The Tories Will Knit Back Together Quicker than Joe Ledley’s Leg 200


The purpose of the Conservative Party is simply to be in power. The object of power for them is to make sure that nobody else can use the power of the state to counteract the power of the wealthy and curb their excesses.

You will therefore be amazed by how, whatever the result today, the Tory cabinet will next week be smiling together in a show of unity. Because unity is needed for power. That they were calling each other liars, abusers of government funds, racists, unpatriotic or inciters to murder will be heartily brushed off as the rough and tumble of politics. Cameron will sleep soundly in his bed in Number 10.

Here is a thought. In 2005 Philip Green was paid a £1.2 billion pound dividend. The shareholder was, “officially”, his wife Mrs Tina Green, a resident of Monaco, so no tax was paid.

But the company only made profit of one quarter of the dividend payout. The dividend was paid not from profits, but from the company taking out a loan. How can that be legal? The answer is, in our deregulated society, if a casino banker can be found to make the loan, a company can borrow money to pay massive dividends provided that an accountant certifies that the loan can be repaid by future profits.

That is ludicrously improvident. That you can take over a billion against profit your company has not yet made, landing the company with crippling debt and endangering the livelihood of thousands of employees, is wrong on every level.

It also needs corrupt accountants. The devastating effect of taking a 1.2 billion advance out of cashflow had knock on consequences including the starving of the BHS pension fund. Profits came in large part from asset stripping through leverage on the properties, not from retail sales, and those property deals were one off windfalls.

The £1.2 billion pound dividend was paid with earnings from Arcadia Group, a company Green had bought for just £850 million only three years earlier. That is a fair indication of how out of order it was.

I have been looking through Green’s accounts. The £1.2 billion was paid to Green’s wife, Tina by Taveta Investments ltd, his holding company. The Inland Revenue might have acted on the fact that Ms Tina Green is not even listed as a shareholder or director. Her shares are listed under Mr Philip Green “and immediate family members”. Her “ownership” could not be a more blatant tax avoidance fraud.

Two of Philip Green’s companies owned by Taveta Investments were Arcadia Group Ltd and Arcadia Group Brands Ltd. Arcadia Group owned the shops. Arcadia Group Brands operated the shops and paid rents to Arcadia Group. Total revenue of Taveta’s subsidiaries therefore involved double counting as it was the same money transferred internally between group companies. But the real money actually coming in on the high street in 2005 was £1.2 billion. That is sales income, not profit. To take a dividend equal to your total sales income is ludicrous, no matter how cleverly you leverage internal transfers and bank loans.

In short, the auditors who signed off for Green’s £1.2 billion dividend were corrupt. They were Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Every single financial scandal you can think of – Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, Lehmann Bros, BCCI, Bernie Madoff, Robert Maxwell, Enron, Polly Peck, the list goes on an on – had a major accountancy firm signing off as auditor on their immoral and illegal moves right up to the moment they went bust, impacting the livelihoods of in total many millions of decent people. The fundamental feature of the capitalist system whereby the company chooses and pays for its own auditor urgently needs revolutionary reform.

Public anger at bankers is richly deserved. But they could not operate without the institutionally corrupt accountants who support them.

The system needs a fundamental reform. Auditors should be appointed not by the company, but by the government. Auditors already have an obligation to flag up unsafe financial practices, it is just they never exercise it as their mouths are stopped with gold. If their pay does not depend on their dishonesty, the ethics of the profession might change. Finally, there should be a direct link between the amount of tax a company pays and the remuneration of its auditors.

I highly recommend this 2005 paper, Taming the Corporations, by Austin Mitchell and Prem Sikka, which gives a very similar analysis of the problem. Mitchell of course was despised by Blair and Brown, who adore Philip Green. But Mitchell was an MP, and the chance does exist that one day a parliament will seek seriously to check the rampant greed of the bankers and asset strippers.

The purpose of the Conservative Party to make sure that nothing like this ever happens, that there is no bar to the most extreme greed of the super-rich. They need to be able to block serious curbs on banker bonuses, to block genuine curbs on Tina Green style tax-dodging, to block transaction taxes that would calm derivative trading, to block rent controls, or anything else that might tend to social justice. The Conservatives will re-form, they have interests to defend. They will reunite to fight for the one thing they truly love. Their money.

There has been a tactical division between them about how best to defend their money. The Boris Johnson wing remember the EU’s heritage of social and economic regulation and wish to escape its residual effect and the potential for future EU social democratic activism. The Cameron wing believe the EU is now fully committed to neo-liberalism and can itself be used to further the laissez-faire agenda. But both come from a judgement call on how the EU is trending, which is why both Cameron and Johnson can and do change their minds on the EU from time to time. It is not a fundamental division.

The unexpected prominence of the SNP, Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and numerous movements throughout Europe are merely reflections of a popular mood of discontent with the increasingly remote and increasingly wealthy elite. UKIP is in its way a reflection of the same thing, with the discontent cleverly misdirected at foreigners.

These are, from a Tory point of view, not calm times. The plebs seem a bit restless. They will very quickly come together to put us in our place.


200 thoughts on “The Tories Will Knit Back Together Quicker than Joe Ledley’s Leg

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  • Macky

    “The Cameron wing believe the EU is now fully committed to neo-liberalism and can itself be used to further the laissez-faire agenda”

    @Craig, Can you deny that this isn’t the case ?

  • DtP

    Probably true. But i’m not sure it’s a bad thing that the Tories only care about power – if the left could get its act together, they’d have a majority. The biggest threat to Corbyn is the Blairites.

      • Martinned

        That’s the spirit! Any slightest deviation from your preferred ideology is a fundamental betrayal, treason to the very core principles that the party – in your mind – stands for!

        • DtP

          Yeah, didn’t exactly expect that reply but it seems to illustrate my point. The Tories can have a 30 year existential crisis whilst the left spend all their time arguing with each other rather than trying to represent their voters. Frankly, I think it’s weird going into politics and not wanting to change things or help people – if it’s simply to make a point, write a book or something.

      • Robert Baker

        how is corbyn a blairite? because of europe? thats nonsense, he sees the dangers of leaving under the tories. who knows, we may be here again if corbyn wins.

    • Macky

      The enemy within is always the most dangerous; JC has been too lenient & accommodating with the Blarite vipers.

