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April, 2019

Magical Newton

August, 2017

Not the briar patch, Brer Trump!

March, 2017

A Serious Case of the DTs

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The American Yeltsin
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Beyond Zealots and Cold-War Warriors

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A Vandal at the Gates of Rome

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Are you conscious?

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Brave New World?

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Stop, for a moment.

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Rupert's Coup

March, 2016

Between a Shill and a Hard Case

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Swimming in a sea of sugar

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Information Rich, Attention Poor
Nerds need to get out more ...

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There is a homunculus at the end of the garden path

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Welcome Home
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History? Whose story?
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As above, so below

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A time for tolerance

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Thinking out of the xBox
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Welcome to the Gulag

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A timely response to spying

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Obedience and the Machine
Ban the bible?
Fracticide - don't do it.

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Serfing, USUK

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Deafened by gossip

May, 2013

Who needs words...?

April, 2013

It must be true
Why would they stop?

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Beyond belief

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RBS: doing Fine, not Time
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Royal Promo
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Burning symbols

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Charles and Jimmy's little secret
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A journey through riotous times

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Caring for life
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June, 2012

A cynical ploy
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Will you walk into my parlour?
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A crazy idea
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Sorry, Harry

April, 2012

Cracks in the Rear-View Mirror
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Corporate responsibility

March, 2012

Poppycock - without question
Who's pushing your buttons?
Investigate the Blair-Murdoch Conspiracy

February, 2012

In Praise of The Seven Liberal Arts
The real story
When giving is taking
Giving it all away

November, 2011

Poking a hornets nest
Wealth of Nations poured away
Squeaky and the Paedophile Prince
Boiling frogs
Death of an industry
Change blindness
What a world ...

October, 2011

Pictures and words
Screeching to a halt.
Taxing noise

September, 2011

Hand over your money
Breeding psychopaths
Mr Fox, is the hen house safe?
A ludicrous Conspiracy Theory
Can you believe your eyes?
Getting eye contact
Partners in Crime

July, 2011

It was the Wettins 'wot won it'

May, 2011

Heir apparently

April, 2011

Putting Emergencies in Context
Underground networks travelling First Class

March, 2011

Be careful what you ask for
Water - a tale of two countries
Here we go again ...
Wake up!!!

February, 2011

The right stuff
Revolution! ... and yet, and yet.
Follow the money
Shh - don't tell the children
Does the MoD have a Cunning Plan?

January, 2011

Met Office caught in winter weather whitewash
Read between the lines
The new parable of Noah
Banking on People

November, 2010

Wettins don't say sorry
It's just not fair ...
Remember, remember ...

October, 2010

Kindness sees no crime
Pundits in the frame
Killer drones target the middle class
A tale of two Charlies

September, 2010

A failure to discriminate ...
Good Grief
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August, 2010

Size psycho-fancy
Baiting a Wikid Trap?

July, 2010

... at the gates of Rome
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Guilty - but not charged
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May, 2010

ConDemned to the Shock Doctor
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April, 2010

Bankster at bay ...
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March, 2010

It's how you say it ...
Bullying Manner
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Iceland - showing the way.

February, 2010

Small steps to a far place
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January, 2010

So who needs people?
Late and censored
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December, 2009


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Fools served by Zombies
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September, 2009

Taken Hostage

August, 2009

Have a good weekend ...
High Frequency Trading ...
Money money money
Fit for a politician

July, 2009

Inside clouds

June, 2009

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aaah diddums
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Money Matters
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Home improvements
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Barak - the movie

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Won't get fooled again
Bankers, all of them!

September, 2008

And The Winner is ...
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That's Lucky!
On this day

August, 2008

Mark My Words

July, 2008

The Management Myth
Sense Making Questions

June, 2008

Beware this Griffin
42 Day Folly
A Tortured Silence

May, 2008

A new Dawn needed
Is Justin Webb A Neo-Con?
The Puppy, the Mountain and the Fascists

April, 2008

Attention Pays

March, 2008

Fat Cats and Pork Pies
Fed up Darling?
Swearing - it's just not British!
Banking on People   16 January 2011

Mr Sean O'Grady of the London Independent has twice this week explored the subject of bankers bonuses (see here and here). He invokes notions of equality and a fairer society, but his view of humanity leaves him precariously perched on the fence, describing the world from a bankers perspective.

He posits straw men and asks questions such as: "do we want to be more equal like Sweden or have more billionaires and shanty towns like the USA?" or: " Do we want to be regulated by envious journalists and bitter trade unionists?". If not, he says, " ... the critics should leave it to Mervyn King to work out some fancy rules on capital adequacy that no-one understands outside the City but will do the job".

Mr O'Grady gives the impression of somebody pacing back and forth within his mental cage, constrained by his beliefs, disappointed by his own values and frustrated with his conclusions. Let us look at some of his beliefs:

  • "greed is endemic, we are all out for what we can get"
  • "it is our nature to maximise income"
  • "the responsible corporate citizen idea is cobblers"
  • "human beings are economic actors"
  • "fair price is a medieval concept"

These statements demonstrate an impoverished view of human nature, Mr O'Grady should get out more and meet some real people. He clearly has no concept of the dominance of the gift economy, the nature of the open source community or the many kindnesses done by human beings every moment of every day.

Yesterday morning I heard Edward O'Mahoney, born in 1920, describe the time in 1946 when he returned from the war against Japan to find his home had been bombed. He and his family were rehoused in one of the new pre-fabs (made from Spitfire factory parts) and under severe rationing. He choked up as he described how within half an hour of being there, his new neighbour came round with a pot of precious tea! That neighbour was not out for what he could get.

More of Mr O'Grady's beliefs:

  • "bank supervision can be left to bankers"
  • "bankers are doing lawful work"

As a journalist Mr O'Grady (like most of his colleagues) has failed abysmally to investigate the on-going fraud and corruption to be found at every level of the financial industry. From illegal national and international ponzi schemes to manipulation of the various financial markets through high-frequency trading, co-location, front-running and dark pools to massive mis-selling of financial products. The fraud is vast.

With a few honourable exceptions (such as Matt Taibbi - not even a financial journalist) the fourth estate has let us down badly.

And finally Mr O'Grady's jaundiced view of human nature is topped off with incredible naivety when he says:

  • "I doubt Mr Diamond will be taking many reckless risks right now".

Good grief! Why ever not? Mr Diamond continues to be exteremly well rewarded for his behaviour, why should he change now? All his risk-taking contempt for politicians and regulators has been reinforced.

Journalists such as Mr O'Grady have not done their homework. They believe the financial terrorists who threaten us with Armageddon if we let a major bank fail. They believe that all those bankers and traders in the City of London are really necessary. They believe that financial derivatives have some intrinsic value. They believe that we should support the City in it's gambling addiction.

When they see the price of bread go up they do not tell people that it is the value of their money going down - caused by the extra trillions created to bail out the banks - a double whammy. They do not seem to realise that we are facing an inevitable financial collapse. That the present system, whereby we measure the value we create in terms of an illusory fiat currency, is unsustainable.

We do not have to allow bankers to carry out fraud and then use political influence to cover up their corruption. It is better to recognise that the banking system has failed than to pretend it is working. By facing the reality we will be better placed to figure out what money is and what we need it for.

Mr O'Grady presumably knows how to count, but he doesn't seem to know what counts. He appears to have lost sight of real human values. Values that are worth fighting for.

Posted by Nicholas Moore    4:05:02 pm