The UK General Politics Thread Page 122

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  • RedSparrows 16 Sep 2013 14:34:21 24,209 posts
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    Guess Brem means tax evasion.

    Or privatisation contracts given to serially inept companies.
  • Dougs 16 Sep 2013 14:44:56 69,496 posts
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    Nah, on about bank bail out, surely? Not that any of that cash was paid to any one person...
  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 15:10:55 19,663 posts
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    TheSaint wrote:
    Who stole a few billion?
    YOU DID

    String him up.
  • TheSaint 16 Sep 2013 15:20:21 14,827 posts
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    And I'd have got away with it if it wasn't for you pesky kids.
  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 15:21:24 19,663 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    Nah, on about bank bail out, surely? Not that any of that cash was paid to any one person...
    Yeah, pointless, general vexation really. As one does. It does grate seeing stuff like this being proposed to save a few poxy quid, with just some mild accounting and banking changes put in place to prevent another meltdown. Penny wise, pound foolish (relatively).
  • glaeken 16 Sep 2013 15:38:00 11,265 posts
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    It's pretty much nonsense anyway. I think the previous max sentence was 7 years. It's also only going to be for the most stupidly blatant of fraudsters which probably counts as a very small segment of actually fraudsters. It's something that will end up effecting roughly fuck all in the scheme of things.

    Still it's grabbed some headlines so job done.

    Edited by glaeken at 15:38:27 16-09-2013
  • RedSparrows 16 Sep 2013 15:43:17 24,209 posts
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    And keeps the idea that benefit fraud is actually one of the most serious issues facing our financial life, and that seeps into 'benefits being bad' in general.

    Cos I said so.
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 15:44:30 44,956 posts
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    Still not sure I get it Bremenacht. You're saying jail sentences for benefit fraudsters, who are breaking the law, shouldn't happen because of much larger frauds, which you are vague on, and which should form the focus of police time?

    This is only about increasing the maximum jail term, not a concentration of a scarce resource. Does feel a little bit like you're using it to bang your own drum, I have to say :/

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:45:34
    Perfectly timed when their benefit cut downs have been getting torn apart as disgusting.
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 15:48:13 44,956 posts
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    So wait, do you guys think serious benefit fraudsters should not go to prison?

    Seems a neat solution to me.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:49:58
    I don't think anyone has said that. But I will say that 10 years is fucking ludicrous for benefit fraud and is painting the problem to be worse than it is to rile up the public in support.
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 15:51:22 44,956 posts
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    It's up to ten years, not a fixed penalty for everyone from those claiming a black and white TV licence to those with 15 fictitious children.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 15:52:08 19,663 posts
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    You're extrapolating a bit too much there, LB.

    Banging my own drum? What drum is that?
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:53:04
    I know that. But there is no benefit fraud that warrants a 10 year sentence.
  • RedSparrows 16 Sep 2013 15:53:55 24,209 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    So wait, do you guys think serious benefit fraudsters should not go to prison?

    Seems a neat solution to me.
    Oh come on LB.
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 16:03:30 44,956 posts
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    So how should serious (not all) benefit fraudsters be tackled then? Honest question.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 16:06:13 19,663 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    So how should serious (not all) benefit fraudsters be tackled then? Honest question.
    As they currently are.

    How should the boards of companies which fuck up entire economies be tackled? Having their shareholders lose out seems to punish the wrong target.
  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 16:22:07 19,663 posts
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    I'm trying to highlight an imbalance in cause and effect.

    Benefit fraud is theft and easy (?) to evidence, I'll guess. As long as it's checked (as it currently is), it makes little difference to society at large. No-one has seen their firm go out of business because some oik fiddled benefits.

    The financial shenanigans of the past years has created huge unemployment, and misery for those whose (valid) benefits are being cut so that the government can affect deficit growth. Has anyone been threatened with 10 years for mismanaging something of critical importance, such as a bank? No.

    So, deliberating taking a few quid off the treasury = 10 years in jail, whereas deliberately taking billions is fine, because it's not illegal?

    Not sure if I'm getting my point across really. Am I banging a drum again? For what though?
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 16:25:39 44,956 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    So how should serious (not all) benefit fraudsters be tackled then? Honest question.
    As they currently are.

    How should the boards of companies which fuck up entire economies be tackled? Having their shareholders lose out seems to punish the wrong target.
    Too big to fail should not be allowed to happen. Beyond that, board decisions should be in the interest of their shareholders (as they are) and board members should be answerable to the shareholders for their management decisions and growth strategy (as they are).

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 16:27:40 44,956 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    Has anyone been threatened with 10 years for mismanaging something of critical importance, such as a bank? No.

    The problem is, this is not, and was not illegal. Where genuine lawbreaking and fraud has been uncovered there have been jail sentences. But mismanagment is not necessarily illegal (and arguably unavoidable given shareholder expectations on their returns).

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • glaeken 16 Sep 2013 16:32:48 11,265 posts
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    mowgli wrote:
    I know that. But there is no benefit fraud that warrants a 10 year sentence.
    There have been some major fraudsters who have gotten away with say 100,000 or so over a number of years have there not? Tricky to find any cites for that without going to the Daily mail but I am sure I remember such cases. Of course these were people who set out to scam for all it was worth and are really career criminals.

