Murphatollah, sigh

He doubles down on a misundertanding:

I raised some concerns about banks creating their own digital currencies backed by blockchain technology earlier today.

Let me raise another concern now. Who taxes these trades? Where? And in what currency?

You can be sure three things will be argued. The first is that the currencies are created and managed in tax havens so no tax is due on that process.

Second, it will be argued that if they are anywhere these trades are in tax havens, where file servers will, no doubt be located (although this gives rise to interesting questions because blockchain is energy hungry).

Third, it will be suggested that no tax is due as a result.

I almost suspect that the argument will be that these trades are so virtual that they are not anywhere.

In that case it’s time for tax authorities to react, now.

I explain the whole thing elsewhere and with reference to Murph:

We even have a useful test of this in the person of Richard Murphy, the Father of Corbynomics. Just as every compass has a butt end then it’s extremely useful to have someone out there consistently wrong on matters economic and banking. Mr. Murphy fulfils this position admirably:

If banks are planning new currencies regulators need to act to curtail the risks

The FT is reporting this morning that four banks are teaming up to create a new form of digital currency based on blockchain technology: a rival to Bitcoin in other words.

If he says it’s a new currency, a rival to Bitcoin, then clearly and obviously it isn’t. There, our contention is proven. As is actually explained to him:

No, it really isn’t a new currency. It’s purely for faster and more secure settlement of existing currencies.

He refuses to believe this so further proof of our contention that it is about settlement and not about currencies.

While we could indeed say that there’s a new currency here it’s a known to be artificial one, one that won’t escape into the wild and is as much currency as any other internal settlement method and only as much. The point is to use the blockchain to allow immediate settlement no more.

More Murphy:

Let me raise another concern now. Who taxes these trades? Where? And in what currency?

Trades aren’t taxed. Profits from trades are taxed. Given that these settlement “currencies” will be 1:1, by definition, with extant currencies there is no confusion about profits nor how and where they will be taxed. Especially since the idea is that they clear through central banks….

Amanduh sure is dumb

Since 1955, the Hugos have been awarded through a fairly straightforward process: Members of the World Science Fiction Convention nominate and then vote on their favorites in a variety of categories. Past winners have included luminaries like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Connie Willis, Robert Heinlein and George R.R. Martin.

That all changed two years ago, when a group of conservative sci-fi fans and writers, believing that sci-fi had been taken over by “social justice warriors” who supposedly emphasize diversity and progressive themes over quality, revolted and set out to take over the Hugos so that the nominees and winners were whiter, more male, and more conservative.

Two overlapping groups of conservatives — deeming themselves the Sad Puppies (more standard conservatives) and the Rabid Puppies (more alt-right and white supremacist) — began publishing suggested ballots, prior to the Hugo nominations, so that their people could vote for finalists as a bloc and crowd all other potential nominees off the ballot. Collectively, they are known as the Puppies, a choice which not coincidentally makes them sound cuter and sweeter than a nest full of reactionaries and outright bigots has any right to sound.

Voluntary organisation into a voting group is a bad idea now, is it?

There go political parties…..

It’s a settlement mechanism you twat, not a currency

So, several banks are getting together to try to use the blockchain as a settlement mechanism.

Ritchie thinks they’re setting up a new currency.


The FT is reporting this morning that four banks are teaming up to create a new form of digital currency based on blockchain technology: a rival to Bitcoin in other words.

No, they’re not setting up a rival to Bitcoin:

The utility settlement coin, based on a solution developed by Clearmatics Technologies, aims to let financial institutions pay for securities, such as bonds and equities, without waiting for traditional money transfers to be completed. Instead they would use digital coins that are directly convertible into cash at central banks, cutting the time and cost of post-trade settlement and clearing.

It’s about clearing trades more quickly, thus reducing the amount of capital that must be devoted to clearing.


