Thursday, 9 August 2012

Standard and We're-all-Poor

A few days ago, it emerged that Standard Chartered Bank had been accused of money laundering as much as $252 Billion - £161 Billion - for Iran over 10 years

Whilst Standard Chartered have denied the accusations, the New York State Department of Financial Services described Standard Chartered as a "rogue institution".

Another one eh?

Whatever the truth, my mind has been boggling ever since I heard about the story. £162 Billion!!! Do any of us have any idea at all how much money that is?

It is the same as the entire GDP of New Zealand or Qatar
It would buy 995,000 averagely priced homes in the UK - Very roughly, that is the number of homes in LA!
It's like winning the UK lottery 32,400 times over!

It is £16.2 Billion a year!
It is £1.35 Billion a month!!
It is £318 Million a week!!!
It is £45 million pounds a DAY!!!!
It is £1.89 Million pounds an HOUR!!!!!
And finally, it is £31,500 a MINUTE!!!!!!

£162 Billion is £162,000,000,000!!!!! That's a LOT of noughts.

Whatever the truth in the allegations, this is a lot of money. It is so much money, most of us can't even begin to imagine it. And that's what politicians rely on. Quietly, while the Olympics were in full flow, while Team GB filled us with national pride and joy, yet another bank mumbled about cheating and billions and we all thought "Oh, that's a lot of money" then went back to cheering and flag waving.

Well it's a LOT of money, it's an eye-wateringly inconceivable amount of money. If you counted to just 1 billion now, counting non-stop, at one number a second, it would take you 31 years, 251 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds. Counting to 162 Billion would take around 5145 years.

These banks were just one big casino, and they weren't very good gamblers. Next time a statement tells you a bank lost some billions, please think about how much money it is. About how it was YOUR money, about the cut in your child benefit or tax credits, the school or hospital that just closed down or how much petrol prices or utility bills have gone up.

Banks have no money at all without people like you and me. Whether it is the £10 a month you save for your daughter's wedding, or the profit from companies relying on ordinary shoppers like you - it is YOUR money.

They took it and they borrowed against it and they hid it and they multiplied it and they laundered it and they gambled it and in the end, they lost it.

Please, please, please, be a bit more shocked.



  1. I wish you were well for you.

    I wish you were well for your family.

    I wish you were well for all the people that have ever loved you.

    I wish you were well for every soul touched by your insight, compassion and intelligence.

    But most of all, I wish you were well because we need more people like you in the positions of authority denied to those who are not well.


    1. What a beautiful comment! I'm honoured, thank you x

  2. Except that in this case it isn't "our" money. It is money belonging to the people of Asia and Africa, most of whom are far poorer than us. Standard Chartered Bank does no business in the UK although it is headquartered here, and its largest operations are in emerging markets.

  3. Frances that view chooses to ignore that we are all citizens of the same planet! I hear your comment that the money is not British, but if it £162bn came out of Iran it is not all from African or Asian poor either.

    1. On the contrary, Mark, I made that comment precisely because I DON'T have a parochial view. It is far too easy for people to think that because Standard Chartered is a "British" bank, therefore the money it was laundering must belong to British people. It doesn't.

    2. The resources of the planet belong to us all!

  4. David Cameron is happy that all the banks have got their act together and learned from their 'mistakes'. So he wishes to get on with the culling of disabled people now ... please ....

  5. Both Frances and Mark are essentially quite right. It's a bunch of different banks altogether taking the food from the mouths of our children here. Jeez, somedays I feel like I gotta explain EVERYTHING! :-)

  6. Be wary of what others tell you. I'd be very surprised if the allegations proved true and were not just a cassus belli by the US state depot to a) have another excuse to attack an enemy and b) have someone pay reperations to finance it. Once they seize Chartered's accts for 'investigation' they'll be able to finance a few battles.

    1. I think this comment is dangerous.

      Not to say you may not be right - in this instance you may be perfectly correct and the thought had certainly crossed my mind too.

