Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tis the season to the hypocritical

The Guardian holds forth as the conscience of the nation, and wrings its hands over the way the Chinese have re-erected the Great Firewall now the Olympics blather has died down.

As usual, the leftish press is exposed as shameless hypocrites, since there are numerous comments by readers that have been deleted from the meandering diatribes of resident commissars Polly Toynbee, Jackie Ashley (Mrs Andrew Marr), Andrew Rawnsley et al.

If they can't take the heat, don't leave them open to comment. We will understand that their faith is being shaken a lot recently - after all, it's a bit of shock to find you've been barking up the wrong trees for years. This increasingly disreputable band of left-wing cheer leaders need to remember that they write for a chip-wrapper that calls itself (somewhat presumptively) "the Guardian". The Guardian of what? Free speech or their own (frequently pricked) dignity?

We'll take your preaching on the subject of censorship seriously when you deal with the Great Firewall of the Graun. Meantime if you choose to take a leaf out of the book of a rather larger Communist operation, then please don't use it to try and cover your own immodesty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dare Cameron give Gordon all the good ideas, again?

Labour apparatchiks chortle that they want to hear about policies?

Well, there's a pleasant change, since all the banal and pointless chanting is actually coming from Labour's benches, who endlessly chortle "do nothing Tories" in a last-ditch effort to persuade the feeble minded that doing anything, no matter how crass, injurious, pointless and dangerous, is somehow a better strategy. Too bad the Germans called that bluff, eh?

More bad news for a Labour spinner follows, I fear, since the alternative policies recognise Jim Callaghan's words of angst and wisdom:-

"We used to think you could spend your way out of recession by boosting government spending." ...spoken at the 1976 Labour party conference

SuperBroon's complete lack of understanding of the real world (remembering he is hampered by an Aspergers issue) extends to the fact that the moment he wedged up the banks with our cash, the LAST thing the banks wanted to do was let any of it go again. Most of them would not pass on interest rates cuts until Darling banged their heads together. And in reality, all that has happened is that prudent savers have been right royally screwed, and the chancy property vultures are having a field day.

Santander's recent and staggeringly crass threats to get mortgage holders to boost their equity ratios reminds us just how completely challenged these folks can be.

The reality we need to address is that bankers are, on the whole, very stupid people, employed mostly because they are utterly incapable of that most scary unbankerly attribute - an ability for independent and creative thought. An abundance of this quality can be a problem, which is why a handful of over-creative "Ponzi sharks" and toxic mortgage dumpers have swum rings around dumb bankers for years, ending with this current meltdown.

Cameron started to show his hand yesterday, much to many government apologists' delight/horror, and his growing willingness to see stupid bankers trundling down Threadneedle Street in tumbrels seems to stem from a realisation that we have to start any root/branch overhaul of the system by improving the quality of our top financial thinkers. Probably starting with the uber unimpressive Mervyn "moral jeopardy" King and his coterie of clowns that have presided over the process that got us where we are today.

Huge, massive, MAJOR reforms are required in all aspects of banking, finance and taxation - and Broon - the unelected leader of an unelected party (as far as England is concerned) - simply does not have the depth and breadth of social skills required to achieve them, when he can't even drag the Germans this far, even after telling them that he saved them.

It's possible neither does Cameron; but God Knows, we have to try something. Leaving Gordon Brown to continue to embarrass himself and the country is truly the "do nothing" option.

Why is Polly Toynbee ..?

TMP doesn't usually bother to single out specific hacks for consideration, but every now and again a truly outstanding piece of nonsense compels us to reconsider.

TMP feels it must draw a bead on the Graun's "conscience in chief" and explore just how she manages to keep the vitriol in her pen from eating through the plastic and burning her hand. Is there a more shamelessly and determinedly bigoted, wilfully ignorant, and prejudiced scribe in the whole of this land?

We have sad news for David Cameron, he might as well give up now and go and do a spot of peasant thrashing, for nothing he can say or do seems to be able to persuade La Toynbee from using anything he says or does to demean and belittle his efforts. He was simply born to the wrong parents.

PT's latest piece of priceless advice on economic salvation is that the first thing we need to do to "build a German-style industrial base".

So we must lose a war to the US and UK, get all ancient industry bombed flat (oops, they're all been turned into housing estates by now, sorry...) and rebuild it with new? There's a small catch here: the Germans sunk into recession before anyone else - because there are no customers left able to buy their wonderful goods - not even with Gordon's limitless supplies of his "funny money". Gong!

The problems run far deeper than giving Gordon another 5 years to "finish the job" by squeezing a few pips. And let's once again remember, this whole toxic loan fiasco started when Clinton's democrats (aka the USA's very own NuLabour party) forced US financial institutions to support democrat voters with just the sort improbable loans Broon wants to see British banks doing. Slippery US bankers then gift-wrapped these fairy money loans and dumped them on gullible investors around the world.

This whole mess is directly attributable to socialists meddling with long understood rules of financial probity in order to buy votes. But don't worry, TMP is not expecting even a Smith-like apology from Ms Toynbee, nor any promise to mend her misguided ways.

FYI - here is the background to this tireless class warrior...

Polly Toynbee (born Mary Louisa Toynbee on December 27, 1946) was born on the Isle of Wight. After attending Badminton School, a girls' independent school in Bristol, followed by the Holland Park School, a state comprehensive school in London (she had failed the Eleven Plus examination), she read history at St Anne's College, Oxford... Toynbee was the second daughter of the literary critic Philip Toynbee (by his first wife Anne), granddaughter of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee and great-great niece of philanthropist and economic historian Arnold Toynbee after whom Toynbee Hall in the East End of London is named'


We should add that Polly was also once the BBC Social Affairs Editor. So then, pretty much your average champagne socialist; maybe we should be more understanding of her increasingly irrational ranting at the sight of her beloved Labour Party going down in so many flames?

TMP saves the UK, and the world...

The recent elections on Sark have drawn the attention of sections of the world's press (especially the sanctimonious "we know better than you" Guardianistas and their ilk) to the morality of tax havens, a large number of which are UK protectorates of one sort or another - despite the fact that tiny Sark is barely involved any longer in what was always a device of Guernsey accountants anyway - or so m'learned friend advises us.

Tax havens are undoubtedly used to shelter funds from activities such as drugs and extortion (the stock in trade of most banana republic despots) , so this seems to be a handy hook upon which to hang a noble crusade; but the absolute inescapable truth is that no government spends any money a fraction as wisely as those that earned it in the first place, It never ever - in the history of history - has ever happened even once. Not even slightly.

So here's an idea. Broon has seen to it that the UK is financially fooked for a generation or two (please don't anyone with the intelligence to work out how to post here kid me that they believe an iota of his present blather - he's lying his - sorry -
our socks off. Goebbels would have been immensely proud of such a massive show of brass neck).

We need a really bold and massive agenda to sort this out. We have to start from the position of "put on your oxygen mask first before you start worrying about the rest of the passengers"; and that means not worrying about the EU, and especially the sanctimonious (but depressingly correct) Germans.

So we re-engineer the decaying London City as the biggest "business haven" on planet on the basis that we charge 10% flat rate across the board on all taxable profits - income or capital - with a vast range of write-offs to encourage innovation and
proper risk taking, then - after careful preparation on a "Mission Impossible" scale of cunningness - we will move in and shut down all the offshore havens, and compensate the natives to enable them to adjust their economies to tourism, call centres - whatever.

If there is indeed $25 trillion sloshing around in these havens, it will come here and be put to good use. What is found to be the proceeds of international crime will be "frozen", and we will "look after it" on behalf of the democratically elected governments of the territories of origin. If there are no democratically elected governments, we will let the population be aware that $x trillion is waiting in their name, the moment they manage to get an elected government in place (and keep it there for at least 2 years?)

Mostly though, we can let those that earned it keep most of it and use it - whether it goes back into the economy as investment in green technologies, employing households of butlers and gardeners or to purchase mink-plated stretched limos, isn't the business of government.

It's plain we have to devise employment for the 5m or so not otherwise gainfully employed in saviour Broon's fairyland. These people are never going to get work in the anal corporations/councils of process-crazed utopia, and there are plenty of less fulfilling ways to eke out an existence than doing the gardening for some delightful stately home, or cooking for some rich bastards that can't be bothered to microwave a ready meal. Instead, our present regime has condemned all such folks to the margins of daytime TV and other forms of zero self-esteem.

