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This is a question Corporate Idiocy

Comedian Al Murray recounts a run-in with industrial-scale stupidity: "Car insurance company rang, without having sent me a renewal letter, asking for money. Made them answer security questions." In the same vein, tell us your stories about pointless paperwork and corporate quarter-wits

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 12:13)
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Once upon a time
There was a corporate system known as "banking". This system at its core involved lending money to people and then charging them a percentage of the value.

Of course, "money" is simply an abstract concept used in lieu of bartering, so as there is a finite amount of any given resource there is also a finite amount of "money".

However, this "banking" system ignores this fact and pretends that money is a real thing in its own right.

Inevitably and hilariously the system began to collapse when there was more "money" owed than there were resources available in the world. Of course the "bankers" didn't care about this because as long as people continued to believe the lie that this "money" had some intrinsic value outside of the abstract, the bankers could spend this imaginary resource on real things like speedboats and cocaine.

Just like the Emperor and his new clothes, nobody wanted to come out and say that they could see the elephant in the room, and certainly nobody wanted to have to give back their speedboats and cocaine, so everybody carried on trying to prop up this worldwide Ponzi scheme to absurd degrees. Soon some countries owed eleventy basquillion dollars, but apart from alarmist headlines in newspapers, nothing really changed.

To be continued...
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:28, 31 replies)
Until some fool published a sarcastic, satirical post about it on a comedy website
and the whole system came tumbling down, like when Wile E Coyote realises he has already walked over the edge of the canyon, and instantly plummets.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:32, closed)
This would be a lot more credible if you knew what a Ponzi scheme was.

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:34, closed)
please don't continue this.

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:42, closed)

I'm afraid it's out of my hands.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:44, closed)
There's definitely
something in your hands.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:51, closed)
I'mmmmmm not sure whaaat it is
But iiiit'sss makkkking mmy keeeyyyyys stickkkkkkkkkk.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:54, closed)
No, I disagree,
we still have the joys of phrases like 'House of cards' and 'built on lies and deception' to come. Plus a fundamental misunderstanding of 'short selling' I am hoping.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:48, closed)
I think we need to rename the word 'Bankers' with 'Traders'
As I can assure you, not all the 400,000+ people who work in the industry in the Uk are not all [email protected] (well not some anyway)

Some actually fully deserve bonuses for time away from family, effort, and expertise.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:48, closed)
At its base
The system relies on interest payments rising faster than inflation. Neither of these things actually makes any sense, things other than money do not generally become more valuable over time.

I don't blame individual bankers for this of course.

We have somehow got to a position where an economy needs to "grow" in order for it to be considered successful. This is absolute tripe and unless we abandon the whole concept then things will only get worse.

Make it illegal to charge interest and make it illegal to make money from money (obviously there are specific exceptions and whatnot but this would be a good rule of thumb), and we might find we live in a world that's a lot fairer and makes a lot more sense.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 14:53, closed)
They don't need to rise
If you're looking for a positive net rate on savings, they just need to stay ahead of inflation. Both can be dropping, but the same effect will happen.

But in a recession, you don't really want people saving their money, do you? So you keep interest rates low.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:01, closed)
Why do we need interest rates at all?
If you want to save money, invest it in a business in the same model as Dragon's Den. This assumption that money just magically grows at a fixed percentage is deeply-ingrained, but utter rubbish.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:06, closed)
so people with money can make money, and people without money can have money.

We're not really talking about poor people here. We're for example talking for example about governments, who want to build a motorway, or a high speed railway. Assuming you're in favour of those - a multi billion pound project needs funding. So, what do the government do? they ask people for money.

What makes those people give the money?

The business you start - do you have the money to do that? In your scheme, you don;t start the business. the poeple with the money do. they make MORE money. You can't, you have no money. You are the 99%!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:15, closed)

Those are fair points certainly, but they are not the majority of cases of lending. Firstly motorways: there have been no new motorways built in Britain for many years, and although I concede that roads and the like do have to be paid for by the government, what exactly does my £220 tax disc and £1.40 litre of petrol go on?

