Crime

When Louis Met… Jimmy

Monday, 15 October, 2012 1 Comment

“The creepiest moment in the documentary occurs late at night when he thinks the camera is off, and he talks about the dancehall days. “I wouldn’t stand for any nonsense whatsoever. Ever, ever. I never threw anybody out. Tied them up and put them down in the bloody boiler house until I was ready for […]

Continue Reading »

Jimmy Savile will put a stake through the rotten heart of the BBC

Monday, 15 October, 2012

On 29 October last year, Jimmy Savile died. On 9 October this year, he returned from the dead. And this time round the undead DJ is dragging around with him a stake that will be driven through the rotten heart of the BBC. For make no mistake, the fact that the BBC spiked a story […]

Continue Reading »

A headhunter speaks

Tuesday, 9 October, 2012

“When I nominate someone for a top job in business, height is one of my most important criteria. Height instils respect, trust and authority. Tall people are visible, they can’t hide, they are masters, all nastiness air-blasted away, they have to stand up and be counted. Short people move around in the sediment, they have […]

Continue Reading »

Prodding a man-shaped Assange bag with a pitchfork

Thursday, 23 August, 2012

After nearly three decades in the UK’s Diplomatic Service, Charles Crawford retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the end of 2007. So, when it comes to matters consular and tactful, he knows the score. In his blog post, “Diplomatic Bags (Assange)“, Crawford points out that, “… if a man-shaped diplomatic bag is seen […]

Continue Reading »

Julian Assange is a rape suspect who skipped bail

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Brendan O’Neill, the editor of spiked, gets it exactly right in “Here’s why Julian Assange is the most annoying and arrogant person in the whole world“. Snippet: The liberal set’s beatification of Julian Assange reached stratospheric levels of stupidity in recent years. A fanboy book on Wikileaks by Guardian journalists […]

Continue Reading »

The depraved architects of death

Wednesday, 25 July, 2012

Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War by the French architectural historian and architect Jean-Louis Cohen establishes “one big, awful, inescapable truth”, writes Martin Filler in the New York Review of Books. According to Filler: “the full potential of twentieth-century architecture, engineering, and design was realized not in the social-welfare and […]

Continue Reading »

“There is a lot of crisis going on currently in Syria”

Monday, 16 July, 2012

The perpetrators of “advance fee fraud”, which is generally known as the “Nigerian 419 scam“, keep a close eye on international developments and never miss an opportunity to match their message to the crisis du jour. In this case, it’s the Syrian civil war and here’s the message that was delivered to the Rainy Day […]

Continue Reading »

Gay rich and Rich gay

Monday, 21 May, 2012

What became England’s most popular musical of the 18th century, “The Beggar’s Opera“, was written by John Gay and produced by John Rich. The success of their long-running co-operation was said at the time to have made “Gay rich and Rich gay“. With its nursery-rhyme structure, the “How D’You Do” song from “The Beggar’s Opera” […]

Continue Reading »

Those huge French Whales: Kerviel, Tourre and Bruno Iksil

Friday, 11 May, 2012

According to Société Générale, one of its traders, Jérôme Kerviel, engaged in unauthorized transactions in 2007 totaling as much as €49.9 billion, a figure higher than the bank’s total market capitalization. On 5 October 2010, a French court sentenced Kerviel to five years of prison, with two years suspended, full restitution of the $6.7 billion that was lost because of his speculation, and a permanent ban from working in financial services. Afterwards, the bank stated that the restitution was “symbolic”, and that it had no expectation the sum would be paid.

Talking of 2010, fans of high finance will also recall the multi-billion dollar accusations of fraud against Goldman Sachs for selling its clients toxic mortgage-backed securities that it had specifically designed to fail for the sole purpose of betting against them. Who got blamed for this scam? Fabrice Pierre Tourre. The fabulous Frenchman was the only person named when financial regulators charged the US investment bank with fraud.

Now it’s the turn of their compatriot Bruno Iksil to share the (dis)honour. Back on 6 April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Iksil, a trader at J.P. Morgan known in the market as the “London Whale”, had made large bets on credit derivatives. The bank said Iksil’s unit was meant to ‘hedge structural risks’. A week later, Bloomberg ran a story titled “JPMorgan’s London Whale Could Use New Nickname” that noted Iksil “had earned two unforgettable nicknames: (1) The London Whale, and (2) Voldemort, after the Harry Potter villain.” On the very same day, J.P. Morgan reported its first-quarter earnings and CFO Doug Braunstein said that the bank was “very comfortable” with the unit’s positions. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon called media coverage on the matter a “tempest in the teapot“. That’s a “tempête dans un verre d’eau“, by the way.

Yesterday, J.P. Morgan said it had taken $2 billion in losses so far in the second quarter related to the London Whale’s trading. Dimon called the strategy “flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored.”
WSJ bottom line: “Asked what, in hindsight, he should have paid more attention to, Mr. Dimon deadpanned: ‘newspapers.'”


Cash Daddy in 419 land

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012

Of all the bizarre occurrences in these bizarre times, the recent address by Bertie Ahern, the former Prime Minister of Ireland, at an economic forum in Nigeria has to take the biscuit. That this discredited individual could trouser a reported €30,000 from the organizers of the Ogun State Investors’ Forum only amplifies what was spelled […]

Continue Reading »