Archive for the ‘British economy’ Category

Britain’s Toxic Dagger vs Skripals

March 26, 2018

Chemical warfare

 

 

 

 

 

More

Toxic dagger 4

Advertisements

Saudi Oil Masterstroke

December 1, 2014

Last week Saudi Arabia blocked a proposal by the other OPEC members to curtail oil production, sending oil prices plummeting around the world.

Claims are oil prices could fall even as low as $50 a barrel or even below that.

This is very, very bad news for much of the oil extraction sector in North America and also for various LNG schemes now being considered there and has Western governments in a state of panic.

The point is even at $70 a barrel (i) fracking oil operations become unprofitable, (ii) the only thing Canada’s tar sand oil industry can do is to commit mass suicide, (iii) Mexican gulf offshore rigs are likewise an exercise in futility.

Thus, you can argue it took Saudi Arabia one veto to put the entire North American energy industry in jeopardy.

To make things worse Saudi Arabia has over $700 billion in cash reserves and can sustain low oil prices for years if not decades — the equivalent of a control shot to the head of North America’s indigenous oil industry — to make sure it never rears its (fracking ugly) head ever again.

[Whether Saudi Arabia is prepared to go that far (or whether it will be allowed to) is another matter and beside the point.]

Also, oil multinationals such as BP or Shell are the biggest sources of tax revenues in quite a number of Western nations, certainly in Britain, and are major employers to boot. But now, with their profits decimated, the economy of, say, Britain will lose billions, potentially exacerbating their already overwhelming debt problems and causing all sorts of economic and social mayhem.

In fact, along with the United States and Canada, Britain is likely to be the hardest hit by the oil price collapse — its North Sea oil industry, the biggest source of revenue, will be devastated.

Either of the two things will happen now.

Either there will be a concerted effort to drive oil prices much higher (using all means available) — at least to $100 per barrel — that’s where Canada’s tar sands become mildly profitable;

Or we will witness a crisis in the United States, Britain, other Western nations (which are emerging freaking fracking oil and/or gas producers) and maybe in much of the world the likes of which we have never seen — with energy companies and banks and financial institutions exposed to them collapsing in numbers with millions thrown out of jobs and left with no sources of income.

The 2008 crisis will look tame in comparison.

Make your pick… pick your poison.

White Slavery on Rise in Britain

December 1, 2014

A BBC website piece – BBC News – Slavery levels in UK ‘higher than thought’

It says that there could be between 10,000 and 13,000 slaves in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests.

Modern slavery victims are said to include women forced into prostitution, “imprisoned” domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.

It said the victims included people trafficked from more than 100 countries – the most prevalent being Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania – as well as British-born adults and children.

A few things to note here.

Slavery is about the only thing that Britain could do well.

It appears Britain can’t quite forget its legacy of being the principal slave master of the world and one that extracted the most benefit from slavery. Huge capital inflows from massive operations to capture, transport and sell black Africans to slave owners in its overseas colonies funded Britain’s “industrial revolution” at the time which allowed the country to come to the fore of leading nations, albeit briefly.

Most of the economic assets that Britain still has were engendered by the bloody toils of the African black slave in one way or another and date back to the time of black slavery.

Now of course it cannot replicate anything remotely similar to its former government-funded slave running operations so it now turns its attention to “white” slavery… making slaves principally of white Eastern Europeans as well as of own British citizens, including thousands of British underage girls effectively toiling in the harems of criminal elements within the British Pakistani community.

Also, the British Government has been raising a huge stink in Europe and on the international arena recently all about depriving even immigrants from the EU of benefits hoping and even expecting that more will be driven into slavery and exploited in Britain for free.

Britain’s HSBC About to Collapse?

January 30, 2014

It was reported recently that Britain’s largest bank — HSBC had started to impose restrictions on “large” cash withdrawals.

Some HSBC customers are now prevented from withdrawing “large” amounts of cash, with the bank demanding they “provide evidence of why they want it” (HSBC: “Why do you want your money?” “Your money is ours. We know how much you want. You can’t have that much. We can’t tell you how much you can have”).

HSBC claims that they ask their customers about the purpose of “large” cash withdrawals and demand evidence solely when such withdrawals are “unusual” and are “out of keeping with the normal running of their account”.

While HSBC officials appear at pains to cast this latest scandal to hit British banks in terms of “best practice” and “looking after customers’ best interests”, it all looks suspiciously like the bank has a liquidity problem and is unable to pay customers their money back in the normal course of their account activity.