If other governments found themselves forced to follow suit and compete with our business-friendly environment, wouldn't it be terrible that countries like the US and Russia would no longer be able to afford colossally costly military exploits and over-bloated governments?


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A good week for majorities, at last!

TMP commends to all those interested in democracy and rare moments of populism at work, the recent story of Sark, and the defeat of the bullying tactics of the billionaire Barclay brothers, who arrived uninvited in this tax haven, built a monstrosity of a fortress, bought up businesses and property - and then set about trying to change the laws to favour their interests.

With the collusion of the UK government (which does not want feisty, self-opinionated and self-determining tax havens in their portfolio of empire remnants) they then forced the island community to dump their immensely efficient and successful 1564 constitution, expensively adopt the ECHR (despite the fact that Sark had the good sense to stay outside the EU), and adopt "democracy".

The reclusive Barclays were confident that they had bought the election result they wanted - but instead "got their arses kicked" when the islanders decided enough was enough, and by an overwhelming majority returned a ruling body that is not going to do what the Barclays tell them. And the islanders were well aware that by voting against the interests of the elderly Barclay twins, they would likely suffer reprisals - which arrived in a startlingly petulant manner when all the Barclay's interests were shut, and the local staff laid off, the moment it was clear that the election had not gone their way.

Also add the Manchester congestion charge referendum result, and this has been a very rare week indeed:

Voice of the People 2 - Overbearing Autocracy Nil.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Labour, old currency crisis

Dear God, how TMP wishes it was not quite so consistently prescient. We warned that Broon was going to trash the currency, and by Jove he has! Surely the country has seen more than enough by now to realise that following no more boom and bust/ best placed country for the recession he is a pathological liar and an abject incompetent. Apparently with a superhero complex.

We wouldn't be too surprised to see David Cameron at last lose his cool in his frustration to get a straight answer to simple questions, and lay the old Caledonian fraud out during PMQs.

Never mind Woolies, it's high time New Labour had its own closing down sale.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The essence of Britishness

As the Damian Green affair reminds us, Britain floats on a raft of vague laws - and an unwritten constitution that has (over many centuries) created a understanding of how to interpret and compromise between all parties about the way things work. Dare we call it "the essence of Britishness"?

It has survived thus far because good men have generally not done nothing when push came to shove, as in the current Green farrago. However, it is very vulnerable to the growing jobsworth culture of forms and process that has put more power in the hands of those who either don't understand, or see it (as many of the brain-cleansed senior plod now seem to) as an opportunity for a spot of front line social engineering.

Gorbals' replacement of a very well-attuned toff by a mediocre but compliant civil servant is a good example of how such a system can be perverted. And it's good to note that HM's instincts were perfectly sound, as usual.

However, this perverse but precious nature of Britishness is something even a generally socially dysfunctional character like Broon has started to wake up and realise is something that doesn't necessary instill itself by osmosis once a person steps across the border.

The big fix for this increasingly unnerving state of unBritishness is going to be tricky. In the short term it is best solved by dumping Baron Mandelson's puppet government in a skip, and clearing up the worst of the mess before we can usefully move forward.

Al Murray for PM?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Power for pennies?

Model of a NEREUS 10Mwe power plant.

Scale 1:25 10 x 10 x 10 meters

The crisis we face is essentially about energy costs and energy politics; Broon's woefully inept and increasingly totalitarian government continues to ignore the long term run down of the main UK generation plant - and we don't trust those direct debiting French and German owners of out power industries to worry about it, either.

That joke about the last person to leave Britain turning out the lights is redundant; the lights will be out long before he's buggered off on present form.

But with electricity available for 1p a kWh, everything has changes again. So why are we ignoring the only practical solution that's out there?

It's time to club together with you mates and raise ~£10m to install a bite-sized nuclear plant for your town. Town-sized reactors are nothing new - basically the sort of thing that powers submarines and warships - has been proposed as the core of a land solution

Many councils have "widdled" larger sums down Icelandic drains lately, so it's not exactly outrageous money. Do the sums and this makes a world of sense - plus overcapacity gets sold back into the grid. So, can the safety issues can be confronted? But when the choice is this - or going "cold turkey" on civilisation as we know it - TMP suspects a lot of people will realise that there are simply not enough bunnies to go round for us all to hug to keep warm.

Monday, December 01, 2008

So bad, she makes him look good

TMP wonders if continually pointing out the manifest shortcomings of Jacqui Smith is actually a good idea?

The ever-paranoid and bullying Broon probably regards the fact that this woman is so quite breathtakingly incompetent as "usefully nonthreatening" - much like his puppet chancellor, and Jack "how the f*ck is his still drawing a cabinet minster's salary?" Straw. Today, Ed Balls-up reminded us yet again that Labour administrations across the country are smug, self-satisfied, process-bound and utterly inept ...from the ground up.

Commentators are starting to suggest that even those people that briefly believed that the Broon/Darling miracle might work are starting to realise that his self anointment as the global saviour was no less phony than any other of his "no more boom and bust" lies. The latest stalled economy numbers suggest that it is pretty much all over bar the shouting.

Wake up Cameron, watch Obama at work - why not start holding forth at press conferences as the PM elect..? Such is the perversity of the electoral system in the US that you could (just) be in power before him!! (But please don't appoint Cherie Blair as Secretary of State, eh?)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Comrade Smith and her KGB

Andrew Marr might be starting to realise that his next boss will be appointed by a Tory government; he had the Stasi Commissar on his show this morning, and set about her reasonably firmly and unsympathetically.

Amongst other implausible responses, Comrade Smith said she did not sign off on the Damian Green phone tap, and then appeared to go very coy, very quickly. Andrew Marr mentally "bookmarked" the moment, and rather than continue to press her (she evaded most questions in the usual manner), simply confirmed (quietly) that she had said she did know about any phone tap.

Comrade Smith very poignantly then tried to back out by suggesting that Home Secretaries never comment on matters of that sort - but her body language suggests she realised she's stepped in it. I was disappointed Marr didn't also observe that this all happened when it was another good day to "bury news".

Top Marks also for Carol Voderman who was one of the Sunday paper commentators, and Gulam "no more immigration" Noon. The BBC must be getting concerned that there are no more safe and properly politically correct socialists left to put on their sofas, when even the immigrants themselves are starting to suggest such naughty things.

They'll have to place ads in the Graun to see if there are any left...

Friday, November 28, 2008

A clunking fist too far

TMP worries that it's impossible to use too much hyperbole and too many "scares" when describing Broon's government's behaviour. Jacqui Smith pretends she knew nothing of this action, but we can't wait to see the leaked evidence that she, and the other members of the Broon's inner cabal, did!

The news of the police state action against a Tory shadow minister will not surprise as many as it should, and if the BBC deal with this in the same way they trumpeted every scrap of Tory sleaze in the run up to Blair's media beatification in 1997, Broon will be trussed up in time for Christmas.

Consider this - the basis of Green's arrest:-

... the offence of Misfeasance in Public Office is committed by a public officer acting as such who wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/ or wilfully misconducts himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of public trust in the office holder, without reasonable excuse or justification

That's it then. We have all the excuse we need. We can safely arrest the entire government, starting with Broon and Darling. Who wants to get up a posse for a citizens' arrest? What possible defence can they put up? Insanity?

We don't believe that a defence of "fear of losing state-pensionable employment" is admissible ...yet!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Living in the present (contd)

It's typical of Guardian stalwarts that even the cartoonist remains firmly stuck in the past, although the editorial occasionally seems to accept that where we are now headed is rather more germane than where we have been. One of the accidents of birth of the Torytubbies is that they were still reading the Beano and watching as Nat Rothchild shoved portable toilets down hillsides, when some of the heinous VAT sins of their forebears were committed. However, both Broon and Darling were most assuredly present and preening when the Labour pledge on taxation was made - and now broken.

