloyds we payed 63p a share, when as Peter points out, they went straight down to 30p afterwards. At least half their value was based on the likelyhood of a rescue package.

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  112. Martyn

    I.m a bit dim about these things. I have asked this before but nobody has ever answered - If the banks' values were based on paper prices and valuations not backed by any reality or real assets why did they need so much real money to bail them out ?

    My house - loke all of them - had a temporary increase in value on paper. For as long as I wanted to live here and not sell it this was meaningless. It made me neither richer nor poorer - it did enable me to borrow against this increased value - this debt, had I been silly enough to have gone for it would in fact have made me poorer.

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  113. I have just looked in on Waddya, what the hell is Monk Eastmans game?

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  114. leni - baffles the hell out of me, mostly...

    maybe it's a bit like saying "well, my house is worth £250k" and when someone points out that nobody in the street has sold a house for 20 years and you estate agent is just making it up, you put your fingers in your ears and start humming.

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  115. Hi Leni

    I.m a bit dim about these things. I have asked this before but nobody has ever answered - If the banks' values were based on paper prices and valuations not backed by any reality or real assets why did they need so much real money to bail them out ?

    The secret is not to take too much notice of Peter.

    There are two issues - solvency and cash flow.

    In any business, if your liabilities are bigger than your assets, you're technically insolvent, even if you've got billions in cash. With a bank, it's assets are largely what it has lent (loans, mortgages etc), while its liabilities are largely what it's borrowed (savings etc).

    The added problem for a bank is that while its assets are often tied into long-term contracts, such as mortgages, a lot its liabilities can be called in quite quickly (savings) - a lack of confidence where people are worried about the bank's ability to give them their money back can cause a run on the bank (everyone trying to withdraw at the same time).

    The point Peter was making is partially correct - Lloyds had not collapsed - but the combination of dodgy assets that might never be paid back, and draining confidence in the banking system from savers, made a collapse likely. By openly pumping money in (real cash), the theory is that savers will be reassured that their money is safe, and will no longer want to take it out.

    Ironically, having the money means that the bank doesn't need to use it - this allows them to go back to their old tricks of gambling on odd contrived financial instruments, and paying themselves huge bonuses....

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  116. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  117. "With a bank, it's assets are largely what it has lent (loans, mortgages etc), while its liabilities are largely what it's borrowed (savings etc). "
    So Mary Poppins is a good primary source for how a bank can collapse, good to know...

    heheheheh.

    sofa.

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  118. According to C4 news this evening the gov/treasury/BofE will need to continue supporting the banks as they still have large funding gaps even though they are reporting substantial profits.

    This means they're unlikely to up their lending through into next year. Still as long as they get their bonuses and the taxpayer continues to stump up/underwrite etc etc....

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  119. Evening.

    LaRit - if you're around...

    Just found out about this. Many thanks to Theresa May, minister for women as well as home secretary.

    Fat lot of use that is to those living in fear.

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  120. It,s estimated that at least 15,000 families will either be driven out of London by the latest cap on housing benefit or forced into substandard accomodation.

    I remember when the Tories made changes to the benefit system back in the late 1980,s it led to a massive increase in people sleeping in the streets.With places like Lincoln Inn Fields rapidly turning into 'Tent City'.For sometimes people forget that there are many many people who local authorities are not duty bound to rehouse.So if they can,t pay their rent and can,t find anywhere else to stay and the voluntary agencies either can,t or won,t help them then their only option is to sleep rough.

    The London Evening Standard is currently running a campaign to help the dispossessed in London.Trouble is like the Guardian the powers that be at the London Evening Standard are seemingly bending over backwards to avoid a showdown with the government who are the ones about to make an already bad situation a lot worse.

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  121. Just to add to the stuff about the banks, what we're now faced with is a dispute about how to get out of the mess we're in - between Keynsian theories (largely promoted by the left), and moneterist theories (largely promoted by the right) - this is what's promoting all of the savage cuts we see now.

