They’re All Jimmy Greaves, Guv

Some dodgy geezers get together and meticulously plan a daring heist which will make them fabulously wealthy by plundering the riches of others – people they will never meet nor know, so who cares? Then they get caught, the callous crooks, and they’ll pay the price of crime by getting banged up for 25 years. Throw the key away, more like. It’s all they deserve…sweeney

Only they won’t end up in Wormwood Scrubs sharing a cell and counting off the long years. The crooks I’m talking about will retire to the sun with the millions they’ve accumulated and get together for a laugh when the row has died down. Some might even repeat their crimes for another mob. They are the traders who manipulated the foreign exchange to defraud investors and international trading companies so they could pocket huge profits for themselves.

This global scam came up in the same news bulletin as details of the Hatton Garden safety deposit box heist which involved a gang breaking into a building, climbing through the lift shaft, drilling through the wall and emptying boxes of untold valuables…a daring and premeditated large-scale criminal conspiracy. So far eight have been arrested and, if convicted can expect to live the next quarter of a century without their freedom. Compare and contrast with the revered financial Masters of the Universe so beloved on the British Tories and the British Labour Party, all of whose leadership candidates so far declared adhere to the get-rich capitalist model that spawned the crooked traders.

In a ‘brazen display of collusion,’ according to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, traders in the largely unregulated, $5.3-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market colluded in you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours forms of plotting. This is a description of a criminal cartel in which a confidential digital chat room was designed to allow them to converse secretly in code and agree how to rig a market that is supposed to be competitive in order to provide the best deal for clients. This required detailed planning – malice of forethought, as the courts would have it – a naked contempt for the rules, disregard for the interests of others, conspiracy, a voracious personal greed and criminal intent. Is it any different from a gang staking out a building, stealing an industrial drill, abseiling through a lift shaft and pocketing the profits of others?

The traders’ conspiracy wasn’t a one-off like the heist. It went on for five whole years, distorting the markets and cheating legitimate businesses while pouring profits into traders’ accounts. Countless numbers of people have been affected, not a couple of dozen who may even have had ill-gotten gains in the security boxes.

‘Currency traders at multinational banks formed a group dubbed The Cartel,’ Lynch said. ‘It is perhaps fitting that those traders chose that name, as it aptly describes the brazenly illegal behavior they were engaging in on a near-daily basis.’

The prices the market sets for currencies influence virtually every sector of every economy in the world. The traders’ actions inflated the banks’ profits while harming countless consumers, investors and institutions around the globe – from pension funds to major corporations, and including the banks’ own customers.

sweeney-poster

Clearly the banks involved failed in their corporate duty to monitor their own staff and have been fined – as if they cared. But while they take responsibility and pay out the largest corporate fines ever levied, what happens to the individuals who committed these worldwide crimes? So far one bank has said eight people will lose their jobs. Otherwise there will be ‘disciplinary action’ against others. Not one person will be held personally responsible. Not one person will spend a single night in prison.

Jimmy Gurulé, a former US Treasury official, questioned whether this would produce meaningful change in bank activities.

‘Once again the actual perpetrators and criminal architects of the fraud scheme will avoid criminal liability. While the payment of these large fines may help to reduce the federal deficit, such penalties will do little to change the pervasive culture of corruption that currently exists in the banking sector. Real change will only occur when corrupt bank officials are indicted, convicted and sent to prison for their crimes.’ It’s more likely the London crooks will be freed from jail before that happens.

The Sweeney

The truth is that the Hatton Garden blaggers with their old-fashioned artisan replay from the Sweeney aren’t just on the wrong side of the law – they’re on the wrong side of Establishment Britain which mocks them as social scum while falling on its knees before the ‘respectable’ criminals of the City.

When Labour scratch around for reasons why they lost public opinion, they might to want the factor in the disgust British people now reserve for the corrupt Westminster and London-centric governing model they insist on preserving.

