Vodafone Didn’t Pay Their UK Bill!

As Alexander Graham Bell cried out “Watson, come here I want to see you” back  towards the end of the 19th century, little did he know that there would be in the 21st century one mobile phone subscription for every man, woman, child and even baby on the planet that live within reach of a…

Men (and Women) of Steel

The blockbuster event of the year is Warner Bros.Pictures’ Man of Steel (so I’ve been told) as it hits the screens in just a few days, the origin story of Superman. Yes, the Clark-Kent thingy; quiet mild-mannered guy outwardly; but secretly, the guy that is going to save the planet from doom and gloom as…

Top Insider Trading Cases

Let’s just go through the hypotheses step by step. Hypothesis A: If I were to tell you that you were going to end up losing everything you had, that you were going to become destitute, that your kids would be paying back your debt for their rest of their lives and the grandkids probably too,…

2013: Stock Market Crash!

They predicted it was going to happen long ago. Are we talking about Nostradamus or even anything remotely as cheesy as him? We all know that was a load of baloney. Just hot air and wind! Right? The Mayans might have got it right after all. Remember, the end of the world for them didn’t…

You Bankers!

There are times when some people bite their own nose of just to spite their face. According to a report that has just been published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the people working in the financial sector in 120 different countries in the world think in the overriding majority of cases that they are paid far too much for what they do. Were they serious? To boot, they are paid so much that it’s the money that pushes them to behaving in the way they do. Read: behavior that is inappropriate. Although, admittedly, we might all have different standards of inappropriate behavior. That will open up a whole different can of worms as to what might or might not be appropriate behavior in the financial sector. So, pick yourselves up off the floor, and stop laughing. These guys actually have morals it turns out (after all)?

The study was carried out by the CIPD in April 2013 and it involved financiers in the City of London. Just back in April we read of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that was discussing whether or not gold and silver prices in London might just be open to manipulation. That was just after the London interbank offered rate (Libor) discovered manipulation. Gold, silver, Libor, we could go on, couldn’t we? Is that the kind of inappropriate behavior that they are being pushed into doing?

So, basically the CIPD has discovered that in actual fact those that work in the financial sector are pushed into inappropriate behavior because of the sums of money that are wafting through their bank accounts based on market manipulation. No way!

But, there’s a bit of fine-tuning that needs doing in the report. The report states that 75% of those that work in the fields of insurance, banking, brokerage and investment agree that some people are paid too much in their fields. They don’t actually think that they themselves are getting too much, only that some people are getting too much. Difference!

80% of the people in the banking sector taken on its own believe that there some who get too much money. But, they are not necessarily talking about themselves. However, 65% of people believe that they are paid extortionate sums of money without actually knowing way they get paid that much. There is little difference on this point between those that are in the higher echelons of the companies and those that are in the lower ones. But, can people really be paid to lap the cream like fat cats and not actually know why they get to do the lapping? Come on? Who in their right mind would state that? Are they just trying to buy themselves a piece of redemption?

The report also shows that 43% of those interviewed believe that there has been a move away from putting the customer and the public first towards greater emphasis being put on shares and profits. Was the customer really first at all, ever? Aren’t financiers in this business to make money? They’re not philanthropists, are they, working for the benefit of altruism with a capital A?

Just last year a report (YouGov) revealed in the UK that 60% of people had lost faith in their banks and the banking sector in general. 49% went as far as to state that they actually believed their banks to be dishonest. Almost the same number thought that their banker was incompetent. Only 1% of those interviewed thought that the banks had changed their attitude and their working practices.

But, redemption can only go so far, anyhow. The figures regarding whether or not the financiers think that the people that act inappropriately should end up behind bars is pretty low, at just around 33%.Perhaps it’s rightly so. Does anyone actually believe that Jérôme Kerviel, the French trader at the Société Générale Bank, was actually trading on his own above the market capitalization of the bank (over €49.9 billion) without the knowledge of his superiors? Kerviel ended up the scapegoat of the French financial system being order to pay the impossible sum of €4.9 billion in full restitution, plus a permanent ban for working in the financial sector. Oh, and a five year prison sentence (suspended for two years) just for good measure. 13% of those that were interviewed also believe that financial-sector workers should be banned for life if they commit misdemeanors.

Maybe, it’s not one person that should be blamed but all. After all, who are those guys working for and in what objective? What’s their incentive? But, more’s to the point, who lets them? It’s the powers that be in the political spheres that govern that, isn’t it? But, we have lost faith in them too.

You bankers! You are funny!

The IMF: Magnanimous

Once upon a time, there was (and still is) the International Monetary Fund. Their story reads something like this. It’s not all make-believe; it actually happens. It never ceases to amaze that we vote people into positions. Those people that we have voted in elect in turn (or just go ahead and appoint without an…