Transparency (2) – We Need Policing

Max Keiser on France24

Max Keiser on France24 (Photo credit: Stacy Herbert)

Bill Black who wrote ‘The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One’ and actually put some banksters in jail is a voice of sanity.  You can track him  down by googling ‘Naked Capitalism’.  I’ve been convinced for a long time, that if we want real social and political change, we have to accept that we’ll need to police the change.  This won’t be easy as we all rightly fear the notion of a police state and our legal systems are way short of being fair and just a lot of the time.  Ignoring the worst possibilities of our behaviour in Utopian notions of our condition with blandishments such as ‘the State will wither away’ is frankly stupid.  What we do under total solutions is clearly horrible.  We surely have some clues when we properly evaluate the Nazi, Soviet and Maoist lunacies and many others like Jihad and Crusade – right down to such matters as the Spanish fascists stealing babies or Pinochet’s cretins killing mothers after the birth of their children.  This is always closer to home than we care to think, with the likes of the vile Thatcher condoning Pinochet or Bliar taking us into war to present himself with a world stage and a job as JP Morgan’s bag man (he may possibly have followed Churchill into this career).

In the UK, the Metropolitan Police has now lifted the lid off revolting practices by some of our media – simply by doing an investigation instead of covering up.  We have seen the absurdly pathetic expenses scandal in our Parliament and are now seeing that all promises of change were paper tigers.  Our Prime Minister, Bliar Mark Two, is involved with people seeking influence through cash donations.  Some clown is now saying, in Parliament, that we need to look into donations – when we should have stopped the farce long ago.  Millibore demands a proper independent enquiry – but the problem is we don’t know how – the Iraq enquiries and many others (Bloody Sunday) do not produce transparency and prove to be little other than reinforcement of secrecy.  Secret cameras and reporter stings do a better job.  Politicians and big business get away with the equivalent of the bookmaker inspired Pakistani no ball on a daily basis.  Government in Britain has taken the same course year in year out,  Under Nulabour the 18 previous years of Tory rule was to blame and now the 13 years of Nulabour is to blame.  This is true, of course, and is true because we can only elect useless shits,

The following is part of Bill Blacks tirade on the JOBS Act in the USA.

“The sixth form of insanity is a counterfactual.  The unique aspect about this crisis is that it is the first one in modern U.S. history in which the CEOs directing the control frauds that caused the crisis have done so with complete impunity from the criminal laws and near impunity from civil suits and enforcement actions.  The worst, most destructive fraudulent CEOs have been allowed to become and remain wealthy through their frauds even though several of them caused greater losses than the entire S&L debacle.  The worst fraudulent CEOs who led the prior epidemics of accounting control fraud that drove the S&L debacle and the Enron-era crisis were prosecuted.  Not a single elite CEO from Wall Street or the largest fraudulent lenders has even been charged with fraud arising from such loans even though they, collectively, made over two million fraudulent loans in 2006.  Had the Bush and Obama administrations prosecuted and denounced these elite frauds it would have been politically impossible for an act as criminogenic and cynical as the JOBS Act to be promoted by the Obama administration and adopted by large Congressional minorities.  We are seeing with the JOBS Act the sick face of crony capitalism.

The seventh form of insanity is that there is no greater killer of jobs than elite financial fraud.  Such fraud epidemics can hyper-inflate bubbles (as they did in the U.S. and several European nations) and cause severe financial crises and recessions.  The resulting Great Recession has cost over 10 million Americans their existing or future jobs in this crisis.  It has cost over another 15 million people their existing or future jobs in Europe.  The JOBS Act is so fraud friendly that it will harm capital formation and produce additional job losses.  It may appear to be an oxymoron designed by regular morons, but that underestimates the abilities of the lobbyists that drafted this bill.  They are not morons.  They are doing faithful, clever service to their fraudulent clients.  That makes them more dangerous.”

Black makes the point that most of the right applaud the notion of broken windows policing – and yet at the same time cannot bear the idea in financial services or white collar crime generally.  The City of London is basically the centre of a criminal network of financial exploitation.    This should shock no serious student of history or even watcher of the ludic Keiser report (see a few random episodes - http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/episode-265-max-keiser/).  Things are so bad that a development of Radio Moscow is closer to the truth than our Bimbo Broadcasting Corporation and its embedded incompetents.

We broadly allow the criminal City because of the kind of complex morality that allows us to imagine it is necessary in a dirty world.  Police officers are no more honest than the rest of us, but it’s difficult to imagine how any CJS could work if we do not assume their honesty in giving evidence.  Many trials are decided on our ability to choose between competing accounts – though science tells us we are pretty hapless in doing this.  Once one believes it’s a dirty old  world and corners need to be cut (they often do) because we can’t establish perfection (we can’t), there is a slippery moral slope.  One cannot abandon all of a legal system because of a few flaws.  We cannot abandon or over-regulate our criminal City because this would just let monsters beyond the gate to take over.