Cutting costs and generally being less profligate is something every person and organisation in the UK expects to have to do - other than those funded by the taxpayer. Please Graun, stop thinking about all the money you rake in from the endless procession of public sector recruitment. and start refusing adverts for fairyland jobs dreamt up by various the elves and gnomes of local government to decorate their bulging grottos with yet more pensionable irrelevance, eh? Thanks!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Living in the present

Everyone needs to stop living in the past, especially the "liberal left". For them, the ghost of the blessed Margaret Hilda still haunts just about every one of the writers and commentators in the left-leaning media, especially the Guardian and BBC. It would be pathetic were it not symptomatic of an ongoing and dangerous obsession which is denying the immutable reality of where we are today.

Now pay attention: barring scientific breakthroughs (which would be entirely possible if we invested as much in looking for them as we are in propping up dodgy financiers) there is no more cheap energy to pay for any "traditional" growth. All the opportunity to do some good in 1997 has been frittered away in Blair/Broon's vast ballooning of a pensionable client state.

Oil will reach $200 before we recover to the pre-crunch levels of prosperity. And Broon's £ will be worth 25c by then, anyway. The options we have now appear to be...

  • No retirement while the quack says you can still lift a shovel
  • A ruthless end to all forms of avoidable waste - especially in the black holes of education and health
  • Much less pointless travel - we have networks and HDTV
  • More investment in "proper" sustainable energy - like nuclear/hydrogen
  • A steeply reduced population - are you watching Survivors, eh?

Paradoxically, none of that will be achieved through any form of socialist dream. The only way to shift attitudes sufficiently is to recognise basic human nature, and the bad news is that is most assuredly not "fair shares for all", because every incarnation of socialism anywhere on the planet to date has ended up with a unimaginative ruling elite ruthlessly exploiting an oppressed population to feather their personal nests and further their personal ambitions.

An expression that can perhaps win broad support is "fair rewards for all".

Every single last socialist "regime" has ended in personal corruption - even Tony Blair left office richer beyond the wildest dreams of most of his supporters, when most of the country suspected he and his cronies should have been questioned rather harder by the police on various counts.

As for the bleating about the meltdown of global capitalism, a trace run on the tsunami that overwhelmed the world's economies reveals that the source was Clinton's Democrats instructing US institutions to relax lending rules to appease voters. Pretty much what dopey Darling and calamitous King are doing right now!

There is an option for those who long for a dose of proper socialism: go and live in Zimbabwe, Cuba or North Korea.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tax IS taxing

The Gaurdianista glee being expressed around the 45% tax rate (and don't forget to add the NI) fails to recall that it was this very regime that gifted Broon and Darling the wherewithal to prance around declaring "there will be no boom and bust". Tax take went up as top rates came down.

The total amount this hike will produce is negligible anyway, thus clearly identifying the action as no more than spiteful political gesture, designed to appeal to the likes of Polly Toynbee and Mrs Marr. This is a typical Broon budget - long on fiddling in the margins and deceit, short on substantial and imaginative moves. And so utterly confusing that hardly anyone can agree on the net effects on the population. Gordon's "mini me" learned his trade from a master of obfuscation and blather.

Amidst the hand outs (attached to a piece of elastic) some magnificent stealth taxes were ushered in under the cloak of the 2.5% temporary VAT cut. Those excise "duty" offsets are permanent!

And now the lamentable Mervyn King is suggesting full nationalisation of the banks to force them to underwrite toxic loans!! Let's hope he has a cunning plan to flog off that toxic debt to some gullible foreigners.

TMP prays Cameron doesn't fumble this opportunity. Please may we have Ken Clark back on the front bench ASAP? Since Gordon's boom went bust, Clark is once again the most successful UK Chancellor still active in politics. He sorted it out last time, and he's one of the better chances we have to pull it off again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The root of all fiscal evil...

Of course this budget will be yet another disaster; but don't expect the establishment left at the BBC to face reality until income tax rises to 101p in the £. (Incidentally, on Darling's own numbers, even that would not pay off the National Debt he and Broon have managed to run up).

Broon is always so keen to start any conversation these days with the notion that the UK is the victim of a "global" situation - but Slick Willy Clinton admits the origin of the current crisis was actually US democrats "encouraging" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to underwrite toxic mortgages to keep voters sweet. ie precisely what Broon and his calamity-prone Caledonian cabal are now doing for the UK!

This is a 100% socialist originated crisis - created by US Democrats playing politics; so quite how more socialists playing at more socialist politics can get us out of it, is a mystery.

Watch Slick Willy "fess up" on the YouTube clip!

(Also follow the other links on that page for more background)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

...wait just a moment...

Hang about everyone...

Former ITV political editor John Sergeant has quit Strictly Come Dancing.

The popular contestant on the BBC1 entertainment show has pulled out following a storm over his continuing success, with judges such as Arlene Phillips questioning his commitment.

He said today in a statement: "I am sorry to say I have decided to leave Strictly Come Dancing. It was always my intention to have fun on the show and I was hoping to stay in as long as possible. The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition. Even for me that would be a joke too far. I would like to thank Kristina and all those viewers who have been rooting for me through the series."

So it looks like TMP does have a magic prescient ability that actually intervenes to affect events, after all. Stand by while we work out how to use it for the benefit of mankind. Here's one to be getting on with, though:

"Gordon Brown resigns as the result of a nervous breakdown when it emerges that he was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future, and was shown the effects of his disastrous policies on the families of the the UK..."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A different approach

TMP is worried that everything we have predicted about the course of this wretched government and its assorted lackeys and acolytes turns out to be true, no matter how dire and improbable it may seem at the time the comments are made. It has started to concern us that this may be rather more than sheer prescience.

So let's see if the TMP "power" works, and that our predictions are indeed the cause of future events, not just a spookily accurate guess at the outcome. Here's the acid test of this power for today: we have identified what has become the most predictable "dead cert" of the week, and decided to turn it on its head. TMP fearlessly predicts that John Sergeant will at last get the boot from Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow (Sunday).

And if that works, we'll try out our power to affect the course of events on some more pressing matters facing the country (yes, there are more urgent matters than Strictly results, trust us.)

Gordon Brown lives in a cocoon of hubris, and his bullying nature prevents him from getting any useful input from those around, who he terrorises into subservient agreement; all the more so now that he believes in his own infallibity once again. Yet we have had plenty of evidence that Broon has no plan other than to shore up his own personal aggrandisement - perfectly enshrined in the phrase that must haunt him to his grave: "no more boom and bust".

If his new best mates on the world economic stage actually believed the old Caledonian fraud was speaking the truth and good sense, then how come they are all dumping our currency on such an alarming and epic scale? Thanks to the efforts of the dangerously misguided Mervyn King, the deeply flawed Gordon Brown and the generally inept Alistair Darling, the £ is now a mickey-mouse player in global economic terms. Why would would any sane country want to hold it?

The present slide in the value of the £ will have far more serious consequences than our one-eyed emperor imagines. We assume he's doing it so that his effort to raise the necessary £billions to fritter away on public spending will look cheaper at €1 to the £ than it did at €1.50. Brown's gamble with the entire national currency and inflation makes anything those naughty bankers managed with toxic loans seem like a viacarage whist drive.

So let's all pray that John Sergeant gets the hoof - then TMP can start to wield its awesome powers on more important issues.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have our say, not yours...

The BBC pretends that its "have your say" feedback section on its news website allows the public (anywhere, not just the license payers) to post their comments on subjects carefully chosen and spun by BBC staff. As you would expect, the process ouses political correctness from every oleaginous pore.

Most discussions are "moderated" according to set of (pretty obvious) published rules; but this is not actually what goes on. However, most thinking people are insulted when the BBC calls what they do "moderation" - it's much more than that.

It's a combination of blatant censorship based on their own internal agendas (not published) and the BBC's tireless efforts at "social engineering".

The most potent weapon the "moderators" possess is simply to delay releasing postings. The posting is time stamped when it was originally submitted. So it does not go to the "top" of the list when released, but could appear some 50 or more screens deep in the discussion, and is thus effectively buried from view. The BBC knows very well how to manipulate reactions by burying those views that do not perfectly reflect their own way down in the noise.

Frankly, this is an effective way of burying dissent that would have be approved by Goebbles or any other totalitarian ministry of misinformation.

It's such a pity - the BBC used to be a truly great institution and organisation until about 15 years ago. What on earth happened? No wonder so much of the press now seems out to see the BBC emaciated and not just "reformed"; but with insulting hypocrisy at every level from functionary to top talent, the BBC has been the primary instigator of its own eventual demise.