  • Loony

    “The purpose of the Conservative Party is simply to be in power” – That is yesterdays idea. Their purpose today is to act as gatekeepers, to ensure that power can never be wrested away from those that they serve irrespective of the will of the people.

    Old style toriies have not got this message – hence some of the genuine divisions. Similar to the some Labour Party politicians who don’t realize the change in function of the Labour Party.

    Support for the EU is all about putting power beyond the reach of the people for ever and always.

    • DtP

      Not sure if I fully agree but here’s a nice little quote from some lefty Cantab dude in the Grauniad which seems coherent:

      “Demoralised by Margaret Thatcher’s electoral supremacy in the 1980s, the British Labour party turned towards both European integration and human rights as new sources of intellectual inspiration and authority. The party slowly gave up its traditional support for parliamentary sovereignty and replaced it with a more liberal understanding of rights, where constitutional constraints are accepted as legitimate and necessary. Many other leftwing parties in Europe – such as the French socialists and the Italian communists – did the same.I believe this was a Faustian pact. The left traded its commitment to the supremacy of the ballot box for a more nebulous idea of “locking in” good policies through EU laws.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/22/brexit-property-right-left-eu-expert

      I am definately one of those old style Tories who haven’t got the message.

        • DtP

          To the detriment of their voters – yep, I reckon. They’re not exactly helping now, are they?

          • DtP

            Is it binary though? Corbyn’s been banging on about the EU protecting workers’, human and maternity and paternity rights – all fair enough, it’s written in black and white and that’s the deal we (at present!) have signed up for. Yet, as has been pointed out, many of those rights are held domestically at a superior level than those stipulated in those European agreements. As we both know – the ECHR isn’t on the table today (even if May went off on one whenever interviewed – bit weird) so whilst the intention to cement those regulations in a supra-national body – they’ve taken their eye off their own back yard and seemingly continue to do so. Is the left a political vehicle or a philosophical grouping? Are the ideas more important than the punters?

            I’m not their target audience and i’m genuinely not trolling but it does appear that Labour’s ideological momentum has been at the expense of the people who vote for it. Up above some chap has called Corbyn a Blairite as though that’s the bigget insult he can level and, as an outsider, i’m left thinking – wtf are you on about? It’s the punters who are on zero hour contracts, the pensioners living in fuel poverty, the slum landlords etc etc that seem to take precedence over the theoretical aspects of uncontrolled immigration.

  • Loony

    Philip Green taking out a loan to pay a dividend is not unusual and is indicative of nothing. It is most especially not indicative of corruption. The loan was secured against future expected operating profit. In principle this is no different from someone taking out a mortgage on a house they own with the mortgage being secured against future expected earnings.

    In this case the loan was roughly equivalent to 4 times earnings – so again comparable to the residential mortgage analogy.

    • David

      Your argument is ludicrous. That it is a common practice says nothing about its morality. Craig view is spot on.

      • Loony

        I am afraid you are wrong in every respect.

        Craig goes further “Public anger at bankers is richly deserved” No it is not. The public should be angry with themselves for doing nothing about it. The blame lies exclusively with the public who have proven themselves too weak and too spineless to do anything other than bemoan their fate.

        The weak get crushed and the strong grow stronger. That is just the way it is, always has been, and always will be. There is nothing unfair about this as there is no force more powerful than the people, They choose not to exercise that power. Therefore they must be content to be looted and hence the will of the people is being carried out.

        • glenn_uk

          What do you suggest I do, while upholding the law? I – personally – am not authorised “to do anything” about the banks.

          Protesting is more or less illegal in this country now. So if you have a suggestion, I would be grateful for it.

        • Mark Golding

          Comfortable at the thought of pillage and plunder? I don’t think so. Individually we are powerless and one day on the streets in huge numbers is also ineffective[2003?]. Something exceptional is required… any ideas?

          • Herbie

            There is very little that can be done now.

            It ain’t a revolutionary moment, as the jargon goes.

            The revolutionary moment occurred in the late 60s early 70s, and elites escaped that one relatively easily.

            Not hard when you’re a master of the art.

          • Loony

            People are not powerless, and there are many things that can be done.

            If you live in the west you are largely brainwashed – so realize that and start to think for yourselves.

            Why do people buy things? Mostly they are buying things that they neither want nor need. So only buy things that have a clear utility value to you.

            Keep away from large organizations to the maximum extent possible. Try to buy things from owner managed enterprises.

            Suppose you like watching soccer – then watch a lower league team in preference to a Premier league team. Do not voluntarily give the rich your money.

            Where practicable walk don’t drive.

            Try to de-monetize things and expand what is apparently known as the gift economy. So you provide a service for someone and they repay you by providing a service for you. Work gets done but no money changes hands.

            Realize that your tax goes to fund wars and banker bonuses. So try to pay as little tax as possible. If you want to help the disadvantaged do so directly. Depending on your exact circumstances it is possible to pay very little tax. A lot of the tax breaks created for the rich can also be accessed by the not so rich.

            Ignore the government in every circumstance other than protesting war, or likely war, or if the government provides you with an opportunity to weaken it. So if you are British vote leave today. If that fails be ready to support the French when their chance comes.

            None of this costs anything and may well actually improve your quality of life. There is no need to break any laws, but if more people behaved like this then things would gradually change.

            The power of such a strategy is obvious if you consider that if everyone began to behave like this then the entire economy would collapse within a week.

            The fact that you don’t see any immediate change is good – since the only immediate change possible is collapse. The idea is to incrementally encourage people to disengage from rampant consumerism.

          • Martinned

            @Herbie: What do you mean it isn’t a revolutionary moment? The working classes are setting fire to our civilisation as we speak.

          • Herbie

            Loony

            You only have to look at those countries in the world where there’s a massive disparity in wealth between elites and the rest.

            The poor in these countries already run their own mini economic systems.

            And all the while these elites carry on enjoying and protecting their wealth. It doesn’t bother them at all.

            That’s not a solution.

            It’s withdrawal and desperation. Forced withdrawal and coming to a country near you soon.

            You can only change the economic system using actors who are actually a part of it.

          • Ben Monad

            The 60’s was a Baby Boom phenomenon. Such a bubble was solitary in the history of Revolution and the working class was not bound to 2or 3 part-time jobs…iow’s too busy to be aware of their plight; certainly too busy to do anything about it.