    Keynes suggests that it's fine to borrow during a recession, to stimulate the economy, and then pay it back at the other end of the economic cycle, when times are good - not exactly spend your way out of recession, but provide stimulus. This is what dragged the US out of the great depression, and the UK out of WWII austerity.

    The more classical response is to battern down the hatches, and only spend what you have - Thatcherism in a nutshell. Lots of pain, but in theory, no debts at the end of it.

    I think there's a lot of evidence that Keynsian economics work, and that the dangers of deepening the recession through savage cuts is huge, but there's a problem...

    New Labour, the main proponents of a Keynsian approach, have had their economic credibility shot to fuck. Nowhere did Keynes suggest that you run a deficit during a boom - it's insane. I'm afraid the "iron chancellor" tried to buy an election with borrowed money, and we're going to have to pay for it. In cosying up to the city, Brown gave us the worst of both worlds - shit money-losing schemes like PFI, and a mountain of debt.

    Cameron's butchery isn't economic - it's ideological - but his confidence that he can get away with such savage cuts is largely down to the economic incompetence of New Labour.

    Cameron's attack on public services is entirely his own work, but his opportunity to put it into motion is the fault of the last lot.

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  122. MsC

    Jesus wept...Minister for women!!?? She should be strung up!!

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  123. Evening all

    Just finished working - absolutely brain dead so only expect (more) nonsense from me this evening.

    But what a fucking joy it was to just click on CiF and see that headline from Tony Benn.

    Just off to read it now.

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  124. exiled

    None, as far as I know.

    It was absolute madness then. Cash for shares/bonds I can understand. Cash for shares in the actual bank? Barking.

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  125. A cash/equity swap (for high grade equity), to aid liquidity, etc. that would have made sense. New Labour have about as much clue of teh City as a regular London cabby has of the streets of Beijing.

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  126. Martyn

    New Labour have about as much clue of teh City as a regular London cabby has of the streets of Beijing.

    Ah, you noticed too?

    The "Government of all the talents" used to be known as "the lunatics taking over the asylum" - New Labour outsourced its responsibility to regulate the city to a bunch of self-serving insiders.

    Take advice from the likes of Digby Jones and Adair Turner, and they'll tell you what the city wants you to hear...

    Anyway, I've got a flight to catch tomorrow, so I'll see you all in a couple of weeks. I'm not taking my laptop, and unless the withdrawal symptoms are too painful, I'm staying offline.

    See you all soon.

    EL

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  127. I am having to switch off from the news a bit at the moment, it is like a sensory overload of stress, everytime you turn around something else worrying is being mooted.

    I think this calls for alcohol and lots of it!

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  128. Exiled

    Have a good break mate.

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  129. Sorry, jen. I feel the same, seems like every time I blink, the govt sneaks out some other ill-thought out 'policy' decision.

    sheff

    Ms May seems to think her 2 govt jobs are quite separate so no conflict of interest in claiming to champion action against domestic abuse and axing practical things which might help a few individuals / families who are actually living with it.

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  130. Jay,

    I'm not at liberty to account for your ignorance. And frankly, when you come on here all arsey and indignant, that's what you're asking me to do.

    I'll indulge your questions one last time; after that, you can piss in the wind for all I care.

    You have to understand the concept of capital ratios if you are to understand the financial crisis. You clearly don't. Banks operate under a legal obligation to carry capital (cash) in a minimum fixed proportion to their liabilities (their lending - the debt owed to them by people like you and me).

    If the value of the assets that the banks own - houses to people like you and me - fall below the book value that was previously attributed to them, that - by definition - increases the liabilities the banks may face should lenders default on their debt repayments.

    But banks - by law - are not allowed to have liabilities that are greater by a prescribed, regulated factor than their capital resources. Actually, technically speaking, at any time banks are technically insolvent. Why is that? Simple. They borrow short and they lend long. A run on any bank at any time (financial crisis or not) can cause a bank to fail.