Gordon's Genius Revealed ..!

News of Germany beating the UK to the "R" word was not a surprise. Their problem is they have an economy based on the old-fashioned Victorian notion of manufacturing and exporting to create wealth, as opposed to the City's sophisticated process of manipulating numbers. So when the world economy tanks, no one can afford to buy anything, and the Germans can't sell anything. You don't have to be John Maynard Keynes to work that one out.

However, then it suddenly dawned on me why Gordon has been telling everyone we are better equipped to deal with the recession than anyone else. Doh... Gordon, you are indeed a genius after all ! It is so obvious!!

There was nothing more we could lose: we already have no resources left; we already have no manufacturing industry, we already have a rapidly devaluing currency, we already have no friends...

But with our legendary financial prowess and peerless City skills, we will obviously be perfectly set up as "Receivers and Liquidators of the Western World" when the Koreans, Indians, Chinese and Arabs turn up for the auction. Gordon, I take my hat off to you.

Now just remind that mad Jowell woman that you saw this coming all the time, and had spent 11 years planning this uber-cunning strategy before she tells anyone else it came as a total shock and a complete surprise, and of course we wouldn't have wasted $9+bn on feting drug-addled foreigners in 2012 if we had known.

Let's see if Boris can put on his wretched Whiff Waff show using all existing venues for an austerity budget of "just" £1bn and get the mood and expectations sorted out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sterling Crisis

It is traditional that a Labour government will destroy the UK economy and drive the country into a full-blown sterling crisis. With new depths being plumbed on all fronts, surely it cannot be possible that anyone can be capable of voting for Gordon to have another 5 years to finish off the job?

Brown's claim that the UK was well placed to weather the financial storm have been proved (as most of us suspected) to be a complete pack of lies, although if he seriously believed what he was saying, his delusion is more terrifying than his dishonesty.

Why should any of the world's leaders now want to listen to more advice from this discredited old fraud? His 15 minutes on the world stage really ought to be all over by now.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

No time for novices

This is certainly no time for novices, Gordon. But despite all the practise, you still can't tell a convincing lie.

Surely Gordon Brown and his puppet Darling are too deep in the economic mire to be hauled out this time..? The IMF now warns that UK economy is far, far deeper in distress than Brown has been protesting, and effectively confirms that Broon's febrile assertions about it being well placed are yet so many more unctuous lies to add to his already outstanding litany of deceptions.

So of course the battered £ is also sliding away from view, and a full-scale sterling crisis is once again around the corner. The once unthinkable - parity with the Euro - now seems inescapable.

Labour does it yet again, as we said it would. Sometimes it would be wonderful to proved wrong when predicting the depths of the next disaster that Blair and now Brown have taken this country to, but in all the time this blog has been running, it has yet to happen.

If they can be caught so flat footed by the banking crisis and then smugly tell so many unmitigated lies and untruths about the state of the economy, why should anyone believe anything this this wretched and discredited government has to say?

For all our sakes, go now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Why Democracy Sucks

The US electoral circus begs an important question for all "Democratic" processes based in medieval origins. After the dust settled and after an alleged $5bn up the wall, months of name calling and yaa-booing, the protagonists were jolly nice about each other. Then they rolled up their carpets and went quietly home.

There's an assumption that those supporting political parties must do so on the basis of blindly supporting the entire manifesto. "Collective responsibility" means that there seems to be very little room for anyone to think for themselves and criticise anything about their party of choice, because the "other side" will pounce on any evidence of dissent and bang on about it like schoolkids.

And there's plenty of evidence that the ability to think for oneself and honestly express a contrarian moral viewpoint (aka a maverick) didn't do a lot for the careers of folks like Mo Mowlem, Robin Cook and Frank Field. Or Dr David Kelly.

If we cannot tolerate unvarnished honesty in public life, then we must be forcing once-honest politicians to deny their natures. So it is little wonder that so many of them turn out to be amoral liars and all-round shits, quite incapable of answering a straight question with a straight answer..

Nevertheless, the art of compromise is generally forced by the reality of office, and much of the impossible manifesto melts away like the snow in spring. Those who criticised the now-absent elements are not generally warmly welcomed and told they were right along. (You can be excused almost anything in this life, except being proved right - and boy, I should know.)

All governments seem to end up as disappointments, having been elected on a variety of false promises - especially as now, where our PM was only "nodded through" by around 400 sycophants. At least the losing party doesn't have to deal with the consequence of ANY of its unelected policies (the reason why the LibDems have lasted this long?) .

Overall, democracy as we know it, sucks. It was devised in the days when it took days to get between the cities of the UK, and has not changed noticeably since.

Are we not now sufficiently technologically advanced to have a list of propositons to vote for in regular refernda/plebiscites so that we can explore the best of all parties' and individuals' ideas, and cancel the hare-brained stuff without wasting further time, energy, money..?

The process of running the country could then be delegated to an effective "chief executive" which should ensure we really do the get the best talent. Presently such folks are too horrified by the awful media process to want to play politics. Whatever else happens, we should never again gift the job to a filibustering/gerrymandering old Caledonian fraud, living off a dishonest voting system.

Why he may not be Oblairma....

5m votes from a population of 300m is hardly a landslide, and that means there are going to be a great many Americans who are going to be feeling seriously disenfranchised once the dust settles, and they realise that they have no sustainable influence of any sort left at any level of Federal government, apart from the technical ability to filibuster in the Senate.

Comparisons with Blair are valid at some levels, but Tony Blair had the advantage of 10 years worth of Tory financial preparation to squander when he bowled up all teeth and rhetoric. Oblairma has nothing in the Republican kitty but more challenges ahead. However, he does have a vastly more attractive wife and family, and a deputy who is not a boorish Neanderthal loose cannon, albeit Joe Biden appears to be most boring sort of career politician.

Oblairma is also a democrat masquerading as a democrat - Blair's first move as leader was to bury scary Old Labour, showing that he was fundamentally ashamed of the party, and willing to anything to get elected. Commentators say reassuringly that Obama knows what he doesn't know, and knows how to handle advisors; as history shows, Blair actually knew almost nothing about anything and relied on Mandeslon and Campbell to pull the strings while he left Brown a completely unfettered run at the economy.

McCain and Palin are not the sort of tedious "do nothing, say nothing edgy" career politicians that we and the US seem to be saddled with these days. Both had interesting backgrounds, but it's more than understandable that the yanks felt the reps had been given long enough and the country was in a mess. If Sarah Palin gets an education and an insight into evolution and the ways of the world, she may well be an interesting future prospect - but with McCain at 72 years old, the Reps were plainly stretching their credibility past the limit.

So, the very best of British to Obama. The world desperately needs a credible and respected USA and President once again, and whatever anyone thinks, Obama was always far more likely to get off to start with global goodwill than the alternative. It will be interesting to see how he gets "tested" by the usual suspects; and let's hope the kevlar does its stuff.

Friday, October 24, 2008

When is a product, not a product?

Whoever was first to use the expression "product" to describe a mortgage or savings account or insurance policy should be hung, drawn and quartered. We've even heard someone describe their party policy a "political product", so this clearly has to stop.

This stupidity has imbued commonplace bean counters with a range of completely unearned posh sobriquets, finally ending up at "Masters of the Universe", that seem to have lead them to imagine themselves as great captains of industry, and creators of vast wealth, when the awful truth has revealed that they are are none of these things.

The financial services emperor is stark buck naked. It's time to laugh at his minuscule manhood and force him to drop all presence to grandiose things such as "products" and resume his rightful role as a "clerk". In fact, we should press on further and call a "mortgage product" a "highly secured loan", and an "insurance policy" a "bet".

The latest "financial product" is apparently a credit card with an APR of over 200%, launched just in time by the once reputable Argos, to exploit their gullible Christmas market. So instead of "banker", please now read "loan shark"; and for "insurance underwriter", read "bookie".

A bailout for the rest of us

The Conservative Party and Daily Mail's feeble campaign in support of SMEs and self employed with 1-4% tax changes is utterly futile. And simply deferring VAT and tax is a recipe for disaster. Charlie Bean at the BoE now says this is possibly the largest financial crisis in "Human History" - so please DO something about it!

