Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Bankers belong in Jail

Bankers belong in Jail; so says Max Hastings, a mature and reasoned voice if ever there was one and hardly an anti-capitalist. Hastings, as we do, realises that the banking part of the City still needs serious progress to restore some minute part of its moral credibility, and that it can only come with a dozen bank board members banged up in Wormwood Scrubs.
The Mail’s City editor Alex Brummer shows beyond reasonable doubt that its excesses and crimes reflect not the isolated actions of a few scoundrels, but a culture corrupt from top to bottom. Since 2008, it has often been said that we shall see no penitence from those who run the banking industry until some of the crooks in charge have gone to jail. The bankers’ lack of shame suggests this is true.
Whilst I'm sure Theresa May would be happy to oblige, one wonders if official efforts are not being blocked at high level by the corrupt cronyism that is the hallmark of Cameron's government?


DeeDee99 said...

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

The Conservative Party, in particular, is funded by The City. THAT's why no prosecutions have taken place.

Barnacle Bill said...

It is also noticeable how Cameroon & Co have managed to turn public outrage at bailing out their chums in the banking sector to benefit claimants.

Billions of our money, our grandchildren's futures mortgaged, just to keep Cameroon's chums in the life style they are accustomed too.

Yet if you are on state welfare with an extra bedroom you are victimized!

Jackart said...

Just listen to yourselves.

Mike Spilligan said...

....but this has been known for many years, certainly well before 2010. So, what about Labour's culpability?Remember Broon's cocktail party agreement with Sir Victor Blank? - Parliament deliberately avoided.

Peter Whale said...

Yes Jackart we do listen and do castigate the Tory party and know that they lie. Unlike you who think " Cast iron Dave" is pure as the driven Slush.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Jail may not be necessary.

All that's needed imho is for them to be personally liable for the losses they incur; personally - down to the last penny.

When the house in Bray is repossessed, the yacht abandoned in Cannes, the Porsche goes back to the dealer, and the kids end up at the local comp, then you'll see responsibility in banking.

Sackerson said...

Hear, hear, WY!

Ravenscar. said...

@ WY, wasn't that how investment banking used to work? By borrowing money on the open markets and speculating with borrowed money standing or falling by one's own financial acumen - skill or lack thereof.

When the banksters and mathematicians were allowed into Aladdin's cave - to access the monies stored in the retail arms of banking - unregulated and unobserved, that's when all the fun started and it goes back to the repeal of the Glass Steagal act by Clinton.
You are quite right [x1,000, 000,000,000 or two - give or take a few quid], that, the banksters should be personally liable for loses incurred - take the bastards for the lot.

George and Dave and the cronies won't hear of it though - I wonder why?

formertory said...

All that's needed imho is for them to be personally liable for the losses they incur; personally - down to the last penny

There are some practical problems here; who decides who's liable? Who decides whether losses were directly attributable or consequential? Simple answers...... often don't work very well.

If you want to scale the dizzy heights (or plumb the appalling depths) of human financial ingenuity, just have personal liability for losses; there'll be more money squirrelled away in moments than you can shake a stick at.

And if it happens for bankers, what about politicians whose policies screw the country? National Health Service managers and medical staff who waste money (sub-question: who decides whether it's a waste of money?)?

It might be very satisfying to sit back with a hefty G&T and sound off with simple answers, but it's meaningless puff in the real world.

Use of the justice system and imprisonment has with it an impartial mechanism for examining facts against laws and deciding on a penalty. That needn't preclude financial penalties. Let's just stick with that, shall we?

Mr Ecks said...

Nobody hates that sack of shit Camoron and his gang more than me but he wasn't in power when the states meddling with the banking system came undone. The bottle-fed boy was PM when the crisis hit. I agree that bankers should go to jail--but not without the political scum. The bankers were only Igor to the state's Baron Frankenstein. The polits were overjoyed to have the banks play fast and lose with the monetary system when they thought fiddling the money could create a bogus prosperity that would last forever. Reality caught up with them and us --as it will again. But it would be a true crime to jail bankers without the political scum being on the same landing.

Sceptical Steve said...

Ravenscar. I'm guessing that the bankers' response would be the same as that of solicitors and accountants, and they'd just organise themselves into limited liability partnerships.
The criminal law should be employed in the same way that the US authorities use it, with plea bargaining and limited immunity for the various bag-carriers if they are prepared to offer evidence against the real culprits.
By the way, the earlier attempts to try to introduce party politics into the thread are symptoms of another reason why we've seen no successful action against the fraudsters. For at least 20 years, politicians (of all parties) and civil servants have been complicit in the various abuses, and they're naturally very quick to try to kick any investigations into the long grass.

