Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Lib Dems are getting tetchy

I will be off to Tenerife in the early hours of tomorrow morning so no blogs for 10 days. I am not sorry to miss a bit of this boring grind of a General Election campaign.

Of all political parties I  find Lib Dems with their high moral tone the most difficult to take seriously as they are clearly neither Liberal or Democratic. The spectacle of Lib Dem activists shouting down journalists trying to ask Farron proper questions was quite nauseating and reminiscent of the Nazis in the 1930s.

With nearly 100 peers they are grossly over-represented in the HoL but more insidious is their gross over - representation on the BBC politics shows. They exhibit all the worst features of British politics. Give me an honest trade unionist out to get the best deal for his members or a businessman eager to make the most money for his company any day. They are what they are and do not pretend to be any thing else. Lib Dems tell whatever story they think will gain some poor mug's vote and seek to be all things to all people.

Look at the mess Farron has got himself into over gay sex through his meal mouthed dancing round the topic that buggery is popular with homosexuals .No amount of Lib Demmery will ever make it unpopular with LGBTs to paraphrase Abe Lincoln.

Locally we are well endowed with Lib Dems but following Daisy's going awol I detect a slight edginess among the bien pensants of Yeovil. The full Daisy story will emerge eventually but it won't be Daisy pulls it off which use to feature so often in the girl's comics headlines.

Twinkletoes Cable, a year older than I am, is wheeled out once more as a Twickenham parliamentary candidate and scourge of big business, Sky, Nestle etc. Is he the best the LibDems can offer us? I am glad to miss him. Finally I do hope the Tories do not pick Zac Goldsmith for Richmond. The Olney woman is dreadful .As Julia H-B demonstrated Olney has thought nothing through. She is a bunch unrelated cliches.

Here is details of the latest Lib Dem dirty trick

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3412687/tory-mps-abandon-pro-eu-group-open-britain-as-lib-dems-are-accused-of-using-it-to-shoehorn-candidates-into-parliament/

and another one

https://order-order.com/2017/04/25/libdems-select-david-jews-ward-bradford/

How low can the Lib Dems go?

Monday, 24 April 2017

Yeovil Lib Dems let down by Daisy

Daisy was the name of the love of the Great Gatsby in the eponymous novel by F Scot Fitzgerald. She  let down Gatsby and it looks like another Daisy, Ms Benson, has let down the great Paddy who had put a lot of effort into promoting her Yeovil candidacy. She had been in place as the Lib Dems Yeovil PPC for some months.




The reasons she gave for standing down was that the election had come at the wrong time, (is there ever a right time?) as she was in the middle of buying a house and she was unable to devote sufficient time to her campaign. Ho hum and the band played believe it if you like or as the Yanks would say, tell it to the marines, in this case former Royal Marine Paddy Ashdown pictured with Daisy below



There must be more to it than this. I and many other  have bought and sold houses whilst doing our job so what is up with Daisy?

I googled the good lady and here is how the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation reported it

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-39690628

Only last week the lady was raring to go

http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/yeovil-lib-dem-candidate-daisy-benson-ready-to-fight-marcus-fysh-at-snap-election/story-30277614-detail/story.html

Here is how Lib Dem voice reported her candidacy last July

http://www.libdemvoice.org/daisy-benson-claire-young-and-dawn-barnes-selected-for-lib-dem-seats-51334.html

Something does not add up about this story. The Lib Dems pride themselves on their organisation and getting good candidates in place early.  Who will they choose next for Yeovil? I am not available. I am disapponted in this hiccup in the well oiled Lib Dem machine. I had always admired their organisation judging by the number of Lib Dems who have knocked unsuucessfuly on my door these last few years.

Perhaps the Lib Dems should read Sakespeares Henry V, speech before Agincourt. Larry hams it up in the link below:

https://youtu.be/x26GN6rQbZI

Just replace the French with the EU!

PS I should add Daisy Buchanan gave the Great Gatsby the elbow in the end and went back to the seriously rich man and her secure status in society. I leave the reader to draw the right comparison.