          • Herbie

            Ben

            And yet there was a revolution at that time, fought out in the 70s, with the winners announced in the 80s

            It was just a question of what way it went.

            That’s the UK.

          • Loony

            Herbie, In most of the poor countries the rich are rich either because they are looting the natural resources (e.g. DRC) or because they have the franchise for some US poisonous fast food chain or similar (e,g.. Malaysia). In large part the wealth disparity arises because of extraneous actors.

            Take Mike Ashley – why should he be regarded as an economic actor. He provides nothing that anyone needs, and if you really want what he has there are plenty of alternatives. He makes his money by selling things for more than they are worth and paying people (mostly immigrants) less than they are worth. He does this in the UK because he can get away with paying 3rd world wages whilst freeloading on 1st world infrastructure (roads, hospitals, communications etc).

            Just ignore him and he will go away. The only consequence will be that a few people will lose jobs which does not pay them enough to live on.

      • Loony

        I have no idea, and since this is not a matter for HMRC their view is not relevant.

        • George Clark

          It is very much up to HMRC to decide what does and does not constitute a dividend. Are you confusing the dividend with a Director’s loan?

          • Loony

            Both the payer and payee of he dividend were domiciled outside of he UK and hence were not subject to HMRC rules and regulations.

      • Martinned

        Craig confused the question of the equity and debt in the accounts with the question of where the company might get the cash to pay dividends. Paying dividends larger than the company’s accumulated profits (“retained earnings”) amounts to a reduction in the company’s share capital, which normally requires approval from the High Court under s. 641 of the Companies Act 2006:

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/part/17/chapter/10

    • fedup

      I don’t know how you have come to equate a mortgage with an evidently and manifestly corrupt practice of issuance of derivative on “future profits” solely for dividends!

      In your “mortgage” case there is a tangible and firm asset that will be appreciating and not depreciating. In the case of loans against profits equating to the total sales, it smacks of malpractice and fraud. Which idiot would have passed this kind of loan? Which idiot would have agreed to apply for the amount of loan? What kind of gearing did the financiers and the financial wizards came to agree upon?

      Any attempt to exonerate any such corrupt practices that are perfectly legal are beyond the pale, considering that a large cupboard is/could be classified as an extra room and the occupant of the council house be penalised with bedroom tax or the sick, and invalid are subjected to stresses of jumping through hoops to stop their benefits whilst the super rich are left to get on with avoiding taxes and keeping their ill gotten gains in full to themselves! This fucking stinks!

      • Loony

        Fedup – You almost answer your own question. Why should an asset secured with a mortgage be “appreciating and not depreciating” There is no law of nature that says that any asset whether encumbered or not should appreciate.

        Philip Green has made money. Perhaps he made money from an asset he knew to be worthless, perhaps he didn’t. I don’t know.

        What if you own a house and, for whatever reason, you become convinced that the price of the house will fall. Should it be illegal to sell that house prior to the fall in value occurring? Should it be illegal to take out a mortgage on a house at prevailing market values or should you only be allowed to take out a mortgage after you have factored in a fall in the value of the asset.

        Suppose you believe that house prices can only ever increase and you buy a house predicated on that belief. Suppose you are wrong and house prices fall does that make you corrupt? Does that mean you have engaged in malpractice and fraud.

        • fedup

          There is no law of nature that says that any asset whether encumbered or not should appreciate.

          Which moron will be loaning a hefty chunk of money on a depreciating asset? Further, which moron will be auditing the books of the crooks who are engaged in such a chicanery?

          The notion that repeating the scam is legal and lenders can do what they wish with their money, and owners can do as they see fit with their companies is the basis of the current fraudulent economics or to put simply ponzi economics, that is morally bankrupt as well as financially bankrupt that has lead to the bail out* of the lenders.

          Stop making the moral case for an immoral and fraudulent conduct, that is the fruits of the “deregulation” also part of the ever giving fruits of “deregulation” is the constant stream of the surveillance measures that are now legal. Even STASI doesn’t stand a look in where our laws are at the current time, with state going further and encouraging the citizens to rat on each other too!

          Also what the fucking taxes? The “austerity” has been only for the poor and not the super rich, with the so called middle class now placed in the cross hairs of the super rich and their oligarch owners!

          * Bail out!!! When Mrs. Higgins get a sum of money to buy life essentials, and pay her rent that is classed as hand out, a burden on the tax payer, helping a lazy individual to stay in bed and still “live in the lap of luxury”. When the huge sums of money are handed out to bunch of crooks whose fraudulent conduct has bankrupted their banks, it is classed as “bail out” and a must, and necessary help, for the sake of the economy!!!!

          • Loony

            Lots of people will lend money against a depreciating asset.

            In some parts of the UK house prices have yet to recover to their 2007 peak values – so they have obviously depreciated. Pretty much all houses outside of London have depreciated relative to London prices. None of this prevents people obtaining mortgages.

            Of course current economics are fraudulent, and of course the government is administering a ponzi scheme. They do this both because they benefit from it personally and because they are carrying out the will of the people. It is people that are almost literally begging for a life of delusion – and the government responds to these demands.

          • fedup

            You are now conflating the issues!!!!!

            A tangible asset as a house that the loan is secured against, with any shortfall becoming the owners problem whom will be compeled to be paying the principle plus interest, is not the derivative of the future profits! That is based on the simple arithmetic of amount of loan being equal to the total sales of the company. This leaving the premisses and good will as the collateral for the loan. The cabal that hatched this little scam were enjoying the deregulation to its breaking point.

            Furthermore as the events have proved the said loan has been the undoing of the company that was sold to a twice bankrupt wide boy, in the same plot and scenario as the producers the movie! A flop making more money than a successful show for its producers; the bankruptcy of BHS made more money for Green than running the place for the years to come. This malfeasance and malpractice still enjoying the legal protection of the laws. Whilst the workers with their uncertain futures ending up in the job market of zero hour contracts whom have to pay the agency out of their minimum wage sums and to add insult to injury to pay an extra fiver to tenner for their payroll to be processed.

            Not forgetting the uncertainty of hours worked falling short of their rents, and outgoings for food stuff, utilities and transport. Given the “universal benefit” that the current regime in UK has brought about that is non responsive to the kind of emergencies working people are facing everyday. Austerity is good for the poor, and very bad for the super rich who will be taking their money elsewhere, seeing as their money did a fat lot of good whilst it was over here.

