Tag Archives: David Cameron

Con of the Week: Greensill Capital, by Matt Taibbi

Taibbi warns of fortunes generated from low margin businesses. Remember the warning if you’re thinking of investing in companies promising wondrous profits from low margin businesses like taxi rides and restaurant deliveries. From Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

When the face of a traditionally low-margin business starts collecting private jets, it’s time to head for the exits

For an explanation of the “Con of the Week” feature, click here.

Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley…

Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.

Charles Dickens never quite explained the business of Scrooge and Marley in A Christmas Carol. We knew old Ebeneezer was familiar with the fellows at the “‘Change” (the stock exchange), spent time in a “counting-house,” and was owed money all over town. One of the few things that made him happy was the passage of time, for debts to him — marked “three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge” — would become mere worthless securities, “if there were no days to count by.”

One theory is “Scrooge and Marley” were engaged in an age-old business called “supply chain financing.” The concept is simple. A supplier sells an order to a buyer. Rather than wait for the buyer to pay, the supplier accepts immediate payment with a slight discount from the supply chain financier, who in turn later collects the full amount from the buyer.

Scrooge once would have been a perfect fit as a leading man for Supply Chain Financing. It’s “blocking and tackling” finance work, a simple, unsexy living, best left in the hands of one who holds pennies in a vice-grip. If you’re not the type to bring a book of debts home for pleasure-reading, you wouldn’t prosper in this profession.

That was consensus, until Lex Greensill came along.

Lex Greensill testifying before the British Treasury Committee

Continue reading→

Brexit Is Just The Beginning: A Tidal Wave Of Popular Revolt Against The Ruling Elites, by Darrell Delamaide

Brexit is just the beginning of the European unraveling. From Darrell Delamaide at marketwatch.com:

Now that Britain has done the unthinkable and voted to leave the European Union, the critics are ruthless in their condemnation of Prime Minister David Cameron for his “irresponsible act” in calling the referendum in the first place.

As if it were his fault.

As if he was responsible for the bloated Brussels bureaucracy and undemocratic governance structure in the EU.

As if he were to blame for the domination of an unequal union by a German chancellor responsive and accountable only to her own domestic political concerns.

Yes, Cameron will step down, as political accountability in a parliamentary system demands. He miscalculated and lost big time, staking his political future on a Remain vote.

It was Martin Wolf, the prestigious columnist for the Financial Times, who last month labeled the referendum on a British exit from the EU — widely known as Brexit – as “the most irresponsible act by a British government in my lifetime.”

The nerve of the leader of one of the world’s oldest democracies to actually let the voting public decide the future of the nation.

Cameron surely would have been much smarter to follow the lead of the political elites in other countries and to ignore the rising hostility to a union that seems to be stifling progress rather than increasing prosperity for all.

Instead, he committed the unforgivable sin of allowing democracy to function, a debate to be held, and voters to choose.

In doing so, Cameron has opened a Pandora’s box of insurgency against the political elite in Europe.

The British vote in favor of leaving the EU will embolden euroskeptic forces in other European countries to demand their own referendums or to win sufficient support in their parliaments to break with Brussels if it cannot implement fundamental reforms.

If it had not been Cameron in Britain, it would have been another leader in another country, because the forces hostile to Europe were going to blow the lid off that box sooner or later.

Another hoary establishment mouthpiece, the New York Times, joined the chorus of criticism this week, proclaiming in a headline that with the referendum, Cameron “faces problem of his own making.”

Could it not just as easily read that Brussels faces a problem of its own making? That German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a problem of her own making?

Financial markets are throwing a colossal tantrum because investment banks and other big market players placed their Brexit bets wrong.

But investors had better get used to a lot of volatility because Brexit is just the beginning.

A restless, beaten-down public has drawn the first blood in a rebellion against a neoliberal economic orthodoxy committed to globalization that has sucked the life out of whole communities and blighted the future of a generation.

To continue reading: Brexit Is Just The Beginning: A Tidal Wave Of Popular Revolt Against The Ruling Elites

He Said That? 6/24/16

From David Cameron, British Prime Minister:

I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the EU. I made clear the referendum was about this, and this alone, not the future of any single politician, including myself. But the British people made a different decision to take a different path. As such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.

