BWANKING IS NOT A CITY IN
A few words and phrases spontaneously extrapolated from a much longer televised speech given in 2014 by Mark Carney, the then new and current Canadian Governor of the Bank of England. I’ve added some short link words, in small italics, for my and perhaps your better understanding of how financial stability is to be achieved and maintained in the austerical aftermath of the 2008 banking crash.
It’s not likely that every one of the words and phrases will be completely understood, even after several readings. And who can find the time to learn the foreign language of banking? It could take much more than the mythical ‘10,000 hours’ to understand the vagaries, subtleties and nuances of bankers’ language. There would be little or no time left for rodding the drains, emptying the bins, doing the school runs, doing a boring job, cooking dinner, chastising the children and suffering the ongoing saga of mother-in-law’s water on the knee. Yet she’s still alive and kicking the shit out of the family into a state of nonplussedness whenever she comes to stay for a few weeks in the back bedroom.
So turbo-driven time-short people who started out in early adult life innocently wanting a good fuck as nature intended, now have no choice but to leave banking to Bankish speaking people.
“You can’t turn a clock back too far without breaking it” – said the enlightened post-Freudian psychiatrist.
Anyway, you can rest assured that I am well aware of falling into the long frustrating digressmental pre-ambling that the famous journalist Alistair Cooke used to use in his decades of ‘Letter from America’ – weekly broadcasts via the weird and wonderful pussy-footing PC airwaves of BBC radio in years of yore, and which still exist today.
In going straight forward in going straight back to the subject of Bankish – it is worth noting that the following Bank of England statement contains at least one glaring omission. Namely, it makes no mention of any genuine intention by the Police Fraud Squad to investigate, prosecute and imprison the hundreds of white and gold collar criminals who caused the British banking crash – most of whom continue to conduct ‘business as usual’ some seven years later, under the traditionally twitchy ‘blind eyes’ of the Bank of England, weak-kneed politicians, egg-headed economists and toothless lily-livered financial regulators.
Notwithsitting, Governor Mark Carney stood up and said:
“Leverage ratios will be controlled by capital buffers to ensure macro financial stability. Symphonic exactitude is necessary for ring-fenced banks security within counter cyclical buffers. Also, a risk weighted system based on the calculation of ratios is required for complimentary risk shifting. The counter-weighting of paper tigers and blind asset swaps is achievable with a transmission mechanism using shared analysis to avoid off-setting during periods of market volatility.
“Geopolitical risks are likely to affect short term monetary policy, but relative predictability and medium term perspectives should counter macro volatility. However, any re-enforcement of trend following should not give the illusion of liquidity.
“End investors stress tests and haircuts on yield expectations are within the rotation of the curve, and will reduce the impact on overshooting existing horizons. Macro pru-policies together with un-hedged foreign currency require threshold guidance and a core mandate for reaction function to data regarding material shifting and market shifting de-stabilising trajectories.
“Inflation targeting timelines contain inevitable uncertainty, so forecast horizons are no more than mirages in the Don’t
. But ratio returns in search for yield can affect sterling short
rates. Direct policy responsibility and principal economic solutions are expected to produce
a normative convergence of optimal ratios
impacting on soft holdings, without consequential
difficulties disturbing the durability of structural supply. Know
“Sideways impacts testing the resilience of tail risks will need stress testing for low default rates and to reduce loan to income volatility. Also, affordability tests within the various options of supervisory oversight should attenuate sector capital overrun. A re-calibration of mechanisms for insurance on expectations will ring fence derivatives and provide a working threshold to deal with institutional off-shoot non-ringfence lending. Also, the on-costs of congruent resolutions to lower high exit costs may require re-hedging maturity risks.
“However, the economic outlook is fair if demand conditions don’t produce a wholesale collapse, skewing the differentials between a multiplicity of variables. We now know that historical patterns and imperfect data lags require big data strategy initiatives involving tipping point calibrations of forbearance costs commensurate with commercial rates for the re-cycling of capital.
