Thursday, 14 November 2013

Selling The Family Silver

Today it was intended to rewrite history and reveal to the world how the mind of Karl Marx was mentored by the Leprechauns, albeit indirectly.  This will wait until tomorrow, socialism giving way to capitalism.  But placed together, surely some coincidence, (again?) in The Telegraph Business Section on Tuesday 12th, were two short items.

One concerned the ongoing court case between the old Financial Services Authority and the Tchenquiz Brothers which I will leave alone and another about the Earl of Home stepping down from his Chairmanship of Coutts Bank, after 15 years of "challenging" work.

Coutts main base outside the UK is now the Cayman Islands with a chain of offices in the richer parts of the world.  Amazingly, these broadly are the same as those foreign trips that Cameron, Osborne et al having been taking recently.  But Coutts is said to be the bank of choice for The Royals and other major figures.

During the mid 20th Century when very high levels of taxation were imposed on the better off etc. at the very same time many of that class began to export their wealth to what we now call tax havens.  At first the banks there were relatively limited doing trade with only select customers.

It was signal that in the 1960's and 70's on UK governments were preaching austerity and how we should all pull together and how the better off must accept their responsibility.  At the same time former colonies, notably The Bahamas, where Coutts was before the US tax authorities got heavy were deliberately set up not just as tourist places but as money management and tax avoidance centres.

During the period of deregulation and encouragement of the financial sector culminating in Labour's almost incestuous engagement with it this field of activity exploded.  It is now not just an aristocratic cum elite service it allows criminality free scope and the grossest corruption and malpractice by governments and their agencies national and international.

Historically, if you look at the picture above and then track around the families at Court close to Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V and the short reigned King Edward VIII it is possible to see connections from around 1850 to the present day.  They include the Earls of Home.

Which leads us to our present crop of people at the top and the business of RBS, sometime owner of Coutts.  The question is whether it is now up for sale and to whom?  Clearly things are not going to remain the same so what happens next?  Perhaps the present Earl of Home might be having a chat with one of RBS's former senior economists.  Who was he now?  Alex somebody body or other up in Edinburgh?

If you want a corrective to all the posturing of the politicians and the rest remember that they are all party to what has been happening and have largely avoided the worst.  In a longish but plain spoken post Rowan Bosworth-Davies yesterday, Wednesday, tells us the story of those who lost out in the last two decades.

In the meantime Mark Carney, the new doorman at the Bank of England, believes the way forward is by increasing the financial sector from four times GDP to nine times.  He intends to achieve this by keeping interest rates at rock bottom for the ordinary man to ramp up the earnings of the financial sector.

This is all going to end badly and we will be paying.

No comments:

Post a Comment