    But that detail need not detain us. The essential point is clear enough. Capital ratios are set in stone, and when they are out of kilter, something must be done to address the issue.

    In the UK, as elsewhere, banks were forced to raise cash to bring their capital ratios back in line with the enforceable minimum. The sheer scale of the collapse in asset valuations meant that the sums raised required government assistance.

    The risk to the taxpayer was clear enough. The value of the assets against which it injected billions might fall further. But that didn't happen. And that's partly because of the concurrent efforts made to reflate the global economy in the form of stimulus packages and quantitative easing.

    And those efforts also coincided with the dramatic fall in bad debts - easy to understand in retrospect (and not even in retrospect to a half decent economist) given the behaviour of debtors: those that are going to default, default quickly and, therefore, early.

    The rebound in the earnings of banks testifies to my analysis. Write-downs have stopped, bed debt is under control and falling, capital ratios are so far ahead of requirements that governments are pleading with banks to lend to SMEs in greater and greater quantities.

    Finally, Jay, your point about nationalisation. Historically, the term applies to state run and state controlled companies. Only NR fits that definition. The closest other bank to it, RBS, is neither state run nor controlled, although the size of its shareholding confers huge influence. But the minority shareholders have rights, too, and the government cannot wilfully ignore them.

    The Halifax was bought by Lloyds. The NatWest was already owned by RBS. The TSB was merged with Lloyds yonks ago. And none of them is nationalised, not at least according to any sensible definition of the term. Part nationalised, yes. Nationalised, no.

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  131. Shit day. Missus collapses on walk in to work, rings me, I hare over, next stop A&E,and suspicion of a PE (same A&E where my dad died in front of us of a PE, totally out of the blue in Jan: had fucking awful thought of history repeating). Transfer across hospitals, loads of hanging around, but nothing ominous found to account for resting heartrate peaking at 180 for minutes at a time. Home now with watching brief, but all major problems ruled out(inc PE,as far as tests are ever very conclusive there) probably aided by fact that as she a medic she was able to give concise,exact symptoms shorthand fashion,and answered many of the precautionary/investigatory q's before they were asked: that bit can take ages with someone with whom it's not second nature and/or has language/understanding/sensory/other problems, but these steps simply can't be safely omitted.
    @ jennifera30, re: Monkeastman. No idea what's up with him, though his writing style is reminiscent of someone else: maybe has another identity/username on CiF (and possibly here). Just being a workie-ticket basically: evidence-free, ready-formed opinion pretty impervious to fact, claims logic for his (?) utterings, but they collapse ludicrously, chucks straw men around with gay abandon.Lovingly ascribes views to others that they don't hold, broad-brush all the time, shifts position when his/her assertions are exposed as wrong, but can't acknowledge their original screw-up. I spent far too long correcting his proud but misconceived assertions, made some headway, but kinda think he'll he'll pop up again.
    Have to say again (believe I said it before ages ago),is Arec Balrin someone on here? Doesn't matter either way, but he does short'n'sharp stiletto stuff pretty well, along with his more unique offerings (which I personally like, but suspect might connect with high THC/blood levels).

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  132. Wow very scary stuff Alisdair, I hope everything turns out ok.

    I don't know if Arec Baldwin is a pseudonym but he makes me laugh, Monk Eastman doesn't make me laugh.

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  133. Bon voyage exiled, and been good to see you on form here !

    Just posted this around at GolemXIV's blog.


    RichGB's link to Robert Peston at the BBC shows that the ranks of the doomsters have spread rather widely :)

    Some of Peston's images are identical with Golems. Not necessarily plagiarism, there are obvious comparisons between aeronautics and crashing complex financial systems, the difference being that in the latter case the crashing can be postponed and camouflaged !

    Edmund Conway and Ambrose E-P at the Telegraph are regular readers of zerohedge too.


