Banks’ culture is still fundamentally rotten

Trust me I'm a banker - BBC ScotlandIn a pre-election party political broadcast called the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor was at pains to tell us that his ‘long-term economic plan’, which he echoed 15 times like a demented obsessive perhaps to cover up that he doesn’t actually have one, was firmly on track. The economy had been saved from ruin and was now on its way to prosperity. It was like a surreal dream.

But one area of this magnificent future that he chose not to mention was the state of the finance sector, always the most dangerous and potentially explosive sector in a capitalist economy. Hardly surprisingly since the Tories get more than half their income each year from the banking and shadow banking (hedge funds, money market funds, etc.) systems and the whole finance sector remains wide open to abuse. Of course that will never be admitted, least of all by Osborne who likes to regale us with another of his canards that there has been a major clean-up exercise since the crash in 2008. There hasn’t. Continue reading

Reining in the banks must be more than bonus capping

The last ditch defence of unlimited sky-high bankers’ bonuses by Osborne in Brussels exposes as nothing else can the sordid nakedness of Tory values – hands off £10 million bonuses for bankers who nearly crashed the global economy and will hav e cost this country an increase in national debt to £1,400,000,000,000 by 2016 whilst at the same time targeting a cut of £28,000,000,000 in the UK welfare budget.

Anyone would think that the EU proposal for a banker’s bonus to be limited to an amount equal to salary, or twice salary if agreed by a majority of shareholders, erred on the extremely generous side. But the greed of the corporate elite, and their contempt for everyone else and for any system of proportionality or fairness, knows no bounds. The EU rules, though, do need to be tightened.

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