            Meanwhile back at the trough Green is expecting the delivery of his one hundred million pounds yacht! It is good to be the king!!!!

            Don’t you go on defending these cretinous bunch of legal crooks.

          • Loony

            I am not conflating anything.

            The ability to repay the BHS loan was predicated against estimates of future profit. The ability of a mortgagee to repay a mortgage is predicated against an estimate of future wages. In this example profit and wages serve the same function with regard to debt repayment.

            Much of the rest of what you say is true. How could it be otherwise, we are in the final looting phase of the system. Looters get rich – that is their motivation for looting. Conversely the looted get dispossessed.

            The only thing that is not clear is why the looted demand that the looting continue. For that I have no answer

  • Martinned

    But the company only made profit of one quarter of the dividend payout. The dividend was paid not from profits, but from the company taking out a loan. How can that be legal?

    I think the concept you’re looking for is “retained earnings”. Paying dividends out of the company’s original capital is illegal, unless you first obtain permission from the High Court. That loan has nothing to do with anything; that’s simply where the cash comes from.

    • craig Post author

      Utter rubbish, Martinned. A $1 billion loan was specifically taken out to fund the dividend, as reported at the time by the Financial Times on 21 October 2005. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2e6e4f3a-41d0-11da-a45d-00000e2511c8.html?ft_site=falcon&desktop=true#axzz4COCSCcdv

      “Arcadia, which he bought three years ago for £866m, only made a pre-tax profit of £253m, up from £246m the year before, on sales of £1.77bn (£1.66bn). To finance the £1.3bn total dividend payment, he has borrowed about £1bn, dwarfing the net cash flow of £404m (£365m) for the year to August 27. As far as he is concerned, it is an efficient use of his assets and he points out that the debt is a syndicated seven-and-a-half-year loan and with an annual interest rate of about 4.2 per cent after tax.”

      It goes on to quote Green who confirms the dividend was funded by a loan.

      • Martinned

        Yes, “funded” in the sense of “that’s where the cash came from”. But that doesn’t mean the company did anything other than pay out dividend from past retained earnings. I know that the distinction between cash-accounting and actual accounting is difficult for non-economists/non-accountants to grasp (as evidenced by all those posters claiming that TfL doesn’t make a profit), but it is kind of important to this story.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retained_earnings

  • Peter Coley

    An older kind of Toryism knew in its wisdom that the best way to protect its money was to treat everyone reasonably fairly. In return everybody else thought – ok sure, get rich, we don’t mind, just let us live reasonably well too, we work for our living like you, we deserve our security and freedom, we don’t want riches, we have our own values.

    Not any more. Both sides of that equation are changing, because this new Toryism doesn’t do as you say: protect money. It protects greed. And in return the people are saying, no you can’t do that to us.

    The reason the equation is changing is that the forces pressing on Tory policy are no longer national. That old-fashioned Tory wisdom is not legible to supra-national interests.

    I think that older wisdom was called a social contract, implicit and workable.

    Maybe it now needs to be explicit to be workable.

    • Gulliver

      This reminds me of some Francis Wheen wrote a decade ago: –

      “The International Monetary Fund may say so, as it imposes Thatcher-style solutions all over the world, but its own figures tell a different story. Its report on The World Economy in the 20th Century”, published in 2000, includes a graph – printed very small, perhaps in the hope that no one would notice – which shows that the pre-Thatcherite period between 1950 and 1973 was by far the most successful of the century. This was an era characterised by capital controls, fixed exchange rates, strong trade unions, a large public sector and a general acceptance of government’s role in demand management. The average annual growth in “per capita real GDP” throughout the world was 2.9% – precisely twice as high as the average rate in the two decades since then”

      The post-war social contract whereby everyone got relatively wealthier as the national wealth increased was clearly ditched 30 odd years ago. Laissez-faire capitalism was never about enriching everyone as wealth increased, it is about transferring wealth upwards irrespective of whether or not wealth is being created or not.

      • Martinned

        the pre-Thatcherite period between 1950 and 1973 was by far the most successful of the century

        Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Population growth + post-war reconstruction + decolonisation = massive aggregate demand boost = economic growth.

  • Nuada

    I’m not sure what good it will do to appoint auditors from the state if the state itself is corrupt. At the risk of sounding like John The Baptist, a country which has lost its moral compass is incapable of cleansing itself because it doesn’t have the necessary soap. We are living in the sunset of western civilization purely because we’ve taken an apparently moral — albeit in reality, insane — decision to abandon the high public values of Christianity as being supposedly regressive, while stupidly supposing that without attending to their discipline we could continue to uphold more fundamental values like simple honesty and duty towards our countrymen and women. Under this system, Philip Greene, PWC and all the rest are quite entitled to ask, who are you to condemn us, Craig Murray? Or anybody else, for that matter.

    • Alan

      Christian values as written in The Bible, do you mean?

      http://nobeliefs.com/DarkBible/darkbible3.htm

      “And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes…” (I Chronicles 20:3)

      (You can see the slaughter of Syrians began centuries ago from that one)

      “And Gideon said, Therefore when the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers” (Judges 8:7)

      The Gideon Society places Bibles into motels and hotels across the world. One would assume Gideon lived as a person of exemplary character and great worth to have a worldwide society named after him. Below describes some of Gideon’s accomplishments:

      Gideon slaughtered thousands in battle by plotting with the “Lord” to use Treachery.
      Gideon murdered thousands more for worshipping “false Gods.”
      Gideon tortured and killed still more for daring to taunt him.
      Gideon plundered the bodies of his victims (to fashion a jeweled priestly vestment).
      Gideon fathered an offspring who killed 69 of his stepbrothers.

      Read the story of Gideon in Judges, chapters thru 6-9 ( 6-7-8-9). The tale of Gideon describes just one of the many horror stories in the Bible, a book that glorifies behavior abysmal to modern society. The clergy and leaders have hoodwinked millions of people about the stories in the Bible. Don’t let others decide for yourself.

      I guess, like most Christians, you’ve read the Bible really selectively.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        The former Church of Christ preacher and Biblical critic and atheist Farrell Till (1933-2012, rest in peace) used to leave a little printed card he had produced in hotel rooms all over the US called “Devotional Readings”, which directed people to the most horrible and obscene parts of the Bible. He regularly received letters from outraged Christians telling him he would be going to Hell, etc. – for quotations from the Bible. It used to amuse him no end.