I have problems with this. First, there are questions to ask about the control mechanisms in this process. I have already expressed my concerns about the Bitcoin process where the creation of currency blocks appears to give rise to an unknown beneficiary of the credit (or income) in the process. I believe this is a major potential cause of financial instability.

Second, in the case of new bank created currencies I do therefore want to know if the credit arises from loan structures or is taken to an income account, as appears to be the case in the Bitcoin blockchain, which is why its behaviour cannot be like that of conventional money.

All irrelevant therefore. And then this:

Third, the regulatory environment for this new mechanism needs urgent attention. It is claimed it will allow greater volumes of trading by banks with lower capital requirements, but that also very obviously links to increased risk. Who is going to make sure that the risk in question is managed within the banks and has no potential spillover effect?

The risk is of course that trades will not clear. Making trades clear faster reduces said risk. Twat.

And last, what is the relationship between such a currency and money laundering regulation? The question needs an answer.

They clear through central banks…….

Banks will not be undertaking these activities without expecting a return. Too many bank returns have for too long been at cost to society at large. That possibility seems implicit in these arrangements. Some pretty firm regulation is required in that case.

Strangely, we at least hope that would be regulators understand that which they hope to regulate.


Two senior functionaries of a Moroccan Islamic movement that promotes, among other things, a puritanical world view in which adultery is punishable with death, were caught by police in a sexual act in a car near a beach north of Casablanca, the north Africa country’s commercial capital, officials confirmed.

Moulay Omar Ben Hamad, married with seven children and a professor of Islamic studies at the Faculty of Arts in Rabat, and Fatima Nejjar, widow and mother of six children, were caught in a compromising position on August 20 by the police near the beach of El Mansouria, Mohammedia region, in a Mercedes.

The two, who police and Moroccan officials said were important members (first and second vice-presidents) of the Movement for Unification and Reform (MUR), were presented the day after their arrest to the prosecutor, who ordered their conditional release, fixing trial for September 1.

Ben Hamad is a member of the World Union of Muslim Ulema and the General Secretariat of The League of Ulema Ahl Assounna which sends him as a special emissary of the MUR on preaching missions abroad, particularly during the month of Ramadan.

Hamad is also known as the main advocate of an association called Dar Al Quran created on February 14, 1996, in Mohammedia which is dedicated to teaching the Quran to children. He also served as ‘khatib’ of Friday prayers.

Hamad has a wide reputation in the MUR as a person responsible for preaching to the youth members of the Islamist political party Justice and Development, and in the four regions of the kingdom.

The woman, Fatima Nejjar, has a reputation as a well-known preacher and has conducted countless religious talks and lectures posted on YouTube on the virtues of faithfulness, purity and shunning of all kinds of permissive behaviour as it was against the tenets of Islam.


It’s not hard to understand the benefits of recycling — reduction of the amount of waste sent to landfill, conservation of natural resources, energy saving and reduction of greenhouse gases — so why do so many of us make no effort to find out what goes where when sorting out our rubbish for recycling?

It may be uncomfortable to admit but we need to raise our standards to the levels that the French, Dutch and Germans have reached. Those nations are far more enlightened. We need to look in the mirror and realise we must cut back the grotesque amounts of waste eating into our public purse.

Recycling costs us money. Thus the more recycling we do the more the burden on the public purse and further, the more resources we are using.


This is interesting

A restaurant with a ‘pay what you want’ philosophy is facing closure because its customers are forking out less than $3 a meal on average.

No, it’s not just because it is vegan.

There was a bit of a flurry a few years back, economists noting that people, when asked to pay what they thought something was worth, were quite generous in their estimations of what it was worth.

This showed that we’re all caring sharing beings and thus socialism or summat.

My own reading is that we’ll be nice and kind occasionally. Often even, but not when the entire system allows us to not to be. At that point short term self-interest will take over. Which is why the or summat economic systems don’t work in the long term.

You really can get people to pull together for some great purpose for some period of time. You can’t exclude the normal price system for long periods of time though. ‘Coz people is peoples.

