May 2008

The Ultimate Entrepreneur Club

I\’m always a sucker for responding to get rich quick ads. I\’m always wondering whether anyone ever comes up with anything new, or whether it\’s just the same old, same old, tricked out with a few new words.

So when a man who claims to be Bernard Eley emails me with an introduction to the Ultimate Entrepreneur Club I\’m back in there subscribing like a shot.

So, just what is the Ultimate Entrepreneur Club?

" The Ultimate Entrepreneur Club was established 15 years
ago, and provides a practical, global financial educational
programme to help you learn how to legally avoid taxation,
protect your assets avoid the burdens of credit and debt
and make profits well above the norm.

The Ultimate Entrepreneur Club, is able to "pool", money
from their members, then invest the total amount into
Medium Term Notes, where past experience has shown that
members have doubled their investment in approximately 100
days, or 4 times in 12 months. That\’s around 1% compound
interest per day!"

My word, gosh, that\’s exciting! What are Medium Term Notes?

"Thank you for requesting more information on how you can
participate in an investment that can Double Your
Investment every 100 days by investing in "Medium Term

This particular investment body, is normally reserved for
Banks and Large Corporate Companies, due to the minimum
investment being beyond the reach of most normal

Hmm. That sounds amazingly like the Prime Bank Guarantee funds which were around in the 90s. And as a part of the come on I was told to listen to a conference call and yes, they were indeed exactly like those PBG funds.

You see, there\’s this special supper sekkret part of the financial system where only the very biggest players are allowed to gambol. Risk free returns of 1% per transaction and it\’s possible to complete a transaction in only a day, starting all over again the next!

But you, as an individual, can\’t take part: you\’ve got to band together with these fearless upholders of your right to make money so that you can gain such coveted access.

Now, I have to admit that I don\’t know whether this stunningly easy to turn down invitation really does come from Bernard Eley, although the email is indeed signed as follows:

Bernard Eley
Nibley House
North Nibley
GL11 6DL

Tel 01453 542818
Mob 07793 942436

And there is indeed a Bernard Eley apparently living at that address.

Free Directory Enquiries 01453 542 818 B ELEY NIBLEY HOUSE FARM NORTH NIBLEY DURSLEY GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL116DL Map Photo More Info

Electoral Roll 2002 – 2007 Sign in or register and get credits to view full details Full Details BERNARD ELEY XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX DURSLEY XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX Age guide: 40-44 (?), other occupants JOSEPHINE ELEY

Director Report Sign in or register and get credits to view full details Full Details BERNARD MARTIN ELEY XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX DURSLEY XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX Age: 41

But let me just be clear here. In my opinion The Ultimate Entrepreneur Club is a scam, a fraud, it\’s of the type known as an advance fee fraud. You stick your money in and it never comes back as the fraudsters gallop over the horizon with the cash, in my opinion at least. It might also be described, again in my own opinion, as a Ponzi scheme.

Now of course, Bernard doesn\’t know that this is a fraud, he\’s an unwitting dupe of those behind the whole plan. But I would seriously suggest to Mr. Eley that he disassociate himself from this transparently fraudulent programme as fast as he can.

It\’s also possible that Bernard isn\’t even aware that his name is being used in this scam, in which case I suggest that he attempt to find out who is and gets them to stop using his name.

Because this is a scam and anyone who enters it will lose their money….in my opinion of course.

Update: having called Mr. Eley, yes, it is him and he is involved….and while I\’m not a perfect reader of people, it does sound like he doesn\’t understand what is going on. I\’m awaiting a phone call from the next person up the chain with bated breath!

" Hi Tim,
Thankyou for your email.
I have a colleague called Derek Higgins from The Ultimate Entrepreneur Club, who has already invested in the Medium Term Notes.
It would be good if you could speak to him as he will be able to explain more about the opportunity, how it works, and the application process etc."

Update II: So I get the call from Derek Higgins and he patches in "Nigel", a "Stage II Manager" for the UK (I think I\’ve got that right). Firstly I\’m told that Medium Term Notes do indeed exist (and indeed they do, I\’m referred to Close Brothers at: to see a fairly standard commercial paper-ish programme). But no, you don\’t have to be part of an investment club to invest in them. No, there\’s no huge minimum investment necessary. In fact, if you want to invest in medium term notes I\’m pretty sure you can simply phone up a broker and buy some.

