Tuesday, July 08, 2008
That's another fine mess you've gotten us into Bingley
A few weeks ago I was browsing the amusingly bitter and twisted threads over at Schadenfreude Centrale aka The House Price Crash Forum, when I came across this post...
"Who here is not...
short on Persimmons?
short on A&L?
short on B&B?
Come June 23rd when Soc Gen offer their next generation of warrants...
Who here is not going to short the british high st?
short on M&S anyone?
It's really not that difficult is it."
and it struck me at the time that the answer was 'no, no it's not'
The only surprising thing is how long it is taking for the likes of B&B (Bradford and Bingley) and A&L (Alliance and Leicester) to die once and for all
though it looks like B&B is finally slipping under
and don't expect the crack financial analysts over at Channel 4 News to provide any insight into what's going on. They're labouring under the impression that Bradford and Bingley is still a building society (with a stock market listing?!)...
...ah well, only 8 years out of date
I was working for a building society at the time of great carpetbagging demutualisation frenzy and it struck me at the time that a very deliberate crime was being commited, though I still don't think, more than ten years later, that the penny has dropped with most people.
That's partly because most of the ex-building societies continued to give off the airs and graces of mutual organisations, when they had in fact been transformed into something quite different. Some ceased to exist in all but name. Some were turned into vehicles which exceeded even pre-existing banks in their toxicity; Bradford and Bingley, Alliance and Leicester and, of course, Northern Rock are the first which come to mind
All entirely accidental of course
and whilst on the subject of amusing price charts, here are a couple of risque little numbers...
the pound/euro exchange rate -
$ gold -
if you hold your breath and listen very carefully you might just be able to hear the creaking sound of some very edgy bankers struggling to keep the £ up and gold down
It must be proving to be quite a strain for the poor dears