Opportunity Knocks if you’re from over the pond

I was recollecting what DaveCam has so often said about ‘Opportunity’ in the UK. My confession is that I’ve blogged about the Conservative hyprocrisy about opportunity before. Let’s have a recap shall we?

I’ve thought for some years that “opportunity for all” as spoken by the great sage actually means “I’d like to give the opportunity to the unfortunate by taking your job and giving it to more worthy subjects”. But hehhh, before you think I’m being outrageous and outspoken please spare a thought for the interpreters, who to a man and woman would rather not get involved with ALS and avoid any contact with the new breed of interpreting administrators, or the established, connected and experienced stockbrokers & IFA’s who are being subjected to unnecessary examination resulting in 20,000 to 35,000 being expended due to this fascist policy called the RDR. There are plenty of other examples of job replacement all being conscripted in the name of “Opportunity”.

In early October at the Tory conference DaveCam spoke again of opportunity….hushed silence……but today’s announcement by Osborne at the despatch box of the appointment of the next Governor of the Bank of England, the Old Lady as some prefer to call the building at Bank Tube Station, was pure theatre. Were we going to be told that a member of the MPC was going to get the job, Lord Adair Turner perhaps, that wreckless chap from the FSA, maybe a chap called Tucker, maybe unbelievably Lord Myners, or Lord Hoojie Magfloojie, or god forbid even a ‘real’ banker of the Cap’n Mainwaring school. Are there any left you ask?  There’s been some debate since 2008 about the difference between banking and investment banking. After 36 years in the City I like to think that I’ve got the definition down to a pat.

A banker is someone who works in an establishment called a bank, takes personal liability for his mistakes, and provides loans to business and personal customers at a rate exceeding the Minimum Lending Rate meanwhile accepting deposits against the loans by providing interest at a discount to the MLR (used to be called the Base Deposit Rate). These people called bankers had real integrity and ONLY worked on margin but above all respected their ‘customers’, never traded against them and never ever speculated.

So what is an investment banker Mr Hoblyn? Well, it used to go like this. When I started in the City they were ALL americans. We had merchant bankers, something quite different but it wan’t long before they too became bankers of investment. Now these chaps found businesses, financed them for flotations (IPO’s), provided real capital to the economies and were pretty popular people when they allocated good lines of stock at decent premiums till the late 1990’s. And then they got greedy. They worked closely with hedge funds, giving them the meat from the pies, started going synthetic derivative based (for another day), took huge risks with their balance sheets, took zero liability for their failures and yet ensured outrageous bonus and pension schemes ultimately getting the people to pay for this through QE (another questionable enterprise).

The masters of the new universe are Goldman Sachs. They are everywhere and yet nowhere. Technocats with GS credentials can be found at the Federal Reserve, also in Italy and Greece, but look more closely they are everywhere and yet nowhere. The hypocrisy of investment banks and their dismantling of businesses is truly astonishing but it’s called ‘good’ business, allowing for global stability. Greece and Italy and other nations in/outside EU have been victims of GS trade strategies (I should say that JPMorgan, Citigroup, MorganStanley do just the same amount of damage or thereabouts).

So I wondered who Osborne was going to name…….I choked at this point. A nice smooth chap with a crooked tie called Carney, a nice chap with Goldman Sachs credentials. Bloody marvellous and just to prove that DaveCam’s hypocrisy knows no bounds the chap isn’t even a Brit. He’s Canadian so that’s all right then. Let’s all mount up and give him the red carpet.

But I do suspect that there were a few British bankers spluttering on their cigars at this juncture. Good old David Tomlinson from Mary Poppins Mr Carney is NOT.

Thanks for the opportunity Mr DaveCam!

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