When I began writing this blog way back in January, I never intended it to be so focused on the Jersey Child Protection Disaster – but that’s just the way things have had to go.

It was my original intention to write about – well, pretty much anything, actually. And my first posts dealt with the subject of economics and the looming recession caused by America’s sub-prime collapse.

Back then US Federal Reserve boss, Ben Bernanke was desperately trying to stave-off reality with interest-rate cuts.

On the 23rd January, I wrote a blog-post titled, ‘Laughing Boy in the Third – 50-1 – or Your Money Back!’ It’s in the archive if you want to read it all.

So I thought that post merited revisiting – given the present circumstances.

And today’s post is even quicker and lazier because I’ve reproduced in its entirety, the column by Mark Steel from today’s Independent newspaper. Mark’s writings are always insightful – and extremely funny. Today he writes, “Quick! These Bankers Need Rescuing!”

Looking back at my older posts, I’m also reminded that I used to always do a ‘book of the post’ recommendation, and a ‘joke of the post’. I stopped doing this when the child protection battle became altogether more serious.

But, perhaps in these grim times we need to share knowledge and a little humour – so maybe I’ll resume those features when I next do a substantive post.

In the mean-time, here is the conclusion of what I wrote back then in January – and below this is Mark Steel’s column.

Look out for another post later today – in which I’ll be talking about “The Pinball Wizard” – and related matters.


A quote from my blog of the 23rd January.

“Others have described Friday’s cash bale-out as “Social Security for the rich” – a very apt description.

It’s another illustration of just how far removed from reality the so-called “Iron Law of the Market” is. These people gambled – they took the “risks” that supposedly justify their $100 million bonuses – they brought their allegedly great skills to the table – and they blew it. They lost. And they lost not through some cruel trick of fate – but because they were gripped by a kind of collective stupidity; a misguided belief in some kind of miraculous bootstrapping pyramid scheme which could just go on and on.

Now ask yourself – if you or I cocked-up this badly in our jobs, what would happen?

Look at it another way. If you or I went down to the bookies and put our salary on Laughing Boy at 50-1 in the 3.10 at Kemptown – and it fell over – the full, inescapable “market” consequences of our actions would fall upon us.

Now imagine our hedge fund manager, banker or stockbroker who did the same. In the strange, parallel universe occupied by these people, they would just go down to the bookies and ask for their stake back.

And the bookies would hand it back to them – and for good measure, recover their losses off of taxpayers.

Neat, no?

I’ve never gambled before, but hell, if this is how it works, next time I’m passing a betting shop, I’ll nip in and offer them this kind of arrangement.

Stuart Syvret.

Book of the Post:

The Party’s Over, by Richard Heinberg.

Joke of the Post:

Two economists find themselves locked in a dark dungeon. The hours pass, yet no guard comes with food. One says to the other, ‘don’t worry – when we get hungry enough our demand will generate the product.’”


Mark Steel: Quick! These Bankers Need Rescuing.

The Indipendent, 1st October 2008.

“The next move, presumably, will be to nationalise the country’s gambling debts. To revive confidence amongst blokes in betting offices, the Government will hand over £300bn to cover the money they’ve lost. Then a leading gambler will be quoted as saying: “This package goes some way towards restoring calm. The last week has been horrendous. One of my friends lost a ton on an 8-1 shot he’d been assured was a banker by a minicab driver.”

Another method might be to let the world’s share-dealers go bankrupt, and see if we manage to carry on without them. One advantage of this strategy would be the entertainment of seeing them fight the job losses. City traders would carry placards saying, “Stop the axe on Goldman Sachs!” Support groups would be set up that could hold collections in which people would be asked to donate riverside apartments to a fighting fund, as some of the bankers were undergoing such hardship they hadn’t bought one for over three months. But organisers of the fighting fund would have to be careful to keep some donations back until handed out as the Christmas bonus.

They’d certainly deserve our backing, as you get an idea of the nature of share traders from yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, which told us that after the rejection of the US recovery plan “there was disbelief among US traders who accused politicians of putting their own interests ahead of the American people”.

You see – even in this crisis, all they’re thinking about is the American people. They’ve never wanted the burden of accepting unimaginable salaries for buying and selling the same stuff, but they’ve soldiered on out of love for the American people. Well it’s time they understood there’s such a thing as being TOO selfless, and took a moment to consider themselves for once.

Their complaint was the failure to approve a $700bn bailout of failing finances, but it’s even worse than they fear. Because according to one commentator, one reason why politicians rejected the deal was that “they were receiving letters from the public running at 40 to one disapproving it”.

So it’s not just politicians, but the American people who are against the American people. Some of them, for example, might consider that $130bn to provide a National Health plan for all Americans for two years would be a better use of funds. Those poor traders must hold their heads in their hands and sigh: “It’s just ‘me me me’ with some people, isn’t it?”

So maybe there’s another solution. It seems that world governments will do anything at all, no matter how desperate, to revive “confidence” in the markets, as these markets, which are run by the dealers, control the economy. This means the dealers are far more powerful than governments. In which case, in the interests of democracy, instead of wasting time electing governments why don’t we elect the dealers? They could make speeches such as: “Let me assure the British people that, if elected, less of the wealth created by hard-working families will be taken by the state, and far more will stay where it belongs, with me.” And: “I apologise to my constituents for the embarrassing revelation that I’ve not been seen in an exclusive lap-dancing club for over a week.”

