Sunday, December 30, 2012

" Arise 'Sir' Hector Sants " - You couldn't make this crap up!


Hector Sants, who was in charge of regulation at the start of the credit crisis, has been knighted. It is in recognition for services to financial regulation.

In granting Sants this honour, George Osborne and David Cameron have finally proved beyond any question that they simply don't understand the terrible damage that the financial sector and the banks in particular, have caused to the financial interests of the ordinary people of these islands.

They cannot seem to make the connection between the dreadful financial damage wrought by the banks on the British economy, and the real suffering this damage has caused to the ordinary men and women of Britain who are watching their livelihoods, their futures, their children's livelihoods and their children's futures being undermined and whittled away by this constant program of austerity, and the repeated refusal to make the financial sector come into line with the real world.

This is the real issue and the true outcome of the financial crisis, where ordinary people's livelihoods are being sacrificed for the continued interests of Britain's ruling elites. The blame for this can be laid firmly at the feet of the British banking sector, who through their arrogance, ignorance and greed * created money they could not underwrite, sold debt and called it investment, and then fixed the tables on which these gambles were taking place so that they always won.

The reason for the cause of this dreadful cancer in the body financial can be laid firmly at the door of a bunch of bumbling amateurish incompetents in the Canary Wharf Palace of Varieties, known more widely as the Financial Services Authority, who have consistently failed to regulate and curtail the activities of the criminal banks. They have the powers to do so, but they do not have the will, and in many cases the competence to achieve their statutory requirements. And the underlying cause of this sheer incompetence lies, and has to lie at the very top of the organisation, in the office of the Chief Executive.

After all, he was the man who, when describing the origins of the financial crisis, laid the blame at the door of the US and UK governments for their part in the crisis, saying authorities worldwide sought to "encourage a significant credit boom particularly for the benefit of consumers who wished to purchase housing". This would be to completely ignore the role of the financial regulators in ensuring that the banking activities under their watch were not allowed to get out of hand.

Hector Sants has been Chief Executive of the Fantastically Supine Apologists since 2007, although he had already been a Managing Director of an FSA Division since 2004.

As such he was well placed to know what was happening in the markets and to hear the various rumblings in the undergrowth. He had previously been a successful investment banker with UBS and  later Credit Suisse, so he was obviously a man with significant financial and market experience.

Yet, he was sufficiently unaware of a major crisis building in the market when he took the job as head of the FSA, two months before the collapse of Northern Rock in 2007. This was followed by huge government bailouts for two major leading banks, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB. In the aftermath of the crisis, Sir Hector warned the City to "be frightened" as he pledged an era of more intrusive and direct regulation.

During  a subsequent Parliamentary investigation MPs criticised the FSA for its handling of regulation during the credit crunch and accused it of being "asleep at the wheel".

Since then, a vast number of banking scandals arising out of a total failure of regulation have come to light on his watch.

The scandals involving what is inappropriately referred to as mis-selling (it should be called downright institutionalised fraud), have arisen from a banking culture that believes it is still fair game to stuff their clients with unsuitable financial products, and mislead them as to their suitability for their needs!

The FSA were only too well aware that this fraud was widespread in the market but they allowed it to continue. Then there has been the long list of scandals involving wholesale money laundering and sanctions busting carried out by British banks, which again were allowed to carry on under Sants' oversight. Did no-one come to him and say 'Hector, we have a problem', apparently not?

Sir Hector said his award was a "testament to the hard work of everyone at the FSA during the crisis, their willingness to learn lessons and to bring about the changes that were necessary".

Well, that's alright then! I don't know what lessons have been learned or what changes have been brought about which Sants seems to be so pleased over. All I know is that whatever the scandal, and no matter how big the crime, or  egregious the dishonesty, very, very, few criminals routinely get prosecuted by the FSA for the crimes which are within their limits of responsibilities.

Sir Hector began his City career as a stockbroker at Phillips and Drew, later taking senior positions at the investment banks UBS and Credit Suisse.

While at the FSA, Sir Hector personally warned the then chairman of Barclays, Marcus Agius, that Bob Diamond might not be a suitable choice to become the bank's chief executive in 2010.

He also conveyed the FSA's worries about the bank's culture, including the attitudes of its most senior staff to risk-taking, tax laws and banking regulations.

And what notice did Barclays and their capo di tutti cappi, Roberto Diamante, take of those warnings.

Nada, rien, nix, nil, nul, fucking nothing! That's how much they feared Hector, despite his little warnings about banks being 'afraid' of the FSA!

Earlier this year, the FSA fined Barclays £59.5m for its part in the Libor rate-rigging scandal, after which Mr Diamond left the bank, but it was the Governor of the Bank of England and the Chairman of the FSA who provided the 'encouragement' for Diamond to go!