Another way to put this is that altruism most definitely works. But not over long periods of time with strangers. The people who manage that we end up calling saints.


In pressing their case on hyperandrogenic athletes the IAAF have ensured hostile scrutiny will always fall on women who defy norms imposed by the powerful

This isn’t a norm imposed by the powerful. It’s that we’ve a division between male and female in most sports on the grounds that male and female differ physically. That’s the reason for the whole distinction in the first place.

Yes, at the meeting point there’s a certain blurriness. But because we are doing a classification thing here we need to have an actual classification.

We’re told this year that in the womens’ 800 metres the gold, silver and bronze medals were all won by those somewhere on that blurry line between being female and intersex.

Given that we are, originally, doing this dividing on the basis of the difference in physiques that might not be an entirely sustainable place for our classification line in that blurry area.

Yes, it is blurry. The gold medallist does not have ovaries but undescended testicles. Is that line in the right place?

Because this is what human beings do you harpie

Why has women’s fitness become a beauty contest?
Anna Kessel

It continues to surprise that the left, so insistent that God didn’t make all us special little snowflakes but we came by random chance from the mud, refuses to accept the implications of this. We are not as we are “because this evolved” to do something, nor because we decide to do it particularly, but because we are the descendants of those who had more fertile children for whatever reason.

One of which is that both the female and male eye is sizing up the opposite sex to see who is likely to produce fertile children.

Thus, after some 4 billion years of this process, the female and male eye sizes up the opposite sex to see who might produce fertile hildren.

Le Fin.

Well, yes, but…..

The child poverty rate in Penzance is 41% – on a par with parts of inner city London, Birmingham and Manchester – compared to the national average of 25%,

The average wage is just over £22,000 a year against a south-west average of £25,625.

And the national average is higher.

But we measure “poverty” as being below 60% of the national median household income, adjusted for size (and often after housing costs).

We do not adjust for differences in regional or local living costs.

Thus if we have an area with generally lower incomes all around then we’re going to have more “poverty”. Not that this next would particularly help Cornwall but if we adjusted for local costs we would find that a lot of British “poverty” would disappear. Because we do have vast, by European standards, regional differences in prices and incomes.

Let’s recreate the Hanseatic League

“I can’t imagine a situation where we have more barriers on trade in both directions. You are our fourth biggest export market. It is in our mutual interest to find a solution, and the majority of the EU now agrees that anything other than a soft Brexit would have a huge cost,” he said.

“We will be able to negotiate a trade agreement. It may be sui generis but it can be done,” he said.

Mr Bourgeois said the idea of North Sea Union was first proposed by the German ‘Land’ of Bremen six years ago but has suddenly become topical again with the Brexit vote. Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, and Norway would be the obvious members.

Can’t have the French in though. The point would be to gang up on them, no?

This is not what a free or good society does

French police made a woman remove her burkini on a Nice beach while another was fined in the resort of Cannes for wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

Along the coast in Cannes, a mother of two told AFP on Tuesday she had been fined on the beach for wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

Her ticket read that she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”.

There’re fair arguments about wearing a burka in the witness box and the like but this?


Given my skin colour, freckles, father’s melanoma, middle of the day at a beach I will be covered up, long trousers, long sleeved shirt, hat. I should be forced into budgie smugglers instead? And no, the State should not be making the difference between me doing it for health reasons and some bint doing it for Allah.

Not that France is a free or good society often enough….

Spot the naked industry self interest report here

Nearly one in five (18pc) pairs pairs of prescription glasses could be putting people at risk of driving illegally or falling over, eye experts have warned, with spectacles bought online posing a heightened safety risk to consumers.

Report done by?

A damning study on the quality of glasses sold in the UK, funded by the College Optometrists, has warned prescription glasses wearers going online in search of a cheaper deal that they may be more exposed to dangers caused by poor vision.

