Thursday, February 19, 2009

APB: Tony "Baloney" Bliar and Gordy "The Gob" Brownoff

Come on out Baloney

All Points Bulletin: Federal marshals today issued international warrants for the arrest of discredited money men Tony Baloney Bliar and Gordy The Gob Brownoff... wanted on charges relating to the collapsed hedge fund, UK plc... 128 separate counts of fraud, embezzlement, grand larceny, and telling whopping great porkies.

Bliar's whereabouts currently unknown - may be holed up in
luxury five star hotel in the Mid-East. Brownoff believed to be seeking sanctuary in Vatican.

Both men are extremely dangerous and should not be approached. They should especially not be approached by anybody still in possession of a loaded wallet.


You hardly need me to spell out the parallels between the financial frauds allegedly perpetrated by Mssrs Stanford and Madoff, and the financial frauds definitely perpetrated by Mssrs Bliar and Brown. But I'm going to anyway.
  • Cake and Eat It - both scams involved selling punters the seductive neverland of steady high returns combined with low risk. Stanford/Madoff scammed punters with returns significantly above those available on traditional bank deposits, but without the downside volatility of riskier investments. Bliar/Brown scammed punters with consumption far above that available from traditional economic management, but without the downside volatility of Tory boom'n'bust.
  • A Blancmange of Debt - both scams involved the accumulation of huge debts. Bliar/Brown turned Britain into a gigantic hedge fund. Excluding our banks, that means we now have debt equal to three-times our annual income. Including our banks, that goes up to a heart-stopping seven times (eg see this blog).
  • Enron Accounting - Stanford's accounts were cooked up above a chip shop in Enfield. Brown/Bliar's were cooked up in posh offices in SW1, but were just as misleading: almost all the debt now hanging round our necks (including all that bank debt) was never recorded as a liability right up to the moment our guarantee got called.
  • Robbing Peter to pay Paul - when it comes to P-to-P robbery, many feel that tax-funded welfare puts the Stanford/Madoff efforts in the shade. But even setting that on one side, it was Bliar/Brown who cynically robbed poor 10p taxpayers in order to pay-off middle class voters ahead of the aborted 2007 election.
  • Circus sponsorship - Stanford courted fame and popularity by bunging a couple of mill to the twits in charge of English cricket; Bliar/Brown did the same by spending billions on the friggin' 2012 Olympics.

As we can all now see, the entire Bliar/Brown project, complete with its talk of "prudence" and "investment", was a classic financial scam.

The only difference from Stanford and Madoff is that their operations have now been terminated by the Feds. Brown still has unfettered access to our wealth. And with every day that passes he's destroying yet more of it.


A trillion here, a trillion there...

Today's monthly update on public sector finances makes stark reading. As has been widely reported, Corporation Tax revenue is collapsing - down 24% in January yoy - but all the main taxes are sagging. And on the spending side, social security is already up 15% yoy.

There isn't a prayer that the government's PBR borrowing forecast will hold. They forecast £77.6bn this financial year, but with just two months to go, they could easily blow that by £10bn.

Meanwhile, ONS has announced that "the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and Lloyds Banking Group plc (previously HBOS plc and Lloyds TSB Group plc) will be classified in the public sector from 13 October 2008... [because] government has the ability to control the respective banks’ general corporate policy through the conditions associated with the agreements signed relating to recapitalisation."

Quite right too: these are effectively nationalised banks. But how much do they increase our ballooning National Debt?

It's a sign of the times that whereas people used to reckon a billion here and there was enough to be talking real money, these days only trillions register. So the ONS says "the addition to Public Sector Net Debt is likely to be in the range between £1 trillion and £1.5 trillion". And what's the odd half-trillion between friends?

Except that is, when you look at the most recent balance sheets of these banks. There you find that (when last sighted) their combined liabilities are way higher than even £1.5 trillion:

Which Tyler's fag packet says adds up to nearly £3 trillion (yes, yes, OK, there's some netting - but we'll be very surprised if it comes out at anything like £1 trillion).

So just to be clear - Brown inherited a National Debt of just £350bn, and he'll be leaving us one around 10 times that (even disregarding those unfunded public sector pensions).

If only you hadn't voted them in...

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