Monday, February 23, 2009

Back ...

Took me all day to unpack, wash ski gear, dry out soaking gloves/hats/scarves/skisuits, walk dog - by nine o'clock and a hot bath a tired Laban was just ready for some serious blogging when I got a call from my eldest - the car had died. Went out with Susan to collect him and his passengers and check out the problem (looks like the alternator has packed up). It was nearly three hours before it could be towed home - got back at midnight.

So just a quick mention of

a) the whistleblowers tale (links don't work properly, but this is the full story).

Whistle-blower Graham Milne of Lloyds TSB came to the view that the Circular illegally misled policy-holders. He was duly suspended and, one year later, fired – sound familiar ?

Just before he was fired, the FSA responded to his claims, dismissing them - doubtless to the satisfaction of Lloyds TSB. The FSA Managing Director responsible was Carol Sergeant, a personal appointee of Gordon Brown’s – sound familiar ?

Just as Milne was being fired, guess what happened to Sergeant ? One month after she dismissed Milne’s complaint, she was hired as Chief Risk Director at … Lloyds TSB ! Six months later, for good measure, she was awarded the CBE: and then made a Trustee of the charity Public Concern at Work (motto: Making Whistle-Blowing Work). After all, she’d been responsible for launching the FSA’s whistle-blower policy !!

I am not making this up.
The only thing I would add is that it appears the SW policyholders were due to take a hit on the company's Guaranteed Annuity liabilities come what may, whether they stayed mutual or not. But Milne is correct that the exposure should have been fully explained in the demutualisation documents. If that's not a material fact I don't know what is.

Elsewhere - Pub Philosopher and Blimpish on Red Toryism.

PP :

It's almost as if a tacit deal was done.

"You can have political correctness, multiculturalism, gay rights and the abolition of corporal punishment in schools if we can have deregulation, tax loopholes, offshoring and outsourcing."

Got it in one - in some cases more of a devil's compact (eg Murdoch's services to dumbing down/pornification and the Tory Party) than a tacit deal. And it started, remember, in the 80s. Thatcher lost the culture war as completely as she won the economic one - although I'm never quite sure that she even realised the existence of the culture war.

More later. I see the FT and Dow continued to fall last week, more US banks are in trouble - as City Unslicker would put it "the dominoes fall slowly".


Anonymous said...

Worse than the Great Depression?
Fast Economic Decline Ominous
"Japan export orders declining 30%"

Anonymous said...

huh I messed up the link.

Fast Economic Decline Ominous