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As these two topics are on the same theme, they have been merged.(BTW - Mafia is singular.)
The "Mafia" is a criminal organisation. "Mafias" is plural i.e. several organisations. A "Mafioso" is a member of such an organisation.I didn't find the grammar here confusing but it is in other places. Wiybit, you obviously have an interest here but I found it hard to know what point (or points) you are making. Are you saying that mafias are similar to forms of government that may have arisen from, perhaps, the same ignoble roots?
You mention Monarchy, but in countries like the UK this is a really a very different form from in past times, being a "constitutional monarchy" and having no effective political power.
If you look at various world governments, there are a wide variety of systems - Democracies, Dictatorships, Old fashioned Monarchies (tantamount to hereditory dictatorships) etc. They all have, to a varying degree, corruption, control by an elite and suppression of opposing forces. I like to think there has been some progress over the last few thousand years though!
I think the Mafias are self-developed, loosely hereditary, clans. In the same way as any elitist group, they endeavour to maintain their superiority, position and wealth. The fact that they have a code within which they work is simply a method of control utilised to maintain order within their organisation and to aid their positioning at the top.
I don't really see much comparison between their specific methods (violence, bribery and dire threats) with those of (say) David Cameron, though you could draw comparisons to governments if you go back far enough in history. Common Law is supposed to apply to all, and to call the operations of (say) the Italian Mafias "businesses" is to give unwarranted respectability to activity which most people would find abhorrent.
This is not to say there is no corruption within democracies like the UK. There certainly is, but it is not significant when compared to the level to which it is taken in parts of Italy (also a democracy). These traditions go back a long way and are deeply embedded but they do need to be stamped out if we are to progress as nations ruled "for the people and by the people".
I do despair at the repetition of the successes of ruling elites, including the new "political class" in the UK of professional politicians.
People need to be independently informed about policies and their consequences but I don't feel this is done at all well by the media.
We tend to get the governments we deserve! There isn't really any true democracies and maybe there never can be, but I am glad I am at least able to criticise people without getting dumped in the sea with concrete wellies.
Quote from: graham.d on 06/05/2011 12:01:50The "Mafia" is a criminal organisation. "Mafias" is plural i.e. several organisations. A "Mafioso" is a member of such an organisation.I didn't find the grammar here confusing but it is in other places. Wiybit, you obviously have an interest here but I found it hard to know what point (or points) you are making. Are you saying that mafias are similar to forms of government that may have arisen from, perhaps, the same ignoble roots?Well governments arise as administration for the king, that is where they begin, onto that there is then the council of nobles the two together become government it societies earlier stages.Government admins for the rulers, sometime later nobles use governmental power to take power and expel the king, and you end up with emperors in a republic. Ofocurse this is all high up power play and things must be done to ensure that the people are contented. Oliver Cromwell did just what I suggested he used governmental power to take power from the king and install himself, the people are told they now have a republic, in truth it was a war of feudalism against capitalism, Cromwell represented and lead the business men of that time. A new capitalist elite ruled, it was about power, nothing to do with giving the people the vote that is a simple lie to gain their support. The merchant class was getting richer and richer, so the king taxed them, they just put up their prices it didn't work and came to head with the civil war. As I suggested a Mafia is a group of business men that seek to do business in a way that those in power disagree with, in this sense Cromwell lead a mafia against the king, and used a lie about democray to gain their support.
You are rewriting history, Wiybit.
Calling the English Cromwellian revolutionaries a Mafia is completely wrong, in my opinion.
Mafia codes are rather loose and diverse so it is hard to do a fair comparison. The Sicilian Mafia is based on self-interested clans based on large family relationships and allegiances. It is a concept that is a hangover from past times and does not (and cannot) sit well within a democratic society any more than witchcraft should survive within a technologically aware society.
You can make analogies (democratic societies and Mafias) but that is not being the same. Do you mean "accept" or "except"? In any case I do not agree that corporation should be exempt from lawful control and, indeed, they are not.
It is also not the case that all corporation behave immorally or just in their own self interest if it was detrimental to people. As a company director I can tell you that I would not go along with such a view and that also that directors can be held personally responsible.
I do agree that this can be a problem and certainly requires vigilant scrutiny and maintained legislation.
It has also been too easy for some company directors to organise a company to maximise their own personal reward; unfortunately the power of shareholders is often too hands-off and too weak (because they are not organised) to change this.
Most corporations are not "too big to fail".
The banking situation was a rare exception which was arrived at through a lack of regulation of an area very much tied in with a country's economy. What do you want to do?
