Here's to all you Bloggers, Tweeters and Face-Bookers out there. We have been posting our messages that have been telling the City and its organised criminal mafia gangs that we know all about their vicious games and we have put them on notice that we are not going to give up all the while their supine regulators stay asleep on the job, and continue to allow them to get on with their stealing, cheating and lying!
We have also sent strong messages to the Fantastically Supine Apologists that they are not doing their job properly, and we have demanded that they raise their game and start earning their copper-bottomed salaries.
We must have been doing something very right because the call has gone out from the Square Mile that they desperately need help to keep the banker bashers off their case, and just in the nick of time, their friends who sup at their table, immerse their snouts in their trough, or who, like the financial 'tick-birds' they are, and who live a parasitical existence on the backs of the Banks and the Hedge Funds, the Fund Managers and the Pension Fund providers, and all the other bottom-feeders who inhabit the City, have started to come to their aid and assistance.
The City's wagons are circling and now the Square Mile's apologists are coming out of the backwoods to lend their support.
This is nothing new, in my first book 'Fraud In The City - Too Good To Be True, published in 1986, I referred to that '...group of fellow-travelers to whom the City could always turn for help and support and who could be relied upon to call for a cessation of anti-City rhetoric, for fear that it would otherwise result in damage to the City of London and its ability to earn money from abroad...'
These people were as predictable as a Swiss watch and they would begin by claiming that such bad publicity was causing Britain to lose its pre-eminence in World markets; that if we were not careful we would be overtaken by America or the Far East (or, God help us, Germany); they would claim that whatever scandals had happened, the market was bigger than the bad news, and that lessons had been learned, reforms introduced, lines drawn in the sand and it was time to move on, pull together, and generally do the right thing by the 'chaps' who knew what was good for Britain.
The Sunday Times pulled its wagon into the ring when it published a serious piece of City apologia on 11th November reporting that '...London has lost its top spot as the world’s biggest financial centre by jobs and will drop into third place by 2015. The City was narrowly ahead of New York and Hong Kong on people employed last year, but will fall behind the American financial centre this year. It will be overtaken by Hong Kong within three years, with Singapore not far behind, according to the latest forecasts from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The consultancy said London was losing its dominance because of a “shift to the east”, but it blamed “short-sighted over-regulation, penal taxation and banker bashing” for accelerating the trend.
There you have this sort of crap in a nutshell. I mean you couldn't make it up it is so predictable! And the causes, oh yes, you guessed; '...over-regulation, taxation and banker-bashing...' I don't know who the CEBR are, but couldn't these well-heeled guys have at least come up with something a bit more fucking original?
Then, only yesterday, a true heavyweight in the shape of the Confederation of British Industry pulled its wagon alongside, when John Cridland, a man with a vast experience of really working in proper jobs was forced to opine in the Times that a line needs to be drawn under the PPI scandal. He wants to see a statute of limitations, to be backed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), to cap the time during which legal claims can be initiated.
Cridland has another bank-related worry. "Am I alone in my concern about the recent high court ruling on the Guardian Care Homes case?" he asks.
The reference is to a care homes company that says it was wrongly mis-sold interest-rate swaps by Barclays. The ruling in question merely allows the case to be heard, Lord Justice Flaux having decided that Barclays' attempts to dismiss the Libor-rigging aspects were "wholly without merit".
Cridland thinks that "government needs to be prepared to step in to head off judge-led law if necessary", on the grounds that it would be "a dangerous precedent" if banks were held responsible for products sold that related to Libor.
This is really serious stuff, and is an attempt to get the government to interfere with the ordinary course of the law and litigation arising from criminal banking activities, but it demonstrates how far the City's friends are prepared to go to protect their pals from censure. No doubt the banks feel they have a right to expect the CBI to stand up for them, considering how much they pay to belong to the CBI. Companies pay subscriptions to the CBI based on their number of employees. Arguably, that gives the banks – still very big employers – a very loud voice within the organisation, and when the banks are paying and they say 'jump', they like their paid lackeys to respond quickly!
