Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Open Thread

I won't be blogging today as I am spending the day with my parents in Saffron Walden. It's their golden wedding anniversary. Please discuss anything you want in this open thread.

51 comments:

Arkangel said...

Telegraph reporting Margaret Hodge as leaving the Administration.

She'll not be missed.

not signed in said...

Did anyone else see David Miliband say 'We don't want a weak Russia' ?

How arrogant is that?? Like we're so strong at the moment.
I thought it was an extraordinary line to take. It is ironic he falls into the pattern of the degenerate imperialist so well.
He seems to be still living in the 1990s. I know it was a reasonably good time for Labour but c'mon!

Derek Draper's Red & Dead Army said...

Thank's Ian.

cartermagna said...

Whoops! It was my Parent's 33rd aniversary yesterday... I sent a card yesterday but completely forgot to ring them. How much trouble am I in and what is the worst example of calender entry forgetfulness you've ever had?

Well, it is an *open* thread!

Alan Douglas said...

Dear Iain,

Congrats to your parents for enduring for so long. Not an easy thing to achieve in our rather fragmented society.

But - yes, there is a but - could they not have chosen a better date to get married than the first day of the 2008 Tory conference ?

Alan Douglas

James said...

I wonder what GB is planning to do to upstage the Conservative Party Conference this year?

Anonymous said...

i'd like to say say something sensible, but i'm still laughing at the Clown's nonsense about "ending the age of irresponsibility". Thanks, you moron, for admitting what many people have known for years. That you were an irresponsible chancellor for 10 years, before becoming a useless Prime Minister. I presume, by his remarks, that's what he was acknowledging. It shames me that this loathesome man is the Prime Minister of our country.

Man in a Shed said...

I saw Miliband - the interviewer was asking him, in effect, if the Russia foreign minister had sworn at him again.

Who made the gap year student foreign sec anyway ?

africanmum said...

Guardian said Labour puts Tories on back foot with poll. Thought they'd overtaken the Tories. Seems they're 10 points behind and that's a cause for celebration. Labour has to thoroughly raise its game in order to be classed as pathetic.
Meanwhile Brown running around saying world crisis means he's safe in his job as poll confirms people think he's best man for the job.
Hope this delusion leads him to visit the queen, announce parliament is prorogued as he wants public to back him as man for crisis in ballot box, as no time for a novice, etc. etc. We should all pray his delusion prompts him to act like this.
Congrats to your parents by the way. Mine celebrated their 50th in March. Thank God we'll soon have a govt that truely supports marriage.

eddie said...

Congratulations to your folks, Ian. Hope you have a great day in the sunshine!

africanmum said...

Guardian headlined interview with Dominic Grieve as a rejection of multiculturalism. I bet they think this discredits the Tories. Au contraire actually. People are fed up to the back-teeth with multiculturalism but couldn't discuss it as no mainstream party was debating this. It hurts 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants from Africa, Caribbean and Asia. Our kids wish to belong somewhere but can't because of this apartheid policy. My nephews and nieces feel American and are sure of their identity. But my kids and their friends are asked to identify with a country they've only visited a couple of times and would never live in.
Abandoning multiculturalism means we non-whites born in Britain can finally feel we belong without feeling our passports and birth certs only give us guest worker status.
Cameron as PM could start by introducing a flag in classrooms like they have in USA and have kids sing the national anthem and recite a pledge every morning at assembly. Also great to see Grieves reminding people our constitution says we're a Christian country. Tories' defending our Christian heritage guarantees them a lot of core votes and new ones from those of us who voted Labour last in 2005.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Please accept my best wishes to your parents and I hope they have a lovely day. You have a family who love you. That is the most precious thing anyone can have.

Let's Get Quizzical said...

Does anyone out there like Jeffrey Archer's books? Not the man but his books?

I've just read his latest 'A Prisoner of Birth' and found out, to my surprise, that it's pretty good.

ET said...

anyone else feel the Press are being very harsh on Cameron now?? they've almost decided in unison to level the playing field a bit...

DONT remember this happening in 95??

do you think the general disappointment in Blair has led to a growing cynicism that Cameron is fighting against?

Anonymous said...

Most of the papers seem to report the possibility of Bradford and Bingley being nationalised. Surely someone must see the absurdity of nationalising every failing financial institution? Even if we could afford to take on the debt, sure this would usher in a true 'age of irresponsibility', as banks and mortgage lenders can see that they can take large risks with little consequence in the event of everything going tits up? Or am I missing something?

africanmum said...

The bank executives and spivs on Wall st and other financial centres who have caused this mess for us should be in Guantanamo Bay. They're a bigger threat to the west than any Islamic terrorist. Now every leftie is crawling out from under stones saying capitalism is dead, as if socialism would ever be the answer. It's not capitalism that went bad, it's the fact that a bunch of thieves hijacked the system and ethics got thrown out of the window. I think it was tragic when the west ignored manufacturing as a source of growth and took on the evil Milton Friedman's monetary economics and consumerism as a source of economic growth.

