Arrested Development

by craig on February 16, 2013 9:38 am in Uncategorized

The great horsemeat scandal appears the result of fraud perpetrated in the European meat processing insudtry, and it worked because the supermarkets really care very little about food quality: care little and test less. The media frenzy has spurred on the arrest of a handful of people from small British abattoirs which are in no way central to the main scandal, and I suspect those arrested may prove to have done very little wrong.

But compare this rapid arrest of “small men” with the LIBOR scandal, where banks indisputably rigged, deliberately and repeatedly rigged, the basis of many trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions. It was deliberate dishonesty, fines on the banks have added up to billions, but not one of the fraudulent bankers who did it has been arrested – even though it is known who they are and there is a ton of documentary evidence. Not one arrest. Not one. Just as nobody has been arrested in this country for the fraudulent sub-prime packages and interest rate swaps that led ordinary, and even very poor, people to have to pay out huge proportions of their income to “bailout” the bankers.

The bankers meanwhile have got the bonus fatcat schemes rolling again. The economy is based on institutionalised robbery. The perpetrators are untouchable. They don’t get dirty with guts and blood. Little men who do are expendable. They can be made examples of, to feed the lust of the tabloid fed masses.

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48 Comments

  1. I wish I could disagree with one word of this, and maybe I wouldn’t be so depressed.

  2. Quite so Craig. Gideon meanwhile is trying (yes he is very trying) to attack corporate tax evasion. Do not hold your collective breaths in the belief that anything will change.
    Countries join in tax reform plea
    UK Chancellor George Osborne will join French and German counterparts at the G20 summit to call for global rules to tackle corporate tax avoidance.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21481932

    What I do not understand is why the stock exchanges are booming while the economies are tanking.

    eg Stock exchanges 100 12 mth graphs.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/stockmarket/twelve_month.stm

  3. You could argue that LIBOR never had the potential to kill anyone and that allowing possibly contaminated products into our food, and into our children’s food, is actually a tad more serious than manipulating interest rates.

    Just a thought.

  4. Stock exchanges, since the end of Glass-Steagall, became disengaged from the real economy – until the markets in CDOs, credit default swaps and other fanciful creations got going as engines for making vast wealth out of nothing. We are now in the post-CDO era where such fantasy markets are discredited, but….there are still oceans of wealth that need to go somewhere, so it goes into commodity speculation (food, oil, etc) or, at a pinch, back into stocks and shares.

    The wealthy have too much money, and global finance will channel it anywhere, into anything, just to turn an easy, fast buck.

  5. Jimrhiz

    I stand corrected – up to a point. Interesting that the vast majority of those who rigged LIBOR still work in the banks, and the three arrests were of people all specifically no longer working for the banks.

    Anyone know if they were charged?

  6. mikecobley

    “The wealthy have too much money, and global finance will channel it anywhere, into anything, just to turn an easy, fast buck.”

    And to pretend the wealth really exists.

  7. Token.

    Libor arrests signal switch to individuals
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/09da11e4-43a9-11e2-a48c-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2L3Zcbhzv

    People familiar with the probe identified the three arrested UK citizens as former UBS trader Tom Hayes and RP Martin brokers Jim Gilmour and Terry Farr. They have not been charged with wrongdoing and by Wednesday morning had been bailed pending further investigation. Lawyers for the three men could not immediately be reached for comment.

  8. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/06/libor-rigging-timeline

    A few fines.

    “Nothing to see here Guv. Move along now. Clear the pavement.”

  9. I agree that a mere three arrests hardly seem proportionate to the scale of the apparent fraud.

    The SFO press release about the arrests (very brief) is at

    http://www.sfo.gov.uk/press-room/latest-press-releases/press-releases-2012/libor–three-arrested-.aspx

    The SFO has no more recent press release about LIBOR. Does that mean no one has been charged yet?

  10. The good news is there’s a much lower risk of contracting mad cow disease from those Mr Ed’s Hamburgers you’ve been buying from the frozen foods section.

  11. Er Hello.

    “A tad more serious”
    What could thise trillions of dollars achieved..

    Try vaccinations, irragation systems and food programs, an to boo medial control and education programmes.

    Just sayin”

  12. Jay,

    Yes. In fact there is no evidence at all that the horsemeat scandal has caused any serious threat to human life. Tiny traces of horse pharmaceuticals have been nowhere near significant levels. That is not to say that they should be there at all or that the mislabelling is not a dreadful scandal. But to hype it as life-threatening is silly.