One theory is that HSBC suffered huge losses in some of its international operations when it was hit by recent market developments involving, among other things, currencies of certain emerging economies, which slumped, as well as other vulnerable small currencies, such as the British pound. If true, one can only guess at the kind of transactions HSBC got themselves involved in. Same old same old — bankers never learn. Ever.

I recall similar restrictions imposed by Northern Rock in 2008. And we know how that went, don’t we.

Also, HSBC is hardly a trustworthy institution in any case, even as far as banks go.

Here’s what Mr. Yanko Phobe’s file says about HSBC:

HSBC Holdings P.L.C. is a British multinational banking and financial services institution originally founded in Hong Kong but now headquartered in London, England, United Kingdom, and is Britain’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest banks. It is also reportedly affiliated with a number of British mafia families who apparently used it since inception in 1991 until very recently to launder proceeds of organized crime, especially, illicit drug trafficking and supply. In December 2012 it was severely punished by the U.S. authorities and made to pay a huge fine for facilitating vast money-laundering operations, including washing money from Mexican drug cartels, on behalf of British mafia families. Lord Green, who was chief executive of HSBC during the years it was turning over hundreds of millions of pounds of dirty money, is a current trade minister and member of the Treasury team deciding how to reform Britain’s banks.

Britain is Now a(n) (Under)Developing Country

December 12, 2013

Aditya Chakrabortty writes in the Guardian that Britain is now a developing country.

He says some Brits may have iPads and broadband – but there are also oversubscribed foodbanks in Britain. He says Britain’s economy is no longer zooming along unchallenged in the fast lane, but is a clapped-out motor.

Chakrabortty writes that “elite economic debate” (or what passes for it in Britain) boils down to this: a man in a tie stands at a dispatch box and reads out some numbers for the years ahead, along with a few micro-measures he’ll take to improve those projections. His opposite number scoffs at the forecasts and promises his tweaks would be far superior. For a few hours, perhaps even a couple of days, afterwards, commentators discuss What It All Means. He says that last Thursday’s autumn statement from George Osborne was merely the latest enactment of this twice-yearly ritual, which most have already forgotten.

Mr. Chakrabortth calls on readers to compare Osborne’s dumb forecasts and fossicking with Britain’s fundamental problems, which are not going away any time soon, whatever the bogus “growth” numbers. You should start with last week’s Pisa educational yardsticks, which show British teenagers trailing their Vietnamese counterparts at science, and behind the Macanese at maths. Or you should look at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) competitiveness survey of 148 countries, which ranks British pot-holed roads below Chile’s, and Britain’s ground-transport system as being worse than that of Barbados.

He goes on as follows:

Whether Blair or Brown or Cameron, successive prime ministers and their chancellors pretend that progress is largely a matter of trims and tweaks – of capping business rates and funding the A14 to Felixstowe. Yet those Treasury supplementary tables and fan charts are no match for the mass of inconvenient facts provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the WEF or simply by going for a wander. Sift through the evidence and a different picture emerges: Britain’s economy is no longer zooming along unchallenged in the fast lane, but an increasingly clapped-out motor regularly overtaken by Asian Tigers such as South Korea and Taiwan.

Gender equality? The WEF ranks us behind Nicaragua and Lesotho. Investment by business? The Economist thinks we are struggling to keep up with Mali.

Let me put it more broadly, Britain is a rich country accruing many of the stereotypical bad habits of a developing country.

I began thinking about this last week, while reporting on graphene, the wonder material discovered by Manchester scientists and held up by cabinet ministers as part of our new high-tech future. Graphene is also the point at which Treasury dreaminess is harshly interrupted by the reality of our national de-development.

 Briefly, the story goes like this: Osborne funnelled a few tens of millions into research on the substance. It’s the kind of public-sector kickstart that might work in a manufacturing economy such as Germany – but which in Britain, with its hollowed-out industry and busted supply chains, has proved the equivalent of pouring money down a hole. One university physicist described how this was part of a familiar pattern of generating innovations for the rest of the world to capitalise on, then sighed: “One day, we’ll stop thinking of ourselves as a major economic power, and realise we’re more like South Korea in the early 60s.” South Korea, by way of comparison, has already put in over 20 times as many graphene patents as the country that discovered it.

How can any nation that came up with the BBC and the NHS be considered in the same breath as India or China? Let me refer you to one of the first lines of The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor, in which a wise old man warns International Monetary Fund officials and foreign dignatories: “India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay.”

He goes on to say that we should stop thinking of development as a process that only goes in one direction, or which affects a nation’s people equally, and it becomes much easier to see how Britain is going backwards.