The imminent unemployment tsunami simply will not/cannot be absorbed by the "globalised" companies - can you see the likes of any financial institution (unless they specialise in repossession or insolvency) or service brands such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks, or behemoths such as Tesco (especially retailers...) being able to absorb significant extra staff?

One way to make a difference might be to allow small firms of up to 10 employees with 3 years accounts filed to keep the equivalent of the previous year's PAYE/NI costs on up to 10 employees for a year if they do not cut total staff headcount, and look at a similar scheme for new ventures and start-ups. If they are lucky enough to make profits, then some of it will be taken back in corporation tax. However, that's not the point - it costs a lot to take on staff and train them. It takes a year to set up any sort of new business and its systems, premises, paperwork and get it ticking over - it takes Gordon Brown one speech to sow the seeds of ruin, and it takes a minute to wind it all up.

If we do not get as radical as this, then we're going to have to pay the dole on AT LEAST 3 million again, which is a dead loss to the economy. Yes, there are bound to be all sorts of efforts at fiddling/exploiting any such schemes, but the plan could be presented in such a way that fiddling it would be regarded as socially unacceptable - the business and fiscal equivalent of speeding at 120mph whilst 3 times over the limit.

When all the "globalised" behemoths complain this is unfair, "so what?", we say. They are almost as much to blame for having exploited the stupidity of hypnotised governments and regulators and their failure to act on curtailing the worst excesses of cartels and monopolies as the discredited (sic) financial conglomerates.

Fiddling on the fringes is NOT an option this time.

This time it's going to have to get really personal and substantial.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No more boom, plenty more bust...

This recession is going to cause more pain than most people realise - more quickly. Few people in the insulated world of public employment have any idea what it's like trying to run a business with the overheads of Broon's Boom and Bust Proof-socialist paradise. Talk of fiddling on the margins of corporation tax is futile.

Deferring tax is likewise futile - all that means is that 6 months down the line HM C&R will wind you up double quick, especially if you have been daft enough to pledge personal assets to cover loans you take out to keep an ailing business alive in the meantime. (Although perhaps Broon's geniuses will have worked out how to nationalise 8-man building firms and the self employed by then.)

Any business trapped in a long lease with the traditionally punitive terms signed in the fat days of 2006 will find their landlords really keen to be understanding; any business with employees being paid more than they are worth to the business will have to pay now to possibly save later; so for many businesses, the cheapest option now will simply be to go bust. Expect a boom in the insolvency industry.

The domino effect of this failure is already starting to be felt. All discretionary spending will cease by the end of the year - although the UK population is probably conditioned to continue to spend too much on tat as yuletide approaches, the chances are that there will be massive trouble in retail by March.

Make no mistake folks, there is no plan B here - the infamous "No More Boom and Bust" statement tells you everything you need to know about Broon's strategic planning and readiness. We are so deep in the shitter this time round that there will have to be some really creative thinking and massive effort to haul us out. Does it really look like Broon and B team can deliver it? Things may get so dire, so quickly, that someone will start talking about a government of "national unity" before long so that the inevitable draconian measures can be rammed through.

Thanks Gordon, you're a star.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baron von Mandelstein

The BBC's gruesome twosome of Peston and Robinson were positively bursting with glee this morning when breaking the news that George Osborne had been shopped by his alleged "friend" the hedge fund operator and banking dynasty scion, Nat Rothschild, over the matter of not managing to get a party donation from the richest bloke in Russia whom he bumped into on Corfu, apparently at Rothchild's invitation.

Also present at the scene of this private event was the lovely Baron Von Mandelstein, who according to gorgeous George was sharing some home truths about Gordon Brown, some weeks before Broon let him in from the cold.

So how come The Red Baron was rehabilitated and offered a peerage and a cabinet seat by the very same Gordon Brown to the amazement of just about anyone with a pulse? Surely not because he suggested he might be able to launch an Exocet at the Tory number two, with the assistance of his excitable chums at the BBC? Of course not. Perish the thought.

The Daily Mail reports that Rothchild, a reformed wild child, once pushed a portable toilet down a steep hill - with a friend still inside! It seems he is now trying to metaphorically do the same again; but why would Rothschild want to be part of this circus - what is in it for him? And how come controversy always seems to stick to the Red Baron like the Brown stuff to an ermine cloak?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here's Dave...

At last, the boy wonder (and his Boy Wonder, gorgeous George Osborne) has set out the Conservative position on SuperBroon's economic miraculous disaster. It wasn't exactly a savaging, but a fairly tight analysis sprinkled with things that look dangerously like policies. Steady on.

The City breakfast (of course) audience was treated some technical commentary that would have sailed far above the head of many of the hacks present, but for the benefit of the Sun and Mirror reporters, the iceberg analogy was swapped for a burning house, which has a certain irony, anyway.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Feeling good, Billy-Ray...

The Great Depression only came to an end when the US went on a splurge of deficit spending which it eventually "repaid" by skinning the UK of its Empire assets during and after WW2.

The US domestic economy continued to plough on and convince the world it had assumed the mantle as provider of global prosperity from the British Empire, and everything was looking just about OK until last year. It was then that some daft bankers dared to suggest the Uncle Sam, aka The Credit Emperor, was threadbare, never mind stark naked. Up to that moment, as long the world's bankers and politicians danced around delightedly declaring the Credit Emperor to be attired in the finest fiscal garments ever to produce a phony "feel good" factor, modesty was kept in tact, the world still turned, and economies thrived.

But if Gordon Brown still wants to believe in fairies (TMP wonders if JK Rowling's £1m donation will buy her a title and a job as "Minister of Magic"), and that "there will be no more boom and bust". So here's how...

There have long been rumours that more than half the painfully easily forged US currency in circulation worldwide was counterfeit (why else would the US be so reluctant to change the design?) so why not just print a few more $trillion, keep quiet about it and carry on regardless? What the eye doesn't see etc.; but even if China did find out, it would probably be happy to keep the factories churning.

When the ink dried, a few highway projects and dams would have meant that Billy-Ray and Darleen could have paid off that toxic mortgage using the hooky cash, and everyone would have been feeling good, and none the wiser - at least until well past the next election and the time when incumbent politicians were collecting their gold plated pensions.

After all, who is going to cash up and count the damn stuff?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Well then, it's the turnips

Brown's miracle cure seems to be getting the finger from the market.

In the UK, Lloyds long suffering shareholders are livid that Gordon's drinking pal Lloyds' Chairman (for the time being...) Victor Blank swallowed the punitive terms of the cash quite so readily in the rush for HBOS and its wonderful mortgage and retail businesses, and effectively wrote off the value of Lloyds shares for the next 5 years!

And this seems to have set the the tone for a general reaction to all the indicators that the economy is indeed, deep in the Brown stuff. The FTSE is still plumbing the depths. Unemployment is up, and the government cannot spin them any harder to hide the truth.

Of all the banks, Lloyds was least exposed to the toxic market, mostly because it was dozing quietly for the past few years, almost devoid of ambition to do anything more than sweep up as many small retail bank accounts as possible, when they got the feeling their competitors had taken their eye of that steady if unexciting "bread and butter" ball. So what are they now doing on their (shareholders') knees, with their shareholders holding the unwanted, unlovely and extremely bastard offspring of messrs Broon and Blank?

But far from "swivelling", Brown leaves Harriet Harperson in charge as he sweeps through the corridors of international power on his familiar cushion of self-importance and hubris as he tries desperately to leverage his temporary omniscience to set up a global conference on finance and trade, to "prevent excessive risk". That's fine by us, since clearly the biggest risk we face as a nation is the possibility of Labour remaining in charge of the UK.

Listen up Gordon, we STILL have not been told exactly what went wrong and why - so how come you know all about fixing it? It just might be as simple as a series of criminal acts of evasion of perfectly adequate existing regulations, coupled to dopey regulators that were not up to the job - and the dubious collusion of politicians that were determined to believe in the continued existence of the credit fairy, which had been so handy for securing feelgood votes.

In fact, if you do know so much about fixing it, then it begs the question why did you allow it to happen in the first place? Or will you conveniently try to hang that one on the old sleasemeister Blair: "I voz only following orders, mein Fuhrer..."

