BBC confuse crooks with experts

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Wed Jul 13 11:04:17 BST 2011

Copy of my letter to BBC . 

BBC Complaints

Re  BBC News at Ten               12 July  2011



William Buiter  was
interviewed on the subject of the financial crisis . He was introduced as ‘from
Citigroup , and a former  Bank of England
policy maker’.


What was not said was that Citigroup were fined $400 million
in US.


I understand there is no central record of corporations
which have incurred major fines equivalent to the Criminal records Office.   Companies House  in London  tells me they hold no such records. lists significant  fines on corporations of $1million plus. 


A fine of $400 million is large in any terms .  Corporations are immune from jail sentences,
and from the death penalty , so  the amount
of this fine can be judged n this light.


It is not unusual for Bank of England executives to have
worked for corporations which have made major breaches of the  Regulatory rules which have incurred fines
which in any judgement must call into question the integrity of the culpable


Ben Broadbent on the Monetary Policy Committee of B of E
was/is an executive of Goldman Sachs , fined $550million.  David Miles on mpc is from Morgan Stanley ,
fined $1.4million (only!)  and Philip Rush of mpc
is from Normura , fined £1.75million.   
No doubt there are many others. 


However this does not excuse the public services
broadcasting  company  , the BBC 
from failing to warn listeners and viewers of the dodgy background of
those interviewed.

‘Bank of England’ might be taken to  imply integrity.  Others might think that a fine of $400
million implies chicanery, but they wont know unless BBC tells them.   


For your information I append a list of just a few examples of
corporations who have incurred substantial fines.


It is interesting 
that on the same news programme ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown  , like the BBC in this instance, seems not to
attach immorality to corporations who incur penalties for fraud  etc which if incurred by individuals would
stigmatise them and shame them for life. 

‘supposedly reputable 
organisations’ is how he characterizes Sun, Times and News of the
World.     He should know that News America Marketing,
a subsidiary of News Corp was fined $300million  (Guardian 24 July, 2009) 


You will gather that   I would call them crooks. 



My own belief is that  ‘ethics’ is   being
driven out of public life , sacrificed on the altar of ‘efficiency’, economics ,utility
and ‘growth in the economy’  and replaced
by greed.


I hope I have shown that BBC ‘s current output is
compromised .


The minimum that BBC should do with  representatives of such corporations, in the
interest of balance and truth is now and in future to  remind viewers of the   murky background of the  firms they represent. 

BBC should avoid 
giving air time to  errant corporations


BBC should certainly not 
consult them  as ‘experts’ except
perhaps on the principle that it takes a crook to catch a crook. 


Before future broadcasts BBC should compile a black list of
errant companies and  consult it  when  selecting interviewees and ‘experts ‘.    


In this instance BBC News should in the interests of truth
and balance , broadcast an apology.



Yours faithfully, 




James Armstrong 

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