Bank consolidation continues: Standard Chartered quits The Gambia

You may recall that the week before last, I noted as follows: ‘The Slog tried today to get some information on opening a foreign currency account with Standard Chartered in Gambia. It’s a bank that claims it can “leverage on its global footprint” to quickly provide all the information a customer needs. It also lets you transfer funds into their account with you without charging you, which I must say sounds jolly decent of them. The website led me round in circles for over twenty minutes without providing an iota of information, but it was useful in that they fell off the shortlist immediately and thus made my task somewhat easier.’

When potential financial service providers muck you about like that, the taking them off the shortlist thing is by far the best policy. In fact, recently here news broke that Standard is exiting one of post-imperial Africa’s most stable and welcoming States: very small, but very dynamic. It has problems of course (see later in the guts of this post) but remains mainly tolerant and decent.

However, Standard Fireworks, sorry, Chartered doesn’t do small and decent, because it’s far too busy leveraging its global footprint. In the press here last month, SC’s CEO didn’t reassure anyone by confirming [my emphases] that the bank is:

“….commencing a strategic move to fully exit some African markets including the Gambia to enable redirection of resources to markets with larger growth potential. We would have been happy to continue here if the economy was large enough to meet our growth aspirations.  We are exiting because the Bank has aligned its strategy to focus on bigger markets but contrary to what is being spread, it has nothing to do with the economic situation of The Gambia…there is absolutely no reason for panic. Our liquidity ratios are fantastic and if you go to any Standard Chartered branch, you can access all your money. I have given instruction that they should allow customers to withdraw their money and the ATMs are fully loaded. Our branches are open and will remain open and our staff will be there to provide services and clarifications”.

Don’t you just love the stench of BS in the mornings? Translating the above bankspeak into simple, everyday Gambian jive English:

“Get real suckers, like we after de beeig fish man, know what I’m sayin’ here? I mean, Smiley Coast or yooz on toast, we ain’t givin’ a bowel movement bro’ – we goin’ after dem Blue Marlins and screw dat anchovy sheeit on account o’ we’re big pertaters and we got aspirations baby…..course, we don’ wanna rain on yo’ parade brothers an’ sisters an’ maybe you go’n git by in de end, but dis eeazz not au revoir folks, iss good ferkin’ bye, corz we don’ geeive a red colobus monkey’s ass fowall yo’ avian sanctuareez, right – dat strictly fo’ de birds, cappiche? We headin’ fo’ de top table brethren soze we kin hayev a wild life fo’evah at de expense of you tree-huggan’ wildlife-kissen mudders”.

The main learning here: you do not have to be a Red Commie Green Emergency Room modeller to know perfectly well that banking “consolidation” is all about a filthy lucre-fest to which we are not invited. Big Banking gives nothing to socially helpful capitalism any more. Globalism really means monopolism for a few Zil Laners….and watching the MarkII Sovyet betrayal can be amusing at times.

Not, however, for the average Gambian.

Nariama is a phony name but a real Gambian person. Each day, she rises at 7am, walks three kilometres to an informal bus stop, flags down a dangerously overcrowded and even more informal People’s community-sector tin wheely-bin converted Commer van, sits sweating inside for the best part of an hour…and then works as a cleaner from 8.30am to 4.30pm, before repeating the arrival in reverse. When she gets back home around 7 pm, her elder daughter will be cooking a meal of not much in the way of protein. Nariama got pregnant aged 13 after being raped by her uncle. She has a second kid aged ten. They live in a minute corrugated iron shack along with seven other extended family members, including her amazing biker brother who once scared the Bejeesus out of me during an historic cross-country motocross session.

Despite this horror of squalor, I knew the lady for nearly three months, and her cheerful demeanour shamed me every time she smiled, giggled or celebrated me ballsing something up with screaming laughter.

Now before you dismiss this as wide-eyed, dogooder Western Charity Appeal worker BS, let me explain the macro-point to the micro-poverty description I penned above. The line between desperate destitution and mere squalor here for around 65% of the population is graphene like in its anorexia: so tiny as to make a 2D horror almost indistinguishable from full-on 4D famine. The slightest reduction in economic activity and/or acceleration of food inflation will tip 1.5 million people into four-dimensional dystopia.

Both possibilities are now far from possible; in fact, they are already probable. EUNATO has made an entirely predictable (but likely intentional) mess of the Ukraine conflict. Already, a pointless but exaggerated war there – one Bidenite catastrophe rapidly being accepted by thinking people as close to obvious – has been used by the indefatigable depopulators as an excuse to both conflate energy and food prices, and as a further rationale to dash for fiat currency safety via digital money.