      • MJ

        Problem there is that you’ve quoted the bible so selectively yourself that you’ve omitted to cite any of the Christian texts from the New Testament.

        • glenn_uk

          You mean we’re supposed to forget all the OT stuff now? Then why is it always included in the Christian Bible, and quoted so extensively by the more, shall we say, enthusiastic proponents of “traditional” Christian morality?

          • MJ

            Traditionally it’s to the Christian writings that you look for Christian doctrine.

          • lysias

            The early Church Fathers used the Old Testament chiefly to demonstrate that it had prefigured the coming of Jesus, thus showing that he was the Messiah. To do this, they almost always interpreted the Old Testament figuratively.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Tom Paine is very good on the prefiguring arguments: see “The Age of Reason” part 3 for details.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          Certainly: such as the doctrine (from Jesus himself) that not one jot or tittle shall disappear from the Law until heaven and earth pass away. I assume that Jesus includes in the Law, for example, Leviticus 20:13:

          “‘If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death: their blood shall be upon them.”

      • John Spencer-Davis

        “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. 18For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

        Jesus Christ: Matthew 5:17-18

      • Macky

        Seems some don’t know the difference between the New & Old Covenants; the latter also known as “Mosaic covenant” or “Law of Moses”‘, which is where are these graphic quotations are always taken from.

        From Wiki;

        “Many Christians believe that only parts are applicable, others believe that none apply, dual-covenant theologians believe that the Old Covenant remains valid only for Jews, and a minority have the view that all parts still apply to believers in Jesus and in the New Covenant.”

        • Martinned

          Yeah, some pragmatic redefining of doctrine went on when St. Paul tried to make Christianity more gentile-friendly. Marketing FTW!

    • Salford Lad

      It may have escaped attention, but the accounts of the EU have not passed muster by accountants for 20 years and have not been signed off/approved in that 20 years.
      So their are ethical auditors out there on occasion.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The current issue of Private Eye also examines Green’s operation, as well as his shambolic performance before the parliamentary committee.

    Interestingly,

    Monaco is a part of the EU customs territory through an agreement with France, and is administered as part of France.[…] On 18 November 2013 the EU Commission published their report which concluded that “the participation of the small-sized countries in the EEA is not judged to be a viable option at present due to the political and institutional reasons”, but that Association Agreements were a more feasible mechanism to integrate the microstates into the internal market, preferably via a single multilateral agreement with all three states.[18] In December 2014 the Council of the European Union approved negotiations being launched with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino on such an agreement,[19] and they began in March 2015.[20] Andorran ambassador to Spain Jaume Gaytán has said that he hopes that the agreement will include provisions to make the states associate members of the Schengen Agreement.[21] (Wiki.)

    Thereby consolidating the existence of tax havens for the likes of Tina within the EU. Will this lead to transparency and accountability of said tax havens? Your guess is probably more optimistic than mine, based on the City of London experience.

    • Martinned

      Carrot & stick. The European Commission is on an anti-tax avoidance tear at the moment, and it looks like they’re searching for some carrots to offer in return for dialling down the sweetheart deals.

    • Loony

      Ba’al – It is interesting that you describe the performance of Green before the parliamentary committee as “shambolic”

      Personally I would lump him together with Ashley and describe their performances as contemptuous. When Parliament has abrogated its own sovereignty then why should anyone treat Parliamentarians with anything other than contempt.

      This is possibly one more example of the innate honesty of gentlemen such as Ashley and Green.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        He attempted to be contemptuous in such a way as to demonstrate his complete inability to defend himself against a committee (ie by being bland, not contemptuous), and foundered on the rocks of his own arrogance and incompetence. PE has some material the dailies omitted. Ultimately, caught in a lie, he was forced to admit it. Which an old hand like Blair would never have done.

  • John Webster

    Absolutely spot on. These people, in common parlance, are criminals – they are bound together by greed. Philip Green and his wife have a ‘business relationship’. So have the Tories. Some of them are ‘believers’. Most are charlatans.

  • Guano

    I agree: the Tories will be back together before you know it. The main aim of the apparent division was to alienate working-class voters further from Labour.

    • Herbie

      Really.

      All the polls were telling us that Brexit was in the lead by 10 points even whilst the bookies were favouring Remain.

      That seems to have been the position since polls were first highlighted in msm.

      I suspect the bookies were right all along and these “polls” were simply bullshit to ensure Remainers came out to vote.

      • Pykrete

        Although bookies initially offer odds based on the likelihood of an event occurring, they subsequently adjust these odds based on the amount of money being staked on a particular outcome. They do so such that whichever event occurs the bookies make a profit. So there is no connection between polls and odds (unfortunately).

        • Herbie

          I know, but it’s the stakings that determine the odds.

          That’s not the case with political polls.

  • RobG

    Craig, how are you all going to fit into the Ecuadorian Embassy this evening? By all accounts it’s rather cramped.

    http://brexitclub.eu/

    With regard to Cameron, I don’t think he’ll survive for much longer as PM, even if the Remainers win today. I agree it’s all about money and greed, which also translates as power and No.10 sure is a badge of prestige in that department. Amongst the coterie of crooks there’ll be some who are already sharpening up the knives.

    • Martinned

      Whichever half of the Tory party loses this referendum, they’ll want to make Cameron their sacrificial lamb. As in 1992, they’ll get rid of the incumbent PM first and then worry about finding someone new. As a result, I’m backing Mrs. May to take the prize. (And yes, that would be bad.)

      • Republicofscotland

        I agree the 1922 Committe will want Cameron replaced, still I’m sure he’ll do okay raking in a bundle at corporate dinners and advising big business how to circumnavigate government rules.

        No doubt he’ll go on to emulate Gordon Brown, who’s made an absolute bundle from his speeches, not to mention his advantageous charity work. Not bad for a one time PM and backbencher, who’s wheeled out at regular intervals to preach his words of wisdom on why we should listen to his backers via him.

        Yet Brown hasn’t the power to promise any of his lucre filled speeches.

        One wonders why Brown, bothered to write a book on James Maxton.

  • Matt Usselmann

    I think what Green/Arcadia did is just about legal although probably going against the spirit of the law, which states that dividends can only be paid out of retained profits.

    And it was widely talked about at the time. So completely in the open.

