The Twistchip Emails – 3 – earthquake fun

From: To: all Deleterious Impulse Encouragement Facilitators

Hi – to all you great tempters out there!

Re: Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.

Now settle down everyone. Seriously. Just because a lot of ugly little humans are suffering and a lot more have died, is no reason to get so excited we can\’t carefully optimise the planning process to obtain the maximum profit for Hell Inc out of this great earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Yes, of course it\’s a lot of fun to see all the ghastly little hybrids squealing and running around as their ridiculously tall buildings collapse around them; yes, we can all giggle as the wall of water and wreckage crunches through their smug little world and I personally find it hilarious how surprised they are when one of their wonky nuclear power stations starts going pop…

For all the fun and cool Undernet videos, we have to be wary of taking our eye off the ball. Never forget, the jumped-up apes are often at their best (as in most close to the Competition) when disaster strikes. They know this about themselves and a lot of the fantasy drivel they call art and literature concerns how they behave better (by their lights) when everything is against them.

Clearly the more confusion and resentment the On the Ground DIE Agents can cause, the better. The nuclear reactors are under the able direction of our Major Disaster team although there seems to be some interference from the Competition there. As usual the Competition is sneaking around behind our backs, protecting people and helping them; we have already called for a negotiation on this matter under the terms of the Treaty of 1722 and Sir Beelzebub Mammon is confident that he can make a Cease & Desist Order stick, no matter what Michael and his team of lawyers do. After all, we have an awful lot more lawyers than they do!

Meanwhile, tempters – or should I say Deleterious Impulse Encouragement Operatives – there is a whole world full of people who can be given enhanced smug-factors and a great self-righteousness overhaul. Persuading them that the Japanese deserve to have an 8.9 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in their country because of bad Karma from the Second World War or ill-treatment of whales and dolphins, should be quite easy. Sir Beelzebub has a big energy prize for the tempter whose human client makes the most fatuous statement on those lines.

Don\’t forget the inevitable useless advice, bureaucracy and misdirected aid parcels; a splendid piece of bureaucratic tape-tangling has just meant a team of British helpers from International Rescue has been sent home without being allowed to do anything at all – well done, that Operative! Way to go!

Encourage the clients to think they\’re safe in the West because they are Good; then have them worry about what would happen if… Keep them in their heads, fantasising about disaster movies with themselves as the heroes, while they\’re ignoring their so-called loved ones and frantically chasing more money so they can afford more insurance and a steel reinforced house.

The key is to stay calm and use this splendid opportunity to torture the little bastards… sorry, tempters, I meant stress-enhance them. We can feast on their energy later when we\’ve got them here.

All the worst
Ms Twistchip (B.A. Hons.)
Senior Facilitator
Combined DIE Teams
North West Europe Division
Hell Inc.
Screwtape House
Hitler Way
Fourth Circle

This email is the exclusive confidential property of Hell Inc. If you have received it in error, burn before reading.

[Note: I\’m afraid I am not at liberty to explain how I hacked this information from the Undernet. Serious apologies to C. S. Lewis.]

On being sold financial products by the financially clueless

It makes you want to cry, it really does. Not only have banks learned nothing about blatantly paying themselves gazillions after buggering up the world\’s financial system, they have learned nothing about anything else, particularly about the importance of training their retail staff.
OK, so, Santander charged me £32 for telling me my account was (briefly) overdrawn. Naturally I closed the account. Then they \”forgot\” to tell me that the lovely ISA I opened a few years ago with Abbey National was now paying a spectacular 0.1% interest per year. So I\’ve just closed that. No, I did not want to transfer the money to another one of their accounts, thank you very much.
I\’m looking for a place to put my money so I can hand it to the taxman if necessary. That\’s all. Nothing fancy. I only ask that the interest roughly keeps pace with inflation and the bank not go bankrupt. I have another small savings account known as the Christmas Fund which I started doing a couple of years ago when it dawned on me that Christmas often seemed to turn up annually around the same time and therefore needn\’t be such a surprise.
I made an appointment to speak with a Financial Advisor of a Well-Known High Street Bank (oh all right, it was Barclays) and arrived to find a pretty child aged about 12 in a business suit.
She took me into their interview room, made the computer give her details of my little Christmas fund and was obviously on a mission to get me to open the super spiffy new ISA they have at 3.25%. Only it isn\’t, of course. That 3.25% includes a 1% bonus which disappears after the first year, taking it down to a spiffier (for Barclays) 2.25%, or a little over half the inflation rate.
I said something ironic about this and Bob Diamond\’s £8.5 million bonus and the child wrinkled her pure brow and said, \”Oh but, Barclays are a making a loss on this.\”
\”Eh?\” I said.
\”Yes, look, they\’re paying out 3.25% and the base rate is 0.5% so they\’re making a loss.\”
For just a second, I honestly didn\’t know what to say. I restrained my immediate impulse which was to roar \”You bloody idiot, what do you think you\’re talking about?\” There\’s no need to bully children, even if they clearly are utterly clueless in every way about the job they\’re supposed to do. Instead (and I\’m proud of this) I asked her why she thought that. She repeated herself as if it was self-evident.
\”Do you,\” I asked, catching my breath at the enormity of her ignorance, \”actually know what it is that bankers do?\”
Well no, she didn\’t as she finally admitted. She was supposed, I presume, to sell the investment products, not understand them. Whatever training she\’d had must have gone straight over her head and nobody had bothered to check if she knew what a bank was. All she needed to be was pretty and obedient, which she was. She certainly didn\’t need to know anything. And indeed, it really wasn\’t her fault. Her ignorance was so profound that she didn\’t know she didn\’t know (pace Donald Rumsfeld) which is the second most dangerous kind of ignorance.
So the rest of the meeting turned into an impromptu tutorial by me, complete with diagrams, about how banks (unwillingly) lend money to businesses at 12% and then borrow money from people like me at 3.25% and then take the bit in the middle to pay out bonuses to Bob Diamond of £8.5 million or bang the whole lot down on Red in the giant casino of the financial markets. And possibly even pay her, though I bet she\’s on commission, poor lass.
Then I left, advising her to read a splendid book called \”Pillaged\” by David Craig (Gibson Square, 2011) which lays out all the cunning thieveries of modern retail finance with horrible clarity. You should read it too.