“So the new order of magnitude includes cross subsidisation options and essential conditions consistent with expectations for the re-structuring of balance sheets. Of course global commodity markets and high frequency trading can cause substantial headwinds disrupting operations, therefore contingency planning to cope with systemic consequences will require code of conduct regulations and a consultation period timetable, sometime before the end of infinity.”
Well, feather my nest with Ferraris!
This impressive Bank of England jargon does not come from low-down conventional political euphemistic metaphoricalism. It comes from high up in that strange but rich, cold dry foreign land called Bwanking.
Mark Carney could have kept his speech short, simple and honest by saying:
“We at the Bank of England don’t know what’s going on. We don’t want to know what’s going on, and we don’t know what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. However, I do enjoy a chat, coffee and cake with my cheeky chums in the Monetary Policy Committee. I also enjoy an occasional bit of banter and playtime with the puppies in the Parliamentary Financial Stability Committee – although after half an hour these sessions become very irritating, and unnecessary stress testing impacting on my soft holdings, haircuts and symphonic exactitude.
“Even though I am only paid £1,000,000 a year I’ve got to justify my job, stand up and say something. So in the interests of brevity, I’d like to remind you all of the 6 essential professional skills to acquire if you want to be a big banker – skills I learned in my 13 years with the Goldman Sachs boys. These are very similar to those required in order to become a top politician. They are simply:
“How to Hedge, How to Skew, How to Confuse, How to Use Smoke and Mirrors, How to Use English as a Foreign Language, and How to Use a Thousand Words to Say Absolutely Nothing.
“I’m not taking any questions today because I’ve got a
Harley Street appointment for hair loss –
so the lot of you can fuck off!”
This 6-piece skill set has got Carney to the top of the ‘up-skilling’ ladder at present, which makes him the best man for the job as Governor of the Bank of England. And when his tenure comes to an end, he might acquire a 12-piece skill set from the Big Boys Toy Shop to become the Governor of the Bwank of the World. But as of now, he is doing an excellent job of saying absolutely nothing that could or would influence financial markets, interest rates and economic conditions, one way or another. Is this banking or is politics?
By way of compensation for his very hard work, the Governor is paid a measly £1 million a year for conducting private meetings with symphonic exactitude – to orchestrate an unknown number of sideways impacts on counter cyclical buffers skewing the differentials between a multiplicity of variables overshooting existing forecast horizons.
Wow! That’s a tough core mandate for reaction function to big data strategy initiatives off-setting de-stabilising trajectories and geopolitical risks. But what is this mysterious symphony that the Governor conducts with such exactitude?
He also has to go public and use English as a foreign language (without an interpreter) to talk about a normative convergence of optimal ratios and various options for supervisory oversight, in order to impress the media vultures, financial corruptstitutions and crackpot economic experts. This leaves them wondering about what his new ‘order of magnitude’ might possibly be. However, it is they who now have a ‘multiplicity of variables’ from which to select and wind-up their wildest speculations, and then get paid for being pontificating pundits in public.
Oh what a wonderful merry-go-round.
By the way, I claim no credit for my alliterativeness – it just is.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are merely millions of human ‘hoover-uppers’ of bank-fed household debt. Without us gullible suckers to borrow and bail them out, the banks would be out of business. So the Governor’s language has to be skillfully crafted to restrict our understanding and keep us blissfully ignorant of what goes on in the shadowy
There is certainly no so-called ‘transparency’.
If we did somehow understand Bankish language, despite all the smoke and mirrors, we might regard his job as not worth much more than that of a cheap children’s party magician. His illusion of authority would disappear like the Emperor’s New Clothes.
But someone’s got to be the Emperor of something, even if that high position of power is an illusion. The seemingly powerful Governor turns out to be in reality, only a public puppet perched precariously on the top of a huge pile of very clever, well-dressed and ‘respectable’, but ruthless mercenary money grabbers, who are also adept at protecting their anonymity.
