Category Archives: Banks

Has Sajid Javid ditched his extra-Parliamentary jobs or is he breaking the rules too?

Sajid Javid: look at that blank-eyed stare and ask yourself whether his appointment is good for the UK – or good for the banks who employed him?

Sajid Javid is going to have to try a lot harder if he wants us to think he can do the Health Secretary job better than Matt Hancock.

He has made a a ham-fist of it by trying to put down a vital question over conflict of interest between his new Cabinet role and his extra-Parliamentary jobs with JP Morgan bank and… who’s the other one with? – by failing to answer it.

In the Commons, Labour backbencher Richard Burgon asked – well, see for yourself, along with Javid’s ridiculous non-answer:

Yes, the Daily Express loved it, but that just shows the depths to which national journalistic standards have fallen.

It is perfectly reasonable to want to know whether a Cabinet minister is giving up jobs that might conflict with his duty to the nation.

I want to know if Javid is going to blab government secrets to JP Morgan and I want to know if he’s going to give away information – against the national interest – to his other employer.

That is, after all, the most likely reason they employed him.

He was warned by ACOBA – the Advisory Committee On Business Appointments – that there were “potential risks” that he could provide “privileged information” that would give his employer an unfair advantage over its competitors, in spring last year when he took the JP Morgan job.

ACOBA provided advice on how to avoid “potential risks” but it is easy to circumvent them. The only way to ensure that former ministers don’t blab is to forbid them from taking jobs until any information they had is out of date and useless.

Two years has been suggested as a reasonable period of delay but Javid took his jobs straight away and at the time of writing, the suggested period has still not expired.

It has been suggestted that Javid has already given up his outside jobs.

But if that’s true, where’s the evidence? We cannot rely on his say-so because he belongs to an organisation of liars, headed by a liar. We simply cannot trust him.

And that is the reason MPs – and commentators like This Site – are demanding full disclosure, as you can see from the following representative sample on Twitter:

Of course there are also serious questions to be answered about the decision to appoint Javid to the Health portfolio, considering his extremely shady history:

As far as his actual ability to do the Health Secretary job is concerned, Javid has already disgraced himself. But that’s another story…

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Tory Brexit has decimated the UK’s financial industry – and YOU will suffer the consequences

This is UK money: enjoy the sight of it because it is currently being turned into Euros and we are never likely to see as much of it again – and you have Boris Johnson and his Conservatives to blame.

Wow. Boris Johnson’s insistence on his silly Brexit deal has meant the one industry in which the UK remained a world leader – finance, is falling.

More than 440 financial firms have shifted thousands of jobs and £1 trillion of assets out of the UK and into the EU because of Brexit.

That’s about 10 per cent of the total assets held by the UK banking system – meaning that our banks have been decimated, according to the classical definition of the term (decimation, in army terms, was the killing of one in every ten of a group of people as a punishment for the whole group).

And worse is to follow, according to research from the New Financial think tank.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal didn’t cover financial services, you see. He relied on “blue sky” daydreaming that a separate deal could be reached with the EU. This dream has turned into a nightmare with the EU refusing to give ground.

7,400 jobs have moved from the UK to the EU – and are not likely to be replaced.

And the UK is set to lose much of its £26 billion annual financial trade surplus, meaning the nation’s balance of payments (the difference between profits from exports and payments for imports) is likely to slip much deeper into the red.

It’s further evidence of a bizarre Tory policy – to give all of the UK’s business assets to foreign firms and governments.

The privatisation of UK industry – begun under the Thatcher governments and continuing to this day – has taken ownership of firms away from the general public and placed it mostly in the hands of foreign organisations.

Firms run by the governments of EU countries now run most of our railways, water services, and (I seem to recall) power supplies. Now our banking services are set to atrophy.

And of course, it will be ordinary working-class UK citizens like you and This Writer who will suffer.

Businesspeople always pass the consequences of their failures down. That’s why Tories have been able to persuade so many voters that pay rises for the workers are a bad idea – the bosses would not forgo their profits to support them but would hike their prices instead.

With less cash coming into the UK via the banks, the ultra-rich parasites will be looking for new ways to suck money out of us.

