Bailing out Britain’s...
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Barclays plc is a major global financial services provider operating in Europe, North
America, the Middle East, Latin America, Australia, Asia and Africa. It is a holding
company that is listed on the London, New York and Tokyo stock exchanges. It is also
a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It operates through its subsidiary Barclays Bank
Barclays PLC is ranked as the 25th largest company in the world according to Forbes
Global 2000 (2008 list) and the fourth largest financial services provider in the world
according to Tier 1 capital ($32.5 billion). It is the second largest bank in the United
Kingdom based on asset size, although its share price of about 50p in January 2009 is
considerably lower as a result of a fall in investor confidence....
The company also operates Barclays Bank of Delaware, which issues Juniper credit
cards, one of the largest issuers of credit cards in the United States.
On 30 August 2007, Barclays was forced to borrow £1.6bn ($3.2bn) from the Bank of
England sterling standby facility. This is made available as a last-resort when banks are
unable to settle their debts to other banks at the end of daily trading. Despite rumours
about liquidity at Barclays, the loan was necessary due to a technical problem with their
computerised settlement network. A Barclays spokesman was quoted as saying "There
are no liquidity issues in the U.K markets. Barclays itself is flush with liquidity."
On 9 November 2007, Barclays shares dropped 9% and were even temporarily
suspended for a short period of time, due to rumours of a £4.8bn ($10bn) exposure to
bad debts in the US. However, a Barclays spokesman denied the rumours.
Subsequent write-downs at the bank were announced to be £1 billion ($1.9 billion),
much less than feared.
In July 2008, Barclays attempted to raise £4.5bn through a non-traditional rights issue
to shore up its weakened Tier 1 capital ratio, which involved a rights offer to existing
shareholders and the sale of a stake to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Only
19% of shareholders took up their rights leaving investors China Development Bank
and Qatar Investment Authority with increased holdings in the bank.
In 2008 Barclays bought the credit card brand Goldfish for $70 million gaining 1.7
million customers, and $3.9 billion in receivables. Barclays also bought a controlling
stake in the Russian retail bank Expobank for $745 million. Later in the year Barclays
commenced its Pakistan operations with initial funding of $100 million. Barclays Looks
to Sell Asset Management Unit (March 16, 2009)
Lehman Brothers acquisition
On September 16, 2008, Barclays announced its agreement to purchase, subject to
regulatory approval, the investment-banking and trading divisions of Lehman Brothers,
a United States financial conglomerate that had filed for bankruptcy. In the deal,
Barclays will also acquire the New York headquarters building of Lehman Brothers.
On September 20, 2008, a revised version of the deal, a $1.35 billion (£700 million)
plan for Barclays plc to acquire the core business of Lehman Brothers (mainly
Lehman's $960 million Lehman's Midtown Manhattan office skyscraper, with
responsibility for 9,000 former employees), was approved.
Manhattan court bankruptcy Judge James Peck, after a 7 hour hearing, ruled: "I have
to approve this transaction because it is the only available transaction. Lehman
Brothers became a victim, in effect the only true icon to fall in a tsunami that has
befallen the credit markets. This is the most momentous bankruptcy hearing I've
ever sat through. It can never be deemed precedent for future cases. It's hard for
me to imagine a similar emergency."
Luc Despins, the creditors committee counsel, said: "The reason we're not objecting is
really based on the lack of a viable alternative. We did not support the transaction
because there had not been enough time to properly review it." In the amended
agreement, Barclays would absorb $47.4 billion in securities and assume $45.5 billion
in trading liabilities. Lehman's attorney Harvey R. Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, said
"the purchase price for the real estate components of the deal would be $1.29 billion,
including $960 million for Lehman's New York headquarters and $330 million for two
New Jersey data centers. Lehman's original estimate valued its headquarters at $1.02
billion but an appraisal from CB Richard Ellis this week valued it at $900 million."...
Reuters later reported that the British government would inject £40 billion ($69 billion)
into three banks including Barclays, which might seek over £7 billion. Barclays later
confirmed that it rejected the Government’s offer and would instead raise £6.5 billion of
new capital (£2 billion by cancellation of dividend and £4.5 billion from private
In January 2009 the press reported that further capital may be required and that while
the government might be willing to fund this, it may be unable to do so because the
previous capital investment from the Qatari state was subject to a proviso that no third
party might put in further money without the Qataris receiving compensation at the
value the shares had commanded in October 2008.