The Governor’s illusory power does however, allow him to allow all those white and gold collar criminals to continue – for they are the undercover greasy cogs that keep the wheels of banking turning. And without their wheelings and dealings, big radical changes would have to happen in the financial systems, which in turn could cause chaos in the British economy.
It may be worth remembering a recent example of this top banking work. The previous Governor, bless him, cuddly little Wimbledon hamster together with his lunch buddy the previous boss of the FSA, debonair March hare, successfully turned their beautiful ‘blind eyes’ to all the corruption and greed leading to the 2008 banking crash. Both these lovely cuddly chaps, who were handsomely paid to be wonderfully ineffective, are probably now in sumptuous semi-retirement ‘heading-up’ some spurious quangos, when it’s too wet to play tennis or go to a soggy summer garden party at Buck House.
“Ours is not to judge – only to observe and perhaps proffer a bit of witty criticism” – said the wicked bishop in the bar at the back of the House of Lords.
Carney is not where he is today as Governor, to root out corruption and greed in the banking system. He is where he is to ‘keep the show on the road’, and only occasionally make token little whispers about getting someone else to slap the wrists of a handful of ‘naughty boys’ who’ve been caught bwanking red-handed.
It’s all just political correctosserish tinkering with trivialities. The poor Governor. He can’t get on with proper banking. He’s paid to be political but he can’t be seen to be. He’s promoted and paid by a system to be a public speech-making parrot on a perch who has to look down on the shit and shenanigans of banking, finance and economics, and yet say and do almost nothing to disturb these insidious man-made systems.
Yes, someone’s got to do it and someone always will – but what a dreadful job. It’s no wonder that many bankers would rather have been rock stars.
Be that as it may, Mark Carney did not become a rock star. Instead, he was head-hunted and hand-picked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to run the Bank of England independently of government political interference. As Governor, he is supported by the equally ‘independent’ Monetary Policy Committee in reaching decisions regarding the setting and timing of interest rates. But the MPC does not have ‘deaf ears’ to noises leaking through the cracks in the door of the OBR, the Office for Budget Responsibility, which has a direct line to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s office.
So when political push comes to political shove, the Governor will most likely have to comply with government policy directives. If he does not, and he vehemently defends his independence, he may have to ‘consider his position’ and resign.
This might be no bad thing. First of all, he would not have to stand up and deliver silly speeches, answer direct probing questions from the media and then sit down on the hot seat in front of the Financial Stability Committee. Secondly, he could be hired to ‘head-up’ one of the Big Four major international banks, and be paid 5 to 10 times his present salary. And thirdly, he could enjoy acres of autonomy and not be in the pockets of politicians.
Nevertheless, no matter what notions are floated about the Bank of England’s so-called independence – it always has been and always will be the Bank of the Government of the day.
Even if a Governor is a ‘robust’ human being with a functional conscience, the stress and strain of witnessing the corruption and greed of the banking system while obeying his political masters could lead to a crisis of conscience, physical illness and a premature death. Given this risk to his well being, wife and children, it could be argued that any Governor of the Bank of England should be paid £5 million a year, to cover the costs of his funeral and the maintenance of several houses and private school fees, plus his widow’s shopping habits and holidays. Her ‘heavy handbag’ would also pay for her precious LGBT personal trainer, and her new strong virile toy-boy carpenter/plumber who is seriously insolvent, but who is always working around the house and more than willing to give her ‘a good seeing to’ whenever she wants it.
Who knows what really goes on behind the bike sheds of banking? I certainly don’t. The big banker boys of this world could easily go on to live in total contentment to a ripe old age and have a happy death.
I wish Mark Carney well. He is doing a brilliant job of saying something while saying nothing. That takes some doing!
“What should I do with all my money?” – said the banker.
“It’s not yours!” – said the wiseman.