And, guess what, the City's apologists can now include the Prime MInister, David Cameron among their supporters. Mr Cameron, who seems to have conveniently forgotten his calls for major investigations into City wrongdoing, and who is now a leading apologist and gung-ho, good-chaps syndrome, sort of fellow, gave a warning on Monday night that critics of the nation's banks "end up trashing Britain" as he mounted a strong defence of the financial services industry.
Speaking in the most opulent dining room of the Square Mile in his annual Guildhall speech, the prime minister took a swipe at the likes of the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, who regularly lambasts Britain's banks.
Cameron acknowledged that "terrible mistakes" had been made in the City, but he pointed out that financial services contributed an eighth of all government revenue during the recession.
"...Yes, some utterly terrible mistakes were made and they need to be addressed properly so they can never happen again..," he told his City audience of bankers, brokers, insurers, funny handshake makers, and people who get a thrill out of dressing up in ritual medieval costumes. "...But those who think the answer is just to trash the banks would end up trashing Britain. I say recognise the enormous strength and potential of our financial sector, regulate it properly and get behind it..."
Well, you see Prime Minister, before we can give you the comfort of that support, the thing is that we would just like you to address the issues which have led to £18 billion worth of PPI financial crime in this country, before we start getting all rosy-cheeked about the financial sector. If you think that these can be wiped away by the phrase 'terrible mistakes', then you are proving that you haven't got a fucking clue about what's going on and you are falling for the same soft soap that all the rest of the apologists are sliding around on.
We would also like you to address the unquantifiable amount of fraud perpetrated in the LIBOR manipulation cases, but if you think that the Wheatley proposals are going to be a way of addressing the criminal actions properly, and regulating the market properly, then you need to think again. You can't wash this whole panoply of crime and sleaze away in between slurping down the soup and fish, and if you think that by just calling for a cessation of trashing bankers, that's going to prove your strength of leadership, you need to think again mate!
Unless you take these crimes seriously and make sure that the most egregious persons involved in them get prosecuted, then they will happen again, and again and anyone getting behind the financial sector in its present guise, is just going to get sprayed in more shit!
I heard this call so many times during the age of scandals in the 1970s and the 1980's and now we are hearing it again, and the message is still the same old, same old! The only difference then was that we did at least manage to prosecute a few fat cats, unlike to day where very few people get prosecuted for any kind of crime in the financial sector at all. And all the time they keep refusing to prosecute financial criminals the less they will be trusted
Only yesterday, the FSA announced that they had issued a censure against Reverend Carmel Jones, the head of the Pentecostal Credit Union, who was found to have fallen short of standards required by the Financial Services Authority in channeling money purportedly lent to the credit union’s members to churches.
Tracey McDermott, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “This is a disgraceful case of a credit union putting the interests of another organisation before those of its members. The FSA will not tolerate this conduct in the industry.
The Rev Jones should have been prosecuted for theft of the monies, albeit he did not benefit from the action himself, he nevertheless ignored previous warnings not to behave in this way and has caused significant loss to the Credit Union. How does an outcome like this send any messages to other potential wrong-doers?
Now we are looking at a suggestion that dishonest practitioners have been manipulating gas charges and cost rates, and the FSA has promised to investigate. I don't think anyone should be holding their breath!
So, my message to you Bloggers, Tweeters and Face-Bookers is keep on keeping on! Don't give up because you think that your messages are not being heard. Together, we are far more than the sum of our parts, and there are some very brave men and women out there who have been cruelly traduced by the banking bastards, and who have been let down by all the systems and controls allegedly put in place to help ordinary people who find themselves in conflict with the financial sector, and who only have the Internet to get their voices heard.
These people like Ashley Smith, who never gives up and is a constant tower of strength, Caroline Barwick who has fought like two people, Ian Fraser, who is an inspiration to us all, Philip Duval who is the modern boy who pointed out that the Emperor wore no clothes, Chris Cook who really gets this derivative stuff, and understands how the energy crooks work; Golem XIV who hits hard, really hard, and my friend Carol Harries who is an indefatigable letter writer and who manages to get her correspondence into offices and onto desks of those who would rather she didn't know their address, I salute you all, you are what makes it all worth while!