Banks - Time To Stop The Half Measures
.... Quarter measures more like, if truth be told. One can understand Cameron and Osborne's reluctance to take concerted action to deal with the collapse of trust in British banks, or more pointedly, British bankers.
After all, who likes to see the prospect of so many former school chums, fellow Bullingdon club members and Tory party donors going to jail for conspiracy to defraud just about everyone with a mortgage and / or a bank or savings account?
Setting up a Government inquiry is all very well, but smacks of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted
At least Vince Cable has some consistency around this issue, which is more than can be said about most other members of the Coalition government. Like most people, I am really angry about this situation, especially at the relative inaction of our "leaders". The Levellers nailed it in "Dirty Davey" 20 years ago "Corrupt, corrupt from the bottom to the top and you tell me it's the law."
The thing is, will the main cause of this disgraceful farrago be dealt with once and for all? When you trace things back, nearly every contributory plank of the current crisis in British banking has the existence of the bonus culture at its root. Whether it was inflating the housing bubble, inventing more convoluted derivatives and similar financial "products", hedging right left and centre with Other People's Money, giving out mortgages to people with little prospect of repayment or passing on wholesale risk to the public purse, the one constant has been the blagging of huge, unjustified bonuses by greedy bankers who don't actually produce anything useful to the common weal but who have successfully gambled (or often, not) using OPM.
No doubt the outcome of the Inquiry and action by the Fundamentally Supine Authority will be a lot of window dressing tinkering at the edges with a few token sacrificial lambs to reassure the rest of us. Unless the bonus culture is totally scrapped ASAP, history will eventually repeat itself a few years down the line as "confidence" returns to the Market. If these people are actually worth paying large sums of money, then that is what they should get as a salary, endorsed by shareholders annually. If they insist on having bonuses as some sort of testosterone contest, tax them at 100%. It's time to stop pussyfooting around and get a grip of these thieves and shysters.