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Monday, 5 August 2019

Sajid Javid is totally unfit to be Chancellor of the Exchequer


Boris Johnson's cabinet is full of extraordinarily inappropriate people like Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Gavin Williamson, and Liz Truss, but perhaps the most egregious appointment of all is Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Before his move into politics Javid was a banker at Deutsche Bank, where he sold complex financial derivatives called Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs).

In order to have any coherent understanding of what caused the 2008-09 global financial sector insolvency crisis, you need to know what CDOs are, otherwise you could end up believing any old economically illiterate shit (like "Labour bankrupted Britain" for example).

CDOs were economic alchemy schemes designed to turn toxic bad debts into fake gold-plated investments.

The way they worked was to collect together thousands of bad mortgages (the kind of mortgages people are highly likely to default on if there's any kind of economic downturn) then grade them into bands from worst to least bad.

The lower ranked bad mortgages remained risky investments, but the top tranche of "least bad" sub-prime mortgages were packaged up together and sent to the Credit Ratings Agencies to be classified as AAA rated investment grade financial products, meaning that major banks, insurance funds, national and local governments, and pension funds bought them up in their £billions believing them to be safe investments rather than carefully repackaged junk.

The whole thing defied economic logic: High return investments are riskier, low return investments are safer.

But Sajid Javid and the other financial sector alchemists selling these toxic products convinced their customers that they'd managed to rewrite the basic laws of investment to create these high return + supposedly low risk investments.


But while they were singing their praises to their customers, loads of CDO merchants were secretly referring to them in the most derogatory of terms, like "shit breather" and "piece of shit" in private chats, because they knew they were junk investments that were bound to implode sooner or later.

Furthermore, several of the banks selling these ticking time bomb CDO "investments" were secretly buying up £billions worth of financial insurance on the products they'd just sold, looking for huge payouts when the junk products they were selling finally exploded (this special insurance is called CDS and you can find out more in this article).

So given that it was an open secret amongst CDO merchants that they were selling toxic junk that's bound to fail, and that several of the banks selling this stuff were opportunistically speculating on the inevitable failure of the junk products that they were selling to unsuspecting customers, what was Sajid Javid playing at?

There are only two explanations, neither of them good.

If we're charitable to Javid, then we could argue that he was a clueless dupe, naively selling a load of toxic junk in good faith simply because he was too stupid to investigate the products he was actually selling, and so poorly connected within the CDO industry that he was unaware of the open secret amongst his peers that the products he was selling as safe investments were actually bound-to-fail financial Weapons of Mass Destruction.

So what on earth is Boris Johnson doing promoting a clueless idiot like this to the most important economic job in British politics just a decade later?

The other explanation is, of course, much worse. If Javid was smart enough to realise that the CDOs he was selling were bound-to-fail junk, and he was in on the open secret within the trade that they were certain to implode one day, yet he carried on selling them as safe investments to oblivious customers like other banks, pension funds, local and national governments, and insurance funds as low-risk investment opportunities, then he's a cynical and duplicitous fraudster.

If he didn't know, he was an idiot and certainly shouldn't be running the UK economy, but if he did know, then he's a fraudster and should probably be in jail for wilfully selling toxic junk to unsuspecting customers, rather than running the UK economy.

It's absolutely extraordinary that Boris Johnson and the Tories have promoted one of the shady derivatives traders who caused the economic crisis to the top economic job in British politics, and whichever way you look at it, his damning history clearly indicates his unfitness to hold such a crucial role.

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14 comments:

  1. I like Sajid Javid, despite his true blue voting record, and I wish him luck as Chancellor. One thing however has puzzled me; how can a muslim comply with Sharia law in the kind of role he now finds himself in? In addition, if Tom is correct about his wheeler dealing financial past, then again this would seem to be contrary to the Islamic faith. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, fixed income trading generally would not be compliant with Sharia Law because of usury and you would not see Muslims invest in these products as a result. However, I wasn't sure if Javid was religious.

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    2. Sajid is not a muslim.

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  2. Hes remainer who worked at Deutsche bank. Absolutely no surprise there considering they have recieved multiple bailouts since the 2008 crash.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I doubt he's a 'clueless dupe'. Politics is funny isn't it. You look at all these clowns who expect you to (vote for them) believe things a child could see through. And yet they're not stupid. They want to present themselves as something they're not. It is true that some of them are out of their depth but the damage they cause is not directed inwards but outward to the public, usually wasting the wealth created by the public. They have perfected ways of screwing up that enrich them and their type. These individuals want simply to convert that public wealth into their private wealth usually by some complex (but legal) method or scam. So Sajid may well lack the ability to be chancellor but he perhaps understands some of the less pure aspects of finance. Or perhaps he is a fool after all, we're about to find out.

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  4. I find so much stuff here absurdly partisan nonsense which I ignore or laugh at. Generally the latter if I'm honest. It's an echo chamber the type of which is so often ridiculed by the writer and people who come here. But then I see something like this and think, "Fair play, that actually makes sense." Interesting article.

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