What did we expect? Bankers are not Mother Theresa. Over the past year taxpayers have given them half a trillion pounds in cash, loans, shares, lucre, dosh, quantitative easing, whatever, with not a string or condition attached. We knew, or at least some of us did, what they would do next.
They would not give the money back. They would certainly not lend it to collapsing manufacturers or high street retailers, whom the government had refused to help. Instead they would pay off the gambling debts they had run up from money previously entrusted to them by the public as depositors. They would spend the rest on bonuses, houses, Porsches, yachts, brothels (says the Guardian), Cotswolds farms, commodity shares, bonuses, bonuses and yet more bonuses. After a while, you just cannot get rid of the bloody stuff.
I've said we should have let Northern Crock go bust. I've said we should have separated retail banking and the transfer network from buccaneer banking and be prepared to let the gamblers go bust without a penny of State aid. This could have been done over the Summer. Now, as those gilded fools are building yet another unsustainable asset bubble that will burst in due course, there is no recourse, nothing left, with which to bail them out again. And this time they risk taking the whole of the retail banking system with them. Jenkins says;
The answer must lie in their personal circumstance. Those advising Brown and Darling in Downing Street, such as Lord Myners, Lady Vadera, Lord Turner and John Kingman, were all past or present bankers, or friends of bankers. When they leave public life they are likely to work for a bank.You. damned.bloody.fools. It will be lamp posts and piano wire next time around.