    --------------------------------
    Peston's conclusion , and I don't think he's a raging lefty --

    However there's a bigger point. Which is that we've probably lost the moment when it was possible to simplify banking regulation and sanitize the banking system.

    Instead, regulators, central bankers and governments are patching up complexity. So, whether we like it or not, the rest of us will have to delegate even more responsibility in the coming years to the so-called experts at the FSA and in regulatory bodies around the world to prevent the system toppling over again.


    Toppling over ... FFS.

    ----------------------------
    35-strong frog family lunch today , catching up with some I haven't seen since they were teenagers.

    One nephew works in a bank dealing with SME's. Loves it,talks to widget-makers and other entrepreneurs. Problem is that they have serious business plans with 9% return, and the investors are being promised 12/13 in the markets. Shades of PhilippaB's UT2 translation on "Closing the Stock Market" a few days ago. The punters go for the short-term, risking far bigger losses in a bad year which actually leave them worse off !

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  134. MsChin/Sheff

    I agree with you that Theresa May,s decision to scrap the 'go orders' in order to save money is unforgivable.But please correct me if i,m wrong but your respective posts on the matter seem to indicate that you both see this as being a decision that affects women.For my contention is that it is not.And part of the gender equality package should include greater recognition of the extent to which women subject their male and female partners as well as their children to domestic abuse.And that the 'go orders' should in theory be applied as much to abusive women as they are to abusive men.

    I,ve done a lot of research on this issue and i believe that in most cases women are equally guilty of domestic abuse as men.But hitherto women have been far more likely to get away with it than men.One of the problems being that many men in particular feel it is an affront to their masculinity if they complain about the violence they are suffering at the hands of women.Plus their is precious little recognition of the extent domestic abuse is a problem in the lesbian community.As well as recognition of the role women play in abusing their children.So this should never be viewed as being a problem that is primarily gender-related.

    Finally every year in the UK between 90-100 women,30-40 men and 70-80 children die as a result of domestic abuse.However for reasons i can only specualte on the focus is almost always on those women who are killed by men.And never the men,lesbian women and children who are killed by women.

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  135. Alisdair

    Grim news. Hope she will be ok. x

    Re MonkEastman - deffo a troll. We haven't seen MAM around for a while which makes me wonder if it's him? The shifting positions, the lack of evidence etc. Who knows.

    Frog2 - haha! That's what I call a lunch! :o)

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  136. Before I head off, I'm not the greatest fan of spiked, but there is a good review in there of Todorov's latest (well,latest translated into English...) which is good stuff about the betrayal of the Enlightenment/twisting of it. The review also rightly puts the boot into Matthew Taylor who is a self-serving shallow arse, ever twisting and turning to keep his cushy sinecures going.

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  137. Alistair

    I,m really sorry man.At least they,ve ruled out anything serious.And i take it the baby,s OK.Hope your partner's better soon.

    btw good post from you on waddya.Tip hat.

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  138. Paul

    I've worked in the field and have fought the cause for male victims of domestic abuse for more years than I care to remember.

    Same for sheff and most of the rad fems here, I can say with some certainty - we're not anti-men, just anti-abuse in general. Ask Jay Reilly ..

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  139. Peter -
    Yorkshire Water goes bust, and people in Yorkshire may be deprived their water

    where has the water gone?

    Serious question because the answer is its still there. Just as the coal was still there in Tower colliery and was mined profitably by a workforce buyout for 13 years.

    Sort of begs the question no?

    Be interested to hear your reply to that.

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  140. MsChin

    Fair enough and i did say i stand to be corrected.It,s just i got the impression from both yours and Sheff,s posts that Theresa May,s decision to scrap the 'go orders' not only made a mockery of her role as Minister for Women but also any claim she had to be a feminist.So i deduced from that that you both felt that women would be the ones primarily affected by what we at least agree is the wrong decision.

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  141. Alistair

    Bloody hell...that must have been a helluva shock. I hope all is ok now. Keep up posted and both of you take care of yourselves.