The result will be the impoverishment of the UK. We will be a once-great nation destroyed by political midgets with over-inflated opinions of themselves.

Source: Banks and insurers move £1 trillion of assets out of UK due to Brexit | The Independent

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Board members of UK’s biggest finance firms have had nearly 80% pay rise since 2009

Nice work if you can get it!

And, indeed, if you think it actually qualifies as work.

Board members on the UK’s largest financial companies have enjoyed an average pay rise of 79 per cent since 2009.

This means that during the decade of austerity, while you were probably facing a pay freeze – meaning a real-terms drop in income, median pay for the three highest earning non-executive directors (NEDs) in each of the FTSE 100’s 17 financial firms surged from £90,700 in 2009 to £162,000 in 2019.

They received this for attending – just attending, not necessarily contributing to – an average of 26 meetings a year.

The largest increases have been at Lloyds Banking Group, where top NEDs are earning 257% more than in 2009; the London Stock Exchange Group, where there has been a 219% rise; and investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, where fees have jumped 170%.

Remember, these firms don’t actually contribute anything to our lives – they don’t make anything, and such services as they do supply are highly exclusive.

They make money by betting on whether other businesses will do well or badly. That’s what investment is, after all – a wager that providing money to those firms now will bring a profitable return later.

It’s a game for the very rich.

And it depends on keeping the people who do the actual work very poor.

Payroll is always the largest cost to any firm so, if they are to provide an expected return to investors from firms like Lloyds Banking Group, the London Stock Exchange Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, Phoenix, Barclays, Prudential, Aviva, Admira, RSA, NatWest and so on, businesses have to keep pay low.

So these 79 per cent pay increases for finance firms arise from their board members attaching themselves to you like leeches and sucking out all the benefits that you should be enjoying.

Remember that as you endure the hardships you’ll be asked to face in 2021.

Source: UK’s biggest financial firms have given boards near-80% pay rise since 2009 | Business | The Guardian

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Did Johnson force Brexit on us just to maintain London’s status as the world’s financial crime centre?

Silent: did Boris Johnson force Brexit on us all, just to protect crooks in the City of London? If so, he’ll never admit it.

Beastrabban found this in conspiracist magazine Lobster, so take it as you like.

The claim is that Boris Johnson set his mind to return to the House of Commons after his term as London Mayor ended, purely to stop the European Union clamping down on the City and its role in money laundering and financial crime across the globe.

By taking the UK out of the EU, the theory states, he was preserving the City of London as the financial crime centre of the world’s economy.

The Beast points out that such a desire to protect the Tories’ city backers (as well, no doubt, as any financial criminals that might happen to be hanging around) “is going to wreck our manufacturing industry and agriculture, raise food prices, and create shortages of food, medicines and other goods”.

When you consider the kind of people with whom Johnson has been spending his free time recently, one has to wonder whether there might be a smidgen of fact to this…

Source: Did Boris Become PM and Back Brexit Just to Protect the City of London from EU Regulation? | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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Why would JP Morgan have employed Javid if NOT to take advantage of his insider knowledge?

Javid: I wouldn’t trust him to keep any of the UK government’s secrets from his new employer.

It doesn’t surprise This Writer that Sajid Javid has taken advantage of the revolving door between big business and national governments, picking up a part-time job at JP Morgan.

This is a return to his banking career (although with a different bank) where, some will tell you, he helped cause the financial crisis that led to the downfall of Gordon Brown’s New Labour government and the rise of the Con-Dem ‘austerity’ coalition that caused so much further harm between 2010 and 2015.

A BBC article has kindly detailed advice to MPs on the “potential risks” of taking a second job while continuing to be a member of Parliament:

If a former minister wants to start a job less than two years after leaving their government role, they should first seek advice from ACOBA – the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

In its advice to Mr Javid, the committee warns that the former chancellor’s “privileged access to information” means accepting a job with JP Morgan carries “potential risks”.

“Privileged information” refers to official information a minister has gained as a result of their job, but which is not available to the public.

This privileged insight could give the MP’s employer – in Mr Javid’s case JP Morgan – an unfair advantage over their competitors.

Specifically, the committee points to his knowledge of “potentially at risk firms” and the government’s likely post-Brexit policies.

