Monday, 12 September 2011

The corporates draw up battle lines

With the Vickers report published today, calling for the ring fencing of the biggest banks' retail and buccaneer operations together with an increase in the capital ratio to 10% on the retail side, you may think that the Coalition  is finally doing something for the ordinary taxpayer against the depredations of the ruthless corporates. Don't be fooled. As Richard North reminds us, the corporates are snugly in bed with the entire political class. Vickers will be kicked into touch; Cameron and Osborne will announce some sort of implementation commission, with a further report date well into the future. They won't change the arrangement whereby the taxpayer underwrites the losses of the buccaneer operations and the shareholders alone enjoy the profits. 

So Barclays and RBS together with their chums Crapita, Serco, G4S and the rest who are doing so well out of taxpayer's money are closing up control of any reform. They have destroyed any meaningful Localist reform and twisted it into a privatisation process whereby public functions pass from the central State to the State Corporates; they prop up a chronically sick EU that cements their economic advantages, and regard democracy is an irrelevance and taxpayers as disposable prey, to be milked to the point of emaciation and abandoned. And as we saw last week, the devolution of planning powers to local communities is conditional on local communities always saying 'yes' to the new Tesco megastore; a smoke and mirrors exercise in pretending to devolve powers whilst increasing the reach of the corporates.  

Big business is as pernicious as big government. It cares even less. It takes even more.


tomsmith said...

"They won't change the arrangement whereby the taxpayer underwrites the losses of the buccaneer operations"

Didn't the taxpayer underwrite the losses of the retail banking sector (i.e. bad mortage loans) rather than the "buccaneer operations" carried out by the same banks?

I don't see how government mandating how banks do business in this way has any relevance here. It looks like a simple matter of politicians playing to the crowd. All governments need to do is to stop underwriting banks (or any other private business) at all.

Greg Tingey said...

Ah, you've noticed.

Now, who do you vote for?

Who is left?

tomsmith said...

I don't vote. I don't believe in democracy.

tomsmith said...

I hate this pathetic pandering by our leaders to what the they obviously believe is safe right wing sentiment. Thinking for a moment shows that the logic is missing and that it is unadulterated nonsense. Why go along with it? Surely there is an ulteriour motive?

tomsmith said...

^ ulterior

tomsmith said...

I just listened to the BBC news. The interviewer asking questions on this topic strenuously avoided the most obvious one: is this action justified given what we know about the crisis?

What we are getting here is a classic action/reaction manuipulative Hegelian gameplan from the government. We need to kick up a loud stink asap. Please call in to radio programmes and ask the question nobody is asking.

WTF do "buccaneer operations" have to do with the banking collapse as it actually happened?

Advocate free banking. Resist further regulation.

Ed P said...

There's one very good word for this collusion of government & big business - fascism

Anonymous said...

Fascism? There is no nationalism and there is no authoritarian pursuit of state mandated "tradition" or any harking back to an imagined golden age. Calling it fascism trivialises the problem and allows people to dismiss the critic as a nut.

It is that thing which exists when market and government regulation of the economy coexist under a socially democratic political consensus. Call it Third Way or whatever. It isn't fascism.

Anonymous said...

"WTF do "buccaneer operations" have to do with the banking collapse as it actually happened?"


tomsmith said...

Please elaborate. Artificially low interest rates and bad lending practices seem like a more obvious candidate for the creation of the bubble and its subsequent inevitable collapse.

What do investment banks have to do with it that would lead governments to put taxpayers on the hook? If investment banks make bad decisions then they can be allowed to go bust, can't they?

Anonymous said...

We need a public strike.

For two days:

* Don't use your debit/credit cards;
* Don't buy from corporations (Tesco, IKEA ...);
* Buy from local Mom and Pop stores;
* Don't use public transport or your car;
* take off sick.

Bring the country to a halt until they deign to listen to us.

It's been happening all over the world for nearly two years now.

The powers that be have stripped us of our democratic power.

They've perverted our justice system.

They've robbed us blind.

And they know that there's nothing we can do about it, democratically. That's why they're so smug.

They leave us with no choice but to rebel. Some choose to do it confrontationally.

A better way would simply be to withdraw our custom.

While we're about it, let's close those bank accounts and give our business to sound financial institutions which had nothing to do with this cancerous, global financial holocaust.