In March 2009 it was reported that in 2008, Barclays received billions of dollars from
its insurance arrangements with AIG, including $8.5bn from funds provided by the
United States taxpayers to bail out AIG.
On 16 March 2009 Barclays confirmed that it was planning to sell its exchange traded
fund business iShares It is expected that the sale will earn the bank £4 billion.
Involvement with South Africa under apartheid
Barclays bank was known by many in the 1980s as 'Boerclaysbank', due to its
continued involvement in South Africa during the Apartheid regime. A student boycott of
the bank led to a drop in its share of the UK student market from 27 per cent to 15 per
cent by the time it pulled out in 1986.
In 2006 a South African activist group, the Jubilee South Africa backed Khulumani
Support Group, sought reparations from Barclays in addition to Citigroup, BP, Royal
Dutch Shell, Ford, GM, and Deutsche Bank for their roles indirectly supporting the
apartheid government in South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. The legal
proceedings are being heard at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, and
the South African Ministry of Justice is seeking dismissal of the case on the grounds
that it undermines its national sovereignty.
Financial support for the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe
Barclays helps to fund President Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe. The most
controversial of a set of loans provided by Barclays is the £30m it gives to help sustain
land reforms that saw Mugabe seize white-owned farmland and drive more than
100,000 black workers from their homes. Opponents have called the bank's
involvement a 'disgrace' and an 'insult' to the millions who have suffered human rights
abuses. Barclays spokesmen say the bank has had customers in Zimbabwe for
decades and abandoning them now would make matters worse, 'We are committed to
continuing to provide a service to those customers in what is clearly a difficult operating
Barclays also provides two of Mugabe’s associates with bank accounts, ignoring
European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe. The men are Elliot Manyika and minister of
public service Nicholas Goche. Barclays has defended its position by insisting that the
EU rules do not apply to its 67%-owned Zimbabwean subsidiary because it was
incorporated outside the EU.
Accusations of money laundering
In March 2009, Barclays was accused of violating international anti-money
laundering laws. According to the NGO Global Witness, the Paris branch of Barclays
held the account of Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang's son, Teodorin
Obiang, even after evidence that Obiang had siphoned oil revenues from
government funds emerged in 2004. According to Global Witness, Obiang purchased
a Ferrari and maintains a mansion in Malibu with the funds from this account.
Senior management bonuses
Robert Diamond, a US-born banker on the board of Barclays, was set to receive a
£14.8m bonus in 2008 even though the subprime mortgage crisis in the US forced
his group to take a £1.6bn hit in 2007.
In March 2009 Barclays obtained an injunction against The Guardian to remove from its
website confidential leaked documents describing how SCM, Barclays' structured
capital markets division, planned to use more than £11bn of loans to create hundreds
of millions of pounds of tax benefits, via "an elaborate circuit of Cayman Islands
companies, US partnerships and Luxembourg subsidiaries". In an editorial on the issue,
the Guardian pointed out that due to the mismatch of resources tax-collectors (HMRC)
have now to rely on websites such as Wikileaks to obtain such documents, and indeed
the documents in question have now appeared on Wikileaks. Separately, another
Barclays whistleblower revealed several days later that the SCM transactions had
produced between £900m and £1bn in tax avoidance in one year, adding that "The
deals start with tax and then commercial purpose is added to them."
Links to the arms trade
In December 2008 the British anti-poverty charity War on Want released a report
documenting the extent to which Barclays and other UK commercial banks invest in,
provide banking services for and make loans to arms companies. The charity writes in
its report that Barclays is the world's largest arms investor, holding £7.3 billion in shares
in the arms manufacturers. The report also details Barclays' dealings with known
producers of cluster munitions and depleted uranium.
< < < SHORT FLASHBACK < < <
January 16, 2009
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced today, with the full support of the
Treasury Department, the formation of the AIG Credit Facility Trust. The Trust is
being established for the sole benefit of the United States Treasury to hold the 77.9
percent equity interest in American International Group, Inc. (AIG) that will be issued
in connection with the previously announced credit facility extended to AIG.
Three independent trustees have been selected by the New York Fed, in close
consultation with the Treasury Department, to oversee this equity interest in the best
interests of the U.S. Treasury. They are Jill M. Considine, former chairman of the
Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation; Chester B. Feldberg, former chairman of
Barclays Americas; and Douglas L. Foshee, president and chief executive officer of
El Paso Corporation.
