Kamis, 02 Juni 2016

Kamis, 19 Juli 2012

Customs officers offer some good old fashioned British hospitality

Customs officers plan to walk off the job just one day before the Olympics. Moreover, they won't work any overtime throughout the games.

I suppose it is yet another example of the moral degeneration of Britain. It really has become an island of vipers. Bankers can run up huge losses on failed bet, and then present the bill to the taxpayers. Market interest rates are manipulated, and the regulators and BoE claim they knew nothing. Journalists tap phones of crime victims and Policemen take cash for inquiries. MPS fiddle their expenses. Celebs avoid taxes while lecturing the rest of us on paying more.Security firms are paid huge management fees for incompetence. So why can't a customs officer squeeze a few bob into his pocket by making life difficult for a traveler?

The answer should be "because it is wrong". But if we do not require a minimum standard of decency from a banker, a journalist, a politician, or a policeman, then why should we expect it from customs officers.

In the end, we get the country we deserve.

Selasa, 17 Juli 2012

Why the ship is sinking

I can't muster any outrage at the story that G4S will pocket its multi-million management fee despite failing to hire enough guards, leaving it to the hard-pressed and much abused British Army to guard the Olympic stadium.

There is no accountability anymore. We live in a country where scammers, blaggers and crooks run the show.

So lets just laugh along, while Nick Buckles grabs his hefty slice of cash.

Whose money is it anyway? It is only the taxpayer who is getting shafted here.

As we all know, the taxpayer is one sorry friendless fool.

Another day, another banking scandal

The stories are coming thick and fast. Here is the latest from the FT:

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Brian Stoker, a former director in Citigroup’s structured credit products group, last year alleging that he misled investors in a $1bn collateralised debt obligation called Class V Funding III, which was comprised of securities tied to home mortgages.

The SEC alleges that he was negligent by failing to tell buyers that Citigroup had selected some of the assets and placed a $500m bet against them. The SEC is seeking disgorgement of profits and penalties from Mr Stoker. Unless a settlement is reached, jury selection is to begin Monday.

Mr Stoker is one of four individuals the SEC has charged with misleading buyers of CDOs and the first to go to trial. Citigroup agreed to pay $285m, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, to settle the case, but the judge has not approved the pact.

It is the numbers that get me.It is never $100,000 or even a million. These guys work in billions, and if they are playing it for laughs, they are running scams of a few hundred millions.

There is another interesting aspect about these cases. The pattern is always the same. Once caught, the bank in question denies any wrong doing, while the authorities settle for a cash settlement rather than go for a prosecution.

Getting caught doesn't really amount to much. No one gets jail time. Very few bankers ever lose their jobs. If the bank does something unethical, then its tough luck. They open the cheque book, write out a fine, say sorry and move on.

It is an arrangement that doesn't offer much in terms of deterring bad behaviour.

The banking scandals just keep coming

This time it is HSBC and money laundering. From the BBC:

A US Senate probe has disclosed how lax controls at Europe's largest bank left it vulnerable to being used to launder dirty money from around the world.

The report into HSBC, released ahead of a Senate hearing on Tuesday, says huge sums of Mexican drug money almost certainly passed through the bank.

Suspicious funds from Syria, the Cayman Islands, Iran and Saudi Arabia also passed through the bank.

HSBC said it expected to be held accountable for what went wrong.

The damning report comes at a difficult time for the British banking sector, with standards and practices are under the spotlight

That is a cracking collection of rogue states and assorted bandits; Iran, Syria, and Mexican drug cartels.