Friday, 26 November 2010


The London government is apparently seeking backing from the EU for new bank bonus rules.

So what happened to the pre-election promise to be "tough on banks"? Has there been pressure put upon them from the City or was it just a wee story they spun to make us think that they meant business.

The legislation is in place; it was put on the statute book by Alistair Darling with the backing of the Tories and Liberals. There is nothing to stop the UK implementing the laws except for lack of will. Even the author of the report that recommended the tougher regulations, David Walker, ex-Morgan Stanley banker, has advised that the UK should go it alone but the chancellor appears to think that if we make bankers do anything that they don’t want to do, then the best of the talent; the ones that make billions (and clearly lose it too) will go elsewhere.

It seems to me that the bankers have been threatening to do that for as long as I can remember, and it would seem that if they are worried about publishing the details of big earners it may be that the big earners have something to hide. Are all their tax affairs in order?

The government’s delaying tactic comes just as it has emerged that their officials are talking with banks’ management about a possible donation of about £1 billion to a "Big Society bank". It has been suggested that if the banks co operate the government will quietly forget about silly old regulations.

Dave, it seems, is determined that his non-starter Big Society (the thing Mrs Thatcher said didn’t even exist, never mind in large size) will not “non-start”.

The Treasury said that Osborne would be writing to his European counterparts this week, but taking time over the discussions with all the EU countries means that nothing would be agreed this year or even next. Business Secretary Vince Cable called for greater openness earlier this week, but he’s only a Liberal and no one listens to anything they say

Senior bankers are said to want to ease tensions with the public which they know is not exactly pro bankers at the moment. They seem to think we will be pacified by money put into Dave’s "Big Society bank. I have to say I doubt that very much.

The insufferably patronizing Angela Knight, of the British Bankers Association, said: "We have said repeatedly that the banks understand the public mood with respect to remuneration, and the banks also understand their societal responsibilities. It is not surprising therefore that we are talking with the Government. The banks are aware of the role that they must play."

I don’t think that they have the foggiest idea Angela. Not the foggiest idea. Otherwise they would all be hiding under their beds or heading for other shores, whether or not details were being published. They need to remember what happened to Fred Goodwin’s house and be aware that people are only now beginning to feel the pain. There is a lot of red hot anger out there.

(PS: Would you believe that the Royal Bank is still insisting to its customers, me for example, that they would be delighted to help them with their financial planning? I’d sooner ask Viv Nicholson!)

Pics: London; Old Georgie there, skipping his responsibilities; Angela Knight. Now I knew she was a monster, but I didn't think she was that bad, and I have no idea who the bloke is Subrosa, so don't ask!! Viv Nicholson and her ill fated husband. Actually both of them were pretty ill fated. They won the equivalent of around £3 million and it brought them nothing but misery.


  1. Lamposts for bankers and politicians what a patronising b***h that angel is.

    Greek bank 94% profit drop!

    UK is insolvent and is only able to hide this is by QE, what a shambles.

    Have a glass ready, strong malt.

    A chilling look at the future

  2. The face presented by the banks publicly is insulting. Each and every citizen knows that behind closed doors they are laughing it up about how they've managed to avoid hitting the fan with the rest of the proverbial. Quite right that if they understood the real mood of the people they'd be on the run, I've yet to meet anyone beyond a few 'my parents are bankers' kids that have anything but the most vitriolic and violent words for them.
    'The government' in the quotation none too cleverly sidesteps the fact that half of 'the government' is in bed with their ilk, too.

  3. That's cheering Cynical!!

    It could happen though, but if the markets kill off the Euro, what then...?

    Indonesian, Chinese.... sterling?

  4. Yes Lazaruszine. I know no one who doesn't hold them, rahter like politicians, in complete contempt!

    I'm seriously surprised that Fred's windows is teh only piece of voilence that has been directed against them.

    If the mood of general population follows that of the students, accompanied by a reduction in police numbers, I can certainly see civil unrest in this country.

  5. I see RBS are plugging their advert on tv. A helicopter pilot who has banked with them for 20 years. Although he only looks about 19.
    It keeps reminding me of 'helicopter money'. Ben Bernanke's final solution to the depression.
    Fly over the country in a helicopter. Open the doors and throw out billions in cash so people will spend spend spend our way out of the depression. They call it quantitative easing but has been known for a century as 'inflation'.
    Crash the currency until your debts go away. It used to work ok when we made things but might not work now that we have to import stuff like food and clothing.

  6. Yes, that's why I thought too Monty.

    Wait for inflation, and then who will be able to pay their mortgage?

    How will Camerclegg cope with the protesters falling over the homeless on the streets?