    Paul - MsC has said it for me.

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  142. Paul

    "LaRit of all people should have recognized I was simply exercising my right of reply.Instead of that she chose to make a dumb comment!"

    Yep sometimes I do, sometimes I can be a complete twat too when I can't be arsed to think and post stuff, but, perhaps me 'wading in, in a cuntish manner' as you put it, was an example of that. I didn't think it was.

    The point is I read the argument - Hank wasn't being a racist, he was being provocative and trying to make a valid point, but if you took that as 'racist' then that's your perogative - it doesn't make you right.

    You were on a wind-up being deliberately windy-upish and tbh - you were trying to goad and all the refs to 'girls' etc. was a pain in the neck. I know how it works Paul, I do it myself. Please, do read my post above again - you might feel differently.

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  143. sheff

    ''Jesus wept...Minister for women!!?? She should be strung up!! ''

    Fair enough as i said to MsChin.But i,m sure you,ll understand how your above post could have been interpreted as you seeing this as primarily a female issue.

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  144. Anne,

    The water's not gone any where, of course. I was trying to demonstrate that banking provides an essential public service - like water or energy utilities - that governments cannot allow to fail

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  145. SheffPixie

    I'd love to hear a story on R4 about having to work in a sanitary towel factory - judging by the way you had to escape, I'm suprised you didn't have tie them all together and shimmy down the outside wall.

    (no doubt some Oxbridge-educated Gel will now be thinking..... "oh, yah, how utterly real no-one's ever done a play about working in a sanitary towel factory must use my literary/media connections .... blah, blah, blah....)

    I think I could write a book about the jobs I've done - cleaner, kitchen porter, was once so desperate, I nearly did a lollipop lady in the club toilet job, the monsters and nutcases in the restaurant trade..... the list is endless.

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  146. LaRit

    You,re being a twat lady and i suspect deliberately.I was responding to monkeyfish,s post.A fact that not for the first itme you,ve chosen to overlook.And if it,s OK for him or Hank to post the stuff they do to me then it,s equally OK for me to respond the way i see fit.

    Additionally there are 3 people at least who viewed Hank,s comments as racist.If you didn,t then that,s down to you.But if you are going to get involved in a spat that didn,t involve you then FFS get your facts straight.

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  147. MsChin

    Am around - thanks for that link. Fucking shocking - everything this 'Govt' has proposed so far from cuts in maternity support to the 10% reduction in HB, to this is predominantly an attack on Women and Women's rights. It's an outrage.

    My Mum worked for Women's Aid for 15 years, assisted her 72 year old friend to escape her violent rapist husband of 52 years - she nearly didn't make it as he found a spare key to the shelterd flat she was moving into - when she lied about what it was for (oh, one the kids must have left it) .... he pushed her down the stairs.

    Basically this gives violent men a license to kill. Un-fucking-believable....

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  148. Sheff/MsChin

    Hope you,ll both tell LaRit that this isn,t just about violent men.

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  149. Paul

    Go orders were to cover all in a family - any member who threatened others could be immediately removed by the police.

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  150. "...that governments cannot allow to fail..."

    Tis plain folly to put things 'that cannot be allowed to fail' into private hands and thus beyond democratic public control.

    Smacks of madness or corruption to me.

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  151. Alisdair - best wishes to you and your lass at what must be a fraught time.

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  152. My brother drove a rig-supply vessel in the Gulf before nearly having his leg cut off by a snapped hawser. Used up his savings paying for new experimental drugs to save the leg back in UK.

    The next step was hospital portering and house-painting jobs at £2 an hour. That was less than half the frog minimum wage at the time -- 44frs.

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  153. Hi Leni

    I,m aware that gender shouldn,t in theory have been a consideration when 'Go orders' were issued.

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  154. Paul

    You can adress me directly you know.