Friday, 21 April 2017

EU is interfering in our General Election

Yesterday another dodgy mid European,Italian Antonio Tajani, President of the EU talking shop,  turned up at No10 saying Britain would be welcomed back into the EU if voters change their minds. He was also saying that the EU medicines agency and finance would be removed from the UK and we would have to pay the costs of the relocation move. The latter is something no British PM could possibly agree to. but its all part of the EU nice guy, nasty guy strategy to soften us up pr- negotiation which the EU of course deny is even happening. It is also a blatant attempt to interfere in our General Election.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/european-parliament-president-antonio-tajani-says-uk-would-be-welcomed-back-if-it-dropped-brexit_uk_58f9a940e4b00fa7de12f0cc

He also prattled on about protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa. All well and good except he said that these EU citizens living in the UK he says would live under EU law administered by the ECJ and would have the human right to bring in their relatives and this  would a red line in the Brexit negotiations. This is as MrTajani must know is impossible for HMG to accede to. It is merely a ploy to give the Lib Dems and their fellow travellers another excuse to blather on about poor stressed EU immigrants living in the UK. We live under British law in the UK with no exceptions for Muslims, Italians or any other group. Its the only way a country can run. The UK saying is , "When in Rome do as the Romans do". That should not be too difficult for an  Italian to grasp.

There was also the usual EU guff about how we would have to pay in to the EU coffers ad nauseam. Its all a scare story to panic the UK electorate. Despicable.


I cannot see much wrong with WTO trade rules. If they are good enough for 93% of the non-EU world trade why is it not good enough for the EU? The answer is the EU is not really interested in trade its obsession is to become a country like  the USA. That will never happen. History is all against it.  Why not recognise this and tell them we will use WTO rues from June 2019? It would spare us endless Remoaner drivel from Farron etc

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

UKIP outlook in Brexit General election is dire

I have no doubt T May's principal reason in calling this election was Labour weakness. Its not a done deal until the 2/3 majority vote goes through tomorrow. Turkeys do not vote for Xmas and there are a lot of turkeys on the Labour benches who might abstain or vote against to save their own necks. The other result will be to wipe out UKIP. I doubt Nigel will even stand. UKIP has been poorly led and now the ordinary decent members must pay the price of blind support for NF. They should have demanded far reaching party management reforms to ensure they can fight elections as well as the Lib Dems will fight this one. There were to many arse lickers at the top of UKIP for this to happen.

The Lib Dems are of course well pleased and I think they might well win a few more seats, up to 10 possibly but if Labour lose 80 to the Tories the LibDems will be what they have always been, an irrelevance. UKIP can be proud that it got and won our referendum on leaving the EU an achievement of such a magnitude that Golum Farron can never equal.

The SNP are spiiting blood. Its put their pathetic second referendum campaign well and truly on the back burner.

I hope Tory Central office sort out, ie deselect their awkward EU loving squad, starting with the Soubry woman. I do hope Bunter Clarke stands down at last. Its a pity about Postie Johnson he was a nice guy.

Its a bold move by the Vicar's daughter that deserves to succeed. Its also another one in the eye for the Westminster commentariat. Who pays these ill informed useless people ?

Saturday, 15 April 2017

What should Donald do about North Korea?

The recent North Korean military parade  and rallies smack of Nazi rallies 1936-39.add child  indoctrination Hitler youth style  and we all know where that will end up. There s no question in my mind that Trump has to act quickly.

His strategy of hitting military targets with conventional weapons cruise and other missiles and avoiding civilian casualties as much as possible must be correct. He cannot allow Kim to threaten Japan  with nuclear attack.

The problems are North Korea could launch a conventional ground attack across the DMZ and a ground war is something Trump cannot politically contemplate not if he wants to stay President. I see avoiding this scenario as Trump's big problem but how? I am glad  its not my problem but if anyone can crack it it is the US army but faced with Kim it will be impossible to avoid civilian casualties and the bleeding heart liberal elite will be all over Trump like a rash.

The US will try to defend the South Korean population with sea borne anti-missile rockets but no US soldier should set foot on Korean soil. Supply the South Koreans with all the conventional arms and hardware they ask for but its up to them to use to defend themselves.

If Kim is stupid enough to go nuclear hitting South Korean cities it makes it easy for Trump but I do hope he will not retaliate with nuclear weapons. He can do whatever he wants except that.