However, the committee says in its advice on Mr Javid’s new job that these risks are partly mitigated by the change in economic conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The information you had access to is unlikely to be significantly up to date given recent events, which will significantly impact the economic and political context,” the committee says.

Isn’t it precisely this “privileged information” that makes Javid valuable to his new employer?

ACOBA provides advice on avoiding “potential risks” including a prohibition on using privileged information about Brexit that was available to him while he was a minister, and on lobbying the government on JP Morgan’s behalf.

It is easy to circumvent these prohibitions.

He is permitted to advise on the impact of the coronavirus, the future direction of the EU, emerging markets and geopolitics – and as a sitting member of Parliament who was involved in whatever passes for long-term planning in a government under Boris Johnson, we can expect that information to justify the undoubtedly huge paycheque he’ll be drawing.

Let’s face it: this stinks.

There is only one way to ensure that former ministers do not give away privileged information to new employers in big business who are paying them huge fees.

That is to forbid them from ever taking such employment.

Source: Sajid Javid: Why has the ex-chancellor been allowed to work for JP Morgan? – BBC News

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Bank of England pumps £100bn into UK economy – but who gets the money?

Money: the Bank of England has pumped £100 billion into the UK economy to ease the strain caused by the Covid-19 crisis – but you won’t see a single penny of it. In fact, you are more likely to be asked to pay back the investment.

This is a wake-up call.

If you’ve seen reports that the Bank of England is bailing out the UK economy with £100 billion of what’s called QE (quantitative easing), you may have been lulled into a belief that everything’s going to be fine.

You would be mistaken.

The UK economy has taken a pounding because of the Covid-19 crisis. We are currently in the grip of an economic recession that makes the 2008/9 financial crisis look like the temporary misplacement of a back-pocket fiver.

In March, the economy shrank by around six per cent. In April, it shrank by a further 20.4 per cent. This Site doesn’t have numbers for May and June.

That meant 600,000 people lost their jobs between March and May. Many more found themselves suffering 20 per cent pay cuts as they were put on the government’s furlough scheme.

Employers were also put under extreme pressure as they have to pay what’s known as “overheads” – rent/mortgage on the land/buildings they use, power, supplies if they are perishable, and so on.

It is an established economic fact that money pumped into a financial system has a far more beneficial effect, if it goes to the poorest people – those who were hardest-hit by the current crisis, as they were by the financial crisis of 2008/9 before this.

They didn’t see a single penny of the QE that came into the economy after the recession of 11/12 years ago, and they won’t see a penny of the new £100 billion.

In fact, they’ll be told to pay back the cash that the government has provided for them, even though they’ve been given less than enough to survive comfortably as it is.

If This Writer recalls correctly, QE for the financial crisis went no further than the large financial institutions the Bank of England deals with on a day-to-day basis.

These would then lend the money to businesses and other organisations, with a view towards receiving the cash back – with interest – in the future.

The businesses then increase the prices of their goods while depressing the pay they give their workers.

Have you spotted the reason this won’t work?

Source: Coronavirus: Bank pumps £100bn into UK economy to aid recovery – BBC News

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Bank’s Universal Credit delay means dilemma for single mum

This is the problem with a benefit that puts people too close to starvation.

When a fault at Clydesdale Bank meant her £410 Universal Credit payment was delayed by up to a week, single mum Megan Devine, of Glasgow, was left with no money to feed herself and her baby daughter Mairead, or to heat their home.

Her family can’t help as they don’t have any money to spare either.

It’s the kind of cock-up that puts lives at risk – for no reason.

Some might question how an 18-year-old woman has managed to get into such a situation in the first place – but it is not our place to sit in judgement on others. We don’t know the circumstances.

All we know is that the Tory-run system has failed another person in need, and the consequences could be catastrophic.

Source: Single mum left with £0 to feed baby daughter after bank causes Universal Credit delay – Mirror Online

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Turing beats Thatcher (and others) to be the new face on the back of the £50 note

Yes! A victory for good sense at last!

Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing will feature on the new design of the Bank of England’s £50 note.

He is celebrated for his code-cracking work that proved vital to the Allies in World War Two.