Nationalise all businesses and have a controlled economy like the former Soviet Union or like China is gradually dismantling?
Where I agree is that it is not viable to have a complete free market economy - it has to be regulated and it can be a problem to set the controls at the right level.
Generally it needs a light hand on the tiller, but there dose need to be some steering.
Whilst I would completely join in with complaining about the appalling way some Banks have continued to obscenely reward their senior executives, despite being bailed out by vast amounts of taxpayers' money, it is not difficult to see how mutual competition led to banks taking (what is now obvious) unreasonable risks.
20-20 hindsight is a remarkable gift that most of us have, but very few saw the problems in advance.
In fact any bank who did not go down this risky route some years ago would have been left behind and probably been taken over by a bigger, and more aggressive bank. It is also now clear that many people in these organisations only had a loose concept about how derivatives actually work, which is astounding.
The UK made the decision that it was better to prevent the banks failing, the USA (which has a more free market approach) chose to allow matters to take their course, hence the collapse of major banks and a considerable loss to many shareholders and pension funds.
There are lots of things that should change but it is usually not so easy to see exactly in what way - there are usually downsides.
You have lots of complaints but few solutions, Wiybit. You did not really suggest what should have been done regarding the banking crisis apart from saying, as the man said when asked for directions, "well if I was you, I wouldn't start from here".
It's alright to shout about the bankers but the general public were happy to get a good deal when things were going well and would switch banks to get a better one. This is called competition!
Any bank that behaved too cautiously when others were raking in the cash was ultimately taken over.
It's a problem of the free market.
On the other hand, fully controlled economies don't work either.
It needs a "degree" of control and judgement, and where and how to apply it is not trivial.
And it is always easy to find someone who said "I told you so" afterwards.
Even if they are telling the truth there is a statistical likelyhood that someone would have got it right but it doesn't always follow that this fortune will continue. Whatever you may think of Gordon Brown (the concensus is not a lot, I think), he and Mervyn King would have taken measures to prevent the banking crisis had they saw it coming.
It is amazing how many people now think it was all obvious.
It is amazing how many people now think it was all obvious.
It seems that we agree that there should be regulation. I think where we differ is that you think it should have been obvious that there was going to be a banking crisis so that measures should have been taken to prevent it, where I think that this was not so easy to foresee (except for wily Scotsmen like Geezer). I agree that giving independence to the Bank of England to make decisions was not a good idea, but then I don't think that any government has any real capability to make any better decisions.
It was a surprising decision for a Labour government to make.
There was a big change in the nature of banking (at least in the UK) from the 1970s.
Banking was a very conservative (small c) business where no risks were taken. It was also quite non-centralised with branch managers in charge of their own budgets for lending to local businesses.
This changed considerably with a number of mergers and a high degree of centralisation.
Many building societies converted to banks and their shareholders (mostly ordinary investors) profited, though not as much as the directors. This was the go-get-rich Thatcher era. The banks all moved in the same way in this regard. It was not a good thing in my opinion, but once this sort of dynamic is in place, there is no room for non-conformists.
It is also true that there is a majority of people on the boards of the banks, and many other companies, whose prime concern is making money for themselves.
Shareholders have very little power and customers even less. There is some incentive to keep the gravy train rolling, however. Whilst these companies were doing well and seemingly successful there was no need to change. On the inside there developed a culture of risk taking and this was felt by the individuals concerned to be necessary for the bank, and therefore themselves, to maximise profits.
It became the norm for money from savings accounts to be used to invest in areas which were high risk. This would not have happened 30 years earlier. Whilst there was an expanding economy, this worked fine.
But like the crash in 1926 and the East India Company, few saw it coming. Not the Bank of England nor the Federal Reserve. Any who had concerns would be swept aside because getting off the train too early could leave them left behind and uncompetitive.
A failure of a bank is not just damaging to its management and shareholders, but also to its many savers. It also can have damaging consequences to future trust in institutions where such trust is necessary.
The consequences of letting banks fail is far reaching.
To what extent this was something that Bank directors relied on, I don't know, but it is not an assumption I would make. It galls everyone that these same people are raking in huge bonuses still but there is no mechanism to control this in the banks that received no bail out (like Barclays for example). There have been limited measures in the other banks and these are, arguably, insufficient because there is fear that key staff will leave. Changing the culture could take a long time and I doubt that there is a willingness to take the risk of damaging the net wealth creating capability of the City of London. There is a classic "prisoner's dilemma" problem here: controlling the banks only works properly on an international scale.
So understand when you see mass inflation, know it's because the oligarchy has decided to pour all their money into all the comodities they can.
