Raves, rants and reviews
Raves, Rants, Reviews

What’s gone wrong at HSBC?

03/03/2015. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

As HSBC suffers under the scorching spotlight of public scrutiny once more, it seems fair to ask why the banking group so often finds itself mired in controversy.

The latest revelations from leaked bank files about the tax services offered by HSBC’s Swiss private banking subsidiary have caused shockwaves. Its former and current leadership have faced intense pressure and Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has floated the possibility of new penalties for bankers and accountants who are found to have navigated routes along and beyond the edge of legality as they seek to cut clients’ tax bills. Read more…

Ordained priest confesses terrible sin

26/03/2013. Category: People. Topic: .

Stephen Green is an ordained priest and amateur theologian and banker. In 1996, he published Serving God? Serving Mammon? Christians and the Financial Markets. He also was the chairperson of HSBC.

In a Spectator article, he was quoted: “Christians can serve God in the world of finance and commerce, but it is also possible to fall into the trap of serving Mammon there.” Which obviously has happened.  Read more…

It worked! The Libor rate is fixed, big boy!

04/07/2012. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

It is not quite an Eureka moment like the 99.999% discovery of the Higgs boson-like particle. But when the bankers discovered that colluding on fixing the Libor rate can bring them huge profits, they emailed each other: “… please keep it to yourself otherwise it won’t work.”

They did keep it to themselves and robbed the public of billions of dollars. It worked! But only for a few years. They have been caught out and the heads are rolling, Bob Diamond of Barclays being the first (of many, most likely) to walk the plank.  Read more…

The poor Americans

28/06/2012. Category: People. Topic: .

Spare a thought for the citizens of the United States. They are paying for wars they do not want, subsidizing roads they do not need, paying for expensive toilet seats for Washington officials, give farming subsidies to billionaire hobby farmers such as David Rockefellar, bankroll bankers, and now have to pay extra for health care under the Obamacare.

“Pay extra”? Yes, because they already pay high taxes. One would think that those taxes pay for the roads and hospitals and such citizen things.  Read more…

The weather in Cannes

03/11/2011. Category: People. Topic: , .

Cannes, France

Today, it is 64°F (18°C) in Cannes, France where the G-20 heads of governments are stuffing their faces, contemplating the offers of corrupt institutions, ogling the French girls and smirking at the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou.

Normally, Cannes is a great place to visit whatever the weather. It is a beautiful seaside town with long lazy beaches, grand hotels and fantastic restaurants. This is the place where pretty actresses, handsome actors and great directors rub shoulders during the annual Cannes Film Festival Read more…

Chop Chop Chop

07/07/2011. Category: People. Topic: .

The Greeks are used to breaking things. It’s part of their custom. Smashing plates at parties, wedding receptions and tavernas, that is. The custom is said to have originated with ancient traveling potters breaking their own wares, inviting the locals to share in the fun and thereby maintaining a market for their products.

But the story also goes that the noise of the smashing of plates was meant to drive away evil spirits. That makes a lot more sense in modern terms: rioting Greeks (and others) breaking things to ward off the evils of the recession – pensions being reduced, benefits being cut, public spending being chopped, bankers continually being stuffed with free public money, etc. Read more…

Lloyd Blankfein’s diapers

18/04/2011. Category: People. Topic: .

The guy who once said he was busy doing “God’s work” is finding himself in a hot spot… once again (horns et all). Lloyd Blankfein, ubermeister of Goldman Sachs, has found himself in the tight corner of a small world: facing the angry federal regulators of the Securities and Exchange Commission in a lawsuit alleging fraud against the company he steered through thick and thin. Thick for them, thin for their clients.

If you haven’t followed this amazing story a good place to start is the version of Goldman Sachs as the “Great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” It gets better (as an astounding insult) from there on. Mentioning the name “Blankfein” has become synonymous with Godwin’s Law. Read more…

Now that they have your money they will keep it

12/09/2010. Category: People. Topic: .

Your banker loves you. Especially since the latest accord of Basil III was sneaked into being by the BIS (Bank of International Settlements). The bankers agree to hold more capital in reserve, rising from the current 4% to 4.5% by 2013 and 6% by 2019, plus an emergency reserve of 2.5%, totaling some 8.5%. In short, it means that banks have 9 years (before the agreement comes into full effect – if it does) to capitalize on your money. Read more…

The face of modern terrorism

27/04/2010. Category: People. Topic: .

Clean shaven, immaculately dressed, manicured, arrogant. Looking at the Goldman Sachs executives during the Senate hearing on mortgages one cannot help but realize that these are the faces of modern terrorism.

The grilling Senator Carl Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations gave the seven bankers – including Lloyd Blankfein, the most hated man in the world – will not reverse the damage done, will not bring back the properties lost and lives destroyed. It only reminds one that not all terrorists are armed with guns. Read more…

Finally earth is hotting up

18/04/2010. Category: Wheels. Topic: , , .

After a rather coolish season, earth is finally hotting up again. Nothing to do with the temperature. We’re talking about exciting human happenings. And therefor lots of names.

> Great American Le Mans Series racing: Patrón Highcroft Racing team David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud pipped the Aston Martin Racing team Harold Primat and Adrian Fernandez to the post by a breathtaking 0.353 seconds at Long Beach in a race that was run at a hot pace throughout.

> Spectacular Formula One racing: Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rossberg – frankly, all the drivers in the F1 circus performed well in the wet but wonderful Chinese Grand Prix. Read more…

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