Pursuant to the terms of the Trust Agreement, the trustees will have absolute discretion
and control over the AIG stock, subject only to the terms of the Trust Agreement, and
will exercise all rights, powers and privileges of a shareholder of AIG. The trustees will
not sit on the board of directors of AIG. Day-to-day management of AIG will remain with
the persons charged with such management.
To avoid possible conflicts with the New York Fed’s supervisory and monetary policy
functions, the Trust has been structured so that the New York Fed cannot exercise
any discretion or control over the voting and consent rights associated with the
equity interest in AIG. The New York Fed will, however, continue to monitor closely
the financial operations of AIG in connection with its role as lender....
Calvin A. Mitchell III
* * * * *
Jill M. Considine
Jill Considine served as senior advisor of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation
(DTCC) and its subsidiaries (securities depository and clearing house) from August
2007 to May 2008, having served as chairman since August 2006, and as both
chairman and chief executive officer from January 1999 to August 2006.
Prior to joining DTCC, Ms. Considine served as the president of the New York Clearing
House Association, L.L.C. from 1993 to 1998. Ms. Considine served as a managing
director, chief administrative officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of
American Express Bank Ltd., from 1991 to 1993. Prior to that, Ms. Considine served
as the New York State Superintendent of Banks from 1985 to 1991. Ms. Considine also
serves as a director of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Companies, The Interpublic
Group of Companies, Inc., Ambac Financial Group, Inc. and is chairman of Butterfield
Ms. Considine recently completed a six-year term as a member of the Board of the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York where she served as chairman of the Audit and
Operational Risk Committee.Ms. Considine is a member of the Council on Foreign
Relations and the Economics Club of New York. She served on the Group of Thirty
Steering Committee on global clearance and settlement and as a member and speaker
at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Ms. Considine was a Presidential appointee
to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations from 2003-2004. She was
named Six Sigma CEO of the Year Award in 2006 and one of Crain’s New York
Business 100 Most Influential Women in Business.
Ms. Considine earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, from St. John’s
University and a Master of Business Administration degree, with honors, from Columbia
University. She also attended Bryn Mawr College.
Chester B. (Chet) Feldberg
Chester B. Feldberg served as Chairman of Barclays Americas from 2000 until his
retirement in 2008. Prior to joining Barclays Americas, Mr. Feldberg had been executive
vice president in charge of the Bank Supervision Group at the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York from 1991 through 2000. In total, Mr. Feldberg was an employee of the
New York Fed for 36 years, starting as a lawyer in the Bank’s Legal Department before
moving to the Credit and Capital Markets Group and then the Bank Supervision Group.
He was also a member of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision from 1993
Mr. Feldberg serves on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of Mizuho
Securities USA, a subsidiary of the Mizuho Financial Group. Mr. Feldberg earned a
Bachelor of Laws degree in 1963 from the Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts
degree in economics in 1960 from Union College. He also attended the advanced
management program at the Harvard Business School in 1974.
Douglas L. Foshee
Douglas L. Foshee is president, chief executive officer and a director of El Paso
Corporation, which owns North America’s largest natural gas pipeline system and one
of North America’s largest natural gas producers.
Prior to joining El Paso in 2003, Mr. Foshee served as executive vice president and
chief operating officer for Halliburton. He joined Halliburton in 2001 as executive vice
president and chief financial officer. Prior to that, Mr. Foshee was president, chief
executive officer and chairman of the board at Nuevo Energy Company. From 1993 to
1997, Mr. Foshee served Torch Energy Advisors Inc. in various capacities, including
chief operating officer and chief executive officer. He held various positions in finance
and new business ventures with ARCO International Oil and Gas Company and
spent seven years in commercial banking, primarily as an energy lender.
Mr. Foshee earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Jesse H.
Jones School at Rice University in 1992 and a Bachelor of Business Administration
degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1982. He is also a graduate of the
Southwestern Graduate School of Banking and Southern Methodist University.
Mr. Foshee serves on the boards of Cameron International Corporation, Children’s
Museum of Houston, Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation and Greater Houston
Partnership. He also chairs the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Dallas, Houston Branch, and Central Houston, Inc. He is a member of the Independent
Petroleum Association of America, Houston Producers’ Forum, 25 Year Club of the
Petroleum Industry, National Petroleum Council, the Council of Overseers for the
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, Rice University’s
board of trustees and KIPP’s board of trustees. Mr. Foshee is a recipient of the 2007
Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his commitment to helping children succeed and his
leadership role in the business community.
