The arrogance and selfishness of the banks takes one’s breath away

With a week to go to the budget, the banks’ lobbying muscle is at full stretch to pressure the government into returning the finance sector into the status quo ante that existed before the crash.   They actually have the gall to be demanding an end to criticism of the banking industry, as though (i) they weren’t the largest single cause of the crash in the first place, (ii) that crash hadn’t triggered bailout costs of £70bn plus a doubling of the national debt from £0.7tn to £1.4tn now, and (iii) the consequential recession hadn’t bred the longest, slowest and feeblest recovery since the Victorian times.   What is insufferable about the banks is that there is not a smidgeon of remorse about the catastrophe they imposed on the UK, let alone any acceptance of the (minimalist) reforms that have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of their recklessness and insouciance.

Barclays has even urged the government to review the ring-fence proposed by the Vickers Commission to separate retail from investment banking, even though this was itself a watering down of the much-needed re-introduction of Glass Steagall which would have made that separation into a clean break, as opposed to ‘Chinese Walls’ susceptible to regulatory arbitrage.   Like the Bourbons, the banks never learn.   Their suffocating self-righteousness blinds them to anything which does not maximise their own self-interest, and stuff the interests of the rest of the nation.

Now they’re even objecting too to the introduction of criminal liability for top-level executives whose reckless and incompetent behaviour has caused phenomenal losses for the British economy and for most of the Western world.   They don’t object to huge penalties being levied for banks’ misfeasance because that is paid by the shareholders, not them.   Yet the only way that their propensity to illegal dealing can be curbed is by the threat of individuals being sent to prison.   They are quite prepared to see benefit cheats sent to prison, usually for relatively tiny sums of money compared with their own depredations, but if you fiddle billions of other people’s money (Libor, forex, interest rate swaps, PPI, etc.), they expect to be treated with kid gloves and then move on.

They’re complaining too about the bank levy which was set up to compensate taxpayers for the enormous costs of the bailouts.   It’s set at £2.5bn a year, and at that rate would take 28 years to pay off the £70bn they directly cost the country, let alone the doubling of the national debt which is still increasing.

The right policy is restructuring the over-mighty Big 4 banks into smaller units more directly serving the British interest, tighter regulation to prevent another collapse (which is likely in the not too distant future), the re-introduction of Glass Steagall to ensure a real break between retail and investment banking, the early introduction and application of criminal penalties for reckless or grossly incompetent management, and the bank levey steadily increased as bank profits rise – and stuff the banks’ howls of complaints.


9 thoughts on “The arrogance and selfishness of the banks takes one’s breath away

  1. Clinical appraisal of the utter contempt the Banks have for regulation, law and the British People. I just wish people in general would wake up to this. Instead of believing the ideologically sourced lies about strivers and scroungers, them and us, able and disabled

  2. “But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”

    D. H. Lawrence

  3. Man pinches loaf of bread jailed woman thieves food to live after being sanctioned jailed yet the biggest fraudsters of them all still theiving by fraudulent trading are still linning their own pockets the banksters who brought this about still walk around freely shouldn’t it be my lord throw away the keys

  4. Jeffery Davies-

    As usual you’re not wrong; in fact once again these bankers, (which bankers ?) are behaving more than anything else, exactly like a bunch of MPs, (in fact I seem to remember the current leader of the Labor party trying to have MPs expenses exempted from the freedom of information act for example,) and it is, I fully agree, sickening .

  5. In fact Mr Meachers’ analysis lacks vigour in this instance. The derivative trades are, largely criminal, and, mostly fraudulent. The foreclosure tsunami resulting from Banker criminality was/is too criminal, as the electronic signing is not legal proof of ownership. The originals of course sold of with trash, bundled into CDO’s. These men, and women, ought by any measure to be languishing in a prison: Preferably a Sodexo institution, and not remain free to repeat endlessly their crimes against humanity. I believe it may be possible to make a case of such worldwide crimes against Humanity to bring before the ICC. But of course the ICC is not really a court of justice at all. A Marsupial farce in my view.

    But under the dreadful Thatcher other quiet crimes were I believe committed. Releasing the financial predators from any decent restraint was just the beginning. I have read that Banks/Financial institutions were joined at top by insurance companies. Research is no easy matter in this regard. But I was suspicious that insurance claims were being met against the signatures of the claimants. There existed tantalising tidbits but no proof, so I wrote a FOI request to the insurance ombudsman requesting information of whether, when a claim was made the Banking entity monetised the claim against the signature, as is the practice with a loan (lending money you don’t have against a signature on the loan form accepting the debt).

    Well, the Ombudsman refused to answer , referring me to another body, that too claimed no knowledge, referring me back to the Ombudsman.

    I am of the view that there is likely only one reason to permit insurance Co’s and Banks to merge, in the way it was done. Banks have there own insurance arrangements. But this must remain within the realm of suspicion and conspiracy theory. If true, what exactly is the real status of insurance premiums?

    Either way, the bankers belong in Jail. Along with their political accomplices.

  6. Brilliant responses from everyone especially Harry appears very switched on to the corruption within. I admit I have no idea what a Sodexo Institution is but agree that is where the likes of Goodwin and the wrongly named “Lord” Green should be where ever it is, sounds good to me.

    Strange how it has all gone quiet over Green, however his apology seems to be sufficient to alleviate him and allow him to carry on as normal.

    I truly believe these issues will only get worse as time goes by, I do not know of one banker behind bars for gross misconduct, every issue gets fudged over by those in power and the media gagged.

    Another great article Mr. Meacher and yes it does take your breath away but nothing will change, wonder how much the honest Tories took in donations from the Banks over the past five years , the mind boggles.

  7. Yes indeed we all love to pout and we all puff about this stuff; but in an ever more Americanized, (“America’s mission to the world,” which is to say their morally nihilist views about everything,) world and our now completely debased, bankrupt and lets be honest here, entirely corrupt political culture where even something as completely trivial as taking a tasteless an arguably, inappropriate, (I couldn’t actually care less,) picture in the wrong place can evoke a chorus of strident and sickeningly self righteous indignation from one and all and will even get you ejected, (usually you only need to be a socialist or disabled,) from the Labor party,) whilst gangsters, (arguably,) like Stephen Green still step lightly through the corridors of power leaving a trail of, (metaphorical,) bloody footprints in their wake what hope is there?

    Was it ever thus ?

    No it bloody wasn’t.

  8. Hum lovely jubbly rtu ids parliamentary ccredit card stop has of his overspend and this devils incharge of the dwp like the fraud caused by the banksters it doesnt get the recipient jailed free do it all over again next month jeff3

  9. The idea that tinkering around with the Banks is going to change things; is overlooking the fact that these Banks could change themselves, but don’t because the few that control them are the only ones to benefit.

    We need to take that control away from them not to police what in the past has been a farce. Every time the FSA has tried to pursue illegal activities in Finance, the cost has been exorbitant and never finally prosecuted.

    In short, we need use debt free money and direct it wherever it is needed at any one time, that could be done by nationalising the Banks and leaving the corrupt private sector to wither on the vine.

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