Interesting about JPMorgan acquiring gold against loans to its owners. They claim it is a "service" in storing gold (people see it as a hedge against a falling dollar) but critics say they may be reselling it in exchange for gold price derivatives. This is where I lose touch with reality. I can see that they may have some maths worked out so that they can't lose but I can also see that not everyone can win. Actually, I don't know that anyone outside really knows what they are doing.
The rumours all come from a limited range of sources. I think the concern is that if the dollar crashes and JPM have not actually got the gold, then JPM crashes and the people lose their gold too. It has certainly been the case that national banks like JPM (you can think that JPM is linked with the federal reserve) or the Bank of England don't actually keep gold to cover the money in circulation anymore. The promise that they "will pay the bearer ..." on your used tenner has long ceased to be a reality. I would be grateful of a clear explanation of what anyone thinks is going on (allbeit a theory) and also for an explanation from JPM's perspective.
By the way, can you get higher order derivatives? Like betting on the rate of change of price of a derivative, or even betting on the rate of change of the rate of change?
Quote from: graham.d on 12/05/2011 13:32:45The rumours all come from a limited range of sources. I think the concern is that if the dollar crashes and JPM have not actually got the gold, then JPM crashes and the people lose their gold too. It has certainly been the case that national banks like JPM (you can think that JPM is linked with the federal reserve) or the Bank of England don't actually keep gold to cover the money in circulation anymore. The promise that they "will pay the bearer ..." on your used tenner has long ceased to be a reality. I would be grateful of a clear explanation of what anyone thinks is going on (allbeit a theory) and also for an explanation from JPM's perspective.It's not Gold but silver, JPM is mainly trading in or was, thanks to buy silver crash JPM campaign, they have moved more into gold, but as a slight explanation, JPM is a member of the silver users association they are in bed together for what ever reason, the SUA use silver in their products, so they want a low silver price, JPM is helping them get one. all the over selling is keeping the price low, but it's not just JPM other members of the SUA are doing the same.If a market is rational it's broken, as someone is deciding and dictating, so it's no longer free, it's controlled. But who doesn't know that anyway, only fools and horses.To use a quote from JFK the film "First we had Castro with us then we tried to wack him, it's all mutual interest" It's called a cartel, and all the banks are in it together.
The trouble is most of the web comments is based on Max Keiser. I have not heard JPM's side of the story. While I can believe that there are such machinations, even to the extent of crashing the dollar, and even, maybe, that the Federal Reserve is in on it, but tying this in to the Knights Templar is really a bridge too far.
Geezer must be involved too. A Scot, living in the US and who sold his house in California just at the right time... spooky. Free Masonry is a hangover and certainly a mutual backscratching organisation (in my opinion). I know a couple of Freemasons and I knew someone (a scotsman and not a mason and sadly deceased) who held a very senior position in a Scottish Bank (now part of Barclays). None of these people are or were up to anything untoward. Very decent guys in fact. I used to wind up one of the masons because he was a lord high stag (or some such thing) and he didn't agree with me that the masons were just a mutual backscratching society.
There are a whole load of pressure groups, lobbyists, religious fanatics, political groups etc., some of which are well organised and can and do influence the way the world is run. I struggle to see it in this case, unless you can provide some good evidence of course.
You maybe right that JPM is betting on the dollar being overvalued and that their actions, being so large and influential, may help to amplify the effects so as to exaggerate any adjustment into being a sudden fall. But you could argue that what they are doing is common sense from their perspective and nothing more devious than that. Afterall, people could just hang on to their Gold and Silver if they want to;
in fact if it thought likely that the dollar will collapse, they should do.
Geezer must be involved too. A Scot, living in the US and who sold his house in California just at the right time... spooky.
Quote from: graham.d on 12/05/2011 17:32:31Geezer must be involved too. A Scot, living in the US and who sold his house in California just at the right time... spooky. Strangely enough http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_RiteI had never even heard of this lot till I moved to the US. Personally, I take a pretty dim view of any organization that requires you to subject yourself to an initiation ceremony without revealing the details in advance.Signed: Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
Well, you can say what you like about Pike, but at least he knew how to make a good video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IlHgbOWj4o
You maybe right that JPM is betting on the dollar being overvalued and that their actions, being so large and influential, may help to amplify the effects so as to exaggerate any adjustment into being a sudden fall. But you could argue that what they are doing is common sense from their perspective and nothing more devious than that.
Do you all want to see something beautiful?Here watch thisMax Keiser: breif report:- for todayhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSU3T3eex7I