In 2008, Mr. Foshee was named Distinguished Alumni at Texas State University.
April 8, 2009
Treasury says some insurers
qualify for TARP
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday some life insurers
have met requirements for government capital investments under an existing rescue
plan, and their applications for funds are now being considered.
"There are a number of life insurers that have met requirements for the Capital
Purchase Program because of their bank holding company status," said Treasury
spokesman Andrew Williams. "These are among the hundreds of financial institutions
in the CPP pipeline that will be reviewed and funded as appropriate on a rolling basis."
The statement was made in response to a Wall Street Journal story published late on
Tuesday saying the Treasury would extend its $700 billion financial bailout program
to certain life insurers and would make an announcement in coming days.
Williams said any capital investments in insurers that have bank holding company
status would not constitute a new rescue program for the insurance sector.
The Treasury clarification caused stocks to pare gains, particularly the major insurers
who were viewed as the likely benefactors of a widening of the Treasury's financial
bailouts. Prudential Financial Inc shares had climbed more than 12 percent at one
point in early trade, but by mid-morning were up 6.3 percent at $23.50, while MetLife's
earlier 10 percent gain was chopped back to about 3.4 percent at $24.98.
In recent months, some insurance companies have received approval to acquire
banks, paving the way for them to participate in the Capital Purchase Program, which
the Treasury has estimated will top out at $218 billion.
As of Tuesday, the program had $198.5 billion invested, leaving $19.5 billion in
available funds, according to Treasury documents. A Treasury official said only a
small number of life insurers have met the qualifications for the program.
Reuters reported in February that the Treasury was actively considering applications for
capital injections from about a dozen insurance companies.
In addition to Met Life and Prudential, other insurers that now have bank holding
company status include the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc and Lincoln
March 15, 2009
AIG payments to banks
stoke bailout rage
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc and a parade of
European banks were the major beneficiaries of $93 billion in payments from AIG --
more than half of the U.S. taxpayer money spent to rescue the massive insurer.
The revelation on Sunday by American International Group Inc was another potential
public relations nightmare, coming on the same weekend that the Obama
administration expressed outrage over AIG's plan to pay massive bonuses to the
people in the very division that destroyed the company by issuing billions of dollars in
derivatives insuring risky assets.
The size of the payments also illustrates how seriously a potential collapse of AIG was
viewed by the regulatory authorities. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
said in an interview with CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" that the failure of AIG would
have brought down the financial system.
AIG, an embattled insurance giant that has received federal bailouts totaling $173
billion and is now paying $165 million in employee bonuses, is at the heart of a
global financial crisis that President Barack Obama is trying to address with plans for
trillions of dollars in spending.
As part of those efforts, Obama will announce steps on Monday to make it easier for
small business owners to borrow money, officials said.
But the revelations that billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars were funneled through AIG to
Goldman Sachs -- one of Wall Street's most politically connected firms -- and to
European banks including Deutsche Bank, France's Societe Generale and the UK's
Barclays could stoke further outrage at the entire U.S. bank bailout.
FINANCIAL SYSTEM AT STAKE?
The fact that billions of dollars given to prop up giant insurer AIG were then transferred
to European banks and Wall Street investment houses could raise new doubts about
whether the rescue was really economically necessary.
"It doesn't to me seem fair that the American taxpayer has got to bear the 100
percent of the downside," said Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke
"A hedge is not a hedge if you did not factor in the counterparty risk. And the U.S.
taxpayer should not be obligated to make people whole for hedges that were not
Goldman Sachs, formerly led by Henry Paulson who was treasury secretary at the
time of the original AIG bailout, said, as it has in the past, that its AIG positions were
"collateralized and hedged."
Deutsche Bank and Barclays declined to comment. Societe Generale was not
available for comment.
As it seeks to ease the credit crunch that was the original target of the Troubled
Assets Relief Program (TARP), the Treasury will also offer more details this week
about the workings of proposed public-private partnerships to take toxic assets off
banks' books, including a timeframe, a senior department official said on Saturday.
"No taxpayer in these arrangements is going to lose money until the investor who put
up the money has lost 100 percent," said Chief White House economic adviser
Treasury officials have said the fund, or funds, would be a vehicle to provide as much
as $1 trillion in financing for buying bad assets -- particularly mortgages gone bad as a
result of the U.S. housing bust. The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp would participate.
