Author Topic: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!  (Read 7560 times)

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Offline duncan_bayne

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #25 on: 04:57, 02 July 13 »
Maggie Thatcher finally croaked it. HOORAY!!!

The lady who prevented England from being in the state Greece is today, you mean?  Yeah, you'd have been better off without her  ::)

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #26 on: 08:42, 02 July 13 »
*cough* pardon me, kind Sir, Thatcher had nothing to do with Greece or its situation. Might as well drag Mars into the comparison. What's more, arguably the sorry state of the UK economy nowadays *can* be traced back to her policies...

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #27 on: 09:13, 02 July 13 »
*cough* pardon me, kind Sir, Thatcher had nothing to do with Greece or its situation. Might as well drag Mars into the comparison. What's more, arguably the sorry state of the UK economy nowadays *can* be traced back to her policies...

I don't think Duncan was suggesting that. To me he's suggesting that Thatcher prevented the UK from falling into what happened to Greece. Personally I thought it all happened because of the US, though I don't truly follow the issues that Europe is facing just as I don't fully understand why Aussies now have Kevin Rudd back as Prime Minister. Media say it was the Opinion Polls, though I really wonder how much pressure Media put to emphasise those opinion polls, personally I don't care anymore for the party running the country and next election I'm voting for the other party - I don't care about how bad they are, I'm just sick of this internal crap which has been happening since 2010 and the faceless people who voted Rudd out in 2010 and then voted Gillard out the other week, as long as they are in that party, the public can only get rid of them by voting them out.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #28 on: 09:54, 02 July 13 »
Well, if we manage to agree on what's wrong with Greece we may have a stab on whether Thatcherian practices could have prevented it, and at what cost :D

Offline MaV

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #29 on: 10:33, 02 July 13 »
Well, if we manage to agree on what's wrong with Greece we may have a stab on whether Thatcherian practices could have prevented it, and at what cost :D
I'm going to take a stab:

There'd be one who'd have said that he wants his money back instead of transferring the credits right into the collective arses of EU-banksters.

On the other hand, Greek children would have to drink dog's piss instead of cow milk.


Quote
What's more, arguably the sorry state of the UK economy nowadays *can* be traced back to her policies...
There, fixed that for you. Now cast that in concrete for posterity.

Yes, I'm biased.
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Offline EgoTrip

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #30 on: 11:29, 02 July 13 »
"If if's and Buts were whisky and nuts then we'd have a merry xmas"


So who knows what would have happened without thatcher. But what we do know is that she sold off most of the public services and opened up the country to the global corporations. This led to us being shafted at every turn; water, energy, public transport are notoriously overpriced for example.  Decent, established companies were swallowed up by the giant unethical corporations, with greed as their primary motivation, and those who were not were aggressively forced out of business. She did what she did with the rich and unscrupulous in mind, her own short term rather than long term national prosperity. But labour did no better before or after, didnt see them rescind most of what they were opposed to. They never do. Politicians are self serving and dont give a crap about us.
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Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #31 on: 16:37, 03 July 13 »
Maggie Thatcher finally croaked it. HOORAY!!!


However she died peacefully. There is no god.

..distasteful, however you judge her policies.

Offline rexbeng

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #32 on: 20:38, 03 July 13 »
So, reading EgoTrips latest post it seems to me that Thatcher some 30 years ago brought the UK (economically thus socially) to the state Greece is GOING to find herself in the next couple of years! So that must be of some worth! ;D

Offline TFM

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #33 on: 20:39, 03 July 13 »
Who cared about the distate when poor people died due to her actions?
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Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #34 on: 21:49, 03 July 13 »
Errr.... Loaded question, and I'm not being drawn into it. If you don't already understand the point I'm making here (basically, not political, just human) then I can't help you.

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #35 on: 21:51, 03 July 13 »
No help needed. My point here is that death can not be an excuse for everything evil done, maybe one day you learn that. :)
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #36 on: 12:23, 04 July 13 »
Jon, I see your point. I think it was touched before; but personally I don't subscribe to the "don't speak ill of the dead" motto. Basically, noone does, it's just that different people apply different measures of "evilness" to it - who doesn't speak ill of Hitler for instance?


As for Thatcher, if one's life has been touched by her policies, and unless you're a banker, I can't imagine not being happy about the fact...

Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #37 on: 14:32, 04 July 13 »
Hitler is widely seen as overtly evil. I'm not sure you can say the same about Thatcher. I think my point is "it's a bit soon to be dancing on her grave" - that's why I think the OP is distasteful; I wasn't making a political point.
 
I'm not a banker; in fact, I was a student in the 80s and against the Poll Tax, for example. However, I consider myself a "child of Thatcher" because she was in power during my formative years and like many other people I was inspired by the Thatcherite ethic of taking responsibility for your own welfare. This includes working hard, home ownership and providing for yourself and your family without relying on the state (recall that she was a grocer's daughter who battled her way to the top of the Conservative party, no mean feat when you consider the mysogynism of contemporary politics). At the time it seemed the only alternative to Thatcherism was Trade Unionism, which had been shown to have disasterous effect. The rate of inflation was out of control (affecting everyone, but the poor disproportionally) and had to be dealt with. The Keynesian approach of cutting the money supply (we call this "Austerity" today) was logical, even if the effect was very high unemployment, which I accept was seriously damaging to many people's lives.
 
Of course, there are many examples of things the Thatcher government got wrong, too: privatising the national industries (especially the railways), entering the ERM, the Poll Tax - and it is easy to see all this in hindsight. On the other hand, they reduced taxes and introduced the Right to Buy and MIRAS (to help people into property ownership) and beat the militant unions who seemed to take great pleasure in regularly holding the country to ransom. Now compare her legacy with that of Blair and Brown: crippling public debt, questionable war decisions (WMD my ass), failure to properly regulate the banks (deregulation was, of course, only started by Thatcher), failing (in the latter years) to properly control public spending. Now we are saddled with debt that will take a generation to clear and while you may say "this is caused by the banks", you'd only be half right; the truth is, the regulators effectively stood idly by and let it happen, and of course since Brown had basically spent all the money by then (abandoning his earlier persona of "Prudence"), we had to incur immense debt to bail the banks out because the kitty was empty.
 
I can't believe this would have happened on Thatcher's watch, and anyone who thinks people are not having a hard time and going hungry as a result of the actions of the Blair / Brown governments is mistaken.
 
Ooops, sorry, lecture over...
« Last Edit: 14:41, 04 July 13 by JonB »

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #38 on: 15:18, 04 July 13 »
Some interesting points :)


The fact that you speak about Hitler as widely seen as overtly evil is proof that the "do not speak evil of the dead" axiom is only relative and based on one's measures. If you accept it for one, you must accept it for all. That's not a political point indeed, and I wasn't meaning that; it's a philosophical/ethical thing, mostly.


I didn't mean you are a banker, that was just a figure of speech :D But what you say ("the Thatcherite ethic of taking responsibility for your own welfare") is the polarised view as drilled into us by Thatcherite (and neoliberal) propaganda. The opposite side is not against "taking responsibility for your own welfare". Au contraire (chews end of smoking pipe, lights tobacco, continues while waving said pipe in the air) opponents largely say, "take responsibility for your own welfare, but if something happens you won't have to die or sell your body for a Mars bar. Oh, and by the way, we refuse to pay for the bankers".


The rise of the social state in the UK and everywhere else after WWII is a very good example - given a disaster, it's only through pooled resources we can pull through. And this applies to society as much as to single individuals. The social state has, as I see it, two foremost aims: provide some insurance net and redistribute income, given the undeniable propensity of money begetting money. So, it's not only about you not having to starve if something disastrous happens to you (knock wood), but also making it easier to make some money/earn some resources while you're able to.


You say that inflation was hurting the poor disproportionately - but then who does unemployment hurt? Keynes actually was a proponent of the opposite of what you say; observing that cutting spending while in a bad time leads to even worse times, he said you must turn the faucet on. Money supply issues, while terribly interconnected with other variables, are quite well understood; sure, supply too much money (which is not the same as the state spending much, that's totally different) and you may end up with inflation if other variables are not there in sufficient quantities to absorb it. But cutting spending (like the do here in Greece, btw), leads to a downward spiral.


Inflation, btw, reached an all-time high during Thatcher's reign. Subsequently fell, but rose up. But that's not the point. Battling inflation in a non-emergency economy is very easy. It's the problems this will cause to the economy that are hard to deal with.


And maybe the Unions took a pleasure in holding the country to ransom (not really familiar with labour history in the UK to be totally honest), but hey, what about the City holding the country to ransom? Because that's the alternative she offered...