Good-bye, David.

Pro-Brexit Leader Jokes “Keep Sending Obama Over” After Surge In Polls, by Tyler Durden

President Obama journeyed to Great Britain to tell the British how to vote on the upcoming referendum  on EU membership. He told them to vote for it.Surprise, surprise, pro-Brexit sentiment has surged. Nobody listens to Obama anymore. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Who could have seen this coming? Having told the British public in so many words, “Vote No To Brexit, Vote Yes To Undemocratic Superstate!” it appears President Obama’s unwanted presence in the UK-EU Referendum debate has backfired beautifully. As FreeBeacon reports, Arron Banks, the British entrepreneur leading a grassroots effort to leave the European Union urges Americans to “keep sending Obama over,” as ‘Brexit’ odds have risen above plunging ‘Bremain’ odds since the President paid a visit to the Queeen.

Brexit leaders are thrilled President Barack Obama came out against them, because they are seeing a bounce in the polls.

“I think it’s hugely important geopolitically because the European Union is developing into a kind of United States of Europe, and that’s something the British are naturally pretty anti,” Arron Banks told the Washington Free Beacon. “And it’s really come down to the point where most of our laws are now being made in Brussels—65 percent. Our ultimate court is in France and we’ve got open borders to 500 million people. So clearly immigration is a massive issue, it’s not dissimilar to a lot of the stuff they are discussing with Trump, in the sense of [how] some of these issues resonate.”

Banks said the American equivalent of being in the European Union would make Congress in Toronto, the Supreme Court in Havana while having a completely open border to Mexico.

Banks criticized Obama for his recent trip to London, where he threatened that leaving the European Union would cause the U.K. to “be in the back of the queue,” in terms of trade. The phrase led many to speculate the president was given talking points from Prime Minister David Cameron.

“He basically said if you leave the European Union you’ll go to the back of the trade queue,” Banks said. “Number one, we don’t particularly like being threatened in our home doorstep. Number two, everyone was slightly confused why he used the word queue and not line. It led to a lot of discussion whether he had just been given it to read. So I think he was briefed obviously by the British government, and it was a favor.”
“But since his appearance polls have actually gone in the other direction,” Banks added. “We need to hear more from him, really. Send him back for another go, we’d be delighted to see him again.”

Banks is optimistic about the referendum vote, despite close polling, because core supporters of Brexit tend to be more energized. A new poll following Obama’s visit saw Brexit gaining support over the Remain campaign, 51 to 49 percent. The Free Beacon asked Banks what Americans can do if they are sympathetic to his cause.

“Keep sending Obama over,” he said.


Top Computer Security Expert Warns – David Cameron’s Plan to Ban Encryption Would “Destroy the Internet”, by Michael Krieger

Just the other day James Comey, the head of the FBI, argued against encryption technology that won’t allow the government its peek into private communications, so this nonsense isn’t limited to the UK. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

BUSINESS INSIDER: What was your immediate reaction to Cameron’s proposals?

Bruce Schneier: My immediate reaction was disbelief, followed by confusion and despair. When I first read about Cameron’s remarks, I was convinced he had no idea what he was really proposing. The idea is so preposterous that it was hard to imagine it being seriously suggested. But while Cameron might not understand what he’s saying, surely he has advisers that do. Maybe he didn’t listen to them. Maybe they aren’t capable of telling him that what he’s saying doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand UK politics sufficiently well to know what was going on in the background. I don’t know anything about Cameron’s tech background. But the only possibly explanation is that he didn’t realize the full extent of what he was saying.

Then I wondered why he would even wish for such a thing? Does he realize that this is the sort of thing that only authoritarian governments do? Again, my knowledge of the UK is limited, but I assume they are a free country that champions liberty.

– From the Business Insider article: David Cameron’s Proposed Encryption Ban Would ‘Destroy the Internet’

I’ve discussed UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s idiotic, futile and extremely dangerous scheme to ban encryption previously here at Liberty Blitzkrieg. Most recently, in the post, Britain’s “War on Terror” Insanity Continues – David Cameron Declares War on Encryption, in which I explained how Cameron immediately seized upon the terrorist attacks in France to propose more fascist nonsense:

When it comes to the “war on terror,” the United Kingdom embraces a unique form of paranoia and hatred for civil liberties that leaves pretty much all other Western nations in the dust. Although it isn’t the country in which I reside, the extraordinarily close diplomatic ties between the U.S. and the UK results in my paying particular attention to what transpires over in Albion.