    This is about violent men. They are and remain, worldwide, the majority perpetrators of domestic abuse, violence and death to women and children - the facts, from the UN to the WHO (non-partisan organisations) bear this out, time after, time after time.

    Until you get your head around that, you're barking up the wrong tree and no matter how many times you try and say 'women are equally culpable' the facts and research and statistics do not bear it out.

    I use this time and time again, but in south Africa, a women is killed by her husband/partner every 8 minutes.

    If you have reliable, non-partisan statistics which prove that women kill at the same rate anywhere in the world - I will eat my hat.

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  155. Alisdair cross fingers and XX ! The first one must always be the most angoissant without added probs. At least it was so for me. X

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  156. Alisdair

    God, what a terrifying ordeal. Glad that both wife and baby OK. Warmest regards to you.

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  157. Charles said...

    >> I am really against glossing up my CV
    >> becuase I view it as a form of deception,
    >> and 'selling myself' makes me vomit.

    If you can do the job then it makes no difference - unless it's one of those "life or death" type jobs. Companies gloss up anything, when think they have to, and I don't blame them.

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  158. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  159. Just a point about banks ... in spite of everything, banks are necessary, and this is why most countries have them.

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  160. Paul

    "You,re being a twat lady and i suspect deliberately"

    No, I don't think so. I am a 'lady' but not a lady, lady!

    "I was responding to monkeyfish,s post.A fact that not for the first itme you,ve chosen to overlook."

    I haven't overlooked anything Paul, you've misread and misunderstood my post. You were both on a hiding to nothing.

    "And if it,s OK for him or Hank to post the stuff they do to me then it,s equally OK for me to respond the way i see fit"

    I thought you were all out of order and I'm sure Hank doesn't need me to stick up for him, but tbh - you seem to have some questionable views about women's rights and feminists in general, does that make you a mysogynist?

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  161. Yes, I do work for banks, but in this case, it is incidental to the comment. Apart from global banking, financial organisations also provide companies and markets with forms of insurance, which IMHO are frequently of knock-on benefit to society, e.g. in price stability.

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  162. La Ritournelle

    >> I think I could write a book about the
    >> jobs I've done -

    You should give it a go. I bet it would be a really good read.

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  163. Hank's okay, but sometimes he gives me the impression that he wants to be the new George Brown.

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  164. Martyn the difference is in "shadow banking" --see Golem an the Fed report on it . Some is genuinely useful in the present context, some, or most, is regulation-avoidance. And bloody systemically dangerous . You knew that already.

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  165. LaRit

    We,re talking about domestic violence in this country not SA or anywhere else.Plus your mention of WomensAid says it all.You do know that some of their branches may well lose their funding because of their hostile attitude towards men.And the fact that so may branches are staffed by women who like you clearly have a rad fem anti male attitude when it comes to DV.

    Regarding your 'blind spot vis a vis Hank and Monkeyfish could you please refer back to the thread on 1 Aug.Because unless he,s deleted them Hank clearly made some comments that could be deemed as racist.Including one suggesting that someone here is only tolerated because of his ethnicity.

    And then if you refer to the 2 August thread you,ll see monkeyfish-who like you wasn,t involved-wading in and attacking me personally.And what you describe as my wind ups(which were wind ups) were a gentle response to some pretty abusive posts from monkeyfish.As i say you clearly have a blind spot as far as those two go because you,ve totally overlooked the level of provocation from them.Unless of course you believe they can say what they like but the rest of us have to watch our p's and q's when we respond to them.

    I,m genuinely sorry we,ve fallen out over this cos i,ve always liked you and i can,t for the life of me understand why you got involved the way you did.

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  166. Martyn

    Hiya! I meant to say welcome too and good to see you around these 'ere parts!

    Polly got there before me - took it upon herself to write a book about shitty jobs .... I was really pissed off about it!

    However, I think I should..... you've given me an idea and it might get me over the disappointment of the bloody poetry course ;)

    When I was doing me post-grad, my very good friend (a genius pianist and accompanist)was always telling me - "what I really want to do is compose" - he had all these works that he'd literally composed in his head over many years and he was just waiting for the time, money and opportunity to write them all down.