Now of course all of this is my opinion, a feeling in my waters if you wish. I simply do not believe that 0.5% to 1% returns daily are possible: I do indeed believe that the financial markets provide opportunities to do that occasionally, but I really don\’t that it\’s possible to make that sort of return day in and day out by trading in medium term notes: which are, after all, only a form of corporate borrowing, something between commercial paper and corporate bonds.

And I certainly don\’t think that if such an opportunity did exist that there would be a club with an upfront fee to join that would be the only way I could take part. At the very least the basic economics of the financial markets makes me think that the profit would have been competed away already (although acknowledging that $100 bills really do sometimes get found on the street).

Certainly, that when I talk to one member of the club, I\’m told that they\’ve only been in for a short time, then I\’m referred to the person who brought them in, who has (I think I\’ve rememberred this correctly) has put $10,000 in a month or two ago and then his backup is a much more aggressive gent who claims to have hundreds of clients in and he\’s been in for a year or more….nope, sounds to me like a pyramid there.

And I really, really, don\’t believe that 0.5% to 1% a day is possible, on a consistent basis, in any financial market.

I wouldn\’t touch it with a bargepole, although your view may differ.

A useful website for those who want further information. Note the similarity with some of the phrases in the proposal.



Shooting Tony Blair

Almost happened apparently:

Tony Blair came within moments of being killed when two Israeli fighter aircraft threatened to shoot down a private jet taking him to a Middle East conference in the belief that it might have been staging a terrorist attack.

The warplanes were scrambled to intercept after the jet pilot failed to contact air traffic control. Mr Blair, the international community’s envoy to the Middle East, was flying from the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to attend a major conference on private investment in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

The Israeli aircraft used to intercept Mr Blair’s plane would have been versions of the F16 or F15, armed with Shafrir and Python air-to-air missiles. Both missiles have proved to be devastatingly effective and versatile. The Shafrir 2 missile shot down nearly 100 aircraft in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Air traffic controllers spotted a suspicious aircraft heading into Israeli airspace from the Sinai peninsula on Monday and made several attempts to establish contact. When the pilot failed to respond to their urgent requests, the Israelis scrambled two fighters to intercept what they feared could have been a terrorist attacker.

Defining Civil Liberties

What also worried this writer were comments made by Carlile, the implications of which are truly frightening. "[There is] a civil liberty to have the right to national security", he said.

I\’m sure that those people out there far wiser than I (and there\’s a lot of you, of course) will be able to nail exactly what is wrong with this contention. For me it is deeply creepy: I\’ve always defined civil liberties (as opposed to natural rights) as being what they may not do to us, whatever their justifications.

But there\’s almost nothing that cannot be done to us in the name of national security.

Sounds Sensible

Chief executive Graham Beale said the trend would continue for the rest of the year, though falls will remain “within single digits”. Nationwide lent just £6.7bn to homeowners for the year to April 4, a 37pc fall from the £11.2bn advanced in 2006.

As a result, its share of new residential lending crashed to 7.1pc from 11pc. Chief executive Graham Beale said: “We took a decision to only grow the balance sheet to the extent that it is retail funded. We don’t want to bring additional funding risks onto the balance sheet in this market.”

He added that the policy would remain in place until “we see wholesale markets become more receptive”. A record level of retail deposits last year, almost tripling from £3.3bn to £9.1bn as Nationwide benefited from the collapse of Northern Rock, helped mitigate what would otherwise have been a far sharper fall in mortgage lending.

Markets change, participants in them change their behaviour.  No apparent need for bureaucrats to tell them to do so. Sounds like a pretty good system to me.

The Merits of Targets

The amount spent on PR has risen by 13 per cent over the last two years, while many forces are struggling with tight budgets.

Critics said the money spent on "carefully laundered PR" should be spent on policing.

Since the Home Office began assessing the performance of forces by measuring it against the fear of crime, police bosses have increased their expenditure on marketing.

What an excellent idea, eh? Performance is measured by people\’s subjective feelings, so more money is spent on swaying those feelings.

And there are *still* people out there who claim that incentives don\’t matter.

Beating Jet Lag

The key to beating jet lag on long haul flights is not to eat the airline food, according to scientists.

Somewhat to my surprise no, they\’re not talking about the quality of the food, rather, the time at which you eat it.

