Miliband is the favoured successor of nearly a quarter (24.6%) of those polled…
Gordon Brown’s authority was further undermined last night after it emerged several ministers sharply criticised the decision to use this week’s political cabinet to discuss Tory weaknesses rather than Labour’s own unpopularity. One member said the tenor of the meeting was “bizarre and a denial of reality as we sat listening to how deep down David Cameron is not really popular”.
Usage of the word “bizarre” by Miliband:
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
We badly need a treaty to control the arms trade
It is bizarre that we’ve treaties to stop nuclear arms, but not to stop weapons flooding into conflict zones
David Miliband interview on Radio 5 Live
February 2, 2008
“Well I think it’s a very bizarre comparison to compare Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe with China.“
Sunday Business Post
June 22, 2008
…The other member states see themselves as perfectly entitled to decide on the basis of their own national interests – just as Ireland has – whether to ratify or not. British foreign secretary David Miliband described the idea that Britain should not take its own view of treaty ratification as ”bizarre’‘.
May 12, 2008
Disease ‘could push Burma toll to 1.5m’
…Mr Miliband said the decision to go ahead with the poll, despite the crisis was ‘bizarre’.
March 26, 2008
Our troops deserve full inquiry on Iraq, say Tories
..But Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: ‘There is agreement that an inquiry into the Iraq war will be necessary.’ He added: ‘Given reports from Basra today, most people would see that as a bizarre choice of priority now. We say the right time to look at these issues and review the lessons learned is when our troops have finished their work in Iraq.’
Trust Guido on this, it will be denied, but Miliband was the cabinet minister…
“a well-capitalised bank that continues to fund its business in a satisfactory way”
Alistair Darling this morning:
Alistair Darling added that without the deal the outlook was “very bleak indeed…We were onto their (HBOS’s) problem for several weeks. It didn’t just suddenly happen…”
So who was lying?
Could someone explain to Mr Cable that the last thing someone short of bank shares wants to happen is an announcement of official support for that bank. That puts the price of the shares up which means the Hedge Fund Managers shorting the shares lose money.
… derivatives severely curtail the ability of regulators to curb leverage and generally get their arms around the risk profiles of banks, insurers and other financial institutions. Similarly, even experienced investors and analysts encounter major problems in analyzing the financial condition of firms that are heavily involved with derivatives contracts. When Charlie and I finish reading the long footnotes detailing the derivatives activities of major banks, the only thing we understand is that we don’t understand how much risk the institution is running.
The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear. Knowledge of how dangerous they are has already permeated the electricity and gas businesses, in which the eruption of major troubles caused the use of derivatives to diminish dramatically. Elsewhere, however, the derivatives business continues to expand unchecked. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts.
Charlie and I believe Berkshire should be a fortress of financial strength – for the sake of our owners, creditors, policyholders and employees. We try to be alert to any sort of megacatastrophe risk, and that posture may make us unduly apprehensive about the burgeoning quantities of long-term derivatives contracts and the massive amount of uncollateralized receivables that are growing alongside. In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.
Six years after his warning those financial weapons of mass destruction have exploded. AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehmans were full of financial geeks, the highest paid mathematicians on the planet, completely lacking in sense. The pre-cursor Long Term Capital collapse showed that even nobel laureates can be idiots.
Derivatives have their place in the financial markets. They are great tools for hedging and re-distributing risk. However when the PhD wielding geeks started designing derivatives that even the Sage of Omaha could not understand, the boards of the investment banks should have asked what was happening down in the dealing rooms. That they didn’t is why they have now collapsed.
When the investment banks were owned by partners who had all their capital in the firm, the partners were keenly incentivised to control risk. When the investment banks became shareholder-owned global behomeths managed by annual bonus incentivised executives, that risk control was lost. Being fired is not as feared as being totally wiped out financially. That is a crucial difference.
Capitalism doesn’t need to be regulated for risk, it needs more capitalists like Warren Buffet who keenly feel the risk and reap the profits and losses that flow from that risk taking.