He also says there is a comparison to be made between banana republics and the nothing monarchy of Britain. Banana republics at least have bananas and their future is therefore assured, quite unlike the nothing monarchy of Britain which has nothing because it is good at nothing in particular and has no bananas, i.e. resources (apart from pigs’ sperm — more about it later in the article, or maybe breeding record numbers of pedophiles or the world’s most prolific serial murderers; but the latter two can hardly be leveraged to give Britain an economic advantage even in the this day and age of freedumb and democrazy). Banana republics have cash too: it just ends up in the hands of a very few people – ask the bank managers of Switzerland or the hotel concierges of Paris. And in this one aspect they are very similar — in Britain, the craven and subdued general populace have also become used to having their depleting resources skimmed off by a small cadre of the international elite, who often don’t feel obliged to leave much behind for British tax officials. An Africa specialist could look at the City and recognize in it a 21st-century version of a resource curse: something generating oodles of money for a tiny group of people, often foreign, yet whose demands distort the rest of the economy. Sure, Britain has iPads and broadband – but it also has oversubscribed foodbanks. And the concept of the working poor that has dominated political debate since the crash is also something straight out of development textbooks.

And he concludes:

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen defined development as “the removal of various types of unfreedoms that leave people with little choice and little opportunity of exercising their reasoned agency”. Yet when it comes to social mobility, Britain now has the worst record of all advanced countries – and will soon be overtaken by the newly rich countries of east Asia.

 And it’s when wealth is concentrated in too few hands that the forces of law and order get used as a militia for the elite – and peaceful dissent gets stamped upon. That’s why police are now a presence on our business-friendly university campuses; it also explains why Theresa May had the front to try to deport Trenton Oldfield for disrupting a student rowing competition (sorry, the Boat Race).

This isn’t a sub-Rhodesian moan about Britain going to the dogs. But as my colleague Larry Elliott said in his most recent book, Going South, the sooner we puncture our own complacency at having created a rich economy for the few, and think of ourselves as in dire need of a proper economic development plan, the better.

 Otherwise, we’re well set to corner the world market in pig semen. The United Kingdom of spoink.

Thatcher’s Most Evil Crime

April 12, 2013

Thatcher’s most despicable crime is not the British miners, not the Apartheid regime in South Africa, not the North of Ireland hunger strikes, not the total and wanton destruction of British industry, not Pinochet, not the Belgrano, not the murders, political assassinations or coups all over the world, not the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden whom she enthusiastically supported, courted, aided and abetted, and not the Poll tax, not even the current crisis induced by her policies, and not even the upcoming demise of Britain which is likely to collapse soon under the accumulated weight of her great crimes, past and present.

Thatcher’s most despicable crime is her major contribution to the enslavement of the Eastern Europeans by the so-called free market — capitalist Imperialist — forces.

The Iron Curtain of Freedumb and Democrazy has now firmly descended on Eastern Europe, plunging the half-continent into an oppressive darkness.

Millions of Eastern Europeans are now slaves to Imperialist capitalist corporations, most of them under predatory Anglo-Dutch control and under the control of the resurgent (and soon to be revanchist) Germany and are now victims to legions of Anglo-Dutch, French and German scammers, thieves and hedge fund operators and all kinds of other scheming and stealing Western human filth unleashed on them together with the hordes of Western pedophiles and perverts of every description corrupting, raping their young sons and daughters, making prostitutes and unwilling amateur porn actors out of them and otherwise abusing them and violating every natural orifice in their young, tender and defenseless bodies while the formerly free citizens of Eastern Europe (like the people of Western Europe before them) can do nothing, are powerless and are now left with nothing — no own land, no own homes, no industries, no independent economies, no own currency, no factories or plants, no national companies, no savings in the banks (what little there are can be taken away from them on orders of EU bureaucrats at any moment) no hope and no future other than living scared from one crippling crisis to another, from bust to bust with no boom in between, and even in fact with no national identity as their nation states have been eroded, virtually destroyed and rolled into one huge dumb EweroPEEon blob and basically made cease to exist whereas during the much better times of Socialism they, their cultures and the products of their industries were known, celebrated and renowned all over the world and their children had happy childhoods, excellent care, protection from Western filth and free education and otherwise the best society could offer.

And that is surely the most evil of Maggie’s evil crimes.