Your assessment of failure vis-a-vis the banking sector, bailing-outs (see Moral Hazard) etc is spot-on. But deregulation is in the heart of neo-liberalism.


T




PS Oh, and I don't give a rat's ass if she was a grocer's daughter, most great dictators started from humble beginnings :D )

Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #39 on: 16:58, 04 July 13 »
Thanks, Gryzor, very nicely written if I may say so.. I particularly liked your reference to waving a pipe in the air; perhaps you were - figuratively speaking - standing by the fire with one elbow one the mantelpiece and a foot on the fire guard, 1930s "chap" style?

I think I have to disagree about the banks holding society to ransom. That phrase iimplies intent. I believe that central banks stepped in because they were deemed "too big to fail". That is, they'd take all our savings with them if they fell (cue the inevitable doom laden post apocalyptic scenario). Did the banks ask to be bailed out? I'm not sure. They agreed to it, certainly. Apart from Barclays, who borrowed from the Saudis (or Quataris, I can't recall).

Nevertheless, my point is really that it's not entirely fair to consider the "evils of Thatcherism" in isolation. I think no government can get it 100% correct, and that's why I tried a comparison with more recent events. Although from the sounds of it, you have a better understanding of Keynes than me..

As for Hitler, well, you mentioned him first.


Great debate, by the way. :)

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #40 on: 21:00, 04 July 13 »
Don't know about the mantelpiece, but I did imagine a tweed jacket with elbow patches :)


Regarding banks: I have this perverted hobby, reading about financial and corporate scandals. "Did the banks ask to be bailed out?" No; they begged for it. It's actually all quite well documented to tell you the truth - and how couldn't they? As for the "too big to fail" thing, it's one of the plagues of our times. Again I must mention moral hazard. So, if you behave as recklessly as possible, aiming to earn as much money as possible within the shortest possible time and knowing the scheme will eventually collapse and others will pay for your profits, is this just criminal negligence or criminal intent as well?


What is not a question, though, is that banks/funds have actually and deliberately attacked whole countries and geographical regions, knowing fully well that those attacks would impoverish large populations. This is clearly intent, and there are countless books on the topic (read I was a Financial Hitman for instance; while a bit on the sensationalist side, it reveals quite a bit the common methodology among all these attacks).


Of course no government is 100% correct -ever. But we're talking about Thatcherism here :) The fact that more modern governments all around the world have managed to get even worse than Thatcher's is a testament of the times we live in, but a bit off-topic. What's more, Thatcher, Pinochet and their Chicago friends were those who started it all, really...


And as for Hitler, heck, that's what Godwin's law is about!


Yup, always love a good debate :)

Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #41 on: 21:57, 04 July 13 »
Hmmm... Food for thought, and good quality. I'd forgotten about currency attacks. The swine! Still, who's laughing now? You see, I'm not actually a banker, but I do work in the banking sector, in IT. And I happen to know that the regulators, deeply embarrassed as it were, are now baying for blood. They have the bankers by the short and curlies. Let's hope they hold tight eh?

So, a good debate but I have to conceed defeat. You win this time, Moriarty....

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #42 on: 11:27, 05 July 13 »
The fun is in the game, Holmes!


But, seriously, the interesting thing with such debates is that unless you're knee-deep into it (I'm not) you need to research stuff. Before replying, for instance, I had to take a look at capitalisation and leverage ratios for the UK banks (more later).


The scrutiny you talk about seems to me to be just a knee-jerk reaction. Just wait a couple of years... What's more, regarding regulations:


Back in 2006 I was working for Sony here in Greece, and we were migrating to SAP. I was designated Key User for marketing, meaning I got to tell the guys (based outside London) how to design the relevant functions. We had countless and long meetings with the UK consultants - as you may know as an IT guy, implementing an ERP program for a major corporation and needing to customise it on the company's needs AND to the letter of the local law is nothing to laugh at. Well, at one meeting I said, regarding some issue (don't remember what), "Well, we got SOX, right?" A lady senior consultant (she was awesome) looked at me with a meaning that years later would be translated as "You know nothing, Jon Snow!"
"You know nothing, Jon Snow!". As she went on to explain, rules are just instructions as to how to get away with murder.  "You cannot be found over the body handling the knife" - so step a bit back and put the knife in your pocket; occasionally change pockets. That sort of thing.