As more Americans lose their jobs and homes, Obama's new administration is under
heavy pressure to show that the rescue plan for AIG and major banks is working to free
up lending and rein in the riskier excesses of Wall Street.
The payments to AIG counterparties include the provision of collateral to back up credit
default swaps, a form of financial insurance that AIG's London office was writing; the
purchase of the collateralized default obligations, a type of complex debt security that
underlay that insurance; and payments to counterparties of a securities lending
Through three separate types of transactions, Goldman received an aggregate $12.9
billion. Among European banks, SocGen was the biggest recipient at $11.9 billion,
Deutsche got $11.8 billion and Barclays was paid $8.5 billion.
The AIG disclosures are still incomplete in that they do not include payments to the
banks since December 31.
The list of counterparties was made public by AIG amid growing pressure on the insurer
to come clean about the true beneficiaries of the bailout ahead of a congressional
hearing on Wednesday at which AIG chief executive Edward Liddy is slated to testify.
Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski, whose committee will quiz Liddy, said the
counterparties and bonuses would both be topics for investigation at the hearing.
Summers -- speaking before the payments to banks were made public -- called the AIG
bonuses "outrageous" but said contracts must be honored, even though Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner had "negotiated very forcefully" with AIG and done all
that was "legally permissible" to limit the payments.
"We're not a country where contacts just get abrogated willy nilly," Summers, a former
treasury secretary, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" program. "What the lesson is, is
this: We don't really have a satisfactory regulatory regime in place."
HELP FOR BIG AND SMALL
To help small businesses, officials said Obama intends to provide $730 million from
the congressionally approved $787 billion economic stimulus program to cut lending
fees, boost loan guarantees and expand other programs.
"We know that small businesses are the engine of growth," Christina Romer, who chairs
the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"We absolutely want to do things to help them."
As part of the financial rescue, the Obama administration expects private investors to
bolster government funds to help cleanse the banking system of bad assets, said
Austan Goolsbee, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.
"It's better to do this jointly with private capital," Goolsbee told "Fox News Sunday." "I
believe there is a reasonable expectation that people will participate."
The idea of offering financing support from the government for private investors willing
to buy the toxic assets was first put forward by Geithner in February but the lack of
detail has disappointed financial markets.
CHECKING AIG CONTRACTS
AIG's Liddy said in a letter to Geithner the giant insurer was legally obligated to make
2008 employee retention payments but had agreed to revamp its system for future
bonuses after the Obama administration objected.
"There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what's
happened at AIG is the most outrageous," Summers said.
Representative Barney Frank, the Democratic chairman of the powerful House of
Representatives Financial Services Committee, said the government must see if the
bonuses can be recovered, adding that the timing of AIG's commitment was important.
"We can't just violate law, legal obligations," Frank told Fox. "I understand that. But I do
want to find out at what point these illegal obligations were incurred."
Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, called the AIG
situation an "outrage" and said the nature of the contracts needed to be checked.
While the news that AIG bailout money went to foreign banks could further stoke
political outrage, some experts said the alternative could have been worse.
"The nationality of the bank should not matter," said Peter Morici, professor at the
Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. "We have an inter-related financial
system. You do something to mess with that and all bets are off the table."
March 14, 2009
BARCLAYS DEMO IN GLASGOW
At 12pm on Saturday 14th March, around 9 activists set up outside of Barclays in
Glasgow city center.
Luckily, being a busy area there were plenty people to see what we were doing and to
get the message regarding exactly what Barclays were financing. We had a stall set up
with piles of information sheets with the undercover investigation information and
photographs, a banner which read "Barclays kills" and hundreds of leaflets letting
people know what they would be supporting if they banked with Barclays. We lined up
visual placards along the walls of the bank.
Many people stopped for information throughout the day, unaware and disgusted that
Barclays continued to support Huntington life sciences, even after being made aware of
the horrendous abuse and violation that they carry out inside their wall of lies.
People showed their support, saying that they would not bank with Barclays - a woman
said she'd been considering it but would now not be. The bank may have tried to act
unresponsive to our demonstration, although we know they knew we were there, and
they know that more people now know what they support and how ignorant they are.
We will be back again.
February 9, 2009
U.S. Delays Bank Bailout to Focus on
Posted by: Andy Reinhardt
The Obama Administration is postponing the announcement of its highly-anticipated
proposal to aid the financial services sector until Tuesday, Feb. 10 to keep lawmakers,
the press, and the public focused on passage of the massive economic stimulus plan
now working its way through Congress.
