Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where Have All the Capitalists Gone?

Cameron’s Conservatives seem to be fair weather friends of capitalism, even the FT’s in-house free market philosopher, Martin Wolf, has abandoned free enterprise for banker bolshevism. Besides Guido only Heffer in the papers remains a strident capitalist tool, managing to quote Ayn Rand approvingly this morning.
Ruth Lea, once a Thatcherite free market scourge of wet Conservatism, seems to have taken a surprising turn for the worse in the last few months:

 

Terror Laws Used Against Icelandic Bank

The FT reports that a freezing order was issued under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act against Landsbanki’s estimated £4bn UK financial assets. Guido doubts that it was the intention of parliament when it voted on this draconian Act that it should be used in this way.

Is Guido the only one uncomfortable with this abuse of the law? Aged hecklers first, now foreign bankers. We are all terrorists…

Islamic Piety

Hugh Muir in the Guardian diary reports* that the controversial Young Muslim Advisory Group was launched at the Foreign Office on Tuesday.
Jacqui Smith, David Miliband and Hazel Blears were there. The right notes were struck, but when things become tense and the nuances begin to matter, it will be essential to ensure that the right people are in charge of all the preparations. Melton Mowbray may be lovely but it is known the world over for its pork pies; so whoever decided to ferry the young Muslims there for the group’s first away day took a bit of a risk, culturally speaking.

*N.B. Attribution is easy, try it sometime Hugh.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Exclusive : Michael Howard Complains to FSA Over Pesto-Wire

City outrage over Peston’s reporting has been voiced by Michael Howard. He has written to the FSA to ask for an investigation into the leaking of intensely market sensitive information to Pesto-Wire. Good.

click to enlarge

UPDATE : During this afternoon’s debate Howard challenged Darling over the Government’s conduct. Darling noticeably did not specifically deny that the Government leaked details of the bail-out plan. Howard has also tabled a PQ asking if the Chancellor of the Exchequer “will initiate an official inquiry into the leaking of market sensitive information to the Economic Editor of the BBC relating to the recapitalisation of Britain’s high street banks”. Fingers are pointing towards Catherine Macleod, Darling’s very own Spin Mistress…

Put them on the National Economic Council

BBC reports :

Four years ago, fearful of a property crash, David and Maureen Somers sold their house and bought gold… Mr Somers and his wife Maureen claim it would be “vulgar” to say how much they invested in gold. However, he does say they sold their three-bedroom, detached house in Poole for a significant profit, and the couple have since almost doubled their money again in gold.

“Over thousands of years gold has never reached zero. The price is a risk, but at the end of the day I will still have the same amount of gold,” he says.

“There are people who probably hold bank shares that would have been seen as conservative investments and you could question what they are going to be left with.”

Gold-bugs, not so crazy now, eh?

"Vertu Blessaður" Singer & Friedlander R.I.P. Founded 1907, City of London – Bust 2008

So Guido says goodbye (in Icelandic) to Singer & Friedlander :

From: Armann Thorvaldsson
Sent: 08 October 2008 13:53
To: DL All Staff

Subject: Important Message to All

Dear Colleagues

I wrote to you yesterday about our intensive efforts to work through the current crisis and promised to give you more news today. We have worked with a number of investment banks, our parent in Iceland and the FSA over the last two weeks to explore a large number of possible options to ensure the future of KSF. On several occasions, we have come close to finding solutions but the chaos in financial markets has consistently undermined our efforts. We now face the prospect of insufficient liquidity, rapid deposit outflows and no prospects for correcting the situation in the short term.

I have therefore convened a meeting of our Board in order to consider the next step. That meeting has concluded we have no choice but to place Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander into administration with immediate effect. We will give you all more information on the implications of this decision in the course of today and ask for your patience in order to make the best of a very unhappy situation for all of us. Can I ask you to continue work in as normal a fashion as possible, cooperating with the Administrators in their work with us. This decision relates only to KSF Ltd and not its subsidiaries. They will continue to trade unless advised otherwised. We will give a more complete information update later in the day, certainly before 4pm.

You have all worked with incredible effort to make KSF a success and we were well on our way to achieving it before the credit crisis had such a sudden and disastrous effect. Now I can only ask for your help in making the end of the process as orderly and professional as possible.

I am personally gutted that it has come to this, especially in light of the fact that our problems have arisen out of association rather than any fundamental problems with the business. On the contrary I belief that we have built a great business over the last couple of years and during this time I have worked with many of the most talented and professional people I have ever met. I am very sorry.

Sincerely,

Kind regards

Armann Thorvaldsson
CEO
Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Group Plc
One Hanover Street

Won’t be the last…

Osborne : "Fox is a S**t"

Didn’t take Mandy long to get revenge on Osborne for grassing him up about their cosy Corfu taverna gossip. Maguire reports this morning the rumour that Osborne “turned the air blue and ridiculed defence spokesman Liam Fox as a “s**t” in an incredible four-letter tirade.” Is this news?

+++ Mr Bean in Charge of Monetary Stability +++

HM Treasury Press Release

Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve, under the Bank of England Act 1998, the appointment of Charles Bean as a Deputy Governor of the Bank of England for Monetary Stability, for a period of five years.

This explains a lot.

Gordon’s £300 Billion Guarantee : £50 Billion Tier 1 Capital + £200 Billion Inter-Bank Guarantee + £50 Billion Northern Rock

Pretty soon we are going to be talking real money.

Guido has lost track of the repeated Bank of England interventions to try and flood liquidity into the money markets. Those alone could easily be as much as £200 billion or more.

The government bail out, never mind the Bank interventions, is secured against the hard work of Britain’s 28 million taxpayers. The government is risking more than £10,000 for each taxpayer.

UPDATE : The bail-out we are told was finalised at 5 a.m. this morning, the tri-partite authorities meeting in Downing Street was at 5 p.m. last night. Good to know that a £300 billion plan to “guarantee” the economy can be cobbled together in less time than it takes to do a school homework project. Fills Guido full of confidence.


Seen Elsewhere

The LibDem’s Jewish Problem | Jeremy Brier
Israeli Ambassador’s Letter to Clegg | Twitter
What Became of Cameron’s Big Society Network? | Indy
SpAd Reshuffle | PR Week
Clegg Under Pressure to Expel Ward | Telegraph
Labour’s Teachers Trained in the Art of Brainwashing | Jago Pearson
R.I.P. John Blundell, Former IEA Director General | Atlas
UKIP Hasn’t Gone Away | ConHome
Ward: I’d Be a Terrorist if I Lived in Gaza | Breitbart
Ruffley Faces Deselection | Times
Ruffley Faces Crisis Meeting | Mail


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Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…

“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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