Since this is mostly about a crisis of confidence, then just maybe people have no confidence in his ability to continue to govern ? Sooner or later he's going to be rumbled for what his old boss Blair always understood him to be: an obsessive control freak, creative with numbers, devoid of vision. And now properly undone by the most laughable statement of modern political times:

"There will be no more Boom and Bust"

Which works very well as an epitaph.

Where's Dave?

Stock markets are still stuttering. Mind you after a 8-10% one day hike, profit taking was always going to happen. If speculators feel they can drive it back down again having taken their one-hour profit, they will.

While everyone is in reflective mood and ready to rip up the rulebooks, and mostly still trying to work out what happened, it seems perfectly reasonable to require that stocks should to be held for at least 48 hours to stabilise the market excesses and deter "toxic speculation".

Now is a golden moment for Cameron and Co. to step up with a new agenda and fresh thinking - where is he? He could even crow about his efforts to retain the union when all around we urging him to cut Scotland adrift - that redoubtable rascal Alex Salmond is going to have a hard time using Iceland as his role model for independence for a while...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Now let's remember how this all began...

Remember, this crisis came about because banks were suspicious of each other and consequently unwilling to lend to each other in the fallout of the US toxic mortgage securitisation fiasco. A fiasco mostly down to over-eager commission-only salespeople, and gullible bankers who had not heard of the expression "too good to be true".

Some dodgy mortgage problems were unearthed at Northern Rock, since the combination of 110% mortgage and over optimistic valuations were coupled to skyrocketing energy and commodity prices. Add the effects of the US mortgage time bomb going off, and the UK housing price boom was declared over for the time being, since no one could get the same sort of laissez-faire mortgage deals that had fuelled the price boom for so long.

Never mind that comparisons with the sort of toxic mortgages that sank the US system were extreme and not relevant. But then a pompous and witless governor of the BoE made "that" remark about moral hazard, the US faffed about while assuming that they were invulnerable to the possibility of trillion dollar financial failures, and the floodgates opened as short sellers were handed a one-way bet on UK financial stocks.

Initially some banks were hoping to force some of their more leery competitors out of the market or drive their prices down for a cheap acquisition; but it got out of hand as the short speculators circled and achieved a number of direct hits. It was not so much a case of tasting blood in the water, as much as looking in vain for water in the blood; having shot most of the banks in a barrel, then they set about savaging general equities - most of which were/are innocent bystanders.

Vast amounts of shareholder value have been destroyed in the UK and elsewhere without justification, and the bottom feeding speculators will probably double their money in the next 12 months.

So remind us, what was this Brown bloke up to for the past eleven years before he decided over a curry with his mates to become a bottom feeder and help himself to shares in banks after he drove their values down?

Does anyone fancy starting a no-win-no-fee class action for insider dealing and general financial malpractise to recover losses from him and his government in the form of the sort of personal guarantees that the rest of us have to produce when dealing with banks in the normal course of life?

An ugly sight

Eeyore and Badger's 9am press conference passed off rather more calmly than the circumstances deserved.

But why did no one ask our fairy-folk fiscal leaders about their famously fictional "no more boom and bust" statement? Will JK Rowling also be writing Darling's next budget statement, I wonder?

Why did no one stand up and ask "You philandering scumbags, this all happened ENTIRELY on your watch - so just tell us what happened and why it will not happen again. And who is responsible..."

Broon actually crowed that he had cannily invested at the bottom of the market! If that is not insider trading then we're not sure what is. TMP wouldn't care if its LloydsTSB shares were now wiped out - as long at it took Eeyore and Badger with them.

The main reason to be suspicious that we've all been had once again is the parade of bankers, politicians, trade union leaders and city gents, all heaving sighs of relief and uncritically praising the plot. Boy, are we screwed.

However, upon deeper consideration of the terms being imposed for this deal, it seems that other bankers would rather try harder to avoid taking the Broon billions than submit to a process that will unjustifiably bolster Broon's standing in the polls, and possibly might actually perpetuate the underlying malaise through Broon's insistence on continued lending to what the banks regard suspiciously as potentially dodgy risks, AKA Labour voters.

Markets seem to have weighed this up and driven the price of both HBOS and LloydsTSB lower on the presumption that Broon's pet banks are going end up as the basket cases of Broon's beneficence. The equity markets were going to bounce today anyway, TMP has already said so and explained why.

TMP believes that the fat lady has yet to clear her throat on this one. Suspicious bankers who would like to declare Emperor Brown and his tailor Darling to be stark naked once again, may sense the upbeat mood being frantically perpetuated by the BBC's familiar cheer leading, would not regard any boat rocking too kindly. Yet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How much worse can it be?

Gordon Brown's frantic efforts to herd G7 and EU finance ministers stems from the growing nightmare scenario of negative equity, with the 110% mortgages and wickedly overinflated values of recent years (the UK housing market was uniquely overpriced in Europe and even the US). This was a state of affairs roundly encouraged by the government, to help float and maintain the feelgood factor on a sea of fairy credit. Here's a very simple illustration of the day of reckoning.

House purchased/remortgaged for £200k in 2006/7 with £200k mortgage. Value in 2008 £150k. Will the purchaser...

a) continue paying off a £200k loan for £150k of equity
b) hand back the keys and bugger off in that shiny new BMW purchased using the "equity released"...

Did you buy a used car courtesy of this man?

Millions have used cash they didn't own to acquire assets they still don't own, so perhaps Gordon will be appointing the experts of this type of finance to replace the heads of the retail banks being nationalised.
Sadly, Swiss Tony advises TMP that he
and his colleagues are not currently available for
consultation from their tax haven at
Ford Open Prison, but have
suggested that his inspiration in all things fiscal and hirsute,
Mandelson, might
be available instead.

...this just in - Mandy gets a new fur wrap and seat in the Lords.

In the increasingly likely the event of (b), then just how many UK mortgages are of the "toxic" variety? Probably more than a million, so here is another £200,000,000,000 (it looks more scary when expressed that way, doesn't it?) for Broon's already anorexic piggy bank to account for.

People still have to live somewhere, of course, and local councils must be bracing themselves and reading up on their obligations to house the wilfully and not wilfully homeless, having very wilfully tipped their funds down the Icelandic drain on the advice of New Labour's stalwarts - Capita. So a scheme for turning these owners into tenants is probably already being worked out, for what the government is most likely doing when nationalising the banks is preparing to become a vast provider of rented accommodation.

The reason for Broon's fluster and bluster is that no other European country has anything like this situation with such overpriced houses, hence the mild bemusement on the faces of the G7 and EU finance ministers when asked if they all intend to back Broon rescue plans. Why should they? This is more the UK's own self-inflicted problem than anyone else's!

The most useful thing that could happen next week is for Broon and Co is to scare the rest of the world's financial markets into believing that they are indeed teetering on the same precipice as the UK, when in all probability, they are not. Expect more than one of these finance ministers to become exasperated with Broon's bullying antics and tell it as they see it; and then stand well back...

However, this tactic is also handing many failed left-leaning politicians across the globe a nifty opportunity to indulge in some systemic nationalisation that in "normal" circumstances they could never get away with. So maybe they will all just smile for the cameras - and snatch at the opportunity - whilst making a mental note to send Gordon and Alistair a Christmas card Meantime, everyone claims a brave victory has been snatched from the jaws of a disaster conveniently failing to note that it was entirely of their own making. As Broon's political hero Margaret Thatcher once observed, it's a funny old world.

The result for GB is likely to be the continued loss in value for the £ and the all the inflationary consequences - something those of us who recall all previous Labour governments will find sickeningly familiar. However, it is not entirely clear why equities should be taking quite a such a bath when the real malaise is quite narrowly confined to the US and UK housing and associated finance sectors - hence TMP's rebound predictions. And especially since UK equities will look even cheaper with £ heading south so quickly.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Free markets and fair markets

Either the bottom arrives as predicted by TMP on Tuesday, or it's time to plough those bowling green lawns and plant turnips. As the scope of the UK government's cunning "plan" gets analysed over the weekend, some flaws in Brown's strategy will emerge - not least the eye watering premium sought on preference shares. If Lloyd's TSB board accepts these terms on behalf of its shareholders after its opportunist move on HBOS, allegedly at the request of the Treasury, then the entire board should resign in shame and be replaced by those compliant monkeys that the Japanese have managed to train to serve in bars.