Sants had planned to leave his role in February 2010, but was convinced by Chancellor George Osborne to stay on to see through the coalition's break-up of the FSA. The real probability is that Osborne couldn't find any other city figure who wanted to have his career blemished by all the egg on the face that would accompany the winding down of the FSA, particularly as it is only in recent months that the real truth about the levels of extreme organised criminality in banking have started to become public. No doubt the offer of a knighthood as a cost of seeing through the changes might have sweetened the pill.

It was earlier thought that Hector might become a deputy governor of the Bank of England and head the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) - one of two new regulatory bodies that will replace the FSA as part of an overhaul in the wake of the financial crisis. Events have turned out rather differently.

Hector unexpectedly resigned earlier this year and has courted more controversy, by joining scandal-hit Barclays from January 2013 to improve the bank's reputation with governments and regulators internationally, where he will become the bank's first point of contact for them. 

Barclays, which had its reputation battered following this summer's LIBOR rate-rigging revelations, needs to do something very urgently to distance itself from its reputation as a mafia family. Maybe they think that the man who didn't know what they were up to when he was head of the regulator which oversaw them is just the man for the job.

He is believed to be in line for a £3m pay package.

He will be directly responsible for making sure all its 140,000 staff obey the law in the more than 50 countries where it operates and that it is held in higher esteem by governments and regulators in future!

Well, this should be interesting to watch. He couldn't achieve that outcome when he had responsibility for supervising their activities while head of the FSA, so what odds he will achieve it now? Still, £3 million will help the old life-style a bit! Nothing like getting a taste of modern-day banking rewards to make a chap feel at home from day 1!

The award of this honour is as farcical in its provision as was the award of a knighthood to Fred 'the Shred' Goodwin at RBS.

Both awards demonstrate a degree of contempt for the issuance of awards in general, and for the specific reasons for granting the particular honour.

In Hector's case, it may well be that he is getting his pay-off for seeing through the winding down of the FSA, although some may feel that he had a duty to do that in any event as many of its particular failings occurred under his oversight.

I sense it is even more cynical than that however.

My feeling is that by disposing of this award on Hector, the Government can be observed to be honouring the FSA in general. That is how Hector himself refers to its receipt!

By so doing, the Government is letting it be known that the FSA should not be perceived as the total failure it has become, worse even than the long gone but unlamented Company's Investigation Branch of the DTI!

Cameron and Osborne don't want writers and commentators queuing up to hammer the FSA, declaring it to be a wholesale failure, because that will not reflect well on them. No, better to grant its former CEO a knighthood, and make it look as if everything in the garden was rosy.
The fact that you, me, the City, the Americans and anyone else who has the remotest interest in these issues knows it wasn't, is neither here nor there.

I am deeply angered at this cynical award, because it makes a complete mockery of those people who have received awards and who may perhaps feel that they have done something to achieve them, something of value. Sants is being rewarded for failure, but in the strange la-la land of the Square Mile, it was ever thus!

*Thanks go to Show of Hands for their wonderful song 'Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed'.

6 comments:

Big Bill said...

Perhaps it's an award for Olympic-level 'looking the other way'.

AbogadoNZ said...

There can be no doubt now of the complicity, stupidity and arrogance of Osborne, Cameron (et al) complicity in the cynical economic rape of the ordinary men and women of Britain. Government's failure to intervene and prevent this utter debasement of the honours system is now complete.

Surely it is time for some form of passive resistance. There must be some act of delay, non-participation or civil disobedience we can all indulge in that would frustrate and slowly render government incapable of operating effectively. Any ideas anyone? Something has to be done to make government listen and act. This is no longer something that can be left to national politicians; ALL of whom have failed all of us. There has been plenty of well orchestrated theatre but NO meaningful action.
Ashley

simoncz said...

Arise Sir Hector's Pants.
It has a nice ring to it. Could he be Lord Pants one day?

cringing2 said...

I think that we have to recognise that the upper ranks of government and the political class are not incompetent. Their motives are venal at best but the accumulated evidence points to something far worse.

The dismantling of our economies (and our nation states) is deliberate and long planned in my view.

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you wish, but I've been watching the unthinkable occur for 40 odd years now since I read Carol Quigley's Tragedy and Hope in my early teens.

All the elements are there for those who can see the bigger picture.

anrigaut said...

In the summary of its report on the appointment of John Griffith-Jones to head the new FCA issued on 18 January, the Treasury Select Committee points its finger at the FSA which it says “failed consumers” and left them exposed to some of the worst scandals in UK financial history”. It goes on to accuse the FSA board of failing in its oversight.