    The point is that it should be illegal. Ie. unless there is the cash to take out from the business, there should not be the possibility to pay a dividend.

    A company must be forbidden to take out a loan to pay a dividend which is, say, more than 5% of the net asset value of the group in any one year.

    Blame it on the legal system and inadequate company law, which gives priority (given the current legal framework) to shareholders rather than creditors. Whereas Company Law should of course be drawn up to protect creditors from shareholders which enjoy limited liability, A job for Parliamentto change that.

    • Martinned

      Why on earth would you want a rule like that? In many cases, increasing gearing is efficient. It reduces tax liability, and – if you think that isn’t reason enough – it’s a good way to light a fire under management’s backsides. The higher the gearing of the company, the harder the directors have to work to generate enough cash each year to keep the company from going bust. In a company not managed by its shareholders, nothing pleases management more than low gearing.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        By gearing, I assume you mean something like profit margin? I don’t quite see the mechanical analogy. So, how do you impose higher gearing without recourse to law? And does it protect creditors (who are out-of-pocket until paid) from shareholders (who lose nothing)?

      • Matt Usselmann

        Well, loans should of course not be tax deductible. It is about time parliament brought that change in too.

        Even George Osborne has noticed that.

        And of course completely nonsense that directors “do not work hard” if they cannot gear up a company.

        If shareholders want directors to perform better, they have other options.

        And you might have noticed that in this case the company, although highly geared, did go bust. But as the shareholders taken out the cash before, they could not give a monkeys, other than some warm words to MPs that the pension deficit will be “sorted”.

        • Martinned

          If shareholders want directors to perform better, they have other options.

          Like what? Look over their shoulders every day? Pay them huge contingent bonuses?

        • Martinned

          And you might have noticed that in this case the company, although highly geared, did go bust.

          What do you mean “although”? The higher the gearing the more likely it is that the company will go bust. That’s the whole reason why you can’t increase gearing without bound. It’s a trade-off: tax shield & lower agency costs vs. cost of bankruptcy.

      • M&M mania

        So you’re going to saddle a firm with high fixed expenses and put its solvency at risk simply to make directors ‘work hard?’ Siphon off cashflow for interest payments regardless of investment prospects? Please tell me that’s a joke. It’s insane. It’s fine if you’re a venture capitalist stripping assets, but only an idiot would invest in such a firm.

        • Martinned

          Yes, why not? As you say, that’s what venture capitalists do. That’s how they add value, by restructuring the financing of companies to generate more value.

          Siphon off cashflow for interest payments regardless of investment prospects?

          I’m not so sure what this means. If there are investment prospects, the company should raise capital (debt and/or equity) to finance them. That is a separate decision from the choice of gearing, as per Modigliani/Miller.

        • Green M&M mania

          No, what venture capitalists do is compose labyrinthine limited-partnership agreements suspending fundamental conflict-of-interest principles to siphon portfolio revenues to the general partners. They force the firm to borrow, extract the proceeds as consulting revenues and fund fees, and leave the crippled enterprise to sink or swim. It’s what the mob calls a bust-out. If you’re at all plugged in, you know financial services is converging with mafia business lines such as municipal finance bid-rigging. This ‘adding value’ business is one of those slogans for victims. Read some VC contracts and regulatory filings if you want to know what’s actually going on. Third-tier MBA boilerplate is not fooling anyone, not here.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      So completely in the open. = daylight robbery. Which is illegal if you’re wearing a stripy jumber and carrying a bag marked ‘Swag’. But a suit and a monogrammed briefcase makes all the difference? As you say, the principle behind company law is wrong…which doesn’t make it any easier to correct.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

      Is the current director of MI6, Alex Younger, one of the sons of former SoD George Younger, one of the most committed supporters of Thatcherism?

      Finding out his family background seems to be a bigger secret than what he is doing to restore the reputation of SIS.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Alexander William Younger is the MI6 director.
        George Younger’s offspring were James, Joanna, Charles and Andrew. One of James’s sons is Alexander William George Younger.

        So no, but it could be his grandson.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          However, the MI6 Younger was born on July 4th, 1963, while George’s grandson only arrived in 13 Nov 1993.

          So not his grandson either. Sorry to spoil a developing conspiracy theory…took about ten minutes.

          • lysias

            You’ve also shown that Alexander is a family name, however. So maybe the son of a brother?

        • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

          Thanks, to clarify the matter.

          Remember, George Younger started Thatcher’s downfall when he resigned over the sacking of Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe for not stopping the publication of Simon Hayward’s most damning autobiography, Under Fire: My Own Story..

          • lysias

            Wikipedia gives Alex Younger’s full name as “Alexander William Younger”. Suspiciously close to the name of George Younger’s grandson’s name, increasing the likelihood that Alex is also a member of the family. Nephew is a distinct possibility.

            Wikipedia says nothing about his parentage or family background, also does not reveal what university he attended, only revealing that the Army paid his way through university. (He was commissioned into the Royal Scots, therefore possibly a Scottish university?) Government press release on his appointment as head of MI6 only says that he is an “economics graduate”.

  • Póló

    Well said on the auditors.

    You should have heard the screams from them and their clients in the 1990s when we included a clause in some banking regulation legislation that auditors would be obliged to report any funny stuff they came across to the regulator.

    “Auditor client privilege” was clearly audible in the midst of the screams.

    We held our ground, but, as Craig points out, the real crux is implementation.

  • RobG

    In the previous thread I was banging on about all the court appearances that Tommy Mair has made since the tragic murder of Jo Cox exactly one week ago. Mair had his third court appearance this morning, the day of the referendum, and I was wondering if there’d be reporting restrictions. Apparently not, because at the time of writing the Guardian (in the Remain camp) is reporting it prominently…

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/23/thomas-mair-trial-accused-jo-cox-autumn-date-november

    Whereas the likes of the Daily Mail (in the Brexit camp) haven’t reported it at all as far as I can tell.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    George Younger was the leading plotter of the overthrow of the USSR – which he stopped when avalanches occurred in Norway’s Vassdalen during NATO’s Operation Anchor Express Exercise – after Palme’s assassination.

    Is his son now involved in the delayed process?

  • Loony

    It is difficult to understand the motivation for such a swathe of negative comments relating to Philip Green. What has he ever done beyond operate a number of businesses that have made him extremely wealthy? As far as I know he has broken no law and committed no crime. Moreover I am not aware when Philip Green has ever claimed to have interest in anyone other than himself.

