20120701-181218.jpgGood morning

The headlines:

  1. The UK government to review the mechanism for setting Libor.

    Link: luckily for us, the politicians are now involved.

    With untastely frothing-at-the-mouth-at-the-prospect-of-votes, British MPs are falling over themselves in horror at Barclays’ eggregious* error in manipulating the key world lending rate for evil and such**.

    Fortunately, the MPs have come to the rescue of everyone by setting up a commission of enquiry that will focus on possible criminal sanctions against anyone that does it again**. And now the naughty executives are being invited to speak to the Treasury Select Committee as well.

    That’ll show ’em.

    But you know, we have to be positive. Barclays did own up, after all. And the top executives have offered to forgo their bonuses this year***.

    Did anyone else know that Barclays’ chairman, Marcus Agius, is also chairman of the British Bankers Association****?

    Political gold.

    *Eggregious: adj. “egg in the region of the face”. #neologism

    **Labour leader Ed Milliband has done a splendid job on the vote-mongering front, using catchy phrases à la “moment of reckoning”, “a light shone into every dark corner of our banking system” and “sticky plaster solutions” that “will not heal this wound”. Jazzy.

    ***After many years of “systematically rigging the system”, one year’s bonus seems like a bargain trade.

    ****The BBA is in charge of setting Libor every day. 

  2. Iranian Oil sanctions now in effect.

    Link: oil-price ho.

    All EU insurance of Iranian oil transporters has ended. And presumably, as only 20 countries have been exempted for US sanctions*****, the other 150 countries or so are going to have their banks cut off from the US financial system.

    Excited to see how this all rolls out.


    *****Last I heard.

  3. Mursi sworn in as Egyptian president.

    Link: the Military handover?

    This has been done with much fanfare and flowery phrasing. Honestly – too sickly sweet to re-quote here.

    Apart from making it obvious that political speeches can be broken down into a geometric equation******, not much else is news.

    Mursi may be thanking the military for giving up their control – but that hasn’t quite happened yet. A constitutional leader does not a democratic government make.

    ******flowery political speech = ∫adjective^cliché

  4. Former Citibank executive jailed for embezzlement.

    Link: you see? Bankers get punished too.

    8 years. For embezzling $23 million from the bank.

    Mr Foster “expressed enormous contrition and remorse and was very clear about taking full responsibility for what happened”, according to his lawyer. I’m sure everyone was touched.

    Under his deal, he will also forfeit $16 million worth of property.

    Which leaves him with $6 million odd? For eight years.

    So, like, $750,000 a year, but paid upfront. If I think of it as a prolonged contract period away from my family, with potential for early completion based on my performance, that sounds pretty sweet.

    The real question is: what would you do to earn $6 million?

  5. South Africa’s ANC fails to settle on a new mining tax policy position.

    Link: a Four Day Policy Conference for what exactly.

    The final conclusion sounds much like a call for radical policies to combat poverty without any idea of what those policies should be.

    But as long as you’re calling for it.

    And while you’re there, best you organise a fun conference with lots of good food and the proverbial “wining and dining”. It sounds like a “working weekend” that went awry on the “working” part.


That’s all for now.

Have a good day.