Will Hutton has penned what can only be described as an eloquent and rational rant in today’s Observer about the irrationalities of the the world’s financial markets – it’s short and well worth a read. The essence of his argument is that governments are so in awe of the importance of the financial services industry that they have been willing to bend over backwards to sustain the system – central banks pumping in billions of Euros. Further, the UK government has not uttered a squeak while Merkel and Sarkozy have raised the issue of whether standards and openness of hedge funds should somehow be introduced. Hutton ends with an appeal – if this system is so sick, then who is making some appeal to change it? What a manifesto that would be for Labour and Gordon Brown in a snap autumn 2007 election – make something of the UK’s banking wealth for the general population, and make the industry more open and accountable. Fat chance of Brown doing that though.
Just been on the British Bankers’ Association website and you would scarcely believe (July 2008) that we are in the midst of the deepest banking crisis since the 1930s. Not a mention of the “credit crunch” and absolutely no acknowledgement of the culpability of the banking directocracy whose untrammeled greed and venality is 100% responsible for the travails facing the financial sector. But what a surprise for an organisation whose principle purpose seems to be to justify any size of bonus for the uberclass (irrespective of performance) and any increase in charges to “the little people” whose ordinary accounts the banks routinely fillet.