As for railways, for better or for worse the UK rail system is now privatised. It's mismanaged to fuck and having spent some time working in it I can say with absolute certainty that there is still very much an attitude of maximum overtime for minimum work. But that's an issue of management rather than a reason for charging interest.

Your point about starting businesses is also valid, it's very difficult to do that without capital. But what's wrong with saving some money you earn working for somebody elese and then approaching investors offering a percentage stake in the business and therefore profits?

I think that the true issue of spending, what really makes the world go round is "defence". This isn't the time or place to go into the numbers in depth, but I think we can agree that the amount spent on weapons is staggeringly vast.

Like I say, not the time or place to go off on a big political jaunt around all the usual buzzwords, but my own personal view in most cases is that if you can't afford it, you don't have it.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:46, closed)
That's a rather simplistic view.
I'd agree it would be pointless to go off into a long and boring debate about it, but in fact a long and boring debate would be the only way to cover all the stuff you're talking about.

Without access to capital, there would be no commerce. No raw materials would move, there would be no ships built, nobody could afford to grow and harvest food on any kind of scale.

You're describing a stone age society. You eat what you catch, if you don't you die, right?
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:50, closed)
I think Stone Age is pushing it a bit
In Islam it is against the law to charge interest, and any differences between your average Muslim country and your average Western country can probably be accounted for by the Industrial Revolution.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:15, closed)
work with interest all the time.

And what's an average Muslim country, or an average Western Country?

Are we talking about the difference between Saudi Arabia and Albania?

Oh, wait, let's do Switzerland Vs Yemen.

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:28, closed)
There have been many Roadways built - even within the last few years
The Glasgow Bypass is one very good example (Though a little expensive if you ask me)

which your tax is still paying for. Money is lent, interest is charged, costs are involved at a higher rate than total money collected in one year. its an ongoing budget.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:54, closed)
Deserve's got nothing to do with it
A sane business pays bonuses to ANYONE working in it only when it makes an overall profit.

If the trading division of BigBank Plc makes a profit, you should still get fuck all in bonuses unless the topline BigBank Plc accounts also show a profit.

Anything else is stealing shareholders' money.
(, Fri 24 Feb 2012, 12:48, closed)

And yet the shareholders continue to approve the accounts and remuneration reports of the big banks by landslides - seems the shareholders don't care that much
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 2:30, closed)
Entirely unrelated to...
...the fact that the majority of shareholders by holding are a relatively small number of institutional investors on the same cushy, old-boys network of boards and remuneration committees, I'm sure.

Worker representation on boards and remuneration committees seems to stop boardroom self-indulgence in places like Germany. Could the two possibly be connected?
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 14:16, closed)
It reminds me of a post that Captain Placid once made...

He said that the appropriate collective noun was a 'Wunch' of bankers.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:00, closed)
Ahh, I wondered where The Goat had gone!

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:06, closed)
Once upon a time
This is as far as I got before I got bored and stopped reading.
Try using fewer words next time.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:31, closed)
It's worth reading.
It's funny. I read more than half of it.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:32, closed)
Now we have more uninformed people putting the world to rights, my favourite...
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:29, closed)
Welcome to the internet
We hope you enjoy your stay.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:44, closed)
If you'd been around more than 25 days you may have some idea how dated that joke is.

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:46, closed)
Just wait til you see this new animation of a dancing hampster
It will make you L.O.L. (laugh out loud)!!!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:56, closed)
I think I like you after all. How annoying.

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 17:20, closed)
well i feel sorry for the elephant

(, Fri 24 Feb 2012, 14:41, closed)
Darling Fascist bully boy
Give us some money you bastard
May the seed of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your woman
(, Tue 28 Feb 2012, 15:26, closed)

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