So my preferred solution of taking a decent picnic doesn\’t in fact work. Which is a pity as the slightly odd looks, leading to covetous ones, as you reject the airline meal but ask for a fork, before tucking into the lovingly prepared, say, bacon butties, boiled eggs, potato and waldorf salads followed by a couple of pieces of fruit can be most enjoyable to observe.

The actual menu you might differ over, but the basic idea itself is valid.


Tania Zaetta

A Bollywood starlet has been accused of having sex with Australian SAS soldiers while on a morale-boosting trip to Afghanistan. The Australian military is investigating the allegations – strenuously denied by Tania Zaetta – that she slept with troopers during a tour of military bases last month.

But wasn\’t she supposed to be boosting morale?

Lou Pearlman

Yes! Yes!

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a two-decade scam that swindled………. The creator of the Backstreet Boys and \’N Sync received the maximum sentence possible despite pleas from his lawyer that 25 years would amount to a "sentence to death" for the 53-year-old.

Vengence in mine saith The Lord, but justice we\’ll subcontract to the courts.

He had a production line of those boy bands, a factory, pumping out the most godawful music with which to corrupt the youth of the world….or at least their musical tastes. Could\’t have happened to a nicer man…

Hmm, what\’s that?

Over the course of 20 years, Pearlman persuaded investors including family, friends and banks to put money into two fake companies. Many of those he scammed were elderly pensioners who lost their life-savings.

Some gave emotional testimony about their losses. The fraud netted Pearlman an estimated $200 million from individuals and a further $100 million from banks.

It was a financial fraud? Not the musical or artistic one?

Pretty harsh sentence for that, don\’t you think?


Well Done Bruce!

Nice to see an occasional reader around here making waves elsewhere.

Elite universities are failing to recruit working-class students because IQ is, on average, determined by social class, according to an academic.

Bruce Charlton, a reader in evolutionary psychiatry at Newcastle University, claims that the greater proportion of students from higher social classes at highly selective universities is not a sign of admissions prejudice but rather the result of simple meritocracy.

No, I\’ve not read the paper but why should that stop me pontificating?

I think though that the report is being a little unfair to his ideas. It isn\’t that IQ is determined by social class, rather, that IQ itself determines economic class. And as social classes are (more than they used to be at least) determined by economic class, thus we see this outcome.

It doesn\’t really matter what IQ itself is here, whether it\’s measuring something immutable or something which is appropriate for success in our current societal structure. All we need for this mechanism to operate is that it both be heritable (which to a large extent it is) and that it determine, even if only in part, economic success.

Both of which contentions I think are really quite supportable.

There\’s also a rather impish corollary. We certainly did used to have a society in which life chances were a great deal more regulated by position of birth than is true now. When these restrictions were relaxed in the post war years, we saw a great deal more social mobility than before or indeed since. Using this IQ idea we could interpret this as being that society did indeed hold people back from the position that their IQ would have preited….but that once that age cohort had risen through the system, there isn\’t a pool of high IQ people in the next generation being unfairly held back. The parents that handed on such IQs to them are already middle class and thus the movement stops.

I have to admit that I\’m not 100% convinced either by the original contention (I\’m sure it\’s true in part, how much is the important bit) nor my corollaries but fun to speculate all the same, eh?


Quite Marvellous

So, this rather puts Naomi Klein\’s thesis to the sword, doesn\’t it?

The fulminating text is the clearest evidence yet of the mounting drive for an EU-wide "super regulator", which would reduce Britain\’s Financial Services Authority to a regional branch – and pose a grave threat to the City of London.

European critics of Anglo-Saxon "casino" capitalism have seized on the credit debacle as a chance to clip the wings of the City and to extend EU jurisdiction deeper into financial affairs – a jealously-guarded domain of EU member states. They know that Britain is unusually vulnerable to pressure after the Northern Rock affair, which exposed grievous shortcomings in the UK regulatory structure.

She of course said that "neo-liberalism" used crises to extend its reach. Whereas of course the opposite, as shown here, is the truth, that each crisis, whether imagined or not, is used as a pretext for extending the power of The State and the politicians who direct it.

But perhaps the more important point is that the socialist luminaries who are proposing this "super regulator" don\’t understand markets at all. OK; perhaps they will get sufficient power to create such a regulatory body. Perhaps they will get rid of the vicious Anglo-Saxon style financial markets from the EU. But they won\’t get rid of said markets. They\’ll simply move.

As, indeed, they did from New York when controls were imposed there in the 50s and 60s.