Longer term he will have eventually to face up to China and that will require an alliance with Russia Putin and all. The US cannnot tolerate China grabbing a big chunk of the South C hina Sea through its artifical fortified island comstruction programme. All problems ignored by Obama the worst US president imop since Randy Jack Kennnedy.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Donald Trump is starting to look a good President

Trump's major decision is to back his military. Thereafter he does the PR and leaves the management to the military who choose the target, the weapons to be used and the timing. No General wants to lose a single one of their men so clearly there will be as few boots on the ground as possible. That is the right strategy hence the use of cruise missiles in Syria and a huge thermobaric bomb in Afghanistan and minimal civilian casualties.The Yanks are also pursuing an achievable aim of denying the terrorists safe havens in which they can rest up and regroup. Its so good to have a leader who lets the guys who know the business get on with it.

I an a great admirer of the classless US military compared to our public school dominated army. I always compare the treatment of my old school pal Fairey who when a Major ran the Libyan embassy siege for the first two days despite requests from No 10 to speak to a proper officer. Also from my council house area and corporation school in Edinburgh there emerged one Robert Johnston who was Stormin Norman.s Chief of Staff in the Gulf war and retired a marines Lt General. How many Lt Generals in the British Army went to a council school?

The UK is still class ridden which holds us back as a country.  Our ruling political elite could learn a lot from Donald but they of course know they are right and Donald is wrong just like all of us who dared vote Brexit

To balance things out Julian Amery, old Etonian was a good minister and did two years behind enemy lines in the Balkans in WWII. His elder brother John was an Old Harrovian and was hanged for treason by Albert Pierrepoint, on 19th Dec 1945. Here is a good read if you like these things.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/3293770/Inside-story-traitor-in-the-family.html

I have high hopes of the Donald. His mother was certainly not upper class and did not attend Eton or even Cheltenham Ladies.Its good to see the ex-public school bien pensants proved wrong. No lessons will be learned and these people will continue to rule over us unquestioned in their moral right to do so and talking from the moral high ground in high moral tones.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Libor Rates revisited

I watched the BBC Panorama tonight. As I have some acquaintance with the process I fill in some of the many gaps in the BBC's typically poor, shoddy journalism.

Libor rates c 2007 were set by the Britsh Bankers Association, the BBA. They were set or around 20 currencies, not just Sterling ove a range of tenors from overnight to 2 years. The most important were the one month and 3 month rate. The latter was used for swaps and option pricing world wide

Each currency had an associated panel of banks, around 16 for Stering. Every morning the BBA would phone all the panel members nd ask for their Libor rate ie the rate they would lend at in size to another bank on the panel. In size means circa £100 to £500 million. The BBA discarded the 4 top rates and the 4 bottom rates and calculated the average of the middle 8 rates which was published at 11:00 as the that day's Libor rate. It is therefore difficult to see how one bank could shift the rate significantly there had to be a group of banks involved, a comspircy.

In my work at the BoE I always distrusted LIBOR rates because they were not traded rates. I always used OIS , overnight interest rate swap rates which only the biggest 6 to 8 banks did and were trraded rates at which actual swap transactions took place.

I saw no evidence of rigging of the Libor market just a nagging uncertainty about the way LIBOR was compilied. It was open to manipulation.

All banks keep a giant spreadsheet that aggregates their net postions over all instruments, swaps, FRAs, options etc but they all settled against LIBOR so banks knew the precise effect of a one basis point move in LIBOR on their profits.

Simples!

Thx to Austrianpeter for his comment. I should have pointed out that Libor is an unsecured rate and what you are detecting is the credit spread which can be very large to the point that you refuse to lend to some banks, called a credit crunch. Its not good to lend to counterparties you do not think can repay! Thats what happened to Northern Rock.

Banks can still borrow and lend on the GCRepo market where govenment bonds are pledged as collateral for the loan, All the BoE lending to commercial banks is done on this secured basis. Its been a legal requirement since 1848 ie before I was born. The problem is than to estimate the margin you need to take on the loan in case the collateral price falls. That hot potato always ended up in my lap in my BoE days. A  mistake would have been career terminating for those with BoE ambitions! I was often told I was expendable and had no BoE career. I was old even then.