Wicked witch

UK’s coldest spring since 1963 claims 5,000 lives: Pensioners worst affected – and experts say final toll “horrendous”

March 24, 2013
Britain’s deadly winters. Tens of thousands die prematurely each year. The very young and the elderly are especially at risk. 
The Daily Mails writes this winter has inflicted a “horrendous” death toll on the unprepared population of Britain, especially the elderly.
  • 2,000 extra deaths registered in just the first two weeks of March
  • And for February, 3,057 extra deaths registered in England and Wales
It claims that the freezing Britain’s unusually harsh winter this year is likely to have cost thousands of pensioners their lives.

It goes on to say that this month is on track to be the coldest March for 50 years – and as the bitter Arctic conditions keeps on causing blackouts and traffic chaos, experts warn of an ‘horrendous’ death toll among the elderly.

About 2,000 extra deaths were registered in just the first two weeks of March compared with the average for the same period over the past five years.

And for February, 3,057 extra deaths were registered in England and Wales compared with the five-year average for the month.

Campaigners at Age UK, which says 26,000 people die needlessly in winter every year in Britain, said the current weather could prove deadly for thousands more British people.

Director general Michelle Mitchell said: ‘Colder, harsher winters tend to lead to an increase in life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes which in turn leads to a high rate of excess winter deaths. For every one degree drop in average temperature, there are around 8,000 extra deaths in Britain.’

It is thought winters are so deadly in Britain because most houses there lack basic modern conveniences such as proper central heating while autonomous boilers often malfunction, cost a small fortune to fix or replace and cannot always be operated at full capacity due to the prohibitively high cost of fuel oil and gas.

Also, detached and semi-detached houses and properties in Britain are poorly designed and even more poorly built especially as regards heating arrangements, insulation and cold weather-proofing.

Britain About to be Relegated

January 29, 2013

Britain is about to be relegated. From the Group of Seven “Leading” Economies all the way down to the ranks of the third world… and nearer the bottom there too.

At least the Daily Mail thinks so in a book review or something.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2157055/Why-Britain-join-Third-World.html#ixzz23KMXZb3A

Relegation, every football manager’s nightmare, now looms on a national scale. Countries, like football teams, can slide down the leagues, and for Britain the pending demotion is traumatic – from the ranks of the first world to those of the third.

Britain is an undeveloping economy, a submerging rather than emerging market. Not only will 2014 mark 100 years since the start of the First World War, it will also be a century since we were last an undisputed economic leader and superpower.

In 1914, Britain would have been Manchester City in the league table of economic nations; today it is like Aston Villa, battling against relegation.

The signs are that this fight will be lost – and not simply because of the depressed state of our economy. More worrying are the indications that Britain is ceasing to be a developed economy and is now on course to swap places with one of the emerging economic giants.

Take our balance-of-payments problem. Britain last ran a current-account surplus in 1983. Since then, it has been in deficit. Worse, it has been borrowing money from countries such as China in order to buy goods made in, yes, China.

Then there is the steady sale of our commercial assets to foreigners. Overseas investors possess nearly £200 billion more of British assets than our investors own overseas.

Britain’s labour market is a mess – another sign of a relegation candidate. Many native workers, considered too unproductive and poorly trained to be of use, are paid beer money in the form of benefits to keep them quiet, while better qualified foreigners are recruited instead.

At the latest count, four million of Britain’s 29 million workers  were foreign-born. Two million Britons are registered as long-term sick, and 2.63 million are unemployed, using the broadest definition.

There is a permanent rumble of discontent from the customers of both State and private organisations. Public servants demand additional upfront payments, in cash or kind, before they will perform their tasks (police overtime, GP contracts).

A pseudo-competitive private sector in gas, water, railways and electricity conspires against the public, as companies conjure up ever-more inventive reasons to increase charges.

As with many countries in the developing world, there is chronic uncertainty about the authority of the State. In Britain, a separatist party is in control of a resources-rich  region (Scotland), while the potential constitutional flashpoints are many and various: Westminster versus Brussels; Ministers versus the still-new Supreme Court . . .

Finally, there is the search, at least among the political and media classes, for charismatic national leadership. Tony Blair and David Cameron have been fitted for this role, while Gordon Brown and Ming Campbell have been excoriated.

It has taken us 100 years to reach this sorry condition. Relative decline, against the United States in particular, may have been inescapable, but our pending relegation was never inevitable. There have been, perhaps, five major turning points.

The first was the decision after the First World War to rejoin the gold standard and expand our territorial empire. This terrible mistake weakened the economy, burdening Britain with costs it could not bear.

The second came after the Second World War and was the defence of an unrealistic pound/dollar exchange rate as we sought to play the part of a major power with unaffordable military commitments around the world. It was, in a different form, the same post-war mistake as before.