    Just to compare what sort of sentence would you get if say you embezzled the same amount from a company I wonder?

    Edited by glaeken at 16:47:21 16-09-2013
  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 16:37:55 19,663 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Too big to fail should not be allowed to happen. Beyond that, board decisions should be in the interest of their shareholders (as they are) and board members should be answerable to the shareholders for their management decisions and growth strategy (as they are).
    The Libor business suggested differently really, didn't it? Everything's Ok, as long as you're not caught, and you won't be caught if no-one is looking, as seems to be typical in the UK. Hence, my post. In the US, they treat this behaviour as crime.
  • Moot_Point 16 Sep 2013 16:47:25 4,607 posts
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    @Bremenacht if the banks were regulated, the libor scandal wouldn't have happened. But the government backed down on regulation to police the banks recently.

    ================================================================================

    mowgli wrote: I thought the 1 married the .2 and founded Islam?

  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 16:47:46 44,956 posts
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    Actually they don't in the US. They base their interbank lending on Fed Funds Effective and it is calculated in much the same way.

    The LIBOR business is a really grey area. Basically it's a consensus view on what interest rate banks should charge each other when they lend to each other, which they do every day. This became problematic because:

    a) banks started pegging their commercial lending to LIBOR, which meant it directly affected much more than just banks lending to each other, and

    b) banks realised that their 'best guess' could seriously benefit them for a very small adjustment, well within the error boundaries or a judgement call.

    The FSA supervisory role was to ensure this was not done, but at the end of the day LIBOR was whatever the consensus of the banks came out as. If banks looked at their books and reckoned it to be about 15bps, say, but one bank saw an advantage of saying it is 17bps, then they are perfectly permitted to. It is only later that this became 'illegal'. It's like people being prosecuted for smoking in pubs before the smoking ban came in.

    And here's the kicker - LIBOR rigging was actually beneficial to the UK economy, specifically by making Barclays look stronger than it was at a key juncture and so allowing them to avoid a bail out.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 16:48:31 19,663 posts
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    I'm picking out financial services/banking as the most obvious (and so far, most impactful) example btw, but really the argument could apply to responsibility for any key part of national infrastructure.

    So if it's that drum you were referring to, well no. Ish.
  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 16:57:50 19,663 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Actually they don't in the US. They base their interbank lending on Fed Funds Effective and it is calculated in much the same way.
    The US kicked off investigation into LIBOR rigging and the FSA/whoever followed. They treated it as fraud. The UK didn't, but fell into line behind the Americans. Those big fines weren't paid for doing nothing wrong.

    LeoliansBro wrote:
    And here's the kicker - LIBOR rigging was actually beneficial to the UK economy, specifically by making Barclays look stronger than it was at a key juncture and so allowing them to avoid a bail out.
    That doesn't make it Ok. What if it had gone the other way? Who'd have paid for it? Shareholders?
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 17:04:23 44,956 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    Those big fines weren't paid for doing nothing wrong.
    No, they were paid for smoking in pubs before the smoking ban came in. They operated within the rules and their decisions were signed off by the FSA (and the Fed). Only after the fact was it announced that this was not allowed, and people would be punished for it.

    Put it this way: You borrow 10,000. You are asked to choose the interest rate you pay between 1% and 10%, based on what you feel it should cost you and with the knowledge that if you lend any money yourself during this time, it will be at the same rate.

    You choose 1%, right? After all you're borrowing and not lending.

    If you choose 1%, they're fine with it. But ten years down the line they decide they want to check whether this was because you just wanted to pay as little as possible, and if they can prove it you will be fined.

    The reason the banks are being fined is not so very far from that. There was wrongdoing, but nobody told the banks it was wrong until it was.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 17:06:59 44,956 posts
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    Oh, and totally agree that 'being right' and 'being lucky' doesn't make it OK. The point is, Barclays acted within the letter of the law in doing so, made money for their shareholders in doing so, avoided a hugely costly bailout in doing so, and have now been fined for doing so.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Bremenacht 16 Sep 2013 17:20:49 19,663 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    There was wrongdoing, but nobody told the banks it was wrong until it was.
    They were not being told it was wrong, and no-one really looked to find anything wrong, even though banking is a critical part of our modern national infrastructure. You'd think governance of such sensitive areas would be hot, right? Comprehensive, and constantly assessed and reviewed for weaknesses, given the massive (economy-affecting) amounts of money involved? Yet it seems it isn't. The FSA was a failure, and there's (yet) to suggest the new structures will be much better at looking for problems.

    Contrast that with the benefit system, where the potential loss of peanuts attracts such scrutiny and ever-active structural tinkering and change and headline-grabbing changes to law. For (comparatively) peanuts!

    This is the contrast I'm attempting to make. What's more important - pounds or peanuts?
  • LeoliansBro 16 Sep 2013 17:24:15 44,956 posts
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    Both, probably. Regulation should have been tighter on the financial system, but people shouldn't steal.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

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