Mike Spilligan said...

Sceptical Steve: I'm glad you've brought the civil servants into the mix. These, largely anonymous, grey men who advise politicians are the probably the principal culprits. They know they will be protected if they give the "best" advice as to what any government can get away with - especially if it seems plausible to the general public - or well hidden if not plausible.
If I may repeat myself (partly) - why wasn't Cameron and his chumocracy shouting about the obvious when he (and his Tory predecessors) was in opposition?
Sequestration of property? It's in the wife's name / overseas trust fund etc.

Nick Drew said...

WY / Sackers - I am sorry to say you misunderestimate their ability to spirit the dosh away: when Plod turns up for the fortunes of even really uneducated big-time crims the cupboard is almost always bare

no, the thing that nice middle class people fear most is gaol - not comfy golf-club type gaol, but Brixton, Wandworth etc

Anonymous said...

Yeah - in a closed shop [Banking] where the FSA where guess what - former bankers getting names to name names and proving it - a rather large problemo, pick a weak one though and sit on him for long enough - he'll sing.

My biggest worry, nothing has changed - the politicians had the chance to separate retail banking from the necromancers of investment fraudsters and yet all the dodgy practices are still going on.

Brown saved the universe, only because if one big bank had been allowed to fail - the whole set of dominoes would have fallen - everybody knows it, ie the world banking system was steeped in dodgy debt and interconnected.

But nothing has changed, sooner or later the whole creaking edifice [western banking system] is going to implode - that is a fact.
Britain, its banks and politicians would be wise to be shoring up the defences before the inevitable next thunderous crash occurs.
But not a bit of it, they [banks and the pols in tow] steam on imperiously with Scylla and Charybdis only around the corner.

And this time, what happened in Cyprus will happen here - we're all gonna have to pay again - irrespective of ability to pay.

Even for the uninterested, you will have noticed new cash & cheque transactions strictures - blame the EU for that - they're watching what you do and who you do it with and where it goes. Even if you think it's not going to happen - Brussels is preparing for the next financial calamity.

Bloke In Italy said...

It would be sufficient to end TBTF.

PLus shareholders and bondholders need to lose their money when a bank goes tits up, and they need to start negligence suits against dodgy bank boards.

Plus there needs to be a way to ensure that the bigger a banks balance sheet is and hence the greater the systemic risk there is, there should be some sort of obligation to ensure against the risk of that failure. Properly carried out it should be self regulating and should ideally serve to encourage banks to remain smaller as well as discouraging risky behaviour.

These cries to throw the scum in jail are all very well but sounds like a lynch mob to me, it's not big and it's not clever.

Obviously too the nexus between globla finance and global political players as at the heart of the problem and there needs to be zero tolerance of any financial impropriety, conflicts of interest etc. This is where blogs and social media can have a potentially important role to play.

Unfortunately the tone of the debate even on an intelligent thread like this one rather mitigates against a nuanced and proportionate approach.

Sceptical Steve said...

The elephant in the room is the fact that Governments of all complexions are effectively broke, and need to find ever more imaginative ways to borrow their way out of trouble. The bankers' role has been to keep the money flowing, through purchases of government debt, PFI etc.
Bearing this in mind, it becomes a lot easier to understand why politicians and civil servants do so little to clamp down on them...

G. Tingey said...

Mr Ecks has the right sow by the ear.
We all would like to see christian Tony banged-up & here's another reason.
He can share a cell with Camoron

Raedwald said...

Jackart tweeted that we're all 'Whiny Old Farts' and that, I think, is the authentic voice of Banking in all this.

English Pensioner said...

I worked in the aviation industry, and if I deliberately did something wrong and somebody got killed or injured, I would be held personally responsible and could have been charged with manslaughter. The directors also might have been considered liable for inadequate supervision and work practices.
With banks, not only do the individuals who did wrong avoid any punishment by the courts, but they don't even seem to loose their bonuses, let alone get fired. Nor do the directors suffer, just the shareholders who have to pay the fines in terms of reduced dividends.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Bloke In Italy

Lynch mobs have had their moments

There is only so much corruption that people will endure...