Even if we could turn all our weapons to plough shares, this would be no use if Al Queda could step in with a few guns, put our women in black bags and so on.  If we give up on economic dominance, we give up the advantage to others who will arm and take us over,  This isn’t  all rot – and is a bigger part of our chronic ideology than most admit.  The old story in this is that when our dominance is perfect enough, we’ll spread the benefits and get everyone playing along with us.  My guess though  is that the world is as crap now as it was 60 years ago when I was born, if we strip away technological advances (and many of these have just ‘improved’ our killing and planet burning potentials).

My belief is we need a mid-range policing solution not economics to change society for the better.  This is difficult to explain, as i believe the purpose of policing is to keep criminality out of our lives and this involves severe policing of police.  My dog needs a walk.

Fairness?

Some of our bwanksters have been subject to not getting bonuses based on selling fraudulent loan protection.  The BBC broadcast that this was new.  In fact ‘claw-back’ is a common feature and dread for salespeople in financial services and especially insurance.

Zerohedge - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/its-official-greece-unveils-negative-salary - shows just how tough things can get for ordinary, non-bwankster folk.  Teachers face not just cuts but working for nothing or negative salary for a while in Greece, then at much reduced rates.

The real economic truth is that a bunch of rich, idle, peculiarly libidinal bastards have had it away with our hard-earned and politicians have aided and abetted them whilst collapsing our vital work economies.  I have often alluded to sending manufacturing to China as ‘selling whiskey and guns to the Indians’ – in fact we sold them the manufacturing facilities and distilleries.  The analogy is purely to film – the conquest involved was vile and genocidal via scorched earth (buffalo eradication) and disease.  ‘We’ were the bastards.

Marx called for worker of the world to unite – in fact the world’s rich have.  Double standards are everywhere.  We are still debating whether bwanksters are worth their pay and bonuses whilst ordinary workers’ conditions are summarily reduced to “negative pay”.  More than 50% of US citizens receive some form of welfare and we still harp on about the triumph of western capitalism.  Millibore the Ineffectual can pass himself off as a Labour leader in this amoral climate.  We claim to be democratic as, at every turn, we weaken worker pay, conditions and rights in order to be able to bully them down to the status of Chinese worker-serfs!  Human resource management, once about making conditions in your firm so good no one would be arsed with union crap, is no a vile set of evil rhetoric.

We need a New Deal (and not some Nulabour piss) across the globe.  The key is in the idiot propaganda film ’300′ when the hero uses the great line ‘You are fighting free men, not slaves’.  Shite as the film was as a distortion of history (the Persians were probably a lot less brutal than the Greeks and the film should have shown arse-banditry amongst the Spartans) – this line is the point, if suitably de-sexisted.

We currently talk of hard work and self-reliance when the job market has collapsed – largely because technology and organising systems have improved productivity – and more are due.  All the politicians available to vote for prattle on about “growth” and fiddle with what is a simple neo-classical (i.e. failed) economic spreadsheet.  What we need is structural change.  This has to start in completely new thinking on work and reward.

Banking should not attract salaries higher than anywhere else.  All the excuses given are rot and based on two wrongs making a right.  If Rooney is worth his money, so is Fred the Shred.  Bolloxs!  All sports could be run with a salary cap and this could be based on what we think the job is worth.  In the old Rugby League dressing rooms we all got the same match fee.  Tell me the 1978 cup final wasn’t as good as last years.  Look what just happened to Spurs on a wet and bobbly Stevenage dung-heap last week.  Tell me who was worth more than the game lad playing right back for the minnows.

In real consideration on pay we should consider what letting people get rich really does. The most obvious is that they get control of all sorts of stuff they have no right to and they always seek to maintain their advantage, giving their kids unfair advantages through education and networking.

Whatever the secret of success is, I’ve never seen any non-dross explication of it in more than 20 years as an academic.  As a manager it was very noticeable how many other managers were some fucker’s brother-in-law.  In studies I’ve read, researchers were unable to find anyone ‘unconnected’ in the fancy business school I was once a visiting lecturer at.

Even when we talk of rewarding success, we don’t really get anywhere, because ‘success’ can be produced by false accounting.  Why are the bwanksters not repaying all the money they lost (in fraud) by lifetime indenture on negative salary – that is, what we are doing to Greek teachers?

Only an unwise man would have tried to part me from my winning pay – but one can see direct links there.  In detailed analysis, one can make direct links between CEO pay and the collapse in worker wages.  Why do we let these creeps choose their own targets – how are we suckered into letting the consideration of performance stop at bottom lines so easy to fiddle to the purpose of one small set of interests?  These are not good people – just a bunch of scheming fucks no better than animals.  It’s common in animal herds for a “king” to live in luxury whilst keeping others downtrodden.

Arguments from the bottom line might hold if bottom lines weren’t so easy to fiddle and if the myth of competitive innovation, working smarter and others were true.  Britain and the UK would now have vast numbers of ‘smart workers’ in ‘smart jobs’ – the truth is the opposite with much skill now embodied in machines – amazingly not much of the banking and education that could be.  It makes sense in this nonsense to strip workers of pay, decent conditions and pensions AND pay CEOs massive amounts.  In 1980, the bottom half has 14% of liquid assets – this is down to 1% – and this process hardly produces a wealthy population to spend money on growth.