      The dangerous bit is that this is happening in all of the banks all around the world. It can't ALL be a misunderstanding, can't ALL be explained away with fancy words and get out clauses.

      They've all been caught, somehow, with their sticky fingers still in the honey jar - they remind me of my kids when I catch them with a biscuit they say they haven't got!

    2. This is what happens when you let bankers control the currency.

      Once upon a time before we were born there used to be a thing called gold backed currency. This was a time when the notes and coins used for purchasing 'stuff' were tokens that were easier to carry than gold that holds the real value....the idea being that you could walk into a bank and exchange your notes or coins for real gold.

      The trouble now is that the currency we are using today is printed regardless of the fact there isn't enough gold in the banks to back the money printed, minted or created on computers.

      You may have heard of quantitive easing....this is just con man talk for printing money backed by nothing.

      This problem goes at least as far back as the federal reserve act of the early 20th century and what we see now with all the swindling banksters is just the result of this in 2012.

      'Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws' - Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

    3. Bruce, we had fractional reserve banking and repeated banking crises under a gold standard. There were five serious banking crises in the 19th century, when the currency was linked to gold. Fiat currency is not the cause of the problems, and nor are central banks (although I do think the BoE and the ECB have been extraordinarily inept and dangerously complacent).

    4. Yes there was banking issues before the federal reserve act.....but fractional isn't much better either.

      Lending out more money than you have gold for? Still a massive problem.

      I never said that fractional was better. fiat is just the next step on from that.

      The root of the problem is that for every unit of currency in circulation there is no balance.

      Bankers are able to print money in an arbitrary manner.....and whoever is able to print money in that way is always going to be in control of society. Call it Fiat or fractional it doesn't matter it is still printing money when you don't have anything like the real value in 'stuff' to back it with.

      All you have done is to use a previous bad banking practice to try and dilute my argument about fiat being a bad banking practice......does not compute.....both are bad business.

  7. with regret this has always been a problem and it's not likely to be fixed as their are many big world players in this group that run the world to the detriment of the poor countries

  8. I may have misunderstood, but it is my understanding that what Standard & Poor have been accused of is enabling Iran to circumvent sanctions imposed by the 'International Community' and the money itself is still in existence (as far as that volume of money can be truly said to exist). I think therefore that this is primarily a political squabble, albeit one involving a staggering sum of money, and perhaps the thrust of this post would be better served if it was focused on the trillions stashed in tax havens or the billions being pumped into the banks so the bankers can pay themselves massive bonuses. Having said that Sue, you certainly have a way of expressing yourself in terms of the reality of day to day life for which I am most grateful and I would like to second Mark's wishes above.

  9. Of course you're all right. I painted a very simplistic picture and I'm no economist.

    I just wanted to get across the staggering sums of money involved. We throw around billions as though they are cupcakes.

  10. I think you are now my favorite blogger. Thank you. Loving-Kindness DD1958.

  11. Sue,i felt from your last sentence your despair,and i share it. but apart from that i want you know that, as the carer fo a young son and partner with Aspergers, and a badly fucked up PTSD abuse case myself, i am inspired by your writing, it is amazing, i take heart from your determination and your spirit, i even find it a source of both unity and argument with another old punk mate who is a London Labour party member,while i have joined the Greens in Brighton,both of us trying to be pragmatic despite being old anarchists at heart. Please do not think that there are others like myself, who have been reading your blogs, saying little,but online elsewhwere, fighting, supporting and doing what we can. I intend to get Brighton council to make a full Impact Assessment of the Welfare reforms and to use that to challenge the governments cuts to their budget. I think that they have to take the fight back to them, turn it around and say hold on, this is the consequences, this is our community and what you are doing, and we won't stand for it. YOU were my original inspiration for this, YOU made me feel i had to act. Thank you Sue.