Anonymous said...

A week in the life of the great leader:

ID Cards - Stasi happy

Unpaid police informants - Stasi happy

Beating up on cigarette smokers - Stasi happy

DVLC helping scam car-park companies - Stasi happy

Cameras on every road following your car movements using licence plate reading software (a stop-gap method until the Galileo satellite system is fully operational) - Stasi happy

NHS IT system, so all your medical details can be read by any old quango - Stasi happy

And to cap it all - a trip to the UN to shown them the error of their ways. What a marvellous week.

John Pickworth said...

I just cannot stand watching our Plastic PM™ parading around America any longer... it reminds me so much of Hitler's triumphant visit to Paris.

How's that for random?

Seriously though, the country's going to hell in a handcart and our supposed leader is poncing about doing what exactly? Its a disgrace, an embarrassment and Lord knows how much this trip is costing us all? Gordon Brown, the showbiz, no biz PM.

golden rose said...

A cousin of mine - who knows more about these things than me and is NOT connected to any political party - recommends the not altogether serious Mark Gilbert opinion posted on the Bloomberg site in which he weighs up the pros and cons of the Under the Mattress Option for a hypothetical large lottery win.

Daily Referendum said...

Ed Balls in Nazi Uniform

Oscar Miller said...

I agree the media mood has turned and the public are being forcefed a new Big Lie. Gordon the serious economist who can sort out global financial crises. The spiv Tories who caused it all. A monumental falsehood is being perpetrated. This year's conference looks set to be blanked by the media. While Brown grandstands (ineffectual as ever) in the States the BBC will be using America to bury Cameron. They've made a good start judging by this morning's Today programme.

Anonymous said...

James Our dear leader has his reshuffle announced for next friday

Lola said...

The blame for this banking crisis lies squarely with the policy makers and monetary authorities of the US and UK. The explosion of the money supply was the drug needed by bankers to satisfy their habit. Give fractional reserve banks lots of cash at too low a price and they will main line on it. An unholy alliance - politicians and bankers.

But what really worries me is that Gordon has (as I speculated) the 'event' he wants. If he can appear to be The Man to resolve this, his poll standing will rise. If he can bring completion of some sort during the Tory conference he gets a double bubble. He looks lucky to me.

We have to remember that he is the most deceitful PM since Wilson. He will lie and deceive with all the talent for it that he possesses. He knows he has this moment and he is capable of capitalising on it.

How then do those that know he is culpable keep this fact in the public eye such that whatever he achieves, by accident or design, is minimised as an achievement?

In life I have found that the only defence against a persistent liar is to keep to the facts and the truth. Keep it accurate. Keep it true. Keep it simple and keep it boring. Keep going on about the track record. Keep going on about the real numbers. Quietly and peristently explain the logic and the economics. Do not on any account try to match him lie for lie spin for spin. Just keep it straight. My feeling is that the country is ready for this. And do not use any false bonhomie such as "I am a pretty straight kind of guy".

The Tories are vulnerable here. Their track record in the last 11 years on sound economics is pathetic ("sharing the proceeds of growth" - I ask you?). They have a lot of work to do. If only they had not run scared of the Blair machine and kept to the simple message that spending and borrowing is doomed they would find it so much easier now to say "we told you so". But they didn't did they? Consequently it is a much bigger job.

But whatever, something must be done to winkle this spendthrift, incompetent and above all deceitful clown and out of No10 and his gang out of power.

Mind you I reckon the Tories are pretty bloody awful, it's just that this lot are absolutely dire. And as for the Libdems, who?

Glyn H said...

Regarding the 'credit crunch' there are two underlying issues which I have not seen widely discussed. Firstly there was I believe a deal of anti discrimination legislation in the US in the late 80’s and 90’s, based with good reason upon the civil rights campaign but perhaps fed by the feminism issue. Thus in the words of Tom Lehrer’s immortal introduction to ‘It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier’ - “(one) has to admit that the army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion in the sense that not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and colour, but also on the grounds of ability”. If you then couple that to the lack (as far as I know) in the US of an equivalent to our Sale of Goods Act and the Unfair Contracts legislation it was easy for sharks to sell duff mortgages to schmucks. The second point was put with clarity by Sir Martin Jacomb in last weeks Spectator, “many of these securitised loans turned out not to have been effectively disposed of but to have remained the responsibility of the banks which originated them. Many senior managers….. had not grasped the reality”

Finally the Paulson 'deal' for the US taxpayer to buy these debts at maturity value, NOT at current (even book) value today smacks of an ex Goldman banker trying to save his bank not a government official trying to shore up the sysytem - or have I, being a layman, missed something?