    What about the people that spend their time and ,money buying things that he is selling. He is not selling anything that people need, and he is not selling anything that is not available elsewhere. People have chosen to enrich him – and now he is what he is people are unhappy with their choice. Surely that is their problem not his.

    If you the people are too lazy, too stupid and too afraid to take meaningful actions to stop yourselves being impoverished then that is your fault and your responsibility. If you will not act to protect the weak in society then the responsibility for their exploitation rests with you.

    Stop blaming Philip Green and blame the people who are truly responsible – Yourselves. Once you understand who is responsible then you might just do something about it.

  • RobG

    Jo Cox typifies the utter confusion in this totally wacko EU referendum debate…

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/slain-british-mp-jo-cox-mixed-record-human-rights-neocon-politics/217374/

    It will make not one jot of difference whether Remain wins or Brexit wins. The only thing is that a Brexit will at least give the finger to Washington.

    I’ll repeat again some of the crucial issues that have been barely covered in the EU referendum debate: the TTIP trade deal, which has been described as the most egregious assault on civil liberties in history. There’s no discussion about why Europe is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War (American-led wars in North Africa and the Middle East). There’s no debate about the EU’s relations with Russia, our nearest big neighbour and natural trading partner which is currently being encircled by NATO bases…

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/threatening-russia-reckless-us-nato-war-games-in-poland/5529704

    There’s no discussion about real issues because we live, to all intents and purposes, in what are police states, where ‘news’ is tightly controlled and the citizens are totally propagandised; and it’s all controlled by Washington using the biggest propaganda machine in history.

    I don’t agree with everything Paul Craig Roberts says, but here he is on last night’s Richie Allen show, talking about a recent article he published (which someone on here linked to in a previous thread). Roberts spells out a fundamental truth: that Europe is controlled by Washington…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z_a4_8qO-E

    The only real referendum would be about whether to tell Washington to feck off, or not.

    It will be interesting to see if Julian Assange & Co delve into these things on tonight’s referendum show.

      • RobG

        We wouldn’t know about the latest corruption involving Hillary Clinton if it were not for Assange and Wikileaks.

        Hmm, Hillary Clinton, who is being wheeled-in as the next president of the USA.

        Are you serious..?

          • Herbie

            The most important thing about Trump is his expressed desire to retreat from the current Strangelove plans to dominate the whole planet.

            Could be lying of course.

            But that’s the only thing about him worth concentrating on.

            For the rest he’s just playing in a field that’s already been constructed in US media.

            Hint: Hillary doesn’t really care about women, or gays or people of color or differently gendered or however else the population is divided up by media.

            All that’s just a vehicle for her.

            What she really cares about is bankers and their continuing their rackets.

            And that don’t help any ordinary people no matter how they view their differences.

          • Republicofscotland

            Well Trump did call Clinton a “world class liar” and he described her as “maybe the most corrupt person to seek the presidency.”

            Though I’d say there’s one or two other ex-POTUS, who could out do her in that field.

            Though Trump himself ain’t no knight in shinning armour, especially if you’re a Muslim. There’s also be internal ructions in his camp, he sacked his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recently.

            Clinton made $21.6 million giving speeches to Wall Street banks and other special interests. … Together, she and Bill made $153 million giving speeches to lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments in the years since 2001.

          • Martinned

            The most important thing about Trump is his expressed desire to retreat from the current Strangelove plans to dominate the whole planet.

            That’s easy for you to say, you wouldn’t have to live under a Trump presidency.

            Hint: Hillary doesn’t really care about women, or gays or people of color or differently gendered or however else the population is divided up by media.

            After what feels like a decade of referendum campaign, thanks for providing us with yet another example of how propaganda works as long as you repeat it often and shamelessly enough. Hillary Clinton has never done anything but work hard to make things better in the US, to the best of her ability. But after 25 years of slander from everyone to the right of Michael Bloomberg, not to mention more recently everyone to the left of Al Gore, there is hardly anyone left in the US who believes that.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Hillary Clinton has never done anything but work hard to make things better in the US, to the best of her ability.”

            _________

            Hmmm…..

            Maybe back in 1993 she did, when Clinton tried and failed to push her health care plan through, but failed after big pharma had a word with Bill and told him to to tell her to cool it.

            Fas forward to today and Hilary has lost all her naivety, and I’m pretty sure she has sold out to her one time mortal enemy big pharma.

            As they say.

            The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          • Republicofscotland

            Indeed.

            Her business acumen isn’t any better than her judge of character, she eagerly backed her husband Bill’s 1993 NAFTA agreement which made the rich richer, and cost millions of American jobs. The Clinton’s couldn’t back away fast enough from NAFTA.

            Fas forward to, today and we could see Hilary Clinton become POTUS, and have a hand in another disasterous trade deal named TTIP.

            Still European’s losing jobs isn’t as damaging to a second term in office, as American’s losing jobs, is it now?

            And with the shrewdly set up Clinton foundation receiving $25 million dollars from Saudi Arabia she and Bill can afford to hit or miss.

          • Herbie

            “Hillary Clinton has never done anything but work hard to make things better in the US, to the best of her ability.”

            says Martinned.

            Like what?

          • Martinned

            Yes. The State Department has never shown any particular hesitation about weapons deals with shady Gulf States, regardless of who was in charge.

          • Macky

            “The State Department has never shown any particular hesitation about weapons deals with shady Gulf States, regardless of who was in charge.”

            Be that as it may, but how likely is it that these particular Human Rights Violating Regimes, would contribute to the Clinton Foundation, which promotes good causes, just out of the goodness of their hearts ? ! 😀

        • Why be ordinary?

          That’s not her real problem. She has on the face of it committed serious breaches of US law by transmitting highly classified information on a private system which she seems to have been running to avoid normal scrutiny. http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2016/06/14/clinton-discussed-top-secret-cia-drone-info-approved-drone-strikes-via-her-blackberry/
          A irony of course being that as none of this stuff was on an official system it could not have been part of wiki leaks

          • Macky

            I was going to come onto that part; I still find it surreal that a person under an FBI investigation is both allowed, & considered suitable, to run for Office !

          • Martinned

            Well, as a constitutional matter, it would be a bit odd for the FBI to be able to veto people running for office (or using any other constitutional liberty).