We should raise living standards across the globe by identifying the work needed, being prepared to police it to prevent local thugs and money-lenders getting in the way.  Global government should be presenting ideas on what the responsibilities of citizens in such a society are.  Population control, aims towards sustainable energy and renewal, agriculture – and what politicians and leaders should do.  To get to any of this I think we need to start thinking of “leadership” as the main block to progress.  Just look at some of the absolute bastards history has thrown up.  Hitler (a rather nice chap to those around him), Stalin, any number of Romans, religious weirdos and utterly peculiar arses like Churchill, Blair, Bush and DSK!  Even Gandhi ended up in bed with kids laying claim to be saving the world through his abstinence.  The GOP can’t even put forward a non-loony and Obama is clearly bought and paid for despite his Internet campaign funding stuff.

Anyone who has tried herding cats in unstructured groups, or to get recruits still raw from basic training to one side of a street to another under fire (etc.) knows people don’t generally cooperate well without direction, training, drills and the rest.  None of this means we should give up to “great leaders” and their arrays of bullshit and bullying.

How pathetic is it that we can standardise the rules and playing conditions of sports across the globe and yet not have a quality of work-life set of rules for international economic competition and cooperation?  We had the idea long ago – just no practice.  All our managers and politicians have shown over the years is they have no moral fibre and cheat on what should be rights for all at the drop of the ‘it’s a global competition out there’ hat.  In fact it is in no way a global competition in the way FIFA soccer is with level playing fields and strict refereeing.  This was managed, admittedly imperfectly, even though Blatter an his cronies run it!

We probably know enough about bureaucracy now to avoid the pitfalls of gonadotrophic thinking like dictatorships of the proletariat and politburo.  A decent world isn’t with us because we have been conned into thinking we can’t organise one.  I’m no leftie and believe in an international service solution linked with enterprise.  I do believe the rich have done so much damage they should spend the rest of their unworthy lives in negative income atonement.

We Need New thinking On High Earnings And Wealth

In 1989, the CEOs of the seven largest banks in the US earned an average of $2.8 million, almost a hundred times the annual income of the average US household. In the same year, the CEOs of the largest four UK banks earned £453,000, fifty times average UK household income. These are striking inequalities. Yet by 2007, at the height of the financial sector boom, CEO pay at the largest US banks had risen nearly tenfold to $26 million, more than five hundred times US household income, while among the UK’s largest banks it had risen by an almost identical factor to reach £4.3 million, 230 times UK household income in that year.

People who have benefited from such obscene ‘pay’ often get any debate on it steered towards the idea they earned the money and the chance to do this was central to their ‘motivation’.  Yet the evidence may be that they were making negative contribution to our economies all the time, fuelling bubbles that would inevitably burst.  And the creation of this super-rich class has also confounded what we thought were our democracies.  I doubt it’s now possible to vote anywhere for candidates not sullied by the money-grubbing.  Blair is a classic example, but across the pond politicians can legally trade on insider information and beat the markets in their personal dealings by 12%, way in excess of traders like Soros.  The classic study on this is -  “Abnormal Returns from the Common Stock Investments of the U.S. Senate, Alan J. Ziobrowski, Ping Cheng, James W, Boyd, and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski, was published in the Journal of Financial and
Quantitative Analysis (Dec. 2004).

Many questions need to be asked before we are suckered into asking whether the right question is whether huge salaries are desirable or even necessary.  The first is what these payments actually are and how we pay for them.  Banking is not self-sustaining, and any moves have effects on the rest of us – what would be the point of the vast riches is they didn’t buy something off the rest of us?  My argument is we become indentured to them.

Many of us have not yet noticed the effects of quantitative easing and the rest of the bailout.  Some have seen their monthly pensions drop from (say) £1200 to £580 and no doubt some have lost jobs and the rest.  Greece is falling apart and Ireland is suffering.  Worse is coming.

Your standard BBC Bimbonews allows various propagandists to present the business-as-usual drivel.  We need to find ways to subvert this dross and get to the real arguments that aren’t hopelessly confined to academic journals.  We are committing our children and their children to debt peonage because we are dumbly satisfied that these mega-payments can be earned, and it really beggars belief we are better off by paying the piper.  If we had Daleks exterminate them all overnight, the system would be running again in days if not hours – sadly much as it always has.  Munich did not finish off Manchester United.

One would expect, had these bwankers been creating real wealth, that there would be plenty of it around for public services and pensions.  Instead we face austerity whilst the rich grow richer.  I conclude they were never producing real wealth and merely stealing in a complex fraud.  There have been massive rises in productivity and we should be living easier.  We’re being stiffed and can’t even talk about it, rather like abuse victims.  One can hardly imagine Albert Einstein saying, ‘I smarter than you bastards, give me all your money’!