Manfarang said...

africanmum 2:04pm
Get your kids to speak with RP accents, then they will have no problems.
The British constitution is unwritten,it doesn't explicitly say anything.
The Church of England should be disestablished which would result in a greater attendance on Sundays.
Roman salutes in schools will solve nothing.

Newmania said...

The blogasphere is starting to depress me . When I started reading blogs it was a place where voices which had been excluded could rage and whine . Now there are some good ones but generally it is dominated by exactly the same people who dominate the rest of the media.

John Pickworth said...

Picking up from Lola's theme...

Do people remember the original Thatcher message about 'house keeping budgets' and spending wisely? Seems to me we need someone who can again articulate that simple message to the public.

Its been quite enlightening listening to Main St USA, the anger from ordinary Americans who are paying their mortgages and object (quite strongly) about bailing out those who haven't. There's a message that should resinate here too... it would be 'wise' if some were to do that in Birmingham this week.

Newmania said...

Lola I agree Brown is now capable of any lie and when people are fearful it is possible they will want to believe any old lie .

Bad times often encopurage the very worst politics , if we go back to the 30s then we should remember the political consequences across Europepupd

beachhutman in Beijing said...

OK stop the lists please. Anally retentive nonsense. One a year is ENOUGH!

beachhutman in Beijing said...

oh, and when will the MSM pick up on the story that Jaqui Smith did not launch an ID card the other day, and was showing us a lie? That card she waved about was an example of a card issued under the borders regulations, not the UK ID card act. So even when spinning, they lie.

Chris Paul said...

A case of silence is golden? Congratulations.

dick the prick said...

Congrats to the folks Iain - marvellous.

dick the prick said...

Fair point Alan - I'd not even bothered analysing it as it's cabin mentality. If they want a strong Russia - drop this Litvenenko nonsense, sort Berezovsky out (he is problematic!) and don't get involved in stuff that ain't our business. Hey ho - last Lord of Rings tonight - never managed to keep stamina.

Anonymous said...

Recently an insurance company nearly wind up....

A bank is nearly bankrupt......

Who fault?

Now using tax payer money, $700B is used to save finance industry only, how about the industry that you are in.....retail industry, construction industry, manufacturing industry, R&D, electronics, electrical, mechanical, chemical, IT etc.... each industry will be able to enjoy at least $10B.......



The top management of the Public listed company ( belong to "public" ) salary should be tied a portion of it to the shares price ( IPO or ave 5 years ).... so when the shares price drop, it don't just penalise the investors, but those who don't take care of the company.....If this rule is pass on, without any need of further regulation, all industries ( as long as it is public listed ) will be self regulated......




Sign a petition to your favourite president candidate and ask for their views to comment on this......If you agree on my point, please let as many people know as possible....

Media and finance sector is the only two sector ( hopefully Hacker can also ) which can overcome political incorrect power, so it is time to fine tune to the correct path, so hopefully media can united to report the truth......

dick still 98% a prick said...

Bit drunk - soz. Golf analogy though - you don't win anything on Saturday - i'm loving the Cameron strategy - teasers, not strategy. Antici......................pation.

Anonymous said...

Bradford & Bingley are offering 6.7% this afternoon, provided that you lock your money up for 12 months...

Unfortunately they may not be open on Monday.

Dangermouse said...

John Pickworth - although I agree with your sentiment, I think the parallels are on the other side.

GB is so inept he reminds me far more of Chamberlain - peace in our time, peace in our time (waving letter from Herr Hitler).

Unfortunately I do not think we will see "credit in our time" and I deeply resent Brown's grandstanding on the White House lawn with no Bush and nothing useful to say other than "we are going our best" etc. etc. and so forth.

To continue the parallel, Brown will grow to be even more despised than Chamberlain who was, at least, an innocent fool.

Brown is far more deadly and we underestimate him at our peril. (Anonymous 2.55 has the measure of him)

javelin said...

As predicted, or rather expected, in a previous email, we're now seeing the credit crisis taking the financial system to the brink. Something I think will clear up alot of misunderstanding is the word "credit" in credit crisis actually refers to TWO completely different things which form two sides of a giant negative feedback loop in the financial system. On one side credit refers to debt held by individuals and companies and on the other credit default swaps (or bankruptcy insurance) refers to credit events (or bankruptcies) held by financial institutions. The negative feedback loop works when debts (e.g. householder or company bankruptcies) triggers credit default swaps, then the credit default swaps trigger further bankruptcies (via higher interest rates or banks liquidity ratios) when banks have to pay out on the credit default swaps. Where the regulators have failed is that they have allowed this negative feedback loop to get too tight, and allowed banks to insure assets they they directly effect. It is this bank-assurance model that needs to be more tightly regulated and not the investment banking model.

