KPMGThe retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension have to thank Mr. Donald J. Trump, the newly elected President of the United States of America for the huge change in their fortune. They laid huge bets that Trump would not only win but (as a “double”) also that it would rain on the day of his inauguration and (as the “treble”), his hair would turn out to be real!! The big money came with (the “yankee”) the accumulator bet – massive protests would break out in major cities all over the United States of America – New York; Chicago; and Los Angeles as well as major cities in the global village – London (Britain); Paradise Bay (Antartica); Buenos Aires (Argentina); Melbourne (Australia); Brussels (Belgium); Vienna (Austria); Sofia (Bulgaria); Quebec (Canada); Prague (Czech Republic); Santiago (Chile); San Jose (Costa Rica); Copenhagen (Denmark); Helsinki (Finland); Paris (France); Tbilisi (Georgia); Berlin (Germany); Accra (Ghana); Athens (Greece); Budapest (Hungary); Irbi (Iraq); Tel Aviv (Israel); Rome (Italy); Tokyo (Japan); Nairobi (Kenya); Pristina (Kosovo); Macau (Macau); Mexico City (Mexico); Amsterdam (Netherlands); Auckland (New Zealand); Krakow (Poland); and Lisbon (Portugal).
The guy who hit the mega jackpot was Shamus O’Neal, our Irish partner, who hitched his own bets to a “Heinz” with Leicester City Football Club (the Foxes) odds of winning the English Premier League at 5,000 to 1. The Foxes duly won the title – “the greatest sporting upset ever, or the best fairy tale of football history’’ according to their coach Claudio Ranieri and captain Jamie Vardy. Along with the other four bets, it earned Shamus a massive fortune. He has not stopped smiling or laughing since he hit the jackpot. As far as he and his feisty wife Gilian are concerned, Donald J. Trump can do no wrong!!
As the saying goes – money is not everything. There is much more to the Trump and the retired partners of KPMG story that would justify the massive interest it has been generating. It has gone viral thanks to the leaks by both Edward Snowden the fugitive CIA consultant and Julien Assange of Wikileaks.
The retired partners of KPMG just got lucky. Thereafter came divine intervention. First Donald Trump got to hear about the creative exertions of the ex-KPMG partners to remain financially buoyant in addition to the massive professional and technical advice delivered gratis to candidate Trump. The icing on the cake was that when some members of the Senate (led by Senator John Lewis, the highly respected veteran civil rights leader and contemporary of Martin Luther King Jr) decided to boycott the inauguration ceremony, invitations were rapidly despatched to the ex-KPMG partners!! They were specially embossed with the seal of the President-elect of the United States of America with personalised coded message: “Admit Bearer (name specified) and Spouse To All Events.”
As for those who hailed from foreign lands, visa formalities were waived. Truly, God works in mysterious ways.Right from day one of his campaign, Donald J. Trump declared on FOX News that he was ready to relaunch his “running battle with the dishonest press” and accused them of totally ignoring his long held commitment, sympathy and support for the ex-KPMG partners whom he described as the veterans of the accountancy profession. In return, we pledged our unflinching support for his candidacy.
In any case, we knew well ahead of the rest of America that Trump was the candidate to beat. He had plugged into the sore underbelly of the U.S. economy and demography, regardless of the much trumpeted (excuse the pun!) stunning improvement in American economic fortunes under President Barrack Obama who enthusiastically declared on “Good Morning America” which was hosted on ABC network by Lara Spencer: “Incomes are up and poverty is down.”
However, Fareed Zakaria the host of CNN’s “GPS” [Global Public Square] was taken by surprise when Ralph Kingan, the mayor of Wright, Wyoming declared his own verdict: “We ain’t feeling too much of all that economic growth that I heard was going on. They are patting themselves on the back in the East but it ain’t so out in the West.”
Our gut feeling about the potency of Trump’s candidacy was further re-enforced by the incisive comments of David Autor, renowned author (!!) and eminent economist who has built a solid reputation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On CBS, he waxed lyrical:
“The economic dislocations of recent decades may be contributing to the polarization of the electorate. By emphasising the nation’s economic troubles, the candidates are going where the voters are.
