Friday, March 12, 2010

Banks fine: pity about the customers.

The bankers lied. And Darling, a mere puppet on their string, knows it

So why were RBS and Lloyds/HBOS not fully nationalised, rather than given unconditional largesse? Speaking at this year's Spectator lunch, Darling boasted that "I own four banks". They appear to own him. They assured him they would use his money to lend to businesses and homeowners to avert recession. They lied and Darling knew it. He knew his money would disappear into underwriting the banks' casino debts and overheating the stock market

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:38 AM (1327 views)
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20 thoughts on “Banks fine: pity about the customers.

  • Darling and the rest of Westminster was too myopic to see that the property party was well and truly over.

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  • I think the malaise is wider than this. Remember that the Labour Party didn’t want to use the word ‘Nationalise.’ This would evoke memories of the past, and would be an easy target for the opposition. Given that the majority of the press in this country is on the right, and that a consistent right-wing message, with no counter balance from the left, will make it seem as though the message is correct, made the Labour Party back away.

    I do believe they were wrong to do that. Tony Benn (my hero — I met the great man once!!) has said for years that our banking system should be under full public control. Banking is supposed to be an enabler, matching those with money to those that want it, and charging a fee for the service. What we have is a greatly inflated sector that, because it is mainly left alone, can manage the money of the super rich. And as our financial sector has ‘grown’ to an absolutely enormous size it is out-weighing our economy and causing the misery we now find ourselves in.

    If the Labour Party (and the Tories, come to that) believe that the market model is the best way for this sector to function, they *must* break it down into manageable chunks, so the threat of failure (and unemployment) is a realistic check on any excess. In that environment high bonuses will be valid — because where you get it wrong you are out on your ear.

    So as long as the parties sit right-of-centre, and the public do not get an alternative left-of-centre message that they can use to have a valid comparison, we will continue with the ridiculous state of affairs we have now. We are a major world player, but not the global superpower we thought we were in the 50s and 60s. So we need to get used to that, and cut our cloth accordingly. A few sharp stab wounds in the sides of some of our larger financial institutions will do no harm at all. Make them feel reality and so have to manage it will be in the best interests of us all.

    I still think we should nationalise the bvggers, though!

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  • vacuouspolitician says:

    Questions, questions, questions. Never ANY answers. Articles like this were numerous before the MP’s expenses scandal broke. How convenient that the expenses scandal diverted the public’s wrath from the gamblers, crooks and spivs in the City…
    Perhaps time for the heat to be turned up on the City and their silly little politician puppets who are out of their depth.

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  • @3 rumble

    I love you and want to have your children. [I need a sex change and a bit of internal surgery, and I assume you are male; but these are details, details…]

    This is what makes this website so valuable and why I come back time after time. Super links like this.

    What’s that nurse? Time for my pills…?

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  • [email protected]

    Whilst I can’t buy your left leaning ideas, I must genuinely congratulate you on a well written and thoughtful comment.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Dude, hang about here, this is not a left-vs-right thing. Unusually, there is a lot of common ground between proper lefties who don’t like the idea of rich bankers get even richer at taxpayers’ expense and libertarian-rightwingers who don’t like the idea of taxpayer-funded subsidies, full stop.

    The politicians’ craven panderings to the bankers is just part of the overall Home-Owner-Ist economic policy, which I personally see as “blue Socialism” and which has nothing to do with free market liberalism.

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  • @7 Mark,

    Home ownership is a laudable goal, which is why so many want to be included. But I think it is the loosening of regulations that has caused the problem. The banking industry has been ‘freed’ so capitalism can be shown to be superior. But those other checks, increasing the amount of land, and regulating building so developers build what people want to buy, not what they can get away with selling, were not managed as part of the big picture.

    And we see a generation (that includes me, BTW) that have taken the opportunity with both hands. I now live in a property that is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Yet that’s not what I paid for it. And as long as sales are allowed to continue the young will be saddling themselves with a lifetime of debt, and the old(er) will be liquidising their assets.

    That doesn’t bode well for the future. And whether your leanings are to the right or the left, in terms of a 20-, 30- or 40- year long term plan that is bad news. But because we essentially live in a one-party state, no one will grasp the nettle and make the changes that the country needs.

    So while my tendency is towards left-leaning policies (a certain Mrs T put me on the dole for two years — [email protected]!) I agree that it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you wish to be on; just as long as someone does something to control it. Left unchecked it is ruining our (well, yours really!) future.

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  • dude @9

    A new economic model is needed, yes.

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  • Eeeuurgh.

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  • In some sense it is a left vs right thing, if we are going to use these rather broad and elastic terms. The word socialism is widely used as a perjorative here – because most people apparently don’t know what it means – but in essence it is about spread of wealth amongst the population according to value rather than concentration in particular areas or individuals. What we are seeing in the housing market is the antithesis of socialism in that housing wealth is steadily becoming more concentrated, ostensibly brought about by the free market but in truth by a market tightly controlled by rich and powerful corporations.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Dude, for clarity, the aim of Home-Owner-Ism is to drive prices up as far as possible so that as few people as possible can afford to buy. I am all in favour of people being able to own a home if that is what they want. I would like to own a home again myself, to be honest, but I ain’t that fussed.

    LTF, while the idea of socialism is all well and good, in practice what happens is that a small “elite” live like kings and everybody else suffers. Which is pretty much like the inevitably outcome of Home-Owner-Ism. Neither has anything to do with free markets. So they are as bad as each other.

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  • vacuouspolitician says:

    13. letthemfall said…

    Well said.

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  • mark w
    Well, I’m not sure we’ve ever had a socialist system as such in this country, notwithstanding a Labour govt or two. Certainly this most recent one could not be called socialist by the usual definitions, although it has made some attempt at spreading wealth, largely inffectual. My feeling is that the well regulated free market model of the Scandinavian countries has the most going for it. But anything that prevents the concentration of wealth that has pretty much always existed in this country would get my vote. It’s worth noting that the housing boom, which has concentrated wealth, was a result of policies intended to benefit all.

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  • LTF, not well said. Excess credit courtesy of the government, independent decision, or pressure from corps – same non-neutral, coercible incompetents.

    “housing wealth is steadily becoming more concentrated” — I thought the idea was to splash credit at everyone so that all could own a home? “No more boom and bust” Oops.

    “spread of wealth amongst the population according to value” — you mean theft? By what right does anyone have the right to take the honest gains of another?

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  • “It’s worth noting that the housing boom, which has concentrated wealth, was a result of policies intended to benefit all.”
    Ah, exactly… government yet again bungling an attempt to make everything fair. The road to hell is paved with…blah, blah….

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  • Don’t worry ramble. Cons will perhaps form the next govt and you can then rest easy.

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  • I don’t like the cons. Glad for the response. Bring on 1848.

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