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32 thoughts on “They’re All Jimmy Greaves, Guv

  1. Re hatton Garden, was it not Alec Guiness and Alastair Sim that wot dunnit? Anyway, I fail to understand why these corporate thiefs are not brought to book. We have to change the language with which we discuss these ‘traders’ surely?

  2. davidmccann24

    And just to add insult to injury, as taxpayers, we own 80% of the bank, so we are actually paying 80% of the fine.

  3. Lets not forget insider dealing which seems to be the easiest white collar crime to perpetrate as long as you have the right connections and the easiest to get away with as long as you don’t get too greedy.

    Iceland seems to be the only place on the planet that is dealing with its bankers in the correct manner. Thank goodness for a small country that sets an example and shows very clearly why we are really not “better together”.

  4. Another beaut Derek and couldn’t agree more.

    The biggest gangsters never to appear in front of a beak all sit in board rooms and lobby in parliamentary chambers.

  5. Bugger (the Panda)

    R5 this morning said that they had broken the (club) rules, not the law.

    Thieves charter

    Change the bloody law

  6. Nail. Head. Hit.

    This is exactly the sort of inconsistency a responsible media would go to town on.
    Wish we had a responsible media.

  7. As mentioned on one of the news programmes, this was all happening as the investment bankers were claiming they were tidying up their act following LIBOR manipulation.

    It’s not just the “masters of the universe”, your traditional Captain Mainwarings were up to their necks in PPI, flogging mortgages customers couldn’t afford to repay, and mis selling complex products.

    It’s an industry where the senior employees have become the customer. This enables them to claim they are customer facing!

  8. Antoine Bisset

    A pity the Proceeds of Crime legislation cannot be used here. It is definitely used against pathetic street dealers who sell a few pounds worth of illegal pills. (Why, I always wonder are all these drugs illegal?. Why do politicians get so worked up about it? Is the war on drugs a substitute for a real war (except that the military-industrial complex makes less money from it)?

  9. Drew Campbell

    Well, the CPS should start with the eight people who’ve been sacked and take it from there. Arrest them on conspiracy to defraud. Perhaps a bit of close questioning and the prospect of 20 years in chokey might get some information on just how high the scam went (or should that be “goes”?).

    Of course, the CPS is too busy with other more serious cases. Remember that single mum who was charged with reset after her brother gave her a 3-pack of knickers he looted udring the 2011 riots? She served 6 weeks and almost lost her flat – and custody of her children.

    And the rest.

  10. So as RBS is owned by the tax payer, we have just fined ourselves close on half a billion quids.
    Sweet

  11. The fines have been levied by the US, where the FBI called their behaviour “massive criminality”. So why aren’t they in gaol? Never mind, our deficit will be reduced by “the proceeds of criminality” as the earnings of illegal immigrants is confiscated by Cameron – getting his priorities right.

    I am really beginning to hate Britain as we sink into a viler and viler society under the Cameron and his nasty party which I think is becoming even nastier than that of Thatcher. How do we get out of this?

  12. Douglas Robertson

    So here is a challenge. Can anyone name a top British financial institution that have not been involved in criminal practices against its customers or the wider community since ‘Big Bang’ in 1986? The crimes of the rich and powerful get re-labelled not as crimes but as professional indescretions because it is the powerful who control the language, and the media falls in behind.

  13. Have patience. We’re on our way to a better future…….at long last.

  14. And even if some of them went to gaol Derek they would simply claim to have developed an incurable disease and be let out early only for their incurable disease to miraculously disappear:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Saunders

    (lest we forget)

  15. The explanation lies surely in a shift in the core belief sytem which functions like the Operating System or OS in a phone or computer. Under the old system, Good was believed to be good. In the new OS, Bad is good. Particularly greed. The UK has been running on the bad is good system since Mgt Thatcher was PM.

    This change of the belief system seems to coincide with the demise of the Judaeo-Christian belief model, a demise aided by repeated sex abuse scandals within religious institutions.