Ideally, what should happen is that "market" should respond to the government by simply sitting on its hands and doing nothing. Would it not be wonderful to revert to a barter economy so that as little revenue as possible touches the sides of government coffers? After all, they will only waste it on bin inspectors and painting stupid slogans on police cars - and bailing out idiot bankers However, back in the real world...

The problems stem mostly from the false assumption that markets managed and manipulated by bankers and politicians are in some curious way "free"; TMP can proudly claim prescience in the TMP 2008 New Year's Message to the Nation , so you'll have to suffer a bit of gloating we're afraid.

To summarize, here's the TMP simple 5 point plan to establish fair markets ("free" is a complete misnomer, so it goes), as opposed to the wildly distorted product of political and entrenched interests of the past 10 years. We also take into account making better use of the IT and communications revolution that has transformed everything about the way information is gathered and managed and over the past 20 years, apparently to no discernible purpose whatever in the efficiency and competence of government, other than to automatically send out parking and speeding tickets!

  • Ensure that no company can grow to the size where it "simply cannot be allowed" to go bust. Those that approach critical mass will be painlessly subdivided in a process that will release opportunities for innovation and create far more interest and scope for creative development than the sight of companies like Microsoft or IBM becoming inexorably larger and less lovely.
  • Separate each multinational companies' interests so that they are accountable (and therefore bustable) in the country of operation
  • Require all equities to be held for 24 hours before being resold. There must be some traffic calming measures to take into account the reckless speed at which much trading now operates.
  • Require all lending to be offset against deposits and credible assets, including the banks' boards' own personal guarantees.
  • Introduce the basis of real time online accounting and transparency. There is no (technical) reason why the balance sheet of any business from Arkwright's corner store to E.ON energy cannot now be displayed online in real time (with a contingency adjustment allowance of, say, up to 3% of turnover). And for those companies that will try to claim that that they are simply too big and complex for such analysis, then they will be downsized until they can comply.
Add a few extra reality checks and balances...
  • Recognise (at last) that democratic countries will/can never co-operate to the detriment of their own best interests. As we have seen, the voters simply would not allow it, so the EU can only ever be expected to operate as a free trade zone (which, coincidentally, is what we fondly imagined we were getting into all those years ago...). And in defence of the principles of free and fair trade, when a French or German energy company charges different rates in different EU countries, then they will be fined or replaced.

  • Government must be downsized and made relevant to a population that is going to have to be reintroduced to the notion of wealth creation, not speculation and manipulation and public sector pensions. The fact that the local council is the biggest employer just about everywhere must be addressed and alternatives evolved. Many more aspects of local council operation must be privatised and controlled by separately elected officials and budgets.

  • It is widely accepted in slick City circles that the easy money is made from exploiting insider advantage - shorting especially exploits this aspect of the market. But anyone expressing the view that this practise is actually illegal will ensure that person will be regarded as hopelessly naive by the other insiders. Retail shareholders are generally regarded as mugs, unless they trust their cash for equity investment to that group of sanitised insiders known as "funds". The immediate and practical answer to this would be to lock up most of the "inexplicably successful" investment professionals and take away their phones and Internet connections; a less draconian process would involve the introduction of the transparent accounting process outlined above.
TMP's deeply cynical view of the state of markets has been proved to be mostly correct. So after the past couple of weeks, does anyone seriously expect the whole process to carry on as before, in the ever more vicious boom and bust cycles that our woeful leader declared had been consigned to history?

Meantime, happy bottom fishing!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The one eyed man: "I see no icebergs..."

If the ship hits an iceberg, you don't then steer the lifeboats into the same iceberg. The ongoing shambles proves that none of the incumbents have a clue when it will end; or indeed how it began. In this economic land of the blind, the one eyed man is most certainly not king; his miracle rescue plan has got off to a very shaky start, and the value of equities (especially financial stocks) heads further south to provide the speculators an ever bigger upside.

Darling and Broon's cunning plan doesn't appear to be doing anything useful, and we plainly need a much broader ranging review of the state of markets and participants to understand how it happened before we can fix it properly.

Brown still talks of "the new global economy" and bemoans that there is no appropriate system of global regulation. But the history of the human race suggests that there will never be the sort of agreement required that will result in a sovereign state submitting their major companies to outside interference. The "unity" of the EU dissolved at the very first test of this idea when everyone broke rank and rushed for the hills as the system started to creak.

TMP has a solution; possibly the only solution; and it's terribly simple. Contrary to widespread popular belief, what we have now are not "free markets" with safety valves on the damaging effects of monopoly interests. We haven't had free markets on a level playing field for about as long as this crisis has been brewing.

The root cause of the problem is that too many companies and institutions have been enabled to grow to be too big to be allowed to go bust. The expression "too many eggs in one basket" perfectly sums up the past 30 years of creeping globalisation, a period when monopoly legislation became largely irrelevant as governments wilfully colluded with big companies out of stupidity, expedience and greed.

Those of us who have been obliged to try and deal with the masters of the banking universe will be aware that getting funding deals for new ideas is frustrated by deal size. Ten years ago venture capitalists and bankers were reluctant to get involved with any deal for less than £100k on the basis that it took just as much paperwork and diligence to do a £100k deal as it did to do a £1m deal. The benchmark crept up steadily along with the number of rules, regulations and time wasting boxes to tick, and many private equity funds could not be arsed to get out of bed for a deal worth less than £10m. (Of course, fees based on the size of deal might also have something to do with this ...)

Deals were also increasingly predicated on multiplying capital values, not boring old proven earnings ability. Preferred exits were either a fairyland IPO, or a quick flip to sell a creative and adaptable business to help a larger competitor become ever larger and less competitive.

This mindset was also tracked by lazy governments who decided it was easier to regulate and tax one £10bn leviathan, than chase around after 1000 £10m minnows. The Chancellor picks up the phone to the leviathan MD and "does a deal". That leviathan MD is generally a pretty sound "establishment" figure. A well behaved bean counter that's been through the system and emerged as a "safe pair of hands," who gladly toes the establishment line to ensure that his options and bonuses keep on turning up on time. But trying to "persuade" 1000 self-made MDs is far worse than herding cats.

A sinister take on this situation is that there are going to be bargains for those with cash when the bottom arrives. It's much simpler for a sovereign wealth fund like that of Saudi Arabia to acquire controlling stakes in a few multinational organisations than work out how to manipulate thousands of smaller businesses.

The TMP fix will mean cutting ALL companies down to sizes where they can be allowed to go bust.

Do not listen to those trying to preserve their monopoly/oligopoly fiefdoms and cosy service contracts who say it cannot possibly be done. The technology to cope with the operations of these distributed organisations already exists, and the enthusiasm of the people for small scale enterprise is undeniable following the success of celebrity business TV shows.

Let the process of recruiting the right people to head those scaled down business units begin.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

And still it goes on

Oh dear. Speculators rightly assume from a brief analysis of the situation that they can lead the usual sheep to take markets even lower. More insurance companies are now starting to creak, and many of these control matters such as pensions that will probably force further painful interventions that will result in even better value for money when the speculators decide to move back in.

There is real danger that manipulators are playing a waiting game to see just how close to the brink they can take the world economy - on the basis that modern electronic trading will make the rebounds even more sudden and dramatic, enabling several opportunities to take profits as markets lurch upwards in a series of gasps. A steady climb back up wouldn't be nearly as profitable.

However, Gordon's stern facade is cracking once more, and perhaps the bottom will only arrive for the UK once he has gone and the speculators have someone less predictable and inept to play with.

If the system of fractional reserve banking is really so broken that it cannot patched up, then what is the alternative? It's curious how we are currently being edged ever closer to ponder that perhaps the principles of Sharia economics might be the only viable scheme to pursue. Meantime, please keep your eye on more important terrorism issues, and don't forget to take off your shoes, belts and hand in your contact lens solution when boarding an aircraft...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

TMP calls the bottom...

It is imminent. Mark the date and time of this posting.

Tuesday October 14th will see the start of the upswing as markets suddenly realise that people are still eating, driving, and buying consumer goods.

This will be when aptly named "bottom feeding" speculators judge that they have wrung every last panic measure from every government and forced markets to their lowest point, watch the stock markets soar again as the cute investors that piled out when the market peaked ...all pile back in at the bottom.

Especially now that commodities are falling back to sanity.

