Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dow Breaks 9000, General Motors Downgraded

Back in 1955, Charlie Wilson, then chairman of General Motors famously said “What is good for General Motors is good for America”.

53 years later and the stock is at a 58 year low after GM was downgraded. Mattel, the toy car maker, now has twice the capitalisation of General Motors. Not good for America… or the UK, FTSE 4000 could be smashed tomorrow…

Bankrupt Banks? Gordon Giggles

Peston Leaker Hunt

Ben Brogan has it seems just got off the phone with McPoison (old habits die hard) and is relaying the spin that George Osborne is the source of the Peston leak. A desperate Downing street line, what would be the motive? Cui bono?

Brown benefits as you can tell from the huge smile on his face. Cracking jokes about bankrupt banks, he hasn’t been this happy since the day he seized the premiership. He is boasting to Nick Robinson today that the plan is “leading the world” – he told Robbo “I now have to restore confidence in the banks.” Gordon is ecstatic posing as the financial saviour of British banking. The banks didn’t want to do a deal on the terms Gordon wants them to – leaking collapsed their shares and forced their hand.

Any leak hunt should perhaps start by asking questions of McBride and Geoffrey Spence, the City banker turned Treasury insider on the Council of Economic Advisers…

Gordon’s Big Government

  • Gordon has 121 ministers, whips or law officers. Churchill required only 74 to defeat the Nazis.
  • 154 Labour MPs (44% of the PLP) have an official job of some description.
  • 33 people have the right to attend cabinet.

Hat-tip : Andrew Sparrow

Flash Mob Rumour

Don’t know much about this, but keep getting tipped off from different directions. Doesn’t sound like the usual rent-a-crowd of Trots. A disorganised flash mob, no speeches, just show up on the steps of the Bank of England…


UPDATE 17.50 :
From the comments, going around the City:

To all staff in the London Office

We have been informed by the City of London Police that a protest against financial institutions in the City will be taking place from about 3.00 pm till 6.00pm tomorrow. The protest by the ‘Socialist Workers Party’ will originate in the area of Bank Junction and the Royal Exchange. Exact numbers of demonstrators are not known but the Police will be in attendance as normal.

We will be increasing building security arrangements as a precaution. Your safety is our priority and the advice we have received is for staff to use caution and remain vigilant when travelling through the City.

Thank you for your co-operation.

So it will be a load of Trots and possibly Guido with a “No Bolshevism for Bankers” placard. Wonder if Heffer fancies a spot of lunch at Coq d’Argent and joining the demo afterwards?

Will Ashcroft Merge the NZ Nats and British Tories?

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…

Seen Elsewhere

Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail


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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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