The final decision was made by Bank of England governor Mark Carney. He said:

“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

Among the other suggestions was former prime minister and bete noir of recent UK history, Margaret Thatcher, who was included in a shortlist of scientists for her work helping devise a way to inject air into ice cream, to make it seem there’s more of it than there actually is.

As I wrote a few months ago, “she used science to create a commercial cheat that would induce people to pay more for less.”

What a relief that Mr Carney ignored the easy political choice and instead lionised a man who was treated appallingly by the nation he helped save.

Convicted of homosexuality (it was a crime in those days), Alan Turing was ordered to take drugs that dulled his mind. The mental torment thise generated drove him to commit suicide.

We will never know what advances the UK lost as a result of the unreasonable prejudice and hatred of those primitive times. But at least this gesture goes some way towards acknowledging the debt we owe this late genius.

Source: New face of the Bank of England’s £50 note is revealed – BBC News

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Labour would halt RBS privatisation – in return for investment

 

This looks like Labour’s plan for a national investment bank, writ smaller.

A Labour government would halt privatisation because it would not profit the state. This makes perfect sense – far more than the current Tory plan to sell to the rich at a loss for the poor.

But the offer is only to delay continued privatisation of RBS – and only if the bank commits itself to lending money to the regions, and to small businesses.

For This Writer, it is not enough. RBS played a large part in the financial crisis of 2008 and it would be fitting if that bank were kept in public ownership and made to put right the damage it caused.

Put the Tories in Labour’s place, with a similar kind of offer, and I’d be calling them liars. History shows that Conservatives will say what they think others want to hear, to get them on-side. Then they renege on the deal.

I wouldn’t mind at all if Labour reneged on this one and turned RBS into a part of – or the basis of – the National Investment Bank in the party’s manifesto.

But Labour is not the Conservative Party and I have a feeling this is a sincere offer. But will the RBS bankers – and their shareholders – share my belief?

[The] Labour party would halt the privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) if it came to power but would not seek to exert day-to-day control, the opposition party’s shadow banking minister told Reuters.

RBS shareholders voted on Wednesday to approve the bank’s plans to begin buying back its shares from the government in order to accelerate a return to majority private ownership, with more than 98 percent backing the proposal.

RBS remains 62 percent owned by British taxpayers after a £45 billion bailout in the 2008 financial crisis, although the Conservative government has conducted two share sales as it looks to return it to private ownership.

The government’s two RBS equity sales so far have crystallised deep losses for British taxpayers on shares that have almost halved in value since the bank’s rescue.

“If RBS is now paying dividends, and the price of the shares is under what was paid, we cannot see the rationale for selling more shares,” said Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds.

Having previously suggested full nationalization of RBS, Labour has been rowing back as it seeks to build bridges to the City of London and ease concerns about a Labour-led Britain.

The extent of state involvement would depend on RBS’ willingness to increase lending to Britain’s regions and small businesses.

“We don’t have a policy of day-to-day control of RBS,” he said. “But there is clearly unmet demand in lending and a problem with financial inclusion.”

Source: Britain’s Labour says it would halt RBS privatization


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Would YOU accept a £50 note with Margaret Thatcher’s face on it? [POLL]

Horror: An artist’s impression of how a Thatcher-themed £50 note might appear.

It seems the competition to be the face on the back of the new £50 note has come down to contenders including Stephen Hawking and Margaret Thatcher.

According to the Bank of England, the intention is for the space to be occupied by a scientist.

The late Professor Hawking certainly qualifies.

But you could be forgiven for wondering what Mrs Thatcher’s contribution may have been.

Curious: It seems Facebook won’t accept the image at the top of this article for use in links to it. Will it accept this one?

I’ll tell you: She was part of a team who devised a way of injecting air into ice cream to make it look like there is more of it than there actually is – she used science to create a commercial cheat that would induce people to pay more for less.

I recall Alan Turing was in the running for this honour at one point. Why has a cheat like Mrs Thatcher been shortlisted, while a man who (arguably) shortened World War II by several years has not?

It seems strange reasoning by the Bank of England.

And I wonder how many people would want to use a banknote with the former – and much-hated – Conservative prime minister on it? Some might consider her image to be defacing the currency.

What do you think?

Personally, I wouldn’t have such an item in my house.

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