As somebody who works in one of the few banks to manage Credit Derivatives successfully I can say Gordon Brown has no idea about CDS' work and by implication the whole banking system. I would pull him and any politician, journalist or regulator to pieces in public debate.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece on DD in Telegraph-methinks the real world is on the way back.

Anonymous said...

Just read this c**p in the Guardian from Thursday by Wintour:

"His aides, as well as some of the celebrities accompanying him, such as supermodel Elle Macpherson, have spoken of fears of donor fatigue as people struggle to pay the rent. Macpherson is determined to stress that aid does help fight poverty.

The supermodel was accompanying Sarah Brown, the prime minister's wife, along with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, a dedicated charity worker, to a leader's wives dinner convened to raise awareness for Brown's White Ribbon Alliance and Safe Motherhood charity. The dinner in Manhatten was co-hosted by Queen Rania of Jordan and Wendi Murdoch, the wide of the media mogul."

After vomiting, can someone explain when the WRASM became 'Brown's' charity? And is Murdoch's wide the same as a broad?

fugitive ink said...

Marginally off topic, but congratulations to your parents, Iain. Married types like you and me realise what an achivement a golden anniversary must be. Seriously, they have my utmost admiration. I hope they, and you, have a wonderful day.

Longbridge lad said...

Just got back from the Conservative National Convention at the ICC.
DC made a surprise appearance at the end. A good speech and took questions from the floor afterwards, very impressive.
He was very upbeat but realistic. We all know that we can't just sit back and wait for Nulab to lose the election, we have to persuade people that we are a credible alternative. He does'nt even worry about Broon pinching his policies or the Sun not yet being behind us. We will do our own thing and let people make up their own minds.

Martin Day said...

September 27, 2008 1:08 PM James said -

It would not surprise me if Brown ends up in Iraq again, he seems to have disapeared again. He has nothing to lose as Brown's reputation is in the gutter anyway.

Lola said...

Further to my earlier post and in regards to culpability of government it is not just that they lost control of the money supply it is also their regulator interefence.

In the US Fannie and Freddie were de facto government bodies. Giant credit quangos. Governemnt sponsored enterprises. Run by what are essentially bureaucrats with a very basic understanding of risk. Plus lenders were required by their regulators to lend to sub-prime households. Both these factors add risk to the system.

Here in the UK you have Mr Brown's laughably inept tripartite regulatory system. I can state categorically from personal exeprience that this system operates as 'nationalisation lite'. It is prescriptive and very risky indeed - as has been demonstrated. Compliance departmenst became the people that ran the businesses. 'I have a product idea' sayeth a banker. 'Has compliance checked it?' Asketh his boss. 'Yep, and they've okayed it'. 'OK. Get it marketed then!'. Never a thought to check the risk for themselves. And of compliance has no idea about risk. It just goes through a series of check boxes set by the FSA. And bingo, there you go, profit.

This is still happening. I have just received advance warning of more fatuous risk assessment metrics from the FSA. it mention all risks except regulatory risks. It is deranged.

The trouble is many people misunderstand risk and how it should be assessed. They also misi=understand that risk is required, since without it you get no reward. Brown of course promises Zero risk. This makes him either the biggest dope ever, or entirely deceitful. You choose.

Paul Pinfield said...

Here we go again... The Bradford & Bingley is to be nationalised: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7640143.stm

Anonymous said...

"beachhutman in Beijing said...

OK stop the lists please. Anally retentive nonsense."

You could perhaps have chosen a better phrase.

James D said...

FWIW, there seem to me to be two big issues with the Bradford and Bingley story:

1) The government appears to want to nationalize both the assets and the liabilities, then to flog the assets. This would represent the worst possible outcome for the taxpayer.

2) That the sloppy headline writers might have a point: perhaps Gordon Brown should go and buy a Bed and Breakfast.

Cyng./Cllr.Gwilym Euros Roberts said...

Robert Peston reports on BBC that Bradford and Bingley to be nationalised "using special legislation"....wouldn't it me nice if this Government could use special legislation to right so many other things that they have cocked up in this country over the last few years.
On a totally different tack...this should be a good week for Cameron and the Tories any chance that it may go wrong for them?
By the way, hope you had a nice time with your parents Iain.

Anonymous said...

As my Northern Rock shares are to be joined by my Bradford and Bingley ones would somebody like to make me an offer?
Ebay seem to object to my listing them with "No Reserve"
freedom to prosper
PS Ian have a nice day

Anonymous said...

Brown Reveals New Economic traegy

http://photos-e.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-snc1/v351/68/5/675507274/n675507274_1432428_1276.jpg

dick being a prick - i know my duty said...

This is an academics wet dream - let's gamble. I'm rich & talented - tough - worked for it.