When the bank bailout plan is announced Tuesday, it is expected to include a proposal
whereby the Federal government will partner with the private sector to buy bad debt
from banks. The plan also will likely offer fresh cash injections into banks, help for up to
2.5 million homeowners, and the expansion of a Federal Reserve Bank program to
jump-start consumer lending.
Source: Washington Post, Wall Street Journal
~ ~ ~
Barclays Beats Forecasts, Cuts Bonuses
Barclays bank reported 2008 profits of £6.1 billion ($9.1 billion), ahead of analyst
estimates but down 14% from the previous year. The company also reported £8.1
billion ($12 billion) in writedowns, scrapped its dividend, and said that it will cancel
bonus payments to its executive directors.
Source: Times of London
WANT TO SPOT MORE OF THE BILLIONAIRE CLUBS
GETTING BAILED OUT WITH U.S. TAXPAYERS’
Allianz Global Investors
Barclay’s Global Investors, UK
Central Pacific Bank
...with many more to come
~ o ~
From The *** CENSORED *** Seat - Part II:
Barclay’s Bank - Barclays PLC is a UK-based financial services group engaged
primarily in banking and investment banking businesses.
From Conspirators’ Hierarchy: . . . Banks large and small in the thousands are in the
Committee of 300 network, including ... Barclays Bank . . .
Eagle Star is more than a major “front” for MI6, it is also a Front for major British banks,
including Hill-Samuels, N.M. Rothschild and Sons (one of the gold price “fixers”who
meet daily in London), and Barclays Bank (one of the funders of the African National
Congress - ANC).
* * *
From The Laundrymen: . . .
BRINKS-MAT MELTDOWN. Shortly before dawn on Saturday morning, Nov 26, 1983,
armed hoodlums broke into the heavily fortressed Brinks-Mat warehouse at Unit 7 of
the International Trading Estate. . . .
With great expertise, they neutralized the guards ... Then, with gruesome brutality, they
terrorized the guards— pistol whipping them, pouring gasoline over them, and holding lit
matches close enough to make them believe they were going to be torched.
The gang threatened carnage unless the guards barked out the combinations for the
locks that would open the underground vaults.
One hour and forty-five minutes later, the gang was gone. With them went 6,500 gold
bars. Three and a half tons worth.
The price of gold on the London market had closed the night before at about $357 an
ounce, valuing the booty at just under $40 million. The following morning, when word of
the size of the haul got out, gold prices jumped $18, giving the thieves an additional
paper profit of $2 million.
Although Scotland Yard never established whether there were six men in the gang or
eight, it arrested four of them within two weeks.
A year later, three of those four were in jail. One was Mickey McAvoy, a 38-year-old
professional thug ... Another was 41-year-old Brian Robinson, a professional criminal
... As the reputed masterminds, and for the depth of their barbarity, they were both sent
away for 25 years.
The only thing they had to look forward to was the gold.
A year after the largest heist in British history, the police still hadn’t found a
* * *
Brian Perry ran a minicab agency in east London . . . John Lloyd ... lived with an
archetypal gangster’s moll— a woman named Jeannie Savage . . . They were the ones
McAvoy trusted to make sure his share would be waiting for him when he got out.
To help, Perry and Lloyd brought in a crony of theirs called Kenneth Noye . . . most of
the time he dealt in watches and jewelry, and, unlike Perry and Lloyd, did have a
record— for receiving stolen goods, shoplifting, assaulting a police officer, and gun
One of his pals was John Palmer, a 34-year old jeweler who some years before set up
a gold bullion dealership in Bristol called Scadlynn Ltd. Noye brought Palmer in to use
Now [Noye] began transporting McAvoy’s gold to Scadlynn— taking exactly eleven
resmelted bars per journey . . .
Scadlynn, meanwhile, sold the resmelted gold at the going scrap rate, plus a valued-added tax (VAT), which stood at 15%. For its trouble, it would keep the undeclared
VAT. The money from the scrap was deposited at a local branch of Barclays Bank,
then withdrawn as cash, stuffed into black garbage bags, and trucked to London. Over
the next five months, Scadlynn paid Noye, Perry, and Lloyd in excess of $15 million.
