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The Mortgage Mole


Rocking idea Mole was interested to read that in October former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan is setting up a financial advice service in the US. According to reports in the US he is to launch Meridian Rock to help rock stars manage their money.

It was in 1994 that the bassist one of the last people to see Kurt Cobain before he committed suicide became interested in finance. Recovering from a burst pancreas, he happened upon Guns N’ Roses’ financials for the previous six years.

Realising he couldn’t make head or tail of them he decided to educate himself about finance. Some 17 years later he’s setting up his own wealth management brokerage. Welcome to the jungle, Duff.

Dedicated Mole watched last week as Strategy hacks made repeated phone calls only to be greeted by foreign ringtones and answerphone messages.

But while the industry was on holiday John Malone, managing director of PMS, was still contactable despite boarding a train in the Rocky Mountains, Canada.

Hack Sam Dale apologised for disturbing him but the mortgage legend insisted on being updated on the latest news. Whatever the time, terrain or topic Mole is comforted to know that there is one mortgage man who always has brokers on the brain.

Paragon of virtue Another call went awry last week when Strategy hacks rang Paragon Mortgages and was connected to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Although it was a wrong number Mole briefly thought Paragon might be getting carried away about buy-to-let being the saviour of the market.

Feeding bankers A few weeks ago Mole was sent a link by John Charcol’s Ray Boulger to a website called the Department of Corporate Sustenance.

While the site was claiming that the DCS was a fully fledged government department, there were hints that it was a spoof.

For a start it announced it was planning to cordon off an area in Canary Wharf on September 12, but didn’t say why. Then last Friday the site emailed its subscribers informing them that if they typed in the username ’gosborne’ and password ’suckers’ into the restricted area of its site all would be come clear.

This is what the site said “Following the Crisis of 2008, the UK’s bankers were on the brink of death. But politicians, many of whom had built close relationships with bank executives over a number of years, couldn’t bear to see their friends perish.

“The Department of Corporate Sustenance was set up, tasked with artificially keeping the banks alive. A plan was hatched to reanimate the bankers’ corpses as the walking dead. But, like any zombie, the bankers needed feeding and the only thing that could sustain them was the flesh of public sector workers.”

One feeding is on September 12. If you can’t get tickets for Batman Live then this might be an alternative.

As satire though, Mole wonders whether it misses its mark. Bankers weren’t brain-dead zombies mindlessly laying waste to everything, they were greedy sods who thought long and hard about what they were doing they just couldn’t care less.



Stop passing buck, start fighting fraud

Detecting and preventing fraud is a notoriously thorny theme. This is all the more apparent in the current economy where fierce competition is driving down margins and causing many to be tempted by “get rich quick” options. While illegal practices are becoming widespread, it’s not just detecting fraud that is the issue, but finding out […]


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