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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2009 : 04:26
AIG loss 61 billion dollars, how can a company stay in business with these kinds of losses, and hide them from everyone?  Are the real culprits the shareholders demanding higher and higher profits, forcing companies into higher risks?  But again how canyou hide thehighest corporate loss in US history?  Maybe we need to scrap the stock exchanges?


HERB


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2009 : 05:53
Frank, one of the things that was noted in the pit villages thrown into unemployment by the pit closures was a steep inrease in the use of heroin. It was cheaper to get high of it than off booze.

Herb, I agree, there is something terribly wrong with a system which allows a company to rack up a loss of over $60billion in three months and yet has no other option but to throw money at it. Has anyone tried letting one of these toxic firms go to the wall? HBSC tell us that the £12billion they have asked the shareholders for isn't because they are in trouble but because they want a war chest to buy reasonably priced assets while the market is depressed. True or not, this sounds sensible to me and if the toxic institutions came on the market at knock-down prices and could be bought with some protection for the bad debts that would straighten them out because the market would separate the good from the bad.

On a lighter note, and God knows we need one! here is a list I received this morning. Clever and all true I think.

Law of Mechanical Repair

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

 

 Law of Gravity

Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible crevice furthest away from you.

 

Law of Probability

The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

 

Law of Random Numbers

If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

 

Law of the Alibi

If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tyre, the very next morning you will have a flat tyre while running late for work.

 

Variation Law

If you change lines (traffic lanes, grocery checkout lanes, ...), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

 

Law of the Bathtub

When the body is fully immersed in water and relaxing, the phone rings.

 

Law of Close Encounters

The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

 

Law of the Result (aka Law of the Repair Person)

When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

 

Law of Biomechanics

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

 

Law of the Theatre

At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

 

The Starbucks Law

As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

 

Murphy’s Law of Lockers

If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

 

Law of Physical Surfaces

The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

 

Law of Logical Argument

Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

 

Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance

If the shoe fits, it’s ugly.

 

Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

 

Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy

As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

 

Doctors’ Law

If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. Don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick!

 

   


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2009 : 07:37
By the way, have you noticed all the back-pedalling over Fred's pension? For smoke screen read right royal cock-up. We are governed by incompetents, worse still, dishonest ones. Whatever made Harriet say what she did? Blame her advisers? Surely not her.... because we all know she's infallible.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2009 : 08:00
One thing for sure, she has lost all chance of ever becoming leader of the Labour Party. It seems impossible to be hated by Left & Right at the same time but she has managed it..



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2009 : 08:32
Perhaps Mandy is forming a trade association?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2009 : 06:48
ITV feeling the crunch. They are talking about shutting production down at what used to be YTV in Leeds and concentrating on Quay Street Manchester, what used to be Granada. Saw a programme breal advert on one of the commercial channels last night selling advertising on the channel. Never seen that before.

A newspaper comment this morning that there wasn't much evidance of personal chemistry between Obama and the Mighty Godron. You mean to say someone expected it woulf happen? Attraction and Godron appear to me to be mutually exclusive. I don't think social skills are high on his priorities.

I see that MPs are calling for more scrutiny of Regional Development Committee spending. I'm all for that but they should also look at the people who sit on these bodies. There is an incredible amount of nepotism involved and it would be good if they were more representative of the public and less of the establishment.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2009 : 07:27
As a result of the above ITV announces "Fewer big budget productions and more repeats"  - no change there then.
Perhaps they need to ask the taxpayers to bail them out.
Blame it all on the government. Nolic


" I'm a self made man who worships his creator" Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2009 : 07:53
I hear on the news that the Mighty Godron is coming under pressure from colleagues to show a bit of humility and accept some blame for the present financial crisis. Privately he is reported as having told 'friends' (who immediately snitched to the press evidently) that no way is he going to apologise because it wasn't his fault. The question that arises in my mind is that faced with criticism from his party and his Chancellor, and watching the poll ratings slide down the tube, what sort of blind arrogance do you bneed to be able to refuse to bow to the inevitable? Worse still, where is loyalty to the Labour Party. Does he think that his sensibilities are more important? As usual we aren't being told the truth. Reading the entrails I suspect that there is a split building in the party and the recent stupidities from Mandy and Harriet are symptoms of the problem which increasingly looks like Godron. Didn't Blair bail out at just the right time..... Talk about a poisoned chalice.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2009 : 09:13
Talk about a poisoned chalice   Don't think it was a poisoned chalice I think it may have been  bucket full



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2009 : 09:50
As he prepares to address the US Congress today, Godron Brown was telling BBC man Nick Robinson his usual story that "It all began in America". Well, in that case, it's time to make a simple analogy...

Imagine that we were in the middle of a housebuilding crisis rather than a banking crisis. Housebuilders worldwide had found they could make more money by building houses out of cardboard, and had been telling everyone how wonderful this was because more people could afford houses. They had been sending out promotional leaflets to convince us all that we should be buying their cardboard houses at low prices. Bombarded by convinving information about the technical attributes of this new method of housebuilding and the realisation that "everybody is doing it" people are convinced and take advantage of the offer.