The third came from the abandonment of manufacturing industry in the Eighties and the squandering of North Sea oil. These are linked; while proceeds from the North Sea paid for millions to be unemployed, the effect of oil exports on the pound made sales of manufactured goods uncompetitive.

The fourth was the absurd over-reliance on finance and the City from 1986 to 2007. Not only did this unbalance the economy, leaving swathes of the national hinterland to rot, but it also helped build an enormous debt mountain under whose shadow we are now living.

The fifth mistake was the response to the 2007 crisis. For all the talk of ‘tough’ decisions, ours has been a ‘Barbra Streisand’ policy, seeking to get back to ‘the way we were’. The real objective has been to maintain the pre-2007 order: cheap credit,  free markets (for finance and big business), red tape (for small business), large-scale official interference in private lives and a vast apparatus of State officialdom.

Let no one say demotion is impossible. Had the Group of  Seven leading economies existed  in 1945, Argentina would have  been a member. But after decades of mismanagement, inflation and debt defaults, it no longer figures in anyone’s idea of the big league.

Yet Britain is in a state of denial, our leaders convinced that the economy is a winning side. The alternative is to accept that we are starting from scratch. Developing countries need a development model, and undeveloping countries such as Britain do too.

Two approaches are on offer. We could try to emulate the so-called Swedish model, with a social-industrial-government partnership and extensive public welfare, or we could aim to be an Atlantic Hong Kong, with minimum State interference, low taxes and only basic welfare services.

We must choose. It is our long-term refusal to do so that has led to our current predicament.

What’s to be done, babe?

Paedophile Rings … And 10 Downing Street – FULL ARTICLE – David Icke Website

November 22, 2012

Paedophile Rings … And 10 Downing Street – FULL ARTICLE – David Icke Website.

David Icke: “If the truth comes out it will bring down the Establishment across all three parties and the monarchy will be history…”

London, Global Capital of Money Laundering

November 20, 2012
London is the money-laundering capital of the world, according to a special six-page investigation published in a recent issue of Private Eye and reports in the blogosphere.

Richard Brooks, a former tax inspector responsible for Private Eye’s groundbreaking exposés of corporate tax avoidance, turns his attention to the dirty money flowing through Britain’s banks and tax havens and to proceeds of crime being laundered there.

Weeks after a US senate committee slammed Britain’s biggest bank, HSBC, for facilitating vast money-laundering operations, including washing money from Mexican drug cartels, he finds that light-touch banking regulation and a thriving network of tax havens, have made Britain the center of an embezzlement industry that steals billions from the world’s poor and underprivileged and is the largest contributor to Britain’s national budget.

Brooks has spent months tracking high-profile corruption cases as they make their way through British courts. He zeroes in on one of the most outrageous cases, that of James Ibori, former governor of the Delta State in Nigeria, who between 1999 and 2007, funnelled £200m of pounds of state money through British banks to fund an outrageously lavish lifestyle.

While many Nigerians went without basic education and social care, Ibori spent stolen loot on a Bentley, private school fees for his children, properties in Hampstead, a fleet of armoured Range Rovers and dozens of gambling trips to Las Vegas.

With the help of a British solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, Ibori managed to sneak Nigerian wealth out of the country and launder it through HSBC and Barclays bank accounts, apparently in collusion with Britain’s secret services and senior government officials who all got their cut too.

It’s a complex story, in which dirty money zips between secretive tax havens, obscure front companies, and British high street banks. But, as Sasha Wass QC told the jury at Ibori’s eventual trial, ‘If you’re confused by this … that is exactly the idea.’

It was only when the eight police officers who make up the Met’s Proceeds of Corruption unit painstakingly followed the money that they managed to piece together what Judge Pitts, who sentenced James Ibori to 13 years at Southwark Crown Court in April this year, called ‘one of the biggest money laundering cases ever seen’.

But despite Ibori’s long sentence, the British banks who facilitated his crimes and so many others like it, have not seen the inside of a court room and are unlikely to any time soon.

Britain’s regulation-free tax havens, such the City of London; Guernsey; Jersey; Cardiff, Wales; Isle of Man and many others where stolen loot is stashed and the bankers who wash the money are still a long way from proper regulation.

Private Eye points out that Lord Green, a current trade minister and member of the Treasury team deciding how to reform Britain’s banks, was chief executive of HSBC during the years it was turning over hundreds of millions of pounds of dirty money. Which bodes well for the reformation of Britain’s corrupt mafia-run banks, doesn’t it?

London, Global Capital of Money Laundering


%d bloggers like this: