Lawson: The Banker’s Poison is Out 116


It is the bankers who pay the rat Lawson who want London as an offshore money-laundering centre outside the EU. This is what Lawson said about the EU today:

“Economic disadvantages are much greater than the advantages. In particular – it is not the only thing, but in particular – the attempt to overregulate and to cut down to size the financial services sector, banking and financial services including insurance which we need in this country, this is already causing great concern to people in the Bank of England, it is extremely damaging to one of our biggest industries so the economic minus is a very big one.”

BBC News Channel today 12.43PM.

It was of course Lawson who was Thatcher’s accomplice in destroying most of our real industries, the ones which actually made something visible. It was replaced by the crazed idea of elevating the financial services sector, from providers of middlemen services for a small percentage, into the greatest net recipients of income in the economy, through creation of price gambling instruments and South Sea Bubble schemes. The result has on average cost everybody in the UK and US the equivalent of their housing cost again in extra tax, plus plunged the entire world into recession.

All that tax, plus the 225 billion sterling extra money from QE in the UK alone, has just been given to the bankers so they can have no interruption in their gambling or lifestyles.

Let us not exaggerate the marginal changes the EU has been seeking to make. Instead of banning whole classes of derivative trading, they are merely looking to institute a transaction tax (entirely sensible in itself) and put some limit to the financial rewards of bankers – who will still get massively better paid than equivalent workers elsewhere. But even that is too much moderation for the insatiable greed of Lawson and his ilk, and they would rather destroy the EU than have any bounds placed on their wealth.

In a recent posting, I pointed out that, precisely opposite to the way it had been reported in the mainstream media, the recent Eurobarometer poll showed that voters, specifically including UK voters, had more trust in the EU than in national government. They also wanted the EU to control the likes of Lawson and his chums in the City:

Here are some more details of the Eurobarometer poll the Guardian omitted in its total misrepresentation. 70% wish to see a stronger EU role in regulating the financial services industry (p.28) and on the same page, 76% want to see stronger EU coordination of economic policy.

Large majorities across Europe support:
the introduction of a tax on financial transactions (71%)
tighter rules for credit rating agencies (79%)
a tax on profits made by banks (83%)
tighter rules on tax avoidance and tax havens (61%)

These are all areas where the Tory government has been among those blocking effective EU action, against the will of the people of the EU.

That is why the bankers are against the EU.


116 thoughts on “Lawson: The Banker’s Poison is Out

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  • JimmyGiro

    Do you want thieves to catch thieves?

    The problem with the market gambling is not that it gambled, but that it was protected from failing. It was the grubberments and their cowardly interference that ‘saved’ the banks from collapsing, therefore State control is as much a liability as unregulated financial systems.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    In Lawson’s particular case no doubt bankers lobbied and most likely paid for his rant on EU. But more general Britain vs EU has much dipper routes than financial services. It started long ago when first Roman Legioners entered Britain and lasted throughout the history up until now. Some might still argue but at some points in history British opposition to European led initiatives have proven to be positive; split from catholic Church, wars with Napoleon, both first and second world wars.

    As it stands now EU is too big for its own shoes. It needs reformations and it needs them urgently.

    I personally oppose Britain leaving EU but at the same time until major EU governing institutions are elected democratically I feel it makes no sense to devoting more and more powers to them. On the other hand if Britain devotes more powers to democratically elected European institutions odds are these institutions will more accurately reflect German (and to lesser extend French) policies than British.

  • Komodo

    Please do not insult rats, Craig. Some of my best friends are rats, and they concur that they have no words adequate to express their loathing and contempt for the crawling, self-promoting, greedy and probably insane Lawson. And his friends and relatives too.

    Having said that, they go on to enquire whether Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation has any links to corporate donors who might wish to see the UK* disappearing up the US’s arse rather than co-operating with the European project. Yes, actually.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/guardian-reveals-key-funder-global-warming-policy-foundation-michael-hintze

    That name is strangely familiar. Donates £££ to the Tories, and was also instrumental in Liam Fox’s Atlantic Bridge, linking neocons here and there.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/11/michael-hintze-liam-fox-backer

    *or anything above sea level when the Greenland icecap goes…

  • geoffrey

    Craig,I usually agree with you,however I think that your attack on Lawson is exremely unfair and incorrect.I do not think he is paid by the bankers’,though he did work for Barclays for a time after he was chancellor.I do not see why you should criticise him for not wanting the City to be put out of business,it is one of the few successful UK industries.
    Nor is it reasonable to blame him for the loss of manufacturing,which would have happened with or without him.
    He was not popular with the bankers’ he made them wear their losses in the BP privatisation of 1987,despite their squealing.
    I do not remember who first allowed the banks to give mortgages to the publc,though it happened sometime in the early 1980s,creating a massive economic boom that has lasted until now.
    The banks lent money irresponsibly for years,which along with absurdly low interest rates,fuelled an enormous boom,the consequences of which are bust banks,propped up by bust governments.

  • resident dissident

    Jimmy Giro

    I think you are being somewhat naive if you believe that casino banking/gambling is ok provided that it is allowed to fail. The extent of the trading operations is such that if a major player is allowed to collapse then there is bound to be contagion into “real” banking and into ordinary peoples lives. And this is of course exactly what happened when Lehmans was allowed to fail – the interbank lending market dried up practically overnight and this than led to the retail/commercial banks pulling back on their lending to ordinary people and businesses.

    I have my doubts whether the current policy of separating investment and commercial banking will be sufficient to stop this contagion risk – since both types of operations will still need the same interbank markets for their liquidity. I much rather that proper regulation stopped the casino banks from undertaking their risky operations in the first place – by increasing their capital requirements and getting rid of those casino players who have fundamentally unsound views about risk. If they wish to bet on horses or play the roulette wheels they are free to do so with their own money – but let them be kept out of markets for financial instruments and commodities on which normal people rely – and where all the evidence is pretty clear that they create volatility and market inefficiencies.

    It would be nice if the investment managers and others who control our savings were to wake up and start to act on our behalf, rather than in league with the casino bankers and private equity asset strippers, especially since most of the clout comes from our savings and pension funds – but in the meantime we need to rely on the regulators. It is noteworthy how the UK regulators and government continue to be more in thrall to casino operators than those in Europe and the US – but if you think the current regime are bad – please note that the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are even worse when it comes to recognising the need fro effective financial regulation.

    Of course the nihilists here might be rather keen to let the whole financial system collapse anyway – in the mistaken belief that something better will rise from the ashes!

    Craig might also wish to note that debate about the City of London being too dominant and destroying industrial capital is not something which started with Mrs Thatcher (although she certainly gave it a very large kick in the wrong direction) – I seem to remember Harold Wilson issuing a report on the subject while he was an Oxbridge don and before he went into politics.

  • April Showers

    I was going to say that Komodo (climate change) but you said it better than I would have done.

    He is a repellent and now wizened snake.

    His current connections are:

    Founding Chairman Global Warming Policy Foundation
    Chairman Oxford Investment Partners
    Chairman Central Europe Trust Company Ltd.

    The long list of his current and past places of influence are here
    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-lawson-of-blaby/1039

  • larry Levin

    The EU is a creation of the bankers, Umberto Bossi former head of the italian northern leagues stated that the EU parliament is filled with paedophiles bankers and communists. The purpose of the euro is to transfer the wealth from the people to a small powerful elite.

  • larry Levin

    Large majorities across Europe support:
    the introduction of a tax on financial transactions (71%)
    tighter rules for credit rating agencies (79%)
    a tax on profits made by banks (83%)
    tighter rules on tax avoidance and tax havens (61%)

    do large majorities in Europe understand that the cost of any tax falls on the consumer? If we make starbucks pay tax they are merely tax collectors and will just add on 20p to each latte, the transaction tax merely increases the costs to the final consumer, member of the public.

  • larry Levin

    what the city of London needs is a form of Glass Steagall, seperate retail banks from the gamblers, you will quickly see the huge bonuses disappear. Banking in itself in the UK is loss making when u take a full cycle view. Look at northern rock the losses it left ot the tax payers far outweighed the total profits it made during its entire existence. John Kay has a good video about this.
    He explains exactly how they are carrying out their fraud.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgneziqRQxU

  • April Showers

    OXIP http://www.professionalpensions.com/professional-pensions/news/2233147/towers-watson-to-acquire-oxford-investment-partners

    The Board
    OXIP is 60% owned by five Oxford colleges and 40% owned by its management.

    Four of the founding colleges are represented on the Board. Fram Dinshaw of St.Catherine’s also serves as a risk advisor on the investment committee. This ensures that the clients have a clearly defined voice at all levels. Approval of major corporate initiatives requires agreement from the majority of both classes of shareholder (Colleges and Management).

    The OXIP Board is Chaired by
    Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor
    of the Exchequer.

    Christophe Bernard Non Executive Director
    Paul Berriman Executive Director
    Richard Collier Non-Executive Director
    Fram Dinshaw Non-Executive Director
    Dr. John Thanassoulis Non-Executive Director
    Paul Martin Executive Director
    David Palfreyman Non-Executive Director
    Karl Sternberg Executive Director
    Martin Taylor Non-Executive Director

    ~~~

    Lawson does not appear on the Company Check site for Central Europe Trust Company Ltd ???
    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/02430315

  • Cryptonym

    This is a bit stream of semi-consciousness.

    Isn’t Euro membership a prerequisite for this if applicable here in the disintegrating UK. The bankers being against the EU is no reason for those disgusted by bankers to embrace the EU. The UK and each EU country could in theory have its own transaction tax on business conducted here less than the EU-land one, with a race to the bottom as with corporation tax, till banks find somewhere they can operate completely transaction tax free. The bankers are against anything that would dare attempt hinder them in any way from grabbing any and all real wealth into their maw as their stake for their next big wheeze, where it all disappears suddenly. They are against industry because anything invested there is not therefore gifted to them, massaged into something bigger, like some growing snowball, getting ever larger and less movable as it is nudged and rolled along for as long as conditions are ideal.

    The bankers being too big too fail means they can walk away from these tax obligations and be bailed out, creating debt with interest to loan to the government, to bail out the banks, who then pay their transaction tax with the bailout, the government then worse than back to square one, having now the debt interest to pay from taxation and so on ….

    We’ve been conditioned to accept tax as applied to something bad, which the nannying state frowns on, from tobacco and alcohol, to motor fuels, for the damage it/they do or to give government a cut of the profit. If we are to accept banking and speculation as inherently bad, useless activities, something harmful, then stop them creating money as debt and the rest of their trickery, why have half measures, outlaw it as an activity, if it is something to be discouraged then give them cold turkey, ban it in public places, force it underground, something they have to hide behind closed doors whilst conspicuously lugging stored wealth around in wheelbarrows, leaving no paper-trail but tyre tracks instead.

    I’m not against the idea, but could it work, evasion will become a growth industry in itself, and be added to the size of the sector, part of the ‘importance’ to our economy calculations, such that swollen in this way, we become even more enthralled and scared of losing it. Are we talking a flat rate tax or a proportionate one, larger transactions attracting greater tax or something fiendishly complicated with levels and bands. It will indeed be driven underground, as any paper trail would be used for calculation of its tax liabilty. It is a massive boondoggle job creation scheme for the less successful, that is less ruthless and criminal, failed ex-bankers, a safety net to absorb the inept or washed up, bureaucrats and functionaries with acquired expensive tastes to uphold, potentially, easily corruptible given the sums involved and their negligible scruples.

    It probably won’t work. That old saw ‘never a borrower nor a lender be’ had some merit.

    These people are addicted gamblers, disincentives to risky behaviour increase the risk and the all or nothing thrill, they’ll just throw some more in the pot to cover the tax, bill it to the suckers, the infallible runes and the dead chickens spell ‘go for it’, they can feel it in their water. You are not dealing with rational actors. Fuck things up they walk away still laughing all the way to the chip-shop. I’m not convinced, we’ve had deindustrialisation, lets start seeing some swingeing de-financialisation, wind down the steal industry, close the money-pits, mothball the striped suits and red braces.

    I had thought Lawson was dead, if he had a shred of conscience for what he and his ilk have done to this country, he would have done the decent thing and offed himself long ago.

  • Komodo

    Geoffrey – “….which …..fuelled an enormous boom”

    I prefer to think of it as “knowingly and with the full complicity and knowledge of governments of all shades, sustaining a massive bust”. By concentrating the unprofitability of an economy based on thin air into relentless property price inflation, many times the headline rate.

    To which we see no remedy but doing it all over again.

  • Roderick Russell

    Good article. But it’s not just the bankers. It’s the overall London establishment of which banking is only a part. One can see the scenario developing. A little England where the London establishment lives its idyllic life as if nothing had happened; a sort of Beatrix Potter story. And the rest of the country, devoid of industry, is shoved under the carpet, out of site, and controlled by one sided media propaganda and MI5 where needed. And this sort of Orwellian situation is already beginning to happen to some degree…. as I know to my personal cost.
    .
    Mr. Lawson and his supporters are perhaps beginning to see the magnitude of the economic problem that some of them helped create. They don’t know what to do. It’s just too big an economic problem for them to deal with. They are panicking. They are full of false hopes and imaginary solutions. They are looking for scapegoats to assuage their guilt. And just like a frustrated baby who doesn’t know what to do, their reaction is to throw the (European) rattle out of the pram.

  • April Showers

    Happy ever after … Nigel Lawson on finding love at 80
    Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson tells David Sexton about his separate lives in busy London and tranquil France and of his new-found happiness with his 43-year-old academic girlfriend

    Oh Plee-ease!

    ‘Although he blames Gordon Brown for tearing up the improved banking regulation he had created in 1987 and replacing it with his own dysfunctional system, he admits that an unforeseen effect of the necessary opening up of the City of London to new capital which he oversaw as Chancellor meant the distinction between investment banks and high street banks was lost and the culture of prudence destroyed.

    He suspects that now merely ring-fencing the two forms of banking, as recommended in the Vickers report, won’t be enough. Nor did his years as a non-executive director of Barclays convince him that the bankers always knew what they were doing. “I did not believe that they truly understood the risks they were running. They had a model that was meant to capture the risk. I certainly didn’t understand it myself but what concerned me was that the full-time top management, I thought, didn’t really understand it.

    “As for the greed, that’s a part of human nature — bankers are no worse than anybody else but they’re no better either. Of course, if bankers are led astray by greed, the consequences for the whole economy are so much worse than if those in other walks of life are.”’

    I always felt sorry for that nervy looking second wife Therese. She has gone.

    More details here on Dr Jennings who was married to the Kiwi Oligarch, Stephen Jennings of Renaissance Capital Moscow.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2113965/Nigel-Lawson-enjoys-80th-birthday-girlfriend-decade-younger-daughter-Nigella.html

    They inhabit a different world from ours.

  • Komodo

    I’ll just say it again. We might delude ourselves about our capacity for independence, but the alternative to political union with the EU is political union with the US. Our interests, aspirations and, yes, dammit, culture, are still closer to Europe. We need to take the plunge which we avoided with our first tentative and condition-ridden accession to the EU. Or be without a credible voice in Europe at all, as we will be then advancing America’s currently hegemonic interests. Who could possibly trust us then?

  • resident dissident

    @Larry

    “If we make starbucks pay tax they are merely tax collectors and will just add on 20p to each latte, the transaction tax merely increases the costs to the final consumer, member of the public.”

    This would be true – except that the vast majority of financial transactions are speculative and there is no final consumer other than those taking speculative positions. I read somewhere recently that less than 1% of foreign exchange transactions relate to real underlying transaction – and there was the case recently of a copper trader who held a position greater than the value of several years copper production.

  • MJ

    “It is the bankers who pay the rat Lawson who want London as an offshore money-laundering centre outside the EU”

    No, the bankers pay the rat Cameron. If the bankers wanted the UK out of the EU we’d be out of the EU.

    “That is why the bankers are against the EU”

    The bankers are the EU.

  • geoffrey

    Why should bankers care whether we are in the EU or not? some may,some may not.
    Lawson’s point that European monetary union would’nt work without fiscal union,which would require political union was as obvious when he said it in 1989, as it is today.
    Do we want political union?
    Komodo I don’t think we have seen a bust yet,but Osborne’s pathetic economic policy seems to amount to doing everything possible to keeping house price up,as you say.
    You could almost say that house price fixing is the new LIBOR scam,ie if they can fix the mark to market of housing high enough,the banks would no longer be bust.This would then remove an enormous contingent liability from most governments;enabling them to spend,spend,spend again!.

  • Paul B

    I thought QE was now up to £375Bn.

    Also, isn’t this printed money ultimately to keep government overspending going, rather than just to be given to bankers?

    My possibly oversimplified view of the ruse:

    1. Govt issues bonds.
    2. Banks buy Govt bonds.
    3. BoE prints money.
    4. BoE buys Govt bonds from banks with printed money.
    5. Go to 1.

    The bankers take their cut of course.

  • geoffrey

    Paul B,I think they miss out step 3,and just use a computer to electronically generate the dosh.There is also the fortuitous side effect that this new electronically generated cash pays interest that is then counted as income,thereby reducing the deficit!!

  • English Knight

    Back to the basics Vince Cable ! Banking should simply be a facet of the market economy to transfer savers money to investors in an organised legally enforceable manner in case restitution is required. Is it so difficult to legislate to cut the banksters down to size, increase competition and ban them from trading and gambling activities?!! But really the problem arose when the marketing men like Fred the shred and Quelch at LSE became leaders, the result being the classic “little knowledge is very dangerous”.

  • Roderick Russell

    @Jives–5:03 pm. The 12 year old girl’s video on Canadian banking is well worth watching. She certainly does appear to know more about banking/economics than our Prime Minister Stephen Harper does. Mr. Harper and several of our other politicians, here in Canada, sold the Canadian public the canard that four years ago, unlike in the UK and in the USA, Canada did not have to bailout its banks. Sadly, at the time, our media went along with the party line (that Canada’s banks were problem free). In fact there was a massive bailout of the banking system here in Canada, as this article belatedly describes:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/30/canada-bank-bailout_n_1466219.html

    You may wonder how these false Canadian myths about the soundness of the banking system in Canada could affect the UK. Well, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, is the new Governor of the Bank of England and, despite some erroneous UK media reports to the contrary, you will be delighted to hear that he is very experienced in Quantitative Easing and other forms of bank bailouts, etc.

  • geoffrey

    The problem arose when politicians realised that bankers(in return for a slice of the action) could give them what they could’nt-money for doing nothing!.
    Then the politicians promised too much.
    Incidentally, Craig,I looked at that survey you posted and in reply to the question” Which of the following is best able to take effective action against the effects of the financial and economic crisis-your own government or the EU”
    The response in the EU generally was :The EU 23%;own gov’t 20%
    In the UK: EU 10%,own gov’t 37%. (I assume that includes Scotland!).

  • Jives

    Roderick Russell 5.43pm,

    Indeed.

    For all their technobabble of “endogenous growth theory” and Quantitative Easing its revealing that a 12 year can more articulately and succinctly explain the scam better than any banker,economist or politician i’ve ever heard.

    The complexity of language,i’ve always thought,is part and parcel of hiding a scam.

    Cheers for the heads up on Mark Carney.I’m beginning to see why he got the BoE gig.

  • Cryptonym

    Surveys are on the whole useless; that is a very ambiguous question Geoffrey, : “take effective action against the effects”, is that action towards ameliorating the misery they have piled on everyone but themselves or action to prop up the whole teetering system, till the next crash and then the one after that. I can’t see anything meaningful in asking that even if the methodology were not along the lines of “our survey says!” randomness.

    Any bailout of homeowners, is a tax on non-homeowners, those who couldn’t ever and now can never, not so much “get a foot on the property ladder”, but simply secure a roof over their head to shelter from the elements, renting from property speculators instead of a place to call their own, to put their feet up or plant some spuds and lettuce. They’re paying the inflated mortgages indirectly of those who reckoned they were a cut above the rest, the rash and the sheep, the misguidedly over- aspirational and the petty snobs, looking with disdain on mere tenants who are actually subsidising homebuyers in a thousand different ways. The buyers who’ll keep the property can’t lose -the rest, they leave with less than nothing, a life of toil and struggle for the ultimate benefit of someone else, altruism abused and gone awry. The entire economy is now geared to sustaining this bubble, pampering these leeches.

    The Bedroom Tax is already turning cases where people have left two-bedroom council or housing association accomodation for smaller private lets and guess what? The smaller private sector property has higher rent than the larger home they gave up for a life of insecurity, dislocation, debt and dependence and the Housing Benefit cost for the ‘new’ home is higher than that for the home they left. A bizarre and entirely predictable outcome.

  • Derek

    I just finished reading Richard Brooks’ new book “The Great Tax Robbery”. Brooks is an ex tax inspector and writes for Private Eye.
    His view is that both HMRC and the British Government have been completely captured by the tax evasion industry. What was once illegal is now perfectly legal and in fact encouraged.

    A key part of most corporate tax evasion strategies requires the low tax area to be inside the EU presently Netherlands, Ireland, and Luxemburg are the territories of choice while another company is set up outside the EU in Switzerland or similar. By juggling between the companies it is possible to either pay a low rate of tax, or none at all.

    It appears to be Camerons objective to race to the bottom and make the UK tax system so lax that companies choose to set up their dodgy schemes here instead of Ireland. What he does not appreciate is that there is no tax rate low enough that multinationals will not try to dodge it.

    There is also a chapter in Brooks’ book dealing with how companies and governements in the third world get fleeced, and he uses a brewery in Ghana as an example which may interest Craig. (Two subjects close to his heart). It is clear from Brooks’ analysis that the tax evaders want Britain to stay inside the EU, and for the EU to remain totally disfunctional with member states competing together on who has the most tax loopholes.

    BTW: The book is available from http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk for just £2.99 which is cheaper than tax dodging Amazon

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