And one day we’ll all look back and wonder why we’d never thought of it before.

Mark Steel.


  1. Anonymous

    Nevermind when the market takes a real dive just watch Ozouf’s face when Jersey gets hit. I bet he’ll sh!t himself if and when a local bank goes under! I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes then. Even elderly people can be quite agressive when they’ve been lulled into a false sense of security over money matters. I can’t understand his attitude of it won’t happen in Jersey, does he think Jersey is immune from world events? I also like the fact that he thinks himself as occupying the centre ground in politics! What do others think about this?

  2. Anonymous

    Put a blond wig on GST 28 Ouzouf and you have Thatcher.

    That’s how centre he is.
    Maybe he meant that his policies were self centred????

  3. Anonymous

    “Nevermind when the market takes a real dive just watch Ozouf’s face when Jersey gets hit. I bet he’ll sh!t himself if and when a local bank goes under! I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes then.”

    The trouble is, if that happens after October 15th it will mean that we have 6 more years of his incompetence.

    I would rather see his face when he gets voted out of the states.

  4. Anonymous

    He was adamant he was centre at the hustings the othernight. He got upset when a voter said he was a Tory.

  5. voiceforchildren


    I’m very much looking forward to your “Pindall Wizard” post. I have e-mailed Senator Mike (GST28) Vibert on that subject but have had little response.

    I have published some e-mail correspondance on my Blog and a little bit of video.

    It truly is frightening when our Minister for education will not put a parents mind at ease and insists on being so tight lipped about such relevant subjects. Is it any wonder people don’t trust our goverment?

  6. TonyTheProf

    It amazes me how much of the trouble has been caused by dealers in shares doing what is called “selling short”, when apparently you agree to sell shares -in a bank for example – for a given price and a given day when you haven’t got the shares – on the gamble that when prices fall, you can purchase it at a lower price, and pass it on to your buyer, and pocket the profit. And that is legal!

  7. Anonymous

    Ex-royal butler admits child abuse charges

    A former royal butler to the Queen today admitted a string of child abuse offences.

    Paul Kidd, 55, of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to a number of charges including indecent assault, sexual activity with a child and possessing more than 18,000 indecent images of children.

    The charges relate to historic sexual abuse on three children who were all under 16 when the abuse began.

    Kidd, of Castlehall View, worked as a butler from 1977 to 1979 and was senior footman to the Queen Mother from 1979 to 1984.

    A second man, David Hobday, 56, of St Johns Street, Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child and possessing an indecent video of a child.

    Both men were remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on November 20.

    The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports but both defendants were warned that a custodial sentence would follow.

    Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: “Given you have both pleaded guilty to some serious offences, you should be under no illusion that the sentence is going to be custody.”

    Kidd, who was originally charged with several counts of rape, and Hobday changed their pleas ahead of a scheduled four-week trial.

    Don’t expect too much help from you queen.

  8. Anonymous

    Short selling is a very profitable business for those who have the money to do it. This is big business for the more expert players. However the ordinary players who buy stocks and shares and pension funds etc, who play by a different set of rules, will loose everytime when they come up against these serious players. Short selling should be banned, as it is immoral, but then lots of money would be left on the table for the ordinary folk which these shrewd invetors would loose out on.

    Another secret those in the know would prefer the plebs not to be aware of!

  9. Anonymous

    If any of those children were under the age of 13 then the charge is supposed to automatically be rape. But they get round that by claiming that the child was “no angel”. They did that during the Pindown cases. I’ve also got it on my own medical records that I had consentual sexual intercourse at the age of 11. I never did, I hated it and the person who did it was also using me as a human punchbag, but that is what they have written.

    But a child has to be 13 years old before anyone can accuse them of having sexual relations with consent.


  10. Anonymous

    You will work hard for those in charge, because you have no option, they have made sure of that. HAHA!

    Mr.Walker says there’s no crisis in Jersey, quite right, but there is one in the USA and when America catches a cold you know what happens to the rest of us. Its good to see that one of his supporters Mr.Ozouf agrees with him.

  11. Anonymous

    can’t get access to comments on your blog from cyril le Marquand house anymore has this just happened today or is it just a blip. Anyone know?

  12. Danrok

    A few comments here might have a person believe that short-selling results in a guaranteed win. That isn’t the case, it is also possible to lose large sums of money. Same as any other form of gambling. If those who won this time round are true gamblers, then it won’t be long before they lose it all again!

    Personally, I think short-selling should be banned completely. Mostly because those who engage in this, exploit irrational investors via bogus rumours, and news articles, etc. You could say that they intentionally damage the companies they’re betting on, which can result in people losing their jobs.

    Also, not all stock brokers support short-selling. Some have better ethics than others.

  13. Anonymous

    Don’t worry! It’ll all be fine now.

    Frank Walker is going to have meetings with the heads of the islands finance industry to keep us safe from the worldwide financial meltdown.

    What do you want to bet that the finance companies are going to profit from these meetings?
    Or am I being cynical?

  14. Stuart Syvret

    Could redaers please note – as stated previoulsy, I’m not prepared for this blog to become a battle-ground in web-site wars.

    If you want to slag-off XYZ site – please do so elsewhere.



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