Take UK banking, for instance; Basel I and II failed, hence the need for a Basel III. And what do Basel III criteria show for UK banks? That the best bank has a ratio of only 4.5% (meaning, the ratio of capital/assets(borrowing) is 1/22. Or, that the bank has a risk 22 times over what it actually owns. Very simplistically, btw). Barclays, which is the worst, stands at 2.8%. And what does Basel III impose as a floor? A paltry 3%. Now you tell me, whether regulators have them by the balls or not, how long it takes for a single bank to fail, bringing others down with it, and requiring a bailout.


Fuck it - we know with a pretty decent degree of certainty that the regulators will, anyhow, be called in or paid off sooner rather than later, anyway. The revolving doors between the banking sector and regulatory bodies is not a secret, anyway...

PS It's not only currency attacks; Greece (and others, but I think mainly Greece as the weakest link) suffered a tremendous bond attack.
« Last Edit: 11:30, 05 July 13 by Gryzor »

Offline Bryce

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #43 on: 14:15, 05 July 13 »
I'm not going to join the political discussion, but I find the title to this thread very fitting. "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead". Isn't that the film where their hope for the future turned out to be a little man behind a curtain and a complete fake that couldn't actually achieve anything they wanted?.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Major_1996.jpg

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« Last Edit: 17:54, 05 July 13 by redbox »

Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #45 on: 16:00, 05 July 13 »
Perhaps, Gryzor, I am only hoping the regulators have them by the wotsits. Having recently participated in a regulatory reporting project for Dodd-Frank (and later, EMIR), I have to say the IT infrastructure requirements are pretty onerous. Think thumping great pipelines connected to huge repositories into which you must squirt all your reportable trade information. Expensive. And what will Mr Regulator do with that torrent of data? My suspicion is "bugger all", because they don't have the capability to deal with it.
 
Which I suppose is why they were unable to see the coming financial apocalypse; the banks tend to suck all the best minds out of the job market by paying the most, so the "office of the regulator" ends up being staffed with also-rans who don't understand the often complex financial products and markets they are attempting to regulate.
 
For my part, I thought something nasty would happen, but that it'd be a housing market crash, not a total credit meltdown... That, I think, is still to come (a house price crash I mean), because QE and low interest rates (but the QE mostly) are keeping asset prices artificially high. One hint of a suggestion that the taps will be turned off (by the US FED)sent global stock markets diving last week. You'd think dealers would price in this certainty up front... sigh..
« Last Edit: 16:09, 05 July 13 by JonB »

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #46 on: 20:25, 28 October 13 »
Hey, lots of weeks later I realised I hadn't replied to you...


Well, the torrent of information you're describing is just one of the issues. Lack of transparency (which data torrenting is supposed to fight - yeah right) is one thing, fundamental stupidity is another. Instead of piping into a trader's data stream, for instance (in any case not even the companies themselves know what to make of all their data), just say, for intance, "no selling what you don't own"; "can't insure what you don't have"; "here's a nice cell for leveraging 100x". Stuff like that, that patently don't contribute to real economic activity and have been proven to cause crises, huge and small.

Offline MaV

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #47 on: 11:58, 04 January 14 »
If anyone still needs to be convinced read (the January 3rd entries in particular):
National Archives | UK news | The Guardian

From my POV, I have nothing but disgust and disdain for that figure (if anyone doubted that).
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #48 on: 19:33, 04 January 14 »
Ha, read something on these revelations today, picked off Twitter: Thatcher vs the miners: official papers confirm the strikers’ worst suspicions .


Goes to show that, even if you agree with her economics policies, there's no denying in that Thatcher broke the social contract and didn't care much about Democracy and the necessary structures to support it.


But then again, what's new. This is no Democracy, it's clearly a parliamentary autocracy.

Offline JonB

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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
« Reply #49 on: 19:39, 04 January 14 »
I'm not surprised The Guardian has all that bad stuff about Thatcher.  ::)


See, the thing is, Gryzor, that the first types of derivatives (called futures) did have a socially useful function. They allowed a producer to guarantee a price for his / her produce, which is a great thing as it allows all sorts of insurance (against a bad season), so producers don't go bust (which is very bad for the rest of society).


Yeah, I'm oversimplifying somewhat, but my point is that not all derivatives are bad. Misusing them, on the other hand, is. Very.


How about this for a laugh: http://husky1.stmarys.ca/~gye/derivativeshistory.pdf (especially the biblical reference)..


« Last Edit: 19:43, 04 January 14 by JonB »