    I feel the same way.

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  167. Re cloning - I think that clones don't live as long because they are produced without gamete formation which rejuvenates the chromosomes.

    Each time a cell divides in the normal way little bits on the end of each chromosome called telomeres get shorter. This means that the cell (and the body that contains it) AGES.

    Germ cells, that produce gametes can produce an enzyme that enables the telomeres to be repaired. Adult cells don't have this except for cancer cells which is why they can divide indefinitely.

    As a clone is grown by putting an adult body cell into an egg that has had its nucleus removed (its growth is started by passing an electric shock through it) it has the telomeres of an adult.

    For example if you clone a 20 year old human the reulting baby will have the telomeres of a 20 year old and will probably have a life expectancy that is shorter by 20 years.

    twins are also clones but they are the reult of a cell recently produced by fertilisation so there is no significant loss of longevity in thios case.

    It is possible that other abnormalities occur in the artificial cloning process which could result in the individual being more prone to disease.

    A reasonably clear explanation can be found here

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  168. LaRit

    Your insinuation that i,m misogynistic says it all.The standard response a certain type of woman has to any man who questions the ideology she has chosen to embrace.Grow up.

    And as for you accusation that i,ve misread your post and that i,m on a hiding to nothing etc you,re talking bollox.The evidence is there.

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  169. Quick update: Mrs seems okay. Just one of those things, and something to keep a close eye on, in case it does develop. Thanks for the sympathy: though I was more letting off steam than seeking kind sentiments,because it has been a shit day,seeing some kind thoughts is nice.

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  170. Paul

    "You do know that some of their branches may well lose their funding because of their hostile attitude towards men"

    Fucking bullshit. Their 'funding' has always been under threat - ever since inception in the 1970's. I don't think you have a clue about Women's Aid or Domestic Violence for that matter.

    "And the fact that so may branches are staffed by women who like you clearly have a rad fem anti male attitude when it comes to DV"

    Yet more Daily Mail, misinformed bullshit crap. I think if you'd seen women hunted down and murdered whilst they were in refuge, in front of their own children (this happened to one woman whose 5 children had been in my Mother's care, who had to move repeatedly move refuge because he'd found out were she was - and then repeatedly stabbed her to death in front of his own kids) - that's not "anti-male" that's the real world.

    You might want to rethink your idea of 'rad-fem anti-male' attitudes.

    Protecting, women and children from death and violence DOES NOT equal HATING MEN

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  171. Paul:

    "Your insinuation that i,m misogynistic says it all.The standard response a certain type of woman has to any man who questions the ideology she has chosen to embrace.Grow up"

    I didn't insinuate anything. What is 'a certain type of woman'?

    It's not a choice Paul - it's reality.

    I'll talk to you about the other argument tomorrow, it's upset me and it's upset you so let's call it quits.

    However, I will not (and this I promise) mince my words when it comes to Domestic Violence.

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  172. One last point on the issue FWIW Paul....

    Do you envision Nun's working as volunteers in Refuge?

    I know of at least two, who have been working in some of the most poverty-stricken places on Earth, who regularly volunteer for Women's Aid and who support many, many women and children escaping violence and abuse. Are they man-hating radical feminists? are they hell.

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  173. La Ritournelle:

    IMHO Don't wait, otherwise you'll never start. I've wasted years doing that.

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  174. La Rit -- the so-called Justice system and the cops fail too many women ...
    Nothing more to say is there, apart from finding ways to STOP it . Where to start ?

    Not here arguing with time-wasters :)

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  175. LaRit

    ''Fucking bullshit. Their 'funding' has always been under threat - ever since inception in the 1970's. I don't think you have a clue about Women's Aid or Domestic Violence for that matter.''

