Headline, March21, 2014


POOR ! '"

THE FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL Institution in Lampoc, California is considered a soft touch within the American penal system.

The compound stands on a rocky bluff overlooking green valleys and is surrounded by rich flower beds.

It's near enough to Santa Barbara's coastline for the wind to carry a carry a faint salty tang. Outside the sleeping barracks there's a softball pitch, basketball court, football field and even a sandy volleyball pit.

This is kind of prison you would go to, dear white-collar readers, if you were found guilty of a corporate scam that affected the United States in some way.

However, behind the 12ft perimeter fencing, rolls of razor wire, electronic detection systems and armed-mobile patrols, there are the barracks  -and things are less idyllic there.

You'd be sitting down to chow with a large Mexican prison population   -illegal immigrants who will be deported once their time is up. Each dorm sleeps more than 100 inmates in bunk beds.

Five toilets and three washing machines struggle to serve everyone. The noise rarely stops. After lights out, whispered deals and squeaking bedsprings continue long into the night.

You have to sleep bunched up with cotton wool stuffed in your ears.

If you're British, your accent should grant you some sort of safety. You may be able to move between the Hispanic gangs, the black gangs and the white gangs with relative impunity.

If you are smart and can afford a good lawyer, you'll probably decide, like:

David Bermingham, to keep your head down, avoid trouble and push as hard as you can to be transferred back to jail in Blighty. Because the FCI at Lampoc, California is only a soft touch to US eyes.

Time served in HMP Ford, an open prison near Littlehampton in West Sussex, for instance, would mean no back-breaking work in the  machine and carpentry shops, warehouse or Federal Prison Industries:

Cable-manufacturing complex earning 23 cents an hour, coming back to your dorm exhausted and covered in filth every day. In HMP Ford, your friends and family could visit without flying  6000 miles.

Applying to interview a prisoner at a federal facility is a complicated business. The prisoners have no e-mail, one hour of phone time a month and only a limited supply of stamps.

You would have to write a letter to the warden asking for a permission and have the innate concerned put your name on the acceptable visitors list. And that could easily take up to three months before a word comes through on the permission.

But we didn't have three months. The financial markets are in turmoil now, the banks are nationalising banks now, and the cancer of this impenetrable crash is spreading to shopping chains, global car companies and entire nations now.

And all the journalists of the world were hoping  David Bermingham could tell them.... what the hell was going on, because, after all, when it comes to the current crises, He was at Ground Zero 

Bermingham is one of the  NatWest  Three   -a trio of bankers who hit the headlines in   2006    in  a high-profile  battle to avoid extradition to the  US over fraud allegations surrounding the collapse energy giant  Enron.

The gang was headed by up by Glaswegian Gary Mulgrew, a former nightclub bouncer who gained a marketing degree from   Strathclyde University   before  entering the world of finance.

He was described  at the time as  "fiercely competitive"  with a  "massive ego" with scars on his arms from his doorkeeper days.

Like a high-finance boy band, however, each had their role   -Mulgrew led, ex-soldier Bermingham provided the brains:

While Mulgrew's  best friend, Giles Darby,   -born in India to a diplomat father  -was ferociously hardworking and enthusiastic,  described as an  "Energizer Bunny".

Between them and  Enron,  "'they created the market for the kind of high-risk credit madness that has now and then:

Bought us  -The entire World-   to the very brink of Disaster"'.

In the late Nineties, their employer  NatWest snapped up a little known finance house called Greenwich Capital in the leafy seaside town of Greenwich, Connecticut, which according to ex-employees, :

Through the creation of complex but entirely legal financial transaction structure became, in effect, the unwitting research lab of the credit crunch.

Over the late Eighties and early Nineties, Greenwich Capital had become the home of significant chunk of  Wall Street's business. So, Greenwich Capital made the move early, setting up in 1981:

As a two man dealing firm specialising in wired-mini markets that splashed at the edges of capitalism's roaring central current.

When NatWest looked at its new purchase, it wasn't sure how the newly named Greenwich NatWest could make decent money, so it sent in Mulgrew and his boys. 

Mulgrew started whipping the fiscal eggheads into shape with brutally forensic conference calls and teambuilding awaydays. He wanted hot new ideas to take to market.

And how, how the hell did that all happen? :  "Don't miss the next Post".

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of High Finance. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Inspire The Next  "'

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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