Ummm, yes....the gaiety of nations. Rosebud.

The House of Lords, (10.32 pm, column 1536). After Dinner, late one night in early November. A Lord, big in the city, with a string of jobs for Labour and Tory administrations behind him. A claim to have deprived the IRA of over a £billion. A mysterious offer of £22 billion by an unidentified International Foundation...and an official denial.

What in the wide world of sports is happening? Has everyone gone mad? This is nuckin futs. I suppose vodafone could just have indicated a willingness to pay their tax bill. Or, maybe, the same sort of fraudsters who claimed to be able to produce 'Kennedy securities' a year ago are about their business again, and preying on vulnerable elderly city scions, who are in their way admirable self-made men.

They didn't fool the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, though, who seems to have gone to the trouble of turning down the offer. That individual, by the way, is Lord Sassoon, and amongst his many magnificent titles is emeritus director of something called the 'Nuclear Liabilities Fund', and a role in the 'ifs' School of Finance. I am not making this up.

A fine bunch of men the House of Lords, including the women, as is always said. Don't take Blackfriars bridge home, m'lord.


Toni said…
What a bizarre story. I suppose if you think about it 22 billion isn't all that much, considering the 100 billion that was used to bail out a bankrupt building society in Newcastle. Strangely enough the IRA did receive significant funding through Thailand by all accounts and North Korea along with that group was heavily involved in the counterfeit US dollar business, (don't accept any series 1990 100 dollar bills).

The whole gold issue is odd, actually I was thinking about it the other night as despite making the right call I have totally lost out on the surge in gold due to funding difficulties. The ETF market in gold is already far more than the entire value of all the bullion ever mined and I think more than all estimated discoveries. I know little about ETF's though and when trading the shiny stuff stuck to Nymex futures. Finance is obviously not the boring business everyone thinks, (just ask Roberto Calvi), I remember a rumour in one if the banks I worked for that Brazil was going to honour a series of government bonds ussued in one of their defunct currencies that gained so much traction that the bank sent a guy down to Rio with a suitcase to pick up as much of the issue as he could and bring it back to the office. Naturally the Brazilians had no intention of honouring the debt, so the bank lost a fair amount of money and they were something of an emerging markets specialist.
Martin Meenagh said…
I thought that. Given the trouble we are in, £22 billion is what, a third of 2013's interest payment? IRA funding was no doubt a byzantine morass, like the Lebanon War--used and parasitised and in parts set up by criminal gangs, governments, intelligence agencies and mobs so thickly in it that you can't really distinguish them from each other.

People keep telling me to be very wary of treating the gold trade as a metal trade, since so much of it is in gold certificates; I think had a piece on that a while ago. Rumours and whispers and rumours of overheard whispers--this is what happens, I guess, when markets turn. It's how they operate, and only a short step across the line from schizophrenia by all accounts.
Toni said…
You'd have to be a braver man than me to look deeply into IRA funding.
Martin Meenagh said…
Lol, I do not propose to. I have trouble on kerbs, let alone the edges of that abyss.

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