Unsurprisingly, the recent attacks Charlie Hebdo attacks across the English Channel were more than sufficient to get UK Prime Minister David Cameron hot and bothered enough to immediately call for more power for the government, and less civil liberties for the citizenry. In his latest twisted authoritarian fantasy, Mr. Cameron has decided to declare war on encryption. In other words, a war on private communications between citizens.
In the aftermath of such a push (which U.S. FBI chief James Comey is fully behind), pretty much every computer security expert and technologist has come out and blasted the stupidity of the concept. Bruce Schneier takes the criticism one step further by proclaiming that Cameron’s plan would “destroy the internet.”

To continue reading: David Cameron’s Plan to Ban Encryption Would “Destroy the Internet”

Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It, by Glenn Greenwald

From Glenn Greenwald, who was instrumental in publishing Edwin Snowden’s materials, via theburningplatform.com:

We learned recently from Paris that the Western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the West — perpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the Western politicians claiming to fight them.

One of the most alarming examples comes, not at all surprisingly, from the U.K. government, which is currently agitating for new counterterrorism powers, “including plans for extremism disruption orders designed to restrict those trying to radicalize young people.” Here are the powers which the British Freedom Fighters and Democracy Protectors are seeking:

They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.

It will also contain new powers to close premises including mosques where extremists seek to influence others. The powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities that misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism will also be strengthened.

In essence, advocating any ideas or working for any political outcomes regarded by British politicians as “extremist” will not only be a crime, but can be physically banned in advance. Basking in his election victory, Prime Minister David Cameron unleashed this Orwellian decree to explain why new Thought Police powers are needed: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.’” It’s not enough for British subjects merely to “obey the law”; they must refrain from believing in or expressing ideas which Her Majesty’s Government dislikes.

If all that sounds menacing, tyrannical and even fascist to you — and really, how could it not? “extremism disruption orders” — you should really watch this video of Tory Home Secretary Theresa May trying to justify the bill in an interview on BBC this morning. When pressed on what “extremism” means — specifically, when something crosses the line from legitimate disagreement into criminal “extremism” — she evades the question completely, repeatedly invoking creepy slogans about the need to stop those who seek to “undermine Our British Values” and, instead, ensure “we are together as one society, One Nation” (I personally believe this was all more lyrical in its original German). Click here to watch the video and see the face of Western authoritarianism, advocating powers in the name of Freedom that are its very antithesis.

Threats to free speech can come from lots of places. But right now, the greatest threat by far in the West to ideals of free expression is coming not from radical Muslims, but from the very Western governments claiming to fight them. The increasingly unhinged, Cheney-sounding governments of the U.K., Australia, France, New Zealand and Canada — joining the U.S. — have a seemingly insatiable desire to curb freedoms in the name of protecting them: prosecuting people for Facebook postings critical of Western militarism or selling “radical” cable channels, imprisoning people for “radical” tweets, banning websites containing ideas they dislike, seeking (and obtaining) new powers of surveillance and detention for those people (usually though not exclusively Muslim citizens) who hold and espouse views deemed by these governments to be “radical.”

Anticipating Prime Minister Cameron’s new “anti-extremist” bill (to be unveiled in the “Queen’s Speech”), University of Bath Professor Bill Durodié said that “the window for free speech has now been firmly shut just a few months after so many political leaders walked in supposed solidarity for murdered cartoonists in France.” Actually, there has long been a broad, sustained assault in the West on core political liberties — specifically due process, free speech and free assembly — perpetrated not by “radical Muslims,” but by those who endlessly claim to fight them. Sadly, and tellingly, none of that has triggered parades or marches or widespread condemnation by Western journalists and pundits. But for those who truly believe in principles of free expression — as opposed to pretending to when it allows one to bash the Other Tribe — these are the assaults that need marches and protests.