    I expect the bank frauds and subsequent world recessions are both directly and indirectly responsible for a huge number of deaths.

  13. Another profitable number is NHS Management. Speak out then get 500k payoff and a gagging order.

  14. “.. there is no evidence at all that the horsemeat scandal has caused any serious threat to human life. Tiny traces of horse pharmaceuticals have been nowhere near significant levels. ”

    More by luck than good judgement though. Post BSE the EU is supposed to have “robust” procedures in place to guarantee food quality, farm to fork as they say, if unregulated horse meat can turn up on our plates unnoticed what else are we eating?

    Any evidence that vaccination programmes etc were cancelled because of LIBOR?

  15. If only the problem were limited to honest, uncontaminated horse meat being passed off as beef. Given the unhealthy conditions in which even government-approved beef is raised nowadays – largely or wholly grain-fed, and unexercised – meat from working horses is probably rather more nutritious.

  16. It is amusing to hera the supermarket bosses protesting that they didn’t know, they weren’t aware. True, but only because they were at such great pains not to know. Exactly as Nick Leeson’s bosses at Barings, long ago, didn’t know about the nature of his dealings. They were only interested in the profits he generated, and didn’t care to learn more.

  17. And I do wish the ignorant, lazy media would stop calling phenylbutazone “bute”. My family comes from the Island of Bute (on my mother’s side, and even my father was accepted as a legitimate “incomer” after 30 or 40 years).

    They may feel “bute” is shorter. But that’s no excuse. My name for Cameron is also shorter, but no newspaper is likely to print it.

  18. Standing back a little, when looking at all the food scares in the past, they all seem to be scaring people away from healthy choices, and or ignoring the real killers:

    “Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes” = false

    “Saturated fats cause heart problems” = false

    “Low fat foods have shown various benefits” = false

    “Beef causes CJD” = rarely

    “Vegetarian diet is healthiest and natural” = false

    “Various poultry diseases cause risks” = not if you cook them properly

    All the above have shown up in Government advice documents; backed up by the ‘best’ science tax money can buy!

  19. I think Tony Robinson said it all on Question Time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-3C_S4YI3U

  20. @kempe

    Good point. There would need to be to link Libor with vaccination cancelation.
    A very salient point.

    You cannot deny the value of trilliions of dollars and its ease of application to enhance the all but a few.

    In real terms ti fill the belly of a child would be easier than producing a 20″” musical Fireman Sam..

    Needs must eh.

  21. If you don’t understand the Fireman Sam concept.

    Think of it like conceptual art.

    Mull it over.

  22. Only the collapse of the current world financial system, which would initially hurt us all, would enable a new system where the medium of exchange was more equitable. Only after such a collapse would the ‘sheeple’ begin to wake up to how they have been ripped off and made to pay for everything through their taxes in an economic system established on mythological premises like liquidity ratio. Unfortunately those at the leading-edge of the world financial system believe that wars are good for certain individuals, and they appear to be so for the Rothschilds, as history has shown. But not so good for those who die in them. Two of the countries which do not have a Rothschild central bank are North Korea and Iran. Consequently they are on the Israel/US/NATO hit-list. One day this message will get home despite interjections in support of these practices by the hairy giants under the bridge.

  23. doug scorgie

    16 Feb, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    JimmyGiro
    16 Feb, 2013 – 11:53 am

    “Standing back a little, when looking at all the food scares in the past, they all seem to be scaring people away from healthy choices, and or ignoring the real killers:

    “Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes” = false

    “Saturated fats cause heart problems” = false

    “Low fat foods have shown various benefits” = false

    “Beef causes CJD” = rarely

    “Vegetarian diet is healthiest and natural” = false

    “Various poultry diseases cause risks” = not if you cook them properly

    All the above have shown up in Government advice documents; backed up by the ‘best’ science tax money can buy!”

    All the above is complete bollocks.

    Can we have references to your sources for the above crap Jimmy?

  24. Not bad videos on nutritional science… I found the guy in the first video overstates things a bit which shouldnt help his case as the facts speak quite well for themselves without being hyped with mantras like “sugar is a poison”. It’s not really ostensibly a poison, although many things can be poisinous in some respect, its just very unhealthy to consume daily, unlike fats.
    Sugar consumption has been commercialy promoted and fats have been scapegoated/red herringed, probably completely unfairly. Vegetable oils composition and indiviual qualities vary greatly and i think there is some prejudice involved and no good reason to drag vegetarian diets into the conflict.
    But there are people with a tendency to lump everything they ever had an issue with together, in a chain of overstatements, relying on part contact with reality to support the whole.
    I didnt find these two lecturers did that, but get a sense that since their messages are commercially respressed and they are underdogs of their feilds in america at least, they are pressured into a scene where people are frustrated and overstating, and others are doing the same with poorer ideas.

  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    17 Feb, 2013 - 9:07 am

    @ John Goss :

    here you are again with this nonsense (nonsense from the point of view of your argument, such as it is) about North Korea and Iran not “having a “Rothschild central bank” – whatever that might be.

    I believe I demolished you on that one some time ago.

    There are enough real events to worry about without spouting this sort of paranoid piffle.

  26. ‘And I do wish the ignorant, lazy media would stop calling phenylbutazone “bute”.’

    Why should they, that’s what everybody else calls it, that’s what I’ve always called it, that’s what the vet calls it. Call it phenylbutazone and a lot of horse owners won’t know what you’re talking about.

  27. The rich get richer and the poor get children!

  28. “The rich get richer and the poor get children!”

    See her on the bridge at midnight,
    Throwing snowballs at the moon…

  29. “the supermarkets really care very little about food quality: care little and test less.”. You’ve got that bit way wrong Craig. If there’s one part of the economy which is actually extemely efficient, and successfully competitive in a way that benefits us all – its the supermarkets.

    Asda (just one supermarket I use) is taking a lead on hydrogenated fat – which the government should ban, but don’t. As a lot of their products have ‘no hydrogenated fat’ loudly on the packaging. Responding to consumer concersns, while our elected ‘representatives’ do nought.

    I buy own brand stuff – like bags of flour at 52p and its good quality. That’s only possibly because of supermarkets efficient distribution and retail.

    People should buy ingredients and make their own meals – its both cheaper and you know what’s going in it. And it doesn’t take the time to prepare people assume it does. Blame consumers wanting convenience and being unwilling to cook if you want to blame something beyond the fraudsters involved in this.

  30. @JimmyGiro

    Hi Jimmy, I couldn’t get the video on saturated fats (my second favourite food group after booze) to load but I managed to find a webpage that seemed to correspond. This guy argues his case well. His personal website presents other articles written by him on controversial subjects, not comfortable reading but clearly sincere, well researched and excellently written. Whether his articles are right or wrong, they contain a wealth of valuable information.

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/enjoy-saturated-fats-they’re-good-for-you/

    http://www.donaldmiller.com/

  31. @Je – “People should buy ingredients and make their own meals – its both cheaper and you know what’s going in it. And it doesn’t take the time to prepare people assume it
    does. Blame consumers wanting convenience and being unwilling to cook if you want
    to blame something beyond the fraudsters involved in this.”

    Yes, we should make our own meals… If we had the flipping time. No working mother with several kids has the time to go out shopping like in those cute tv commercials where hot-ass middle-class mums leisurely wander around supermarket aisles, thoughtfully pondering over the wisdom of choosing one exciting product over another. And then going home on public transport lugging 20kg of shopping to then spend the next two hours cooking dinner while getting the kids to do homework and their shit ready for school the next day. Thank fuck for junk food.

  32. Jemand. With a microwave it takes me the same time to cook a meal from scratch as it does to reheat a ready meal. And I don’t have to spend any time deciding what to buy – that’s what you do when you’re choosing processed food – not picking up ingredients like a bag of flour, frozen peas etc.

    You’re reaction is the one I anticipated when I said “it doesn’t take the time to prepare people assume it does”. You should try it. Its cheaper, it doesn’t take a lot of time, particulary when you get into the swing of it. And you decide what you’re eating – which is the only way to eat healthily without loads of salt in everything etc etc – the thing that made me start doing it.

  33. @ Jamand

    Well spotted, it’s the same guy, and your first link is the transcribed talk he delivered on the YouTube link.

    My family has a profound record of heart attacks, Dad died of one when he was 42, sister had her first when she was 41, granddad died of one in his 70s, and brother having various angina episodes. Mum broke the spell by dying of cancer, so there’s always hope :))

    So when I saw Donald Miller’s talk on YouTube, a few months ago, it was a hell of a paradigm shift. It truly left me shell shocked, causing me to wonder just how far ‘science’ has sold out?

    As a graduate physicist/chemist, I’ve followed the ‘science’ of nutrition as close as I can, and it comes across more as a set of Agatha Christie novels, more than well grounded method. But just as ‘climate science’, once governments and their lobby jockeys get hold of a subject, it stops being science, and becomes propaganda. “Who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

  34. Jemand – PS if you are a working mother with several kids then you’ve got several pairs of hands to prepare the meal. You can

    a) feed your children processed packaged muck that’s easy to prepare. So they leave home having eaten rubbish their whole lives and be unable to cook. Given how many cancers and heart disease are food related – that’s possibly the thing most likely to kill them.

    Or

    b) buy ingredients, cook healthily and cheaply. Spend a little more time cooking and get the children involved. So they leave home having eaten well all their lives, have cooking skills to pass onto their children. And you get all the family bonding involved with doing cooking together.

  35. Je, i’m not a mother (despite what some people call me), but i am a father and i know what it takes to hold down a job and run a household. Cooking a decent meal, for me, takes 2 hours. Then there’s the washing up. Maybe shopping, cooking and doing the dishes is fun for happy families that function like clockwork, but in many homes it is a time consuming and expensive chore. But I should let the mothers (ie female variety) who comment here speak from their own experience.

  36. It really neednt take 2 hours to cook a nice meal, but skills are involved and not everyone has to develope them. Recieved wisdom and ideals for kitchen skills are a bit distorted by perfectionism, maybe hung over from days of domestic service. As long as food is stored well, the state of the kitchen can be kept in convienient productive states, rather than all out and then all tidied away, which is a chore to hurry.
    Some tips for washing up, sorry if patronising but ive been a commited cook:
    Rinse out, shake off and put away pots while they are still wet, before the food dries onto them, so the big things are mostly washed before you eat.
    After eating just pack all the plates and things into the sink, like a game of tetris, and let them soak, later they will mostly just rinse squeaky clean.
    Avoid spoiling active sink water with very greasy stuff, or everything will need nuked. Leave it soaking at side or rinse it outside the basin or something.
    Avoid strong detergent, it only acts a little quicker in a hurry and needs excessively rinsed to avoid tainting cups and bowls. Ecover is ideal.

    Dont get to stuck with certain waysand demands and its brisk game to play during and after cookery, but quite involved to learn and not everyones kung fu maybe.

  37. JimmyG – thanks for linking those vids, i hadnt seen them before but have been aware of the general info, they put it rather well.

    You know i think the connection between commercial nutritional science and climate science is bogus, they are derived and motivated and reviewed differently. Climate science checks out. Nutritional science has always been in conflict with natural indications because it sells novelty.
    Earth science just sells earth research and now, industrial advice, basically to stop burning. Do contrast that that aspect if that is what catchs your attention.

  38. @Thatcrab re dishes

    Thanks, but i’ve got that sorted. The point is, these chores are especially burdensome for poor people who are worked hard for low pay. Being poor means you have less time and fewer options. Being poor means you have a smaller fridge and therefore need to shop more often. Being poor means not having a car and needing to travel further on public transport to cheaper supermarkets, or paying premium prices at local independent shops. Poor people can’t afford baby-sitters, so the kids have to tow along. Poor people get up at 4.30am to get to work at the factory by 6.00 and they don’t know what time they will finish because production is interrupted and changes to schedules are made. Those who work in the factory office start at 8am and leave at 4.30p on the dot. Some of them have reserved parking. Being poor means you are tired as you go home, looking out the bus to see street-side gymnasiums filled with energetic yuppies running marathons on treadmills. Dinner could be at 7pm or 9pm and then it’s straight to bed because you have to get up at 4.30 again the next day.

    I’ve worked as both a white collar suit and a blue collar stiff and I can tell you office workers are spoiled arseholes who work with less physical stress for more pay. The culture and attitudes are poles apart. Poor people are expected to work like robots, constantly moving, talking banned. Office workers can lounge back as they contemplate what formula to plug into a spreadsheet while having a laugh at an amusing email. 

    But maybe your experience in the UK is different to mine in Oz.