Using a false passport bearing the name Sydney Harris, Noye deposited his share at a
Bank of Ireland office in south London, where it was wired immediately to a Dublin
branch. McAvoy’s girlfriend, Kathy Meacock, did the same thing on alternate days. So
did Jeannie Savage.
If anyone at Barclays or the Bank of Ireland was in the least suspicious, they
apparently weren’t troubled enough to tell the police about it.
* * *
Brian Perry also had a buddy named Gordon John Parry . . . Parry in turn brought in
Michael Relton, a crooked lawyer who’d defended him on a drug trafficking charge. . . .
With Relton’s help, Parry deposited $1,190,250 from Scadlynn into a Bank of Ireland
branch in southwest London. The money was then wired offshore to the bank’s office
in Douglas, on the Isle of Man. Next, Parry convinced his wife’s cousin to help, and she
used the bank to send $750,000 to the Isle of Man.
Other deposits followed, bringing the total washed through that branch to $2.25 million.
To confuse anyone who might attempt to follow the paper trail, Parry brought some of
the money back from the Isle of Man, redeposited it, and sent it offshore to yet another
bank. And all this time, Noye continued to deliver gold to Scadlynn— eleven bars per
journey— while Scadlynn kept melting it down, selling it as scrap, and sending cash to
* * *
In early August 1984, Relton helped Parry open an account at the Hong Kong and
Shanghai Bank in Zurich. Although they later claimed it was nothing more than
coincidence, each of them opened accounts at the same branch of the Hong Kong and
Shanghai Bank. Between them, they deposited a total of $735,000, bringing their
Zurich holdings to just under $1.5 million.
* * *
Scadlynn was proving to be a cash cow beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. It got to
the point where they were moving so much money that Barclays had to bring in extra
tellers just to deal with Scadlynn’s business. . . .
* * *
Tipped off by the Jersey police, Scotland Yard put Noye under surveillance. After
observing him in the frequent company of Brian Reader— a wanted criminal whom
they’d believed had been hiding in Spain— they brought in C-11, a specialist unit used
exclusively for top-secret, close-target reconnaissance.
On a cold and dark Saturday evening in Jan 1985, two officers scaled the perimeter
wall of Noye’s house and positioned themselves to spend the night on the grounds.
One of those officers was John Fordham, a nine-year veteran of C-11. One of Noye’s
rottweillers discovered Fordham. Two more dogs joined the commotion. That’s when
Noye arrived, possibly with Reader, carrying a four-inch knife.
Fordham’s body was recovered with eleven stab wounds, mostly in his back.
Noye was immediately arrested, Reader was picked up a few miles away, and the two
were charged with murder. Noye pleaded self-defense. Reader claimed he wasn’t
involved at all. To the utter astonishment of the police, ten months later a jury acquitted
both of them.
However, a small cache of gold bars was found at Noye’s house— enough to link them
with the Brinks-Mat gold. Noye and Reader were charged with conspiracy to handle
stolen goods. Within three days, the police also arrested Palmer and moved in on
Scadlynn. . . .
* * *
[Some catcalls: And where did the money go from Barclays Bank? Of course only
royalty and Robert Rubin may really know, but — Barclays Bank is the 4th largest
institutional investor in Goldman Sachs; the 4th largest in Marsh & McLennan; the 6th in
Chubb Group; the 2nd in Citigroup; the 6th in Lockheed Martin; the 4th in Raytheon
Company; the 5th in Columbia/HCA; the 2nd in Merrill Lynch; the 4th in Riscorp, Inc.; the
3rd in Conseco, Inc.; the 6th in Trump Hotel/ Casino; the 7th in Mirage Resorts, Inc.; the
5th in Boyd Gaming Corp.; the 6th in Harrah’s Enterprises; the 2nd in Bank of America;
the 4th in American Express; the 3rd in CBS Corp; the 2nd in America Online, Inc; the 4th
in Time Warner, Inc.; the 5th in Wilmington Trust; the 3rd in PNC Bank; the 3rd in Allstate
Insurance; the 2nd in American International Group (AIG); the 4th in Xerox Corp; and the
#1 institutional investor in The Walt Disney Company — just to name a few
* * *
The sixth largest institutional investor in Barclays is Citigroup, Inc. The tenth
largest is Bank of America.
November 27, 2007
Wall Street leads surge in
corporate political giving
By Kevin Drawbaugh
Big business is shoveling more money than ever into U.S. political campaigns, with Wall
Street donations way up, a watchdog group said on Tuesday.
