Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Of course banks are incorrigible crooks - why are we surprised?

After the scandals over the crooked and criminal manipulation of the Libor rate, the Spiv miss-selling of insurances and a protection racket on bank charges, criminal mismanagement and account distortion and a host of other malfeasances, misdoings and plain criminal acts in the pipeline or yet to be found, we already know that banks are as crooked as an Alpine road. Their greed and scandalous corruption almost destroyed the world's economy in 2008. So why is anyone surprised that they are up to their eyes in criminal tax evasion?

If this were any other sector of business, governments around the world would have closed it down by now and thrown its directors and managers in prison. Yet despite the depth of the bent rackets run by the banks, hardly a single banker has been jailed - only little countries such as Austria have jailed their bent bankers. In the UK they get knighthoods.

If any other evidence is needed of the criminal collusion between the global corporates, the banks and the political class I can't think of it. There is no probity or rectitude remaining in banking, big business or government. The whole kit and caboodle is fit only for the dumpster.


Mike Spilligan said...

Moreover, I suspect that somewhere in government someone is already finding excuses that can plausibly be used to diminish the latest scandal. There'll be Labour politicians, too, who'll be contacting old pals who could implicate them in this one if they say the wrong thing.

DeeDee99 said...

I believe that Iceland - independent, outside the EU - both refused to bail out its private banks and jailed the banksters.

Then picked up the pieces of their economy and went on to recovery.

To the best of my knowledge, not one single banksters has been prosecuted and jailed in the UK. They've walked away with their fortunes intact and in most cases, they've retained their honours.

No wonder the Conservatives get such generous donations from The City Fat Cats. Anyone would think they were buying protection.

Anonymous said...

DeeDee - its not just thew Tories - look at Labour's collusion with the City.

Its the same as in the states - the Dems and Reps get approximately the same level; of donations from the financial sector.

The bottom line is that the bankers have captured the political class, and seem to be able to lie cheat and steal with impunity.

Umbongo said...

Could the legal experts that comment here tell us peasants exactly what crimes they allege the UK and US bankers are guilty of: citation of the relevant act would be nice. AFAIAA, a diatribe including the word "bankster" is not yet recognised in the English courts as a basis for a prosecution. BTW, again AFAIAA, HSBC in Switzerland was not breaching Swiss law although had HSBC in the UK behaved as its Swiss subsidiary did it would, I believe, have been criminally liable.
Sure bankers and politicians are in bed with one another but who wouldn't politicians get into bed with if it's to their financial advantage. FFS they're politicians. If they'd wanted a respectable living they'd have become engineers.

G. Tingey said...

Not one single politician has the intelligence & mental capacity to become an engineer - they would have to cope with Mathematics, for Ghu's sake!

Cascadian said...

How surprising that people would want to shelter THEIR wealth from the depredations of yUK government (both liebour and conmen). As Umbongo points out, what the depositors have done is legal. Perhaps a more enlightened yUK tax regime could cure this problem? Some hope.

After the great 2008 implosion several banks should have been allowed to fail but of course that would expose the fantasy that London and New York are some great financial centres of expertise. As DeeDee points out the only rational player in that scenario was Iceland.

The Greek situation is about to unleash 2008v2 on many euro banks more liquidity will need to pumped in (by the government), perhaps the next yUK government could set up a National Banking Service to showcase the "expertise" so much on display similar to the NHS.

We promise to pay the bearer on demand some windmill futures and bonds issued by the government backed by nothing.

Raedwald said...

Cascadian - people who steal taxes (tax evaders) always want the things that taxes pay for whilst making me and millions more like me pay more to compensate for their theft. They are scum.

There is nothing noble about tax evasion - unless the evaders want to be thrown to the enemy without protection in the event of war, deprived of the benefits of citizenship and their ashes flung into the common sewer rather than polluting the soil of an honest nation. Let them be anathema.

Anonymous said...

Dear Raedwald

Tax evasion is the poor man's tax avoidance.

With such labyrinthine tax laws and high marginal rates the incentive to avoid/evade at every level is high.

Simplify taxes and reduce government and its waste and much of the problem would disappear.

Government doesn't want that to happen. It wants to be as large as possible by stealing as much as it can from the productive public, with the added bonus of lots of avoiders/evaders to vilify and distract the public

Just like terrorism.