  7. tris..

    Iceland got ridiculed for going bust but they will have the last laugh. They just defaulted and started from scratch. And before the default they upgraded their infrastructure with everyone elses money and made home reposessions illegal. We're not laughing now.

  8. Another load of old Tory (and lib dem) bilge spouted before the election to get votes kind of worked in England)reneaged upon!

    That will be the BIG SOCIETY which will doubtless be a compulsory voluntary thing for anyone on benefits to do. So expect charity shops to be staffed with surly benefits claiments anxious to make a total mess of everything they do, instead of friendly old ladies!

  9. Personally, I thought those that mocked Iceland, would in time be mocked themselves (talking of which, I wonder how that tall thin bloke with a tendency to run off at the mouth is doing). They must be among the most resilient people in the world. A little local difficulty was not going to upset them.

    They are fiercely independent. I wonder if they will ever join the EU. Somehow I doubt it. They have too much to lose and little to gain, as they have proved that they can solve their own problems.

    I imagine that the whaling issue is enough to stop them being admitted.

    Scotland would do well to follow their example of independence. They stand alone, without oil, and yet, long before the banking boom that made them in turns super rich and then super poor, they were a prosperous (and this should impress Mr Cameron) contented nation, despite their less-than-Caribbean climate.

    We could have been that, if we hadn't been dragged into the responsibility of helping America police the world and had our fishing decimated by UK ministers round a table in Brussels having only the vaguest idea of where Scotland was, never mind what we were about.

  10. Munguin:

    I doubt if the charities will willingly take the difficult for more than a day or two.

    They are, as you say, frequently staffed by sweet old ladies, but they can be quite ruthless.

    Surley benefit claiments might well find their backsides kicked out into the street by the same sweet old ladies.

    Charity shops also demand Criminal Records Checks, which will mean that many people excluded from work by their past will also be excluded from Big Society "voluntary" work.

  11. tris,

    Promise not to tell anyone but my nephew is a Director of the RBS but my sister still loves him. His only redeeming feature is that he supports Scottish independence - an ungrateful sod if newlabour are to be believed.

    It's funny how much more attractive that Viv Nicholson looked with that cheque in her hand.

  12. Implement new rules to be tough on bankers? Good. But only if our European competitors implement the same tough measures along side.

    I don't want London to go under, we need financial industry in the UK - millions of jobs are either directly or indirectly dependent on it.

    But hey, you guys want cheap populism [might me more expensive than you think btw], and a quick fix ... don't let little things like transnationalisation and globalisation of reosurces, business and employment get in the way of a chance to pretend Tories are all in it for the money.

  13. Not just the money Dean their odious nasty party right wing agenda as well, don't forget that!

  14. No Dean. Us folk don’t want any of that. We want some sort of reasonable decency.

    We have seen what making gods, untouchable by human hand, of the bankers of the City of London, and for that matter Edinburgh has done for the country...Look around.

    I think we have to say: "You people were massively involved in the cause of this crisis. You went mad; you allowed staff to risk the whole country on your greed, and their greed, and the greed of your shareholders. You have cost millions of people their jobs; you have caused misery beyond measure to many others who are living in a full time world on part time wages; people are cold and hungry because of you.

    You must agree that we publish details of how many of you earn over a million pounds a year.

    There, we don’t expect you to be cold and hungry and out of work or living on £100 a week; we don’t except that your library should close, or that you will no longer be able to give your kinds a decent Christmas; we don’t want to take part time work in a supermarket because your company has gone belly up. No, au contraire we will ensure by our taxes that YOUR company doesn’t go belly up, while all around other people’s are. We just want you to try to act like you were human beings living in a society that makes at least a passing pretence of civilization, at least for a few years until the rest of us pay off your debts.

    Is that too much to ask of the greedy bastards?

    Do you know what Dean? If that IS too much to ask of them, while they light their cigars with £100 notes, then the whole shooting match can sod off to Mumbai, or Dubai or Beijing or New Delhi, or to hell for all I care.

    Because if that is the kind of person we value above all in this country; if that is the kind that we cannot possibly do without and we will do ANYTHING to keep, then someplace along the way we have lost it.

    I’ve wandered around the City and watched them, these masters of the universe, and they are a pile of overdressed neds. They have the manners of pigs, they are loud and boorish and they care not a jot for anyone else.

    Remember Derek Conway the MP who was employing his entire family to do absolutely nothing, the one who started the whole expenses debacle that made the UK the laughing stock of the world? His son, whist also being paid by us to do sod all, was running parties for their types on the theme of ‘F*** Off I’m