Banks set up trading platform in space

Banks plan to launch a new trading platform in space to avoid "onerous" taxes and legislation.

A consortium of the world's largest banks including Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan believe the billions of dollars of investment needed would be recouped within years since the "space haven" would allow them to avoid terrestrial tax bills, capital controls and other legislative requirements designed to curb their speculative activity.

The consortium plans to convert a disused Russian space station - Mir - that is currently orbiting 600 miles above the earth's surface with state-of-the-art computer and satellite technology . The billion dollar refit will allow banks to take advantage of operating within a vacuum. Transaction times would effectively be halved since a trade initiated in space with a bank in London has to travel half the distance as the same trade initiated in New York. Banks are hopeful it is the start of a new advent in astro-finance and the logical next step for mobile capital.

Space law - corpus juris spatialis - currently combines domestic and international law but makes no provision for space as a taxable jurisdiction. A spokesperson for the consortium said "this is one small step for banking, but a giant leap for our profitability." Share prices were up on average 5 per cent at participating banks following news of the announcement.

Back on planet earth, campaigners have expressed outrage at the lengths banks will go to avoid paying their fair share in taxes. Activists from the Robin Hood Tax campaign dressed up in Robin Hood spacesuits on Friday to demonstrate outside Barclays, saying it is indicative of their ruthless pursuit of profit. David Hillman, the campaign spokesperson, said that "the expression that 'banks' profits are out of this world' has now literally come true."

There are already two manned space stations - the International Space Station and the recently launched Chinese Tiangong 1. But Mir will be the first commercial manned space station and top traders from the elite world of investment banking have already been hand-picked to undergoing astronaut training. It is hoped they will be in space and trading in a year's time - next April 01, 2013.

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Mir space station orbiting earth. Photo: Getty Images
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Casting the Brexit movie that is definitely real and will totally happen

Details are yet unclear as to whether The Bad Boys of Brexit will be gracing our screens, or just Farage's vivid imagination.

Hollywood is planning to take on the farcical antics of Nigel Farage et al during the UK referendum, according to rumours (some suspect planted by a starstruck Brexiteer). 

Details are yet unclear as to whether The Bad Boys of Brexit will be gracing our big or small screens, a DVD, or just Farage's vivid imagination, but either way here are our picks for casting the Hollywood adaptation.

Nigel Farage: Jim Carrey

The 2018 return of Alan Partridge as "the voice of hard Brexit" makes Steve Coogan the obvious choice. Yet Carrey's portrayal of the laughable yet pure evil Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events makes him a serious contender for this role. 

Boris Johnson: Gerard Depardieu

Stick a blonde wig on him and the French acting royalty is almost the spitting image of our own European aristocrat. He has also evidently already mastered the look of pure shock necessary for the final scene of the movie - in which the Leave campaign is victorious.

Arron Banks: Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais not only resembles Ukip donor Arron Banks, but has a signature shifty face perfect for the scene where the other Brexiteers ask him what is the actual plan. 

Gerry Gunster: Anthony Lapaglia

The Bad Boys of Brexit will reportedly be told from the perspective of the US strategist turned Brexit referendum expert Gerry Gunster. Thanks to recurring roles in both the comedy stalwart Frasier, and the US crime drama Without a Trace, Anthony Lapaglia is versatile enough to do funny as well as serious, a perfect mix for a story that lurches from tragedy to farce. Also, they have the same cunning eyes.

Douglas Carswell: Mark Gatiss

The resemblance is uncanny.

David Cameron: Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott is widely known for his portrayal of Moriarty in Sherlock, where he indulges in elaborate, but nationally destructive strategy games. The actor also excels in a look of misplaced confidence that David Cameron wore all the way up to the referendum. Not to mention, his forehead is just as shiny. He'll have to drink a lot of Bollinger to gain that Cameron-esque puppy fat though. 

Kate Hoey: Judi Dench

Although this casting would ruin the image of the much beloved national treasure that is Judi Dench, if anyone can pull off being the face of Labour Leave, the incredible actress can.