Saturday, 29 March 2014

Cummings and Goings in Palmerston North.




Michael Cummings.

Why is Michael Cummings the editor of Australian owned Fairfax Manawatu Standard daily news paper scared of Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party? 

We know he is pro-Key, pro-National, pro-Judith Crusher Collins; this is so very obvious by the fact that he keeps them off the front page unless the news is good.

His latest editorial [Saturday the 29th of March 2014] is not simply an opinion piece but is clearly a rant against ‘entrepreneur’ Kim Dotcom because he dares to challenge John Key by starting a political party. And Cummings leaps onto the National band-wagon of muck raking and smear campaign into the legitimate investment behaviour of Kim Dotcom via of his ownership of a signed copy of Mein Kampf…

This is doubly strange when you consider that owning a copy of Mein Kampf is not illegal and in fact our own parliamentary library has a copy available to all members of Parliament…I can picture Judith Collins and Paula Bennett deeply studying Mein Kampf to find new ways to solve the worsening state of our welfare and justice systems. There are maybe hints in there about dealing with Communist Chinese milk companies owned by friends…who knows.

But why is Michael Cummings taking part in a ‘synchronized journalistic denigration and outright character assassination’ of Kim Dotcom?

Is he [Michael] just another media purchased link in the chain of leaked CIA info about the one guy the US and Hollywood wants to jail or imprison without trial as they are legally allowed to do? We must never forget that John Key broke the law in an attempt to allow the US to totally ignore our laws with impunity. He was found out, and then put his own guy in charge of the GCSB, changed the law and said ‘What a good boy I am’. And our little small city editor thinks that was heroic! No editorial was penned about how undemocratic Key’s and the GCSB, SIS and Police behavior was. Yet Cummings states, no doubt with tongue in cheek, that “We hold our political leaders to very high standards”, really, has the Manawatu Standard run any in depth stories on how John Key made his money, ripped off NZ’s foreign currency exchange rules, and took that money off to a tax haven, made a mint out of the collapse and the defrauding of US housing and international loan markets by the various companies to whom he sold his services.

Looking at the History of John Key in relation to his financial abilities here are some facts and figures regarding his major employer Merrill Lynch and their general performance…

Key's first job was in 1982, as an auditor at McCulloch Menzies, and he then moved to be a project manager at Christchurch-based clothing manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin for two years.
Key began working as a foreign exchange dealer at Elders Finance in Wellington, and rose to the position of head foreign exchange trader two years later, then moved to Auckland-based Bankers Trust in 1988.
In 1995, he joined Merrill Lynch as head of Asian foreign exchange in Singapore. That same year he was promoted to Merrill's global head of foreign exchange, based in London, where he may have earned around US$2.25 million a year including bonuses, which is about NZ$5 million at 2001 exchange rates. Some co-workers called him "the smiling assassin" for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.

In 2001, he headed back to New Zealand to fulfill a long held ambition to stand for Parliament for the National Party.
It was fortunate that he did because Merrill Lynch went into free-fall:

In 2002, Merrill Lynch settled for a fine of $100 million for publishing misleading research. As part of the agreement with the New York attorney general and other state securities regulators, Merrill Lynch agreed to increase research disclosure and work to decouple research from investment banking. A well known analyst at Merrill Lynch named Henry Blodget wrote in company e-mails in which Blodget gave assessments about stocks which conflicted with what was publicly published by Merrill. In 2003, he was charged with civil securities fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He settled without admitting or denying the allegations and was subsequently barred from the securities industry for life. He paid a $2 million fine and $2 million disgorgement. The CEO at that time, David Komansky, said, "I want...to publicly apologize to our clients, our shareholders, and our employees," for the company falling short of its professional standards in research.

In 2004 convictions of Merrill executives marked the only instance in the Enron investigation where the government criminally charged any officials from the banks and securities firms that allegedly helped the energy giant execute its accounting fraud. The case revolved around a 1999 transaction involving Merrill, Enron and the sale of some electricity-producing barges off the coast of Nigeria. The charges surrounded the 1999 sale of an interest in Nigerian energy barges by an Enron entity to Merrill Lynch was a sham that allowed Enron to illegally book about $12 million in pretax profit, when in fact there was no real sale and no real profit. Four former Merrill top executives and two former midlevel Enron officials faced conspiracy and fraud charges. Merrill cut its own deal, firing bankers and agreeing to the outside oversight of its structured-finance transactions. It also settled civil fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, without admitting or denying fault.

In 2002 Merrill Lynch settled for 10 million civil penalties as a result of improper activities that took place out of the firm's Fort Lee New Jersey office. Three financial advisors, and a fourth who was involved to a lesser degree, placed 12,457 trades for a client Millennium Partners in at least 521 mutual funds and 63 mutual fund sub-accounts of at least 40 variable annuities. Millennium made profits in over half of the funds and fund sub-accounts. In those funds where Millennium made profits, its gains totaled about $60 million. Merrill Lynch failed to reasonably supervise these financial advisers, whose market timing siphoned short-term profits out of mutual funds and harmed long-term investors.

More recent Controversies with Key as PM were:

Michael's hero: John Key.
During the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Key was a proponent of Hosni Mubarak's government, citing his support of Israel and refusing to call for his resignation. When asked if Mubarak should step down, he said "no".
In 2011, Key was caught up in a controversy over the purchase of government limousines which he denied knowledge of initially but later reports surfaced his office was aware. He was accused of being dishonest and eventually apologised, calling the deal sloppy.
In October 2011, Key made a statement where he claimed Standard and Poor's had said at a meeting in the prior month that "if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely", this claim was contradicted by S&P after Key's credibility had been called into question. His untruths about the Dot Com mansion raid, the statement that he had never heard to Dotcom when he lived in his electorate. And his shady appointing of his school friend to the 400 thousand dollar job as the boss of the GCSB by breaking all the standard appointment processes.  

“We hold our political leaders to very high standards” said our small town editor…yeah right. What he really meant was, ‘He holds some political leaders to very high standards…mainly if the are Labour, Green, NZ First, Mana and now Internet Party…National, Act and United Future are all OK why because Key says so…

I see little difference between John Key and Kim Dotcom, both bought their political positions, Key has never door knocked, he brought a safe seat by tossing out a sitting member, politics for him is a hobby, he doesn’t give a hoot about the voters, and yet our small town editor fawns over him like he was the Queen. When the Manawatu Standard editor publishes the real story of the rise of John Key rather than the Public Relations doctored version. Only then should we listen to, read or believe his election campaign speeches or ravings on behalf of his National Party heroes.

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