It goes on for some time and the housebuilders use increasingly thinner cardboard to squeeze out better returns. Many of the executives running the companies don't really understand how you can build houses out of cardboard but they don't like to admit it, and anyway they have young "experts" (paid enormous salaries) who blind them with numbers, theories and formulas. "Hey, who cares?" thinks the exec, "I'm on a million a year and I'll soon be taking my 6 million pension pot."

Eventually the cardboard gets too thin and the houses start falling down. This happens worldwide but is first noticed in America - perhaps somebody there went that extra millimetre too far. Or perhaps the weather conditions in America were more variable. Who knows?

Gordon Brown goes on TV and tells Britain "It's not our fault, the house crash started in America. The American housebuilders are to blame". The British taxpayer has to bail out housebuilders such as Barratt to the tune of many billions of pounds, all because the management of those companies were stupid enough to build their houses out of cardboard. And Godron is taken away in a straightjacket shouting "It all started in America! Fiscal prudence! Quantitative easing! Boom and bust!".....

Will Godron ever admit the difference between the cause of the crisis (what the banks/housebuilders did wrong) and the result (the collapse, which began in America)?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2009 : 17:13
Nice analogy. I am reminded of the classic cartoon on Blair which I will find and post. People are gradually beginning to realise they have to own up, Godron will be tarred with the same brush whether he likes it or not, he is in denial.

Apologies to PE for ripping this text but read this;

In July 2000 two British companies in the Morgan Stanley empire, Bayfine UK and Bayfine UK Products, entered into equal and opposite derivative contracts with the Bank ofAmerica. These deals amounted to no more than bets on both horses in a two-horse race. One would win and the other lose, in the event to the tune of precisely £119.8m.

But here's the trick: the loss that Bayfine UK Products made would be tax-deductible against the bank's other UK profits, while the profit that Bayfine UK made would not be taxable. Intended result? A £36m (f 119.8m @ 30 percent) hand-out from British taxpayers for .doing bugger-all except send money round in a circle.

 

So what I hear you say. Thing is thatSir David Walker, the man who is running the review of British bank governance was executive chairman of Morgan Stanley in 2000. Did he not know about this?  


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/03/2009 : 07:10


 This is a Steve Bell cartoon from the guardian referring to Blair and Iraq. It applies today to Godron and the failure of bank regulation. He can wriggle as much as he likes but a Chancellor who isn't aware of what is going on in the financial world is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. It's no use him saying he couldn't have known. Can you remember all the stories and TV progs about self-certified mortgages that were about two years ago? The story was out there on dodgy mortgages and was expoaed but the culprits put up a smokescreen and carried on. That was when an FSA with teeth should have stepped in and asked awkward questions.

I see Harriet had to back pedal yesterday and admit that Fred Goodwin got his K for services to banking. You couldn't make it up could you....I see the net is closing on Martin Winter, elected mayor of Doncaster. PE has been banging on about him for years and it looks as though finally someone has woken up, the affair was an item on Newsnight last night. They sent somone out to doorstep him but got no joy. Doesn't Hague do well in PMQs. He's matured over the years, could be Tory PM material?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/03/2009 : 16:49
Bank Rate down to .5%? Good news for anyone with a 1% under bank rate mortgage!

I heard someone say today that if they are going to print money (is it £125billion?) the best thing to do would be to give every pensioner £1000. This would only cost about £1.25billion. What a good idea!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Phil
Regular Member


104 Posts
Posted - 05/03/2009 : 17:31
That is a Martin Rawson cartoon of Blair much more vicious than Steve Bell portrayed him.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/03/2009 : 04:58
You're right Phil. Apologies to Martin. Still a good cartoon....

I listened to Mervyn King last night struggling to explain why plucking money out of thin air is a good thing to do. I don't see it as being good, it's too easy. Surely the more they add to the balance sheet, whether they print the notes or not, devalues the pound? The thing that strikes me more amd more is that the financial wizards are baffled, they can't understand what the mechanism is which is producing the crisis. They know who did it and what has happened but there is a basic fault at the root of the system which they haven't identified yet. I have a suggestion, it could be a combination of two things. First is waste and inefficiency in the system. Our lifestyle and society os too greedy and destroys reasources through things like low thermal efficiency in using fuel, discarding good materials as waste in the form of unrecyclable scrap and packaging. The second factor could be the basic Lie in the investment market that you can make money simply by manipulating the market and shifting paper around, the Thatcher/ Keith Joseph model which assumed that manufacturing industry was dead and a nation can live off the 'service industry' was terribly flawed. The only way to make money is to add value and you do that ny manufacturing, providing infrastructure and extracting raw materials from the ground. Peasant farming is the base model and the further we get away from that the worse things get. Investment bankers, telephone sanitizers, PR people and the advertising industry do not add to the wealth of nations, they only suck profit out of basic industry. Adams recognised this in the Hitch-hiker's Guide when he put them all on rockets and fired them into space. Sobering thought when you realise his fictional strategy actually makes sense.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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