These scathing comments, which seem to have escaped the attention of the mainstream press, were reported Michelle McGagh of CityWire, who asks “Should the financial regulator be fined for its mistakes?” As Michelle says,
“The FSA has made some meek admissions to being in the wrong. In October Lord Turner, FSA chairman, said ‘bad rules’ were allowed to remain in place and ‘a lot of very clever people got it very wrong’ – what an understatement.
The fact is the FSA didn’t bother to put the rules right because the people at the top wouldn’t have to be accountable for it. In fact, they’re so unaccountable that they can be rewarded for their failures; take the recently knighted FSA chief executive Hector Sants. You can oversee the collapse of the UK economy and still get a gong. The FSA is very keen to hand out fines and ban people from working in financial services, but what if they had to live by their own rules and suffer punishment where it hurts; in their pockets.”
http://www.citywire.co.uk/money/should-the-financial-regulator-be-fined-for-its-mistakes/a651971?re=22186&ea=238229&utm_source=BulkEmail_Money_Daily_Summary&utm_medium=BulkEmail_Money_Daily_Summary&utm_campaign=BulkEmail_Money_Daily_Summary

jack loach said...


Sods ----- Law.
February.---- 2014.

For almost two decades we have strived to get justice for the injustice we have suffered at the hands of a world renowned bank--- PICTET & CIE. BANK.

Two yorkshiremen both running their own small family businesses trying to resolve the problem by taking all the correct legal procedures to recover their monies.

The matter was raised in Parliament – twice-- the FSA investigated the matter concluding that PICTET had rogues operating in their London Bank --- but the rogues had left ---saying no one left to prosecute.??? ----- so there.

We then approached the Financial Ombudsman Service. (FOS) --- our case was dealt with by seven different people ---- then our numerous E-Mails were ignored --- nobody would speak to us -------so there.

We then asked the SFO ( Serious Fraud Office.) to investigate our case ---- the criteria of our case ticked all their boxes. --- we were instructed not to send them any documents/evidence.------ in fact they wrote to us advising us to go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau.(CAB.)

Richard Alderman the SFO boss ---- who responded to our letter was the same man who would not investigate the “ Madoff” scandal or the “Libor” fiasco.
The MP's committee ---- said he was sloppy--- and the SFO was run like “ Fred Karno's Circus” ----- it was an office of fraud.----- so there.

Our M.P. approached our local Chief Constable to investigate----- he was called---- Sir Norman Bettison--- Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police ---- a force that made “ Dad's Army” look like the S.A.S. They were inept – corrupt ---malicious --- from top to bottom. We were criminally dealt with by the Forces Solicitor---- the Head of the Economic Crime Unit ----and the Chief Constable ----- so there.

We were then advised to pass our complaint against West Yorkshire Police to the I.P.C.C. – which we did --- they advised us to make our complaint to ---- the West Yorkshire Police --- we did with reluctance --- all we got was abuse and obfuscation. ----- so there.

Sir Norman Bettison ---- The Forces solicitor--- and the Head of the Economic Crime ---- have all been removed from their posts and facing criminal allegations.
------ so there.

We even sought justice through the Courts --- culminating in a visit to the Court of Appeal-London.--- On leaving the Courts of Appeal that day our barrister a “rising star” informed us --- that if that was Justice then you can keep it. He quit the law and moved to Canada ----- so there.

A few years later we learned that one of the judges in our case at the Court of Appeal was related to a senior executive of the Pictet Bank -----so there.

Pictet & Cie .Bank --- voted private bank of the year 2013.
Ivan Pictet ---- Voted banker of the year 2012. ---- the senior partner --- lied on numerous occasions and had documents destroyed --- also said genuine documents were forgeries. ----- so there.

Ivan Pictet in Oct. 2013 ---- Given the Legion of Honour --- but saying that ---- honours were given to Hitler --- Eichmann --- Mussolini ---Franco --- he's in fitting company. ----so there.

MONTY RAPHAEL.Q.C. -- Peters & Peters.London. They were the banks lawyers.
Monty Raphael.Q.C. along with Ivan Pictet withheld crucial documents requested by the High Court ---- the FSA ---- and the police Fraud Squad. ----so there.

Monty Raphael.Q.C. became an Honorary Queens Counsellor in March. 2012.
Monty Raphael.Q.C. became a Master of the Bench in Nov.2012.
An expert in Fraud ---the Doyen of Fraud Lawyers. ----- so there.

This says a lot about Banks --- the consensus of opinion is that they are highly paid “crooks” ---- no wonder they voted Ivan Pictet banker of the year.

It appears that crimes in the “establishment.” are honoured by their peers.
“HONOUR AMONG THIEVES.”


Full Story.---- “google or Yahoo”

Insert.

Ivan Pictet.Banker.
Monty Raphael.Q.C.
Ivan Pictet/Monty Raphael.