    It has taken over thirty years however, for the population at large to begin to realise that the new age of freedom from religious oppression and indoctrination, has been replaced by something which has proven to be of far greater harm. Under the old system, the Churches at least provided almost every kind of aid; the new system specializes in creating the need for every kind of aid.

    In short, the old system helped the poor. The new system robs the poor to give to the rich.

    Scotland’s instinct remains with a community based view of Society. While the Law of the Jungle exists north of the border, it is not the Law of the Land – unlike dan saff. We may not always love our neighbour in Scotland, but we don’t believe in dumping him in a skip, which is what currently passes as Westminster Govt. policy.

    The difference is the reason why Independence is imperative.

  16. Cracking article!

    I despair of this country and it’s attitude to ‘high level financial’ misdemeanors, but until we are not ruled by Bullingdon Boys these levels of crime will simply grow.

    They now see it as another five years to milk the system dry for their compatriots, while driving the rest of us into the ground. It’s a bleak future, surely independence cannot to too far away?

  17. I was depressed and disgusted in equal terms by the Referendum result. Depressed because I was so hopeful that Scotland would again take its rightful place among the independent nations of the world. Disgusted by the selfish Tory voters; the tribal SNP-hating Labour voters; the cringeing quisling LibDems; and the Unionist press & media who lied, misinformed and scaremongered to cheat Scotland out of its independence and the chance to escape from the corrupt Westminster elite.

    This latest evidence of the endemic corruption which exists at the heart of “The City” and its supportive Westminster lackeys such as Gideon and his millionaire chums, illustrates more than anything else why Scotland needs to go its own way as soon as another referendum can be arranged and fought – next time on the back of the current and growing support for the SNP across the whole of Scotland. Long live the gallant 56 – the living manifestation of this new-found confidence in our great wee country!

  18. Manandboy – not convinced the old system of churches was ever a system to help the poor – just think of the money the churches have put in to land, buildings and artwork over the past 2000 years and the financial and human cost of the destruction and slaughter in the name of this or that religious creed. Think of the tax breaks due to the nonsensical charitable status granted to religious sects. All those power and sex crazed charlatans creating merry hell through the ages. Lets be done with the lot of them.

  19. Just back from coffee with a close friend. We did a rerun of our discussion about the Referendum – her and her husband are No voters, convinced that Scotland was going to sink financially without a trace. She had been upset with me since then saying that I had told her she was an idiot because she was voting No. I don’t remember it that way however, something I said must have indicated it. We have decided that we will no longer talk about the issue. Her husband is going to explain to me, in mathematical terms, why voting Yes would have made Scotland a basket case. Not sure this is a good idea as steam might come out of my ears. How is that we are the only small country in the world that can’t hold it’s own in the world????? Retorhical question.

    • With only 5m people and all its resources in forestry, agriculture, fisheries – fisheries that bought a place in the EU for the whole of the UK – and modern business it’s nonsense to frighten Scots over the independent viability of the country. Even David darling-of-the-middle-classes Cameron acknowledged that.

      If getting richer means being the bandits of the Middle East, murdering innocents for control of oil wealth, or turning a buck out of the cycle of misery created by a vast, systematic fraud based on untenable housing loans and repossessions, I’d rather not have the money.

      Try turning the economic argument on its head. Scotland’s an economic dependent, is it? Living on an English subsidy? Is that to be our ambition for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren – to be charity cases? If we were the dependents, wouldn’t it be all the more reason to break free? The whole self-reliance creed says we must.

  20. I’m a market analyst – a sort of tarted up fortune teller – and utterly horrified at the level of manipulation against share prices. Before jumping and and claiming “everyone knows the AIM market is rigged”, the worst level of fiddling is against FTSE 100 companies with zero effort made to hide it.

    Just as in the run up to the referendum, the UK Pound was deliberately manipulated downward to fit a political agenda, on a daily basis I see ‘respectable’ shares being treated as playthings to adhere to someone’s agenda. I’ve a study being published tomorrow on BHP Billiton, opening with ” I often wonder if the folk responsible for this degree of tampering ever pay attention to the fines being handed out for rigging of other markets? “

  21. Steve Asaneilean

    Anne – your friends miss the point completely. Whether an independent Scotland would be a basket case or not is irrelevant.