  39. @Jimmy

    Both my parents are/were stubborn survivors, my dear mother still alive in her 80s and still telling me to “fuck off”. My father, an unmitigated hedonist, succumbed in his mid 70s, from what i don’t know. I think his Catholic faith and charitable interest in helping prostitutes pay their rent kept him going through several bouts of serious illness including cancer. Both have/had good hearts, physiologically speaking. So i’m expecting to get through cardio only to face the big C. Ya gotta die of something!Maybe i’ll retire in Thailand and find another way.

  40. I dont find its essentially about money Jemand. Grass can look greener and all. The better off can end up as isolated and even as drained and busy as the brassic.
    I experienced some of my best years ‘living hand to mouth’, though i hadnt responsibilities, experienced some hard work where i was consumed but strengthen by it, and then i found office work dull and on occasion horrible atmosphere, worse than a cold factory. I am poor now but still with few dependancies, and kindof content working away at small business.
    From younger travels i have broad experience of many different social sets and the thing which seems to make the difference in quality for people isnt their income level, but their location/environment and relationships/group culture. It is too easy to get stuck in environmental/warmth/spirit impoverished places, without money but also to unexpected degree with it.
    I hope something comes up.

  41. @ John Goss,

    I agree:-

    ” Only the collapse of the current world financial system, which would initially hurt us all, would enable a new system where the medium of exchange was more equitable. Only after such a collapse would the ‘sheeple’ begin to wake up to how they have been ripped off and made to pay for everything through their taxes in an economic system established on mythological premises like liquidity ratio. Unfortunately those at the leading-edge of the world financial system believe that wars are good for certain individuals, and they appear to be so for the Rothschilds, as history has shown. But not so good for those who die in them. Two of the countries which do not have a Rothschild central bank are North Korea and Iran. Consequently they are on the Israel/US/NATO hit-list. One day this message will get home despite interjections in support of these practices by the hairy giants under the bridge”

    IT IS GLARING AND IT DOES MAKE SENSE TO START WEIGHING THE GLOBAL IMBALANCES – AND CONSIDER WHERE IS EQUILIBRIUM. NICE TO THINK THERE COULD BE – BUT I SEE MORE WARS UP AHEAD BEFORE IMPLOSION POINT.

    CAN WE HEAR YOU ON THIS ONE – WHERE DO THE RUSSIAN AND CHINESE BANKING AND FINANCIAL SYSTEMS FIT VIS-A-VIS THE ROTHCHILDS?

  42. The LIBOR scandal is a red herring. It is impossible to show whether the infinitessimal moves in the Libor rate caused by the “rigging” benefited a particular bank or not.
    The banks,encouraged by the all governments since Maggie,have been lending irresponsibly to keep the plebs happy and politcians in office.
    Gordon should have let them go bust.

  43. Not a red herring, just a scratch on the surface.
    They would not have been manipulated if not to swindle money, and if it is difficult to quantify how much was practically swindled that doesn’t change the fraudlent intent.

  44. Regarding the non-arrest of bankers for creating the financial crisis, the situation is even worse when it’s realised they helped launder billions for Mexican drug cartels and got away with a slap on the wrist. I quote from my own article ‘The Myth Peddlars – the war on drugs has failed’.

    ‘And while I’m pointing the finger, another arrest that should be swiftly made is that of the chief executive and HSBC chairman at the time of the scandal, Britain’s Trade Minister, Lord Green. An ordained priest in the Church of England, now known as the invisible minister because of his low profile since the scandal erupted, Green became executive of HSBC in 2003 and went on to become its chairman. The illustrious lord once said: “The (banking) industry has done many things wrong. It is important to remember that many ordinary bankers have always sought to provide good service to their customers; but we must also recognise that there have been too many who have profoundly damaged the industry’s reputation.”’

    The full article can be read at http://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/the-myth-peddlars-the-war-on-drugs-has-failed-4/

  45. It’s a “red herring”,because of all the bad,unethical,dishonest activities the banks participated in LIBOR rigging was insignificant.
    The original accusations were that the banks understimated their overnight borrowing costs,because if they had told the truth,other financial institutions would have known that that they were insolvent,which could have led to a run on the bank. The consequences of LOWER Libor rates for the banks,in general, would have been lower interest reciepts.
    Therefore,the deception,probably encouraged by the Bank of England,REDUCED their profits,though made it less likely that there would be a run on all banks.
    This was probably one small manipulation with the overall aim,of protecting the way of life we have got used to.
    No banks-no money-no capitalism-no democracy……..boohooo!

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