    You,re talking fucking bullshit lady.I probably know a damn sight more about DV than you do.I live in the real world and i haven,t swallowed all the rad fem crap that you clearly have.And if you,d read my post properly you,d see that i said funding for SOME WomensAid branches was at risk because of their hostility to men.And their failure to help men who are victims of DV.I didn,t say WA had never had funding problems.

    ''Yet more Daily Mail, misinformed bullshit crap.''etc etc

    I never read the Daily Mail so i wouldn,t know.
    Have to try a bit harder LaRit-you,re beginning to sound like Andrea Dworkin.

    ''Protecting, women and children from death and violence DOES NOT equal HATING MEN''

    And protecting men,lesbian women and children from death and violence at the hands of violent women DOES NOT EQUATE TO HATING WOMEN!

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  176. frog2

    ''Not here arguing with time-wasters :) ''

    Was that directed at me perchance?

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  177. frog

    Well inside of making childish little comments like that and behaving like a braindead cunt why don,t you explain why you think my views on this issue are equivalent to 'time-wasting'.I,m really interested to hear!

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  178. MartynRichardJones

    Ah i see our pinko mate has joined in.Another braindead cunt.heheheheheheheheheheheeh!

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  179. frog2, thanks for the URL .. haven't read it yet of course, there are a couple of diagrams in there that look very interesting. I wish I had a big plotter to actually be able to see the whole thing properly.

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  180. Paul - if you have an argument on this board it becomes all our business. Anyone who wishes to join in can.

    I am not getting into Hanks post largely because I am too tired to go back re- read it. As I remember it I read it as a comment against identity politics a bit shouty and he could have put it better (and often has).

    I am no more in favout of positive discrimination for black people than I am of positive discrimination for women. If that makes me racist and sexist then so be it! Been called both before but I just don't believe race and gender are classes . The Queen isn't working class neither is Barack Obama that's the point.

    Working class people whatever their race gender or sexual orientation have more to unite them than divides them. We should not allow ourselves to be divided along these lines.

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  181. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  182. Because Paul, if you grew up , and did not from the first make every thing into an insulting flame-war, whatever good points you might have to make would not be negated by your way of expressing them.

    If I'm a brain-dead cunt, I would like your comments on the NY Fed's research paper on Shadow Banking .

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  183. annetan42

    With respect you,re completely missing the point.I have no problem with people joining in if they are making a useful contribution-even if i don,t agree with them.Martyn and FROG made a couple of stupid comments and i,ve basically told them to fuck off if they can,t make a sensible contribution to what is a serious issue.And your problem with thta is?

    So can you please enlighten me as to what your point is cos i really haven,t a clue.

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  184. frog

    You really are a moron.When did i start this.Sorry you need to grow up yourself,get a life and stop jumping on bandwagons.

    Explain exactly what you,re objecting to here given your comment was provocative and i reacted to it.

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  185. Paul, was that really necessary? I only hehehe'd.

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  186. Thank you Peter, thats the most verbose sidetracking I can recall.

    We digress...

    The majority of high street banks were nationalised (under their various groups, but in terms of actual banks that accounted for the majority - this was my point) - the result meant the majority. Not "run" by the state, no, but nationalised none the less - majority state owned. You described these events as an eschewing of the pitiful idea of nationalisation.

    I then asked why, if UK banks were barely exposed to US housing or CDOs, British banks suffered so heavily. If they were so lightly exposed, why the write downs? No response.

    I then asked you to explain your claim that, bar NR, British banks had neither any liquidity issues nor any insolvency issues. No response.

    My final comment, which you have spent about a 1000 words responding to, was

    "If no value was lost from the banking industry, and no huge surge in assets, how did their capital ratio come to be so devestated?"

    The reason I asked was not because I required an explanation of capital ratios but because you repeatedly claim that the crisis did not involve any realised losses, only potential. Thats false.

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  187. Martyn

    "I wasted years....."

    I hope you're not wasting them now? Promise you, I'll get on with it. ;0)

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