Observe 1: despite her familial Hellhole, Nariama owns a smartphone. For the Obese 1%, this is still the only 24/7 spy-game in town for ensuring total control by tracking and surveillance…and so the cost price and user credit model for smartphones bears no relation at all to any credible basis for future long-term profit. I watch daily with astonishment at how Africans still from the 1950s ride in vehicles from the 1970s and stare endlessly at the distraction to be gained from 2020s beads and firewater [insert favourite exploitation analogy here if you will] via which their inheritance will be stolen.

Observe 2: Analyse all the ways in which the antics of Langley, the Pentagon, the Davos shower and further varietal Fat Controllers could easily ruin the success gained – despite the odds against it – by Gambians over the last fifteen years or so:

2.1 Gambia is massively overdependent on imported food

2.2 Gambia is massively overdependent on imported energy

2.3 Gambia is massively overdependent on tourist hospitality income

2.4 Gambian tourism depends upon cheap flights which will decline as energy prices are artificially raised

2.5 Gambia’s economy is 98.6% cash in nature. Large sums using plastic or digital bank transfers are restricted to the tiny percentage of Westerners (mainly North European and American) who buy property and land here. Forced digitalisation of money will ruin the unskilled cash end of the economy, be handled through the smartphone addiction…and result in complete impoverishment of the bottom 30% of Gambians.

To reiterate the observation I made several paragraphs ago: The slightest reduction in economic activity and/or acceleration of food inflation will tip 1.5 million Gambians into four-dimensional dystopia.

Viewing that threat, Standard Chartered has shut up shop and left struggling Gambians to face a mess created by lots of other Standard Chartereds.

So finally – to revisit my central point about New World Unipolar Bug-eating Klaus Schwab mental Disorder – my fundamentally optimistic but fearful conclusion is that these depraved clowns will fail, but an obscene number of human beings are going to die needlessly on the altar of their Church of Megalomania and Survivalist Emergency.

In this section, obviously I’m offering an African perspective. Others based on South American, Asian and South European realities are equally valid. Faced with changing climatic conditions 700,000 years ago, Homo erectus came down from the dead fruit trees and began walking on two feet…the better to spot predators. He walked further and further until the deadly dangers of extreme heat and cold had been banished. And when they reappeared, he moved yet again – sometimes sailing, at other times trekking – until racial variation as a result of all this survival by walking about had produced Black Man, Yellow Man, Red Man, Pink Man, Toffee-brown Man and all stations in between.

A key point to remember here is that all these global climate changes happened long before there were exploited, silly yet sad little Swedish OCD girls, gigantic Chinese pollution factories, millions of Western motorists pumping out exhaust fumes, crazy modelling techniques replacing empirical statistics and indeed a human population three times larger in 2021 than it was in 1955.

I’m not saying there’s nothing to be concerned about: I still believe that we lack potable water, and this chronic shortage is the biggest infant killer on our planet. But the best start (beginning from where we are) is to stop lionising mentally disadvantaged drama queens and lightweight modelling clowns in favour of empirical data free from the ideological cheats who still believe in Brecht’s Good Lie of Szechuan.

Before closing today, I thought I’d end with something typographically emboldened to remind you how unutterably rigged, incorrigibly bent, and criminally weighted the roulette table in the Social Media Casino really is.

I pay a premium to my site platform Wormpress in order not to be shadow-banned, comment-dumped, follower-neglected or otherwise censored by the unelected forces of Truth discernment whose sole wish is to tell everyone that Totalitarian propaganda is the only viable defence free-speech democracy has.

Pocketing without a second’s ethical thought the money they have extracted from me on trust, it is now so abundantly clear that Wormpress also takes the CIA/Pentagon shilling as well, it really shouldn’t be necessary to point it out. But bearing in mind that The Slog is a 13 year old mission keen to give its readers something real (as opposed to a confection realised by Hunter Biden in his personal endeavour to become the richest shithead in the solar system) I tried to post the following comment on my own .com website thus owned by me who paid good fiat money for it. Sorry to labour the point here, but this is either my own house – entry to which is available by mine own key and nobody else’s – OR IT F***ING WELL ISN’T.

I pressed the “we have lift-off Houston” button and this what I got back:

But the thing was, roight, I was already logged in. Well, obviously I was, being the owner and in my own comment management space.

So I logged in again and was told that this was not my normal login, because by now we had reached that land in which up is down, left is right, night is day, now is then, old is new and normal means nothing.

No wonder the biggest single complaint I get online – by far – is that many readers long ago gave up commenting at The Slog because the Wordp*ss objective “seems to be” disallowing any and all disagreement with State censorious policy.

In fact, there is no “seems to be” about it. The whole thing is a gigantic fraud, period.