    • Dave Lawton

      “I don’t agree with everything Paul Craig Roberts says, but here he is on last night’s Richie Allen show, talking about a recent article he published (which someone on here linked to in a previous thread). Roberts spells out a fundamental truth: that Europe is controlled by Washington…”

      Well that is about right Rob as the CIA created the EU in 1947.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Its not only the financial system that is totally corrupt, almost everything is.

    In 40 mins, walking past hundreds of houses and cars, I detected an almost complete lack of interest. I counted a total of 4 Remain posters 1 Euro Flag & 1 England Flag (almost certainly football related). The polling station was empty apart from the staff and 3 old codgers including me.

    I will take that as a comprehensive 5-0 defeat.

    My son explained why – well the propaganda has been so powerful, that if you indicate you are going to vote LEAVE – you are branded a racist.

    Not impressed,

    The Electoral Commission forecast 80% turnout. I reckon less than 30% can be bothered to vote, and its almost certainly the last vote worth anything we will have.

    Tony

    • Martinned

      The Electoral Commission forecast 80% turnout. I reckon less than 30% can be bothered to vote, and its almost certainly the last vote worth anything we will have.

      I’ll take that bet. How much are you willing to put up?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Martinned,

        Nowt, because I do not bet on corrupt processes, and the electoral process is as corrupt as the gang of thieves under discussion. Its all downhill from here. All human interactions including financial interactions are based on trust. Once trust has gone, everything breaks down, with the ultimate result being total chaos, collapse and civil war. What we see in places like Iraq, Syria & Libya is like The old England Football song – “Coming Home”. Its all in the plan. Its just a matter of time, unless the lunatics in Washington pre-empt it with a full blown nuclear war. Whatever way you look at it, the future is a lousy bet. Maybe its all the human race deserves.

        Beam me up Scotty. The Earthlings have been turned into Vulgans.

        • Martinned

          That’s like Descartes’ cogito ergo sum; “doubt everything” is clearly sound philosophy (much more sound than the way Descartes tried to get around it in the rest of Discours sur la method), but it’s no way to live your life. If you want to survive as a functioning member of society you really need to take a few things on faith here and there.

          https://allpoetry.com/Soliloquy-Of-The-Solipsist

          • Tony_0pmoc

            I have survived as a functioning member of society, and am generally a very happy person, except sometimes on Mondays. Bob Geldof wrote a song about it – and just look at some of the horrendous things that have gone wrong with his life – or the people very close to him.

            My basic philosophy when doing something somewhat unusual, is that I kind of expect all sorts of unpredictable things to go wrong, because experience has taught me, that sometimes they do, and you simply have to deal with the consequences, and just expect something else to go wrong, as it nearly always does. If nothing goes wrong, then great and I will hopefully repeat the experience in the future.

            There is no point in getting depressed, even if someone has stolen an exceedingly large amount of money from you. There is almost always no chance in getting any of it back. Its usually best just to walk away, and forget about it. Some people go to extraordinary lengths in trying to achieve some justice – but this process tends to eat them up inside, and they actually stop living and stop going forward and miss far better opportunities because they are dwelling in the past.

            The same applies to relationships. If after trying again, you realise it is over. Cry yourself to sleep – and start the next new day afresh – having cut the strings.

            Faith of course has its place, but most people believe in the load of complete and utter nonsense their minds are programmed with, and they are completely incapable of critical thought.

            “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”

            Tony

    • glenn_uk

      Seems like there are a lot of people attending the polling station near me. The workers there said it was a very good turnout.

      After voting, my own very brief ‘exit poll’ revealed no fewer than 100% of respondents were in favour of LEAVE.

  • Geoffrey

    Craig,first I don’t agree that the Tories will just meld back together again,I think the dislike is genuine,and will persist,maybe a new anti EU party will emerge or UKIP will be strengthened. I am assuming Remain will win.
    Secondly,I don’t see anything illegal about Phillip Green awarding himself a “dividend” even if the money was paid out against assets of the company,it is just the same as a family taking money out of the family house and blowing it,thereby putting the family at risk.

    • lysias

      What Green did would certainly have been illegal under the U.S. federal pension law, ERISA.

      • bevin

        It is incredible that it isn’t illegal under UK law but then very little, in the way of financial criminality, is.
        The City of London has been a pawnshop for pirates since the C17th.
        Most of the plunder stolen from the Russian working people, during the period when Yeltsin acted as Washington’s viceroy, ended up there.

      • lysias

        18 U.S. Code § 664 – Theft or embezzlement from employee benefit plan:

        Any person who embezzles, steals, or unlawfully and willfully abstracts or converts to his own use or to the use of another, any of the moneys, funds, securities, premiums, credits, property, or other assets of any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan, or of any fund connected therewith, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

        As used in this section, the term “any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan” means any employee benefit plan subject to any provision of title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

        There’s the provision that I believe would have been violated.

        • lysias

          But also, if you could somehow establish that Green somehow did not violate that provision, he would still be obliged to act as a fiduciary of the pension plan and to avoid the prohibited transactions listed in ERISA section 406, Prohibited Transactions, 19 USC 1106.

          Paragraph (b) of ERISA section 406 is particularly relevant here:

          (b) Transactions between plan and fiduciaryA fiduciary with respect to a plan shall not—
          (1) deal with the assets of the plan in his own interest or for his own account,
          (2) in his individual or in any other capacity act in any transaction involving the plan on behalf of a party (or represent a party) whose interests are adverse to the interests of the plan or the interests of its participants or beneficiaries, or
          (3) receive any consideration for his own personal account from any party dealing with such plan in connection with a transaction involving the assets of the plan.

  • bevin

    Afshin Rattansi, the author of this:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/23/the-coming-end-of-the-eu-usa-military-industrial-complex/
    will be part of the Ecuadorian Embassy panel tonight, I believe.
    The article is worth reading too.

    Martinned’s peculiar description of Hillary Clinton’s life as being one of constant devotion to the welfare of the American People began with her volunteering for the Goldwater campaign in 1964. Her enthusiasm for thermonuclear wars aimed at Russia appears to have been life long. That being the first five hundred reasons for voting against her.

    • Martinned

      If you can’t tell the difference between disagreeing with someone and questioning their motives, there really isn’t very much that I can say or do to help you.

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