  12. *********BREAKING NEWS***********

    More evidence - even breaking your leg 'at work' doesn't mean you can't carry on - that disabled people have never had it so lucky

    1. silly me, my staff frgot the link

    2. The man's a fool or likes to play the devils advocate role in life or he just may be a person who likes to inflict suffering on others and we may have to accept that fact

    3. Someone more able than I should start an on-line petition with the intention of delivering it to Ed Milliband warning him that we will NOT vote for him or his party come the next General Election unless he guarantees us that he will scrap these brutal assessments and restore the current DLA,(being replaced with PIP) which is clearly less destructive on it's claimants and much less deviously planned to kick people off benefits no matter how ill/disabled they may be.At least it will make Labour sit up and listen to us at last.

  13. Standard charter my rear end...more like cheaters charter.
    They really are ALL at it and if you got Private Eye this week there are some excellent articles on these bastards.Even some of those oh so bloody noble Lords of ours are in it up to ther ermines.Also worth a listen is Max Kieser on RT he has been saying this for a long long time and he should know he worked on Wall Street and knows all about how they get around the laws by bribing the compliance officers.Even the Mafia never robbed us as easily and so bloody blatantly as these casino bankers.
    WHEN will this ever stop.
    Make no mistake these bastards are not just robbers but the mere fact that thier actions are a direct result of the increase in poverty worldwide and the rising mortality rate amongst the worlds poorest makes them complicit in the deaths of those people.DONT think so well think again because every action has a direct result and impact somewhere else down the line.You cant take that amount of money out of what is a global system without causing suffering somewhere and try telling a mother who sees her kids starve because the cost of food has gone out of thier reach due to speculators and these evil banking whores of mamon.
    IT is not just about the money going astray it is about lives of millions but you dont read about this in the papers.... One day we might ALL wake up and say enough..maybe when we are ALL starving together maybe but in the meantime we are sleep walking in to a corporate dictatorship...funded by US really as no bank or company ever made money out of thin air.ALL the money comes from us.Time we took it all back and started again.
    Find an ethical bank if there is one and all put our money in that....

    1. sickofem

      I note your anger which is similar to mine. I look outside though and it seems nobody cares. There's a lot of drivel being talked of by the media in relation to how the olympic games has made everybody happy - there are smiles everywhere they say!. Am I missing something?

      I don't think so. The rich elites are waging war on the population and nobody seems to mind. This is not party politics as i see them as being different versions of the same thing. There's no doubt this is a concerted effort to control amd maim and kill the population in order that the rich maintain their power and wealth.

      Neither the Labour party including disabled politicians or the Unions are particularly interested. Even disabled athletes are not interested. We are very much on our own. And my anger grows ...........

  14. sickofem....idscamgleggraybot etc etc13 August 2012 at 17:13

    WEll yes the olympics...i am happy for the athletes and thats where it ends for me.I mean when you consider they had some talkinh head on tv today bleatin on about how the olympic village will now go to provide a mix of private and low cost....whats the differnce there in london weighting terms...and how bloody great that will be BUT fails to mention we sold the lot of to some arab royal family for a 235 million quid have to laugh.
    Its all media fed smoke and mirrors designed to keep us in blissfull ignorance.The olympic effect as good as it might well be will not last long.The point about bankers being directly responsible for increased world and therefore child poverty is oh so valid and you know the more truth there is in that the bigger the cover up.NOT one banker from goldman twats or any of the others will be sent to jail despite tougher anti trust laws and banking regs there so in the end you have to ask why bother with any society when those we pay to manage it can do what they want with impunity..maybe we should get that little bald ***t of the tv dominic littlebloke to investigate OR get him to persue IDS for fraudulent expenses.BUT that will never happen.
    STill once the feelgood factor vanishes in to the olympic mist and we start getting the real bad news again who knows.

  15. Just out of interest I know totally unrelated to this, but has anyone, done the statistics of those that have gone through appeal and won, then straight off got a brown envelope for another assessment. It just seems to me, that everyone who has won an appeal gets the 'brown' envelope .... or am I just being paranoid?