The securities and investment industry -- which includes brokerages, hedge funds and
private equity firms -- registered the sharpest increase in giving since 2004 among all
industry sectors studied by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Record-breaking contributions from the nation's biggest political givers are the result of
a wide-open race for the White House and last year's power shift in Congress, said
Sheila Krumholz, the nonpartisan center's executive director.
"There is an intensity to the fund raising for 2008 that we've never seen before, which
means the candidates and parties will be all the more beholden" to big donors, she
The nonprofit center analyzes campaign finance and lobbying records at the Federal
Election Commission (FEC), a government agency that enforces U.S. campaign finance
The analysis includes contributions to federal candidates and parties from individuals
working in an industry and from associated political action committees.
In both presidential and congressional contests, Democrats are benefiting more than
Republicans from the surge in business donations, with 57 percent of giving from typical
big donors going to Democrats versus 43 percent in 2006 and 2004.
More money is coming in from lawyers than from any other sector, as usual. But the
biggest increase in giving since 2004 is coming from financiers, whose donations are up
Steep increases are also coming from the real estate industry, Hollywood, healthcare
professionals and insurers....
Wall Street's favorite presidential candidate, based on the latest FEC disclosures from
October 29, was Democratic New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Close behind her in
donations from financiers were Republican former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
and Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
Next were Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Democratic Sen.
Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Republican Sen. John McCain from Arizona,
Democratic former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Democratic New Mexico
Gov. Bill Richardson.
The biggest donors in the securities and investment sector, as of October 29, were the
brokerage firms Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Lehman
Brothers and Credit Suisse.
Also among the sector's top contributors were hedge funds and private equity firms
Bain Capital, SAC Capital Advisers, Fortress Investment Group and Blackstone
"There's no question that hedge funds and private equity firms have ramped up their
political giving in the last couple of years as Congress looks seriously at raising their
taxes," said Massie Ritsch, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
Lawmakers are considering proposals to more than double the tax rate on the "carried
interest" gains of senior partners at private equity firms that buy and sell businesses.
# # #
FOR MORE BAILOUT BUZZARDS OF A FEATHER, GO TO
THE EAGLE HOODED: THE 9-11 COVERUP
PART I - PART II - PART III
~ ~ ~
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING KAMEHAMEHA’S COURT
ALLIED WORLD ASSURANCE
AIG: THE UN-AMERICAN INSURANCE GROUP
ALOHA, HARKEN ENERGY!
THE POOP ON AON
THE BANKRUPTCY BUZZARDS
THE BANKRUPTCY BUZZARDS OF ORANGE COUNTY
BIRDS IN THE TRAILER PARK
THE CARLYLE GROUP: BIRDS THAT DRINK FROM CESSPOOLS
THE CHUBB GROUP
CITIGROUP: VAMPIRES IN THE CITY
CONFESSIONS OF A WHISTLEBLOWER
~ ~ ~
DIRTY MONEY, DIRTY POLITICS & BISHOP ESTATE
Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI - Part VII
~ ~ ~
THE DISSECTION OF ‘FRISTY’
DYING FOR DYNCORP
HALLIBURTON FROM HELL
HOW TO COOK A GOLDEN GOOSE
MARSH & McLENNAN: THE MARSH BIRDS
MERRILL LYNCH: BEWARE THIS BULL IS FOR THE BIRDS
NESTS IN THE PENTAGON
OF VAMPIRES & DAISIES
OFFICE OF U.S. TRUSTEE vs. HARMON
THE EAGLE HOODED: THE 9-11 COVERUP
PART I - PART II - PART III
~ ~ ~
THE FIRING OF EVAN DOBELLE
THE GREAT NEST EGG ROBBERIES
THE NESTS OF CB RICHARD ELLIS
SPOTTING THE SEC
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
THE PEREGRINE FUND
THE PIMPS TO POWER
TINKERING WITH ETOYS
RICO IN PARADISE
THE SECRET NESTS
THE STEPHEN FRIEDMAN FLOCK
THE KISSINGER OF DEATH
THE TORCH OF ERIC SHINE
THE TURNSTONE BIRDS
THE BANKRUPTCY BUZZARDS OF ORANGE COUNTY
YAKUZA DOODLE DANDIES
MORE OF THE CATBIRD’S FAVORITE LINKS
THE CATBIRD SEAT FORUM
THE CATBIRD SEAT
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Originally posted January 17, 2008
Last Updated on May 23, 2009 by The Catbird