    It was never about the money. It was about growing up and taking responsibility for ourselves and shaping the kind of society we wanted for ourselves and our kids rather than having something forced upon us.

    There would have been problems and maybe even disasters along the way – as there will be now that we have elected to remain part of the UK. But with independence they would have been our problems and our solutions.

    Ireland is to all intents and purposes a basket case but it doesn’t want to rejoin the UK.

    Greece is a basket case but try and find one single Greek person who thinks Greece should not be an independent sovereign nation.

    The No camp had no valid arguments beyond fear – fear of change, fear of uncertainty, fear of responsibility.

    Me? I love change, I thrive in uncertainty and I embrace personal responsibility.

    That’s the Scotland I want for myself and my kids.

    A grown up Scotland based of fairness, truth, honesty, equality and egality.

  22. Anne, look at Business for Scotland – some good economic arguments there demonstrating that we have the resources. But this is why we need a Think Tank – to disprove these myths.

  23. Thanks folks for your replies. I will look at Business for Scotland. My dear friend seemed happy the Conservatives got in with a majority and that the SNP had won in Scotland, however not happy that the SNP didn’t support the middle classes. She also questioned why people needed to use foodbanks. Very difficult to get through to her without her feeling attacked I think my frustration comes out forceably about her inability to see beyond the stereotypes of the feckless unemployed. She is deaf dumb and blind hence very unlikely to ever vote Yes in the future. I kind of get a kick out of driving up to their house, in a very nice middle class leafy residence, with my YES sticker still on the back windscreen of my car.

  24. It shouldn’t go without saying that it had to be the US authorities that took the action. If we were relying on the London government to take their city friends to task, we would wait forever.

    The City of London was the epicentre for all the corrupt and financial trading activity and needless to say it stems from that woman again – one Maggie Thatcher. It was she who wanted London to be the financial centre of the world to outdo New York and Frankfurt.

  25. Alasdair Macdonald

    In some of the reports I heard and read, it was reported that the banks “agreed to these fines” and that because Barclay’s was reluctant, the decision was delayed until they did agree. Indeed, it is further reported that the fine was less than that for which they had budgeted. It is an interesting relationship these bodies have with the law compared to the rest of us.

  26. I didn’t see much disgust from the ‘British’ people (well, the English anyway) in the corrupt Westminster and London-centric governing model as people rushed to vote in the uber-right wing Tories and right wing Labourites, followed by 3 or 4 million people voting UKIP.

    Poverty porn, lies and propaganda obviously working.

  27. I saw the No vote as vote to continue with the corruption, austerity, rewards for the rich, punishment for the poor, scapegoating of anyone who doesn’t fit and all the vile policies of Cameron, Osborn, IDS, May etc. I really cannot understand how any decent, compassionate person with a social conscience can vote Tory.

    That said, only 37% of those who voted and an even smaller proportion of the electorate voted for them. So 63% didn’t want them and a large number didn’t even vote.

  28. Antoine Bisset

    It was never about the money. The YES campaign failed in part by taking on the NO economic argument and not being able to refute it, despite the simple cases involved e.g pensions are a right and must be paid ex UK to all those entitled, i.e. us. surely simple enough?
    Look at poor little Austria with no natural resources it is an economic basket case in the Unionist BT economic pattern.
    I’ve been there. Drove around on perfect roads, past lovely buildings, refreshing myself in coffee houses from time to time. I was looking in vain for a food bank. I could not find one. What is going on?

  29. For the record – when better than Friday afternoon on May Bank Holiday weekend, to announce the findings of the Sturgeongate enquiry and have Alistair Carmichael confess that he did it. The confession looks like the mere tip of the iceberg. Lots of big names are being protected. Carmichael simply could not have conducted this smear on Scotland’s First Minister on his own authority.

    Derek, you’re needed.

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