The naivety of Broon & Co and his coterie of halfwit politicians and advisers truly knows no bounds, although there is more than a fighting chance that the value of any equity investments they made in a panic might be more than amply repaid in less time than anyone imagined possible.

The bunko booth of Threadneedle Street

Given the ease with which amounts such as £500bn are being flung around by people who have not created a single £ of wealth ever in their entire miserable lives, let's consider what other "big plays" might be possible by those of us equally qualified to set the world to rights.

Given that there is no such thing as government funding - it's always your money and my money - what can we do to put the people in better control of their own money once again?

Ironically, it was the Bank of England's profligacy back in the 18th century lead to the imposition of the taxes on the colonies that kick-started the US war of independence. Whereupon they quickly learned about the joys of central banks and fractional reserve banking for themselves.

Issuing money where there is no basis of supporting value (eg gold or silver bullion) would be called fraud in most circumstances. This video is a useful backgrounder to the situation in the US (and de facto, everywhere else...)

One conclusion is that the banking system is entirely manipulated to create an upward spiral (boom) in equity values based on the presumption of inflation. Which allows governments to devalue their debt at regular intervals (busts) and force savings to fund equities because interest rates alone can never compete with inflation. And so the smart money gets out at the top ..and back in at the next bottom.

It isn't rocket science, so the naivety of Broons statement on the elimination of boom and bust ought to have already consigned him the waste bin of failed politicians. But it's a funny old world, and if the BBC gets its way, Broon might yet be hailed as a saviour!

Now kiss farewell to £50bn

There is vastly more evidence for the existence of fairies than Gordon Brown's fiscal responsibility; just ask JK Rowling and her enviable bank balance. This is the man who said there would be no more boom and bust, so it was mildly distracting that the rescue package should be delivered by two favourite characters from childhood fairy stories.

Eeyore and Badger switched from being responsible socialists to become the most rampant capitalists in the country in the space of 24 hours, because they found themselves backed into a corner by a series of moves by market speculators.

Now pause for a moment - in all this crisis there are been nary a mention of "all that" Arab money. What is it doing? Is it just possible that the fabulously cash-rich fundamentalist regimes and terrorists have eventually learned what Germany and Japan both learned post WW2, ie that cash is far mightier than the bomb? We are indeed being driven slowly but surely towards adopting the fundamentals of a Sharia economy where interest is regarded as usury, and people simply can't spend what they don't have.

Never mind the stupid notion of "solidarity in times of crisis", if the bus is heading over the cliff, it's time to change the driver. Would you buy a used platitude from the man (and his sidekick) who said there would be no more boom and bust..? If he can make one such a cataclysmic misjudgement on what was allegedly his "specialist subject" , then can anyone believe anything he says about anything?

It is time for an EU-wide debate followed by proper elections and a series of referenda on issues such as the apparently unsustainable Euro to enable the people to decide how to reward the smug self-serving idiots who are responsible for this mess.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mandelson madness

TMP had to pause for a moment to be certain that it wasn't dreaming. We believe we are fully awake after all. Peter Mandelson is back in UK Politics? Just what photographs has he got of who/what doing what to whom?

The Labour Party can be assured a reasonably quiet ride at the hands of the BBC of course - after all, Mandeslon ticks many of their inclusivity boxes. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that Lord Mandelson has direct personal experience of dodgy loans and mortgages plus his very own credit crunch.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Back to basics, with a vengeance

Our rudderless government continues to look like it has no grasp whatsoever on events.

The free-for-all in savings guarantees amongst our EU "partners" confirms what we all knew about EU unity and solidarity - it is indeed an expensive sham. The hopeless volatility of unfettered electronic trading has turned stock trading into casino gambling, and we can now see the results.

The short selling ban was a start, but we need a period where all stocks have to be held for a minimum of - say - 5 days. And then review the period once we can see how it is working out. If we are not already into that fascinating zone where "things couldn't possibly be any worse", we are pretty damn close to it.

At times like these, only basics can apply: stocks should only be traded on the basis of earnings and prospects for earnings, not as punts on bogus capital appreciation that are hyped by bent brokers.

So new are the rules of this new game that ALL current politicians and their banker chums could be "let go", and there would only be an upside. At the very least, EU-wide elections and referenda should be promised so the people can "have their say" on what they have seen our leaders doing this past month. Edifying it is not.

Al Quaeda must be laughing its head off that our pompous politicians have done their job so well for them. Broon and the rest of his remorselessly inept colleagues in both Westminster and Brussels are a whisker away from being found guilty of treason and terrorism.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

One down, lots to go...

Sir Ian Blair's vacuous head on a pikestaff is a good start - and the comments in Have Your Say in the BBC new website are unusually unanimously "good riddance", despite the best efforts of the BBC to canonise the worthless twerp. Blair (take you pick of either) was/is the epitome of a "Common Purpose" placemen, and hopefully will be the first of many sad losses for that insidious movement.

In case you didn't watch the BBC's floating voter panel commenting on DC's speech (a mistake using the lectern by the way), you should be aware the most positive reaction came when he was on about jobsworths and health and safety stupidity. (A favourite theme of TMP as doubtless you are aware).

The rest of the speech - and especially the reference to the sainted Margaret - didn't rouse the rabble too favourably. Whatever you may think of the realities, the perception remains everything - and there are clearly no-go areas for the floaters, including Mrs T and Poll Tax. (Although TMP continues to try and work out why Council Tax is effectively any different, other than it allows the wilful more options to evade.)

However, since witless PC runs through every fibre of Labour's being, it should be simple enough to use that one thread to weave a blanket of populist measures that at last address concerns of the British people, that enough is enough.

TMP thinks the attack on councils will also be quite sustainable - we detect little sympathy. Perhaps another theme could be the dramatic reduction of pointless street furniture (inc cameras) and markings, we have no doubt the suppliers of all that junk will be the only people concerned.

Bring on the revolution! The process must involve undoing many things; not doing even more.

Although it's too bad about the chop for quangos - TMP was hoping for a turn on one while the gravy train still chugged. Still, we suppose it's a small price to pay for the return of some sanity.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lies, damned lies and selling

If you watched the Bird and Fortune pieces in the last edition of TMP, then you will know most of what you need to know about the credit crunch. Pay attention in particular, to the references to the amoral commission-based mortgage sales people who started the chain reaction on the rickety porches of Alabama in the first place.

Although we live in a world of unprecedented access to information, education - and dare we say it - regulation - there is one "profession" that exists where the highest fliers are all too frequently the biggest liars: sales. Just about the only "qualification" required to be a salesperson is the ability to sell. So rare are "good salespeople" that blind eyes are traditionally turned by those desperate to rake in income without worrying too much about the small print. Over promising and under delivering is rife, "little white lies" are commonplace.

The fact is that all to many successful sales people tell lies in order to close sales. Their hapless victims are part of an age-old battle of psychology and wits that means a customer is at the same time bamboozled, bullied, pressured and flattered, and frequently too embarrassed to admit to have "fallen for the oldest tricks in the book" to want to admit their gullibility. The very best sales "artists" somehow manage to convince their marks that by buying from them, they somehow become part of the aura of success of that seems to accompany a rampant salesperson.

Mel Brooks' classic comedy of sharp financial sales technique, "The Producers", summed it up pretty well. However, Bialystock & Bloom raised their game even further, and sold the same thing many times over... which handily brings us back to the sales of toxic mortgages as they progressed through the hands of ever more dishonest and skilled salespeople, and on to more stupid and unquestioning customers.

But be they impresarios, mortgage salespeople or politicians peddling themselves and their ideas in the course of doing just about anything gain or retain power - the fact they tell lies is taken for granted by a large chunk of the population: "well, he/she's a salesman - what do you expect..?" We all know that estate agents and politicians are obliged by their code of professional honour to be as economical as possible with the truth - but when it comes right down to it, everyone is a salesperson. We all try and sell opinions and ideas - and ourselves - all day long.

Despite the experience of many lifetimes, no one really learns, and many people selectively hear what they want to hear. And the result is frequently a self inflicted disaster in the shape of repossession, or an inept government comprised of politicians ready to do/say to sell the idea that they know best - where the reality takes an entire country to cleaners.

Think back to the last time you lied about something: TMP will wager that you were selling something to someone.