Thursday, 4 August 2016
No, it really is. The Scottish independence referendum was a landmark event, one that saw folks from Inverness to Inverurie take the time to educate themselves about politics and economics. To give an example, the precise nature of Scotland’s currency in a hypothetical post UK situation was a subject of serious discussion and a matter of informed, reasonable, if those HM Treasury papers are cast to one side for the shite they were/are, debate.
Faced with Brexit, the great and the good appeared to have looked at what had happened in Scotland and what had won and chose the same tactic; scare the bejezuz out the fuckahs in a (massively exaggerated way) in the hope that something approaching rational debate would win. But, it didn’t because the Brexit lot never took the time to educate themselves about anything. They already had their bigoted prejudices and that was what counted.
So yeah, sorry England, Scotland set a standard you couldn’t reach, one you didn’t even recognise and still refuse to acknowledge. Fail.
As with Trump supporters in the US, a pro-Brexit argument here was that it was a vote against the corrupting influence of “big business” on the polity (albeit not necessarily expressed in those terms). The thing is, in this regard the Trumpists are a couple of military grade, semi-automatic shots behind the Brexiteers in the which country can shoot its feet off the fastest race both sets of clods have shat over the rest of us. The why is straightforward; British governments don’t go after, reform or penalise big business for being naughty to anything like the same degree the EU does.
Fer instance, when Microsoft moaned in 2006 about the EU fining it for abusing its (effectively a) monopoly position, the EU response was to threaten to up its $1.5m a day fine to $3m. Similarly, the EU subsequently fined Intel $1.44m for abusing its influence as a parts supplier to feck up its rival AMD by giving rebates to PC makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard Co, NEC and Lenovo if they bought most of their computer chips from them.
There’s other examples, go find them later, but in the meantime compare/contrast with how us Great British folk treated much of the British construction industry after the OFT found out they’d been rigging tenders for public sector contracts for years; 103 firms were fined a total of £129m in 2009. Chew on that for a second … 103 firms were fined £129m for ripping off the public sector i.e. us, for years. That’s 103 firms, including Balfour Beatty and Carillion and £129m. 103 firms. Over a 100 firms and barely £1m apiece on average for ripping us all off.
So whereas the EU really does stand up to “Big business”, left to its own devices, the British government barely manages a smack on the wrist. So by voting for Brexit, all of us will be left more exposed and vulnerable to abusive, Big Business behaviour. Shit.
Compare/contrast this with Trump; his rhetoric about NAFTA etc., suggests he’s less keen on free market access (to the US) and the associated scope for moving production from the US to lower wage economies. On the other hand, this outsider’s outsider has said hee haw about actually reforming the political process to reduce the influence Big Business has. But, here’s the thing, a pro-Brexit vote still appears dumber than voting for Trump.
Friday, 29 July 2016
The Brexit parallels with Trump in the US are painfully apparent making this article describing how he’s moved politics there from conservative vs liberal to normal vs abnormal so relevant. However, the point, commentators aren’t getting or acknowledging is simple; we‘ve done normal (and rational), it worked and works plenty fine for “them”, but hasn’t done any good for "us" for a good long while now, in fact it’s done an increasing amount of bad,
Which is weird, and gawd knows where's next.
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
“Two HSBC executives have been charged in the US for allegedly conspiring to rig international currency markets.
Mark Johnson, HSBC'sglobal head of foreign exchange cash trading in London, and Stuart Scott,former head of HSBC's forex trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa,will appear in a New York court.”
When is an executive not an executive? When he’s a “head of”. A more accurate description of a “head of” would be senior manager or even baby executive, but one thing they are not is especially senior, “global” or otherwise, which prompts a few questions:
1) So (US) regulators are going after currency traders now, not just libor bods, interesting…. (it fits the still subterranean narrative of every market that could be gamed appears to have gamed i.e. fraud was committed, and slowly but surely folks are gonna pay)
2) thought traders got the big bucks because they superstar moneymakers, not crooks?
3) The folks that’re gonna pay aren’t that senior, meaning the real senior guys are going to keep getting away with it
4) Why are people who aren’t that senior being misrepresented as being senior?
5) And Jezuz, Shitting Christ and his 12 disciples, why has been going on for years? (compare/contrast re: how long it takes to prosecute "plebs")
As an aside, given these guys look like they’re getting hauled up in the US, I’d be shitting myself if I was them (see here for instance).
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Nice short documentary here about Concorde, a moment when Britain and France united to take on the US and the Russians in a technology race and won, producing one of the most sublime pieces of engineering in the process. And then there’s Airbus, that pan-European marvel, arguably built to help reb-alance the trade deficit of however many European countries because they were importing too many Boeings.
Anyhoo, here’s a link to a scientist explaining how Brexit is already fucking science in Britain, a thing that creates jobs, companies and money at the same times as enriching and advancing us all as a society and as a civilisation. Compare/contrast/and cry.
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Reflecting on how the debate about Barclays and HSBC leaving the UK fizzled out when they all got caught at it by US regulators I noted; "Or was it the reality of not having UK regulators to back them up when the Americans got a hold of their nads that prompted second thoughts?"
I was close I guess, it was actually the Chancellor who successfully backed them up against the Americans with a congressional report in the US stating that when HSBC was getting done for money laundering, " the UK "hampered" the probe and "influenced" the outcome."
Self-congratulation aside, HSBC subsequenrly started the whole debate all over again in a gob smacking display of ingratitude. Gits.