The College (of) Optometrists being largely those who do not sell on line of course.

The major difficulty seems to be pupillary distance. And from memory it’s difficult to get a optometrist, who has just charged you for an eye test, to put the pupillary distance on the prescription.

When people order in store an optician usually measures their their pupilary distance using specialist equipment. But when glasses are purchased online the measure is usually supplied by the customer, which leads to inaccuracies.

Insist that that distance is put on the prescription, as with the other information then.

Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, has done lots for tax justice

I reply with a simple question. Who, I ask, has done more for tax justice, John and Jeremy or Margaret Hodge?

There is, of course, quite simply no contest: Margaret wins hands down. Even in the last year, in her post Public Account Committee days, she’s done more on the issue than they have.

Well, quite, Stemcor taxation, that family trust to protect from inheritance tax, the only named user of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.

Quite blinding advances in tax justice.

Ritchie doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about

Yeah, I know, big surprise:

Helen Heenan says:
August 22 2016 at 8:29 pm
“I think it absolutely wrong that magistrates are unpaid.”

There are about 30.000 of us out there in the country that find the system works well on a voluntary basis. It’s rare to hear anyone criticising a volunteer lay magistracy. If you think we are still the great and the good, and ladies who lunch, and that we are unrepresentative of the general public, I would have to disagree. I’d be interested in your objections.

Richard Murphy says:
August 22 2016 at 9:45 pm
I believe people will be excluded by the rule

Many self employed, for example

And that’s not reasonable


Approximately 30,000 magistrates serve the community voluntarily and they are not paid for their work in the courts. However they are entitled to some allowances such as travel, subsistence and financial loss, which is limited to a specific amount. The amount that may be claimed by justices for financial loss allowance is subject to an upper limit which varies depending on whether they are employed or self employed, the current maximum payable for sittings exceeding four hours is £116.58 for self-employed justices and £93.27 for other justices.

Now I realise that £15 to £20 an hour won’t sound like much to someone living off tax free research grants. But a really rather large number of people think that’s a very fair addition to the joy of being able to serve the community. Like, you know, the 30,000 people who do it?

Dear God Paul Mason’s an idiot

When campaigners looked at who was buying up the debt, they included an anonymous company linked to one of the biggest hedge funds in America: Fortress Investments, with $23bn worth of assets invested in “the largest pension funds, university endowments and foundations”.

That’s invested by you idiot. The money belongs to the pension funds and endowments and it is invested by them in Fortress.

Many pension funds, either directly or indirectly, are investing in the so-called “infrastructure funds” who buy up PFI debt. The investment analyst Preqin found 588 institutional investors worldwide with “a preference for funds targeting PFI”, 40% of which were based in Europe.

Tracing the more complex ways institutional finance is funding the cycle of impoverishment is not easy.

Pension funds invest in building assets like schools’n’ospitals. This is predation?

What you would want to know, in places such as Stoke-on-Trent or Newport, is not just who took the decisions to close high-value workplaces but,

A bankrupt steel mill is a high value workplace?

The man’s just mad.

A message from Her Majesty

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and other realms beyond the sea, graciously acknowledges the victory of her subjects in the recent Olympics Games. We think that you have done well, vry, vry well, in gaining more medals than any other legitimate grouping of people and peoples across the globe. We are most proud of you.

If we may also (but of course we may! Ha Ha!) make a more personal comment?

Eat dirt Barack.

Err, no

Lord Rix was told to put his daughter into a home. Instead, he fought for people like me
Ciara Lawrence

Actually, he did put his daughter in a home.

Did the fighting as well, true.

British Empire wins Olympic medal table

Oh, well done!

Wheeler, a committed Brexiter who was appointed in July to serve in Theresa May’s new government as an assistant whip, appears to have been trying to link feelgood factor around Britain’s Olympic success to the UK’s looming exit from the EU.

Alternatively, she was responding to the European Parliament’s claim that the EU headed the medals table.