Raedwald said...

DP - at what marginal rate do tax thieves start to become honest? Or will be tax thieves at whatever rates apply?

Agree re complexity - as a localist, my answer is to collect taxes locally under a simple system; the more local, the greater the knowledge of tax due. And local taxpayers, unable to evade tax, drive down the tax burden - as long as they can carry the local population with them

Cascadian said...

"people who steal taxes (tax evaders) always want the things that taxes pay for whilst making me and millions more like me pay more to compensate for their theft. They are scum.".....speaking as a tax-paying peon myself, I disagree.

High worth citizens are not necessarily tax "stealers" (what a strange socialistic description), they are I assume much less likely to use the NHS, public schools, libraries, maybe even universities. They would of course benefit from the use of your horribly crowded and inefficient transportation systems, ridiculous and inefficient armed services, the injustice system, the BBC and many other inefficient and worthless government services. Even that is in question if they are non-domiciles.

Why do you believe it is the right of government to have first call on savings outside your country? What has the government done to increase their wealth?

G. Tingey said...

Horribly crowded & inefficiant transport - well it's not as good as the Swiss one, agreed nor the Nethelrlnds, though faster ...
Or are you comparing with the US which does not have a national transport system?
The armed services have been gutted, starting with the madwoman, of course & all have followed her insane lead.

Raedwald said...

Cascadian - if people want to be Swiss residents and be subject to the Swiss tax system, fine.

While they want to live in the UK, fly safely using our tax-funded air traffic control system, drive their limos on our tax-funded roads lit by our tax-funded street lights and with tax-funded ambulances and paramedics on call to attend to them if they have an accident, then they conform to UK tax laws and don't rob their fellow citizens.

They choose to live here - they must pay their share with no cheating. Cheating is stealing.

Rush is Right said...

Tax cheating is only stealing because somebody passed a law saying that that was so. There is no moral equivalence between stealing from somebody and trying to keep your hard-earned out of the hands of some greedy scum-bag politician who wants to use YOUR money to ingratiate himself with HIS favourite client-group.

Every penny NOT paid in tax is money that cannot be wasted by the government. As such, tax avoidance is ones moral duty.

Raedwald said...

Tax money is not the government's money - it's OUR money, paid into a common pot to fund common services. If you want to be part of a democratic society, you accept the responsibility for paying at the due rates - set by people we have a choice in electing.

Tax avoidance is legal and you are daft if you don't do it. Tax evasion is stealing from your neighbours, from the vulnerable, from the sick, from the young and from the old - and only a particularly immoral breed of selfish, greedy free-loaders support it.

Cascadian said...

Greg-the US does in fact have a transport system, mainly consisting of the interstate highways, but also Amtrak (not bad), and of course the many air transport options which tend be as bad as Britain mainly due to insane government-imposed security theatre.

The armed services have been gutted by politicians of all stripes sadly, that does not alter my comment.

Raedwald-if they live in Britain then they would be paying taxes to the various levels of government, they are therefore entitled to use those services. If you are arguing they should pay more on their yUK earnings that is an entirely seperate argument.

Nobody is allowed to cheat on their taxes, they are entitled to imprisonment if they do. If they manage their affairs within the law then that is understood as lawful and is not cheating.

Your ire is directed at the wrong target.

Raedwald said...

Cascadian - UK residents have to pay tax on earnings including interest earned on bank account balances; if you hide your money in Swiss accounts specifically in order to avoid the authorities knowing your tax liability, you are evading your due; that's the law. If the evaders don't like it, they can leave the UK and live somewhere else - no one will stop them.

Cascadian said...

There are many shades of gray between paying all the taxes Britain cares to dream up and paying (legally) some of those taxes through sheltering.

Are people "hiding" their assets? Would you like HMRC to enter your home and demand you pay tax on your stamp collection because it is appreciating in value?

The nub of the issue-is it being done legally? If so, what's the problem besides pure socialistic envy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Raedwald

The only 'tax thief' is government.

Government does not provide services, it steals money with threats of violence, then squanders it with the help of whole industries which have sprung up to help it do so.

The highest marginal tax rates are those on the poorest in the land - 80% and above marginal withdrawal rates on people on benefits, which very effectively keeps them there - known as the benefits trap. Obviously it is in government's interest to do so, otherwise it would not be the case.