My co-authors and I have discovered that voting patterns have shifted most in the parts of the country that lost the most jobs as a result of increased trade with China.
Our study which focussed on congressional elections found that voters in districts with heavy job losses have tended toward ideological extremes, replacing moderates with more conservative or liberal representatives.
There is this undercurrent of economically driven dissatisfaction that works to the benefit of candidates who are non-centrist and particularly right-wing candidates.”
That is where Trump was coming from.While exchanging banter on “Saturday Night Live” on NBC with the anchor man, Colin Jost, President Barrack Obama did not appear to have any inkling of the hurricane that was lurking on the horizon.
It was a special edition of the late night comedy show and it was heavily advertised as: “Saturday Night Live Says Goodbye To Barrack Obama (44th President of the United States of America).’’
The sub title was: “To Sir With Love” (please don’t go!!) and a moving tribute was sung by Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata.President Barrack Obama cheerfully reeled off his own scorecard – a selective quote from the verdict of the trio of Binyamin Appelbaum; Patricia Cohen and Jack Healy:
“The recent upswing is real. While economic growth has been modest, the expansion is now in its eight year. The economy has added millions of jobs and incomes increased last year for households on every rung of the economic ladder.The economic gains have been particularly strong for people who live in our nation’s large metropolitan areas and for those who have college degrees.Our relationship with Donald J. Trump got off to a shaky start when he tweeted:
“Every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen. Corruption is rampant.”It is not mere co-incidence that regardless of our remonstrations, he made it clear that Nigeria was in his cross-hairs largely on account of the front page report in the “Sunday Tribune” newspaper of January 22, 2017:
Headline: Corruption and injustice.
“What manner of justice system deters minor misdemeanours while encouraging tragic transgressions? Arguably the propensity of criminal activities in the country is a consequence of the incongruent justice that abounds.
On July 26, 2011, a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court convicted a woman, Priscilla Ikyobo, of kidnapping and extortion and sentenced her to eight months imprisonment. But the court gave her an option of fine. For kidnapping, she was given the option of paying N5,000, while she was asked to pay N4,000 as an option to going to prison for extortion. Meanwhile, the ransom demanded by them and the two men she conspired with to kidnap the victim was N2million. Pray, what percentage of N2milliion is N9,000? The judgment handed down to Ikyobo was nothing but a fillip to other kidnappers.
And so what about the judgment given in December 2008 to Chief Lucky Igbinedion, who left office as Edo State governor in May 2007 and faced a 191-count charge of money laundering and other corrupt charges at a Federal High Court? But sequel to a plea bargain agreement, he had the charges reduced to one, which was that he neglected to declare his interest in a bank account.
Igbinedion pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a fine of N3.5 million, the equivalent of the amount in the said account. No further reference was made to the corrupt charges earlier levelled against the two-term governor nor the setback the state suffered as a result of his alleged misdemeanour. When not quite long ago, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tried to re-open the 191-count charge case, Igbinedion hinged his defence on the law of double jeopardy. He claimed that he had already been punished for the same offences the EFCC was re-opening and the judge let him off the hook.
Thus, when recently some former governors were arraigned for a series of malfeasance, they were largely unmoved, they knew they could always toe the Igbinedion line, plea bargain, pay a paltry part of their pillage to the state and live happily thereafter.
But what does that do to the people? It fills them with a feeling that big time misconduct earns great recompense. This, to say the least, is dangerous as it could result in anarchy. The best way to stave off the grave consequences is to steady the scale of justice and not tilt it in favour of anyone.”
It turns out that Donald Trump was deadly serious and earnestly committed when he tweeted: “I shall build a wall between the retired partners of KPMG (who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension) and KPMG. KPMG will pay for the wall.”
He has proved as good as his word. Not only has he fired off executive orders imposing a 25 per cent tax on all KPMG revenue earned outside the United States of America (“We have to bring the jobs back to the U.S.”) he has publicly declared his endorsement of water-boarding as the appropriate penalty for whoever is sitting on the entitlements of those partners who have contributed immensely to keep America safe by keeping the books safe in far flung places all over the world.