Is Brillo Hitting the Bottle?

Guido is a close observer of BBC2’s the Daily Politics and The Week, both fronted by Andrew Neil. Recently it has been noticeable that Brillo’s hair seems to have undergone a renaissance. Could be a trick of the light, Mrs Fawkes agrees that is more likely a dark bottle of dye that has done the trick.
Judge for yourself from these photos. Like a before and after advert?

Daily Politics’ Psychologist : “Brown Insecure”, “Self Harming”

So Guido is not the only one who thinks Brown is the Prime Mentalist. The meme is mainstream now.

On the BBC’s Daily Politics show this morning a mental health professional went public on national television.

Friday Caption Contest (Bust Banks, Gordon Giggles Edition)

Gordon’s “Falklands Moment”

Best comment of the day from Talwin:
“I notice over the past day or two some commentators wondering if by chance the current economic disasters might not turn out to be Brown’s Falklands moment.

D’you know I think they’re right. With Brown as Galtieri.”
He is telling the people of Swindon that he has brought down oil prices “We’ve had some success in getting it down.” Nothing to do with global recession reducing demand.

He has invoked Anti-Terror laws against Icelandic Fundamentalists banks rather than normal bankruptcy procedures. He threatened to freeze the assets of other Icelandic owned companies, without any legal basis. Is he going to arrest Father Christmas at Hamley’s if Iceland doesn’t pay local councils for their losses?

Last night in a BBC interview, during which he smiled randomly like an over-medicated hypermaniac, he told Nick Robinson that “everything was being done” and that “I have to restore confidence in the banking system”. Bonkers – bank stocks collapsed on the open this morning. “I” is the Prime Mentalist…

Judgement Day : Lehman’s CDS Auction Today

If you think it is bad now, imagine what it will be like if the reckoning for Lehman’s Credit Default Swaps goes bad today. Many market players think this is the reason banks are hoarding cash, because no one really knows if these derivatives will settle without serious mishap.

Lehman’s bonds are trading at 13c on the dollar – and there is $128 billion in bonds outstanding. The banking system is looking at booking a $100 billion hit today. There are an estimated 350 counterparties and nearly 2000 related securities.

Guido thinks that Greenspan could have been right on this, the risk has been distributed, it will hurt, hopefully only just wounds rather than causing major fatalities. If it goes smoothly we could be looking at a monster relief rally… but it is still a bear market…

+++ NO BUYERS FOR BANK STOCKS +++

HBOS DOWN 25% BARCLAYS DOWN 15%
RBS NO QUOTE LLOYDS TSB DOWN 13%

+++ FTSE CRASHES 10% ON OPEN +++ +++ 4000 LEVEL SMASHED +++

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…

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.
[…] Read the rest

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