Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Age of austerity Category

From BCCI to HSBC: the Age of Gangster Capitalism

  • July 24, 2012
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A long time ago, when words like globalisation and deregulation were still rumours on the political horizon, the Pakistani financier Agha Hasan Abedi founded the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)     in 1972.     BCCI was originally intended to be a progressive international Third World bank that would compete with Western-based financial institutions, and it was strikingly successful, with some 400 branches in 78 countries.

Within two decades the bank was shut down in 1991, accused of involvement in a breathtaking array of criminal activities that included money laundering,...

Spain implodes and explodes

  • July 21, 2012
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Despite major surgical intervention and a major cash transfusion for its ailing banks, the Spanish patient is continuing to languish on the operating table and may not leave the hospital for some time.

A raft of ideologically-motivated austerity cuts from the vacillating and useless Conservative government has exacerbated Spain’s precarious condition, choking growth and provoking serious...

Spain Loads Up With Rubber Bullets

  • July 12, 2012
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The epic struggle waged by the miners of Asturias to defend their jobs and communities has clearly struck a chord amongst many Spaniards, as the magnificent reception given by Madrileños  to the 400 km marchers clearly demonstrates.

The miners have also generated considerable support outside Spain.   Yesterday’s Channel 4 News had a special report from...

Pulling Together: Statistics

  • June 22, 2012
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Back in October 2010, in his first speech to a Tory party conference as PM, Cameron famously exhorted his party and the nation: ‘Come on: let’s pull together. Let’s come together. Let’s work together in the national interest.’

In his speech Cameron invoked his pet Big Society scheme or ‘passion’, as he sometimes referred to it,...

Asturias Burning

  • June 12, 2012
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CELEBRATIONS are always premature in the manic depressive world of the eurozone, and Spain’s conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy should have known better than to present Sunday’s bailout deal as a victory.    

By Monday evening German politicians were disputing his claim that the deal came with no strings attached, and insisting that the...

Spain’s banks and the con-trick of the century

  • June 10, 2012
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After months of denials and prevarications, the Spanish government has finally done what many economists have been predicted it would have to do for months, and asked for a 100 billion-euro bailout for its sieve-like and utterly corrupt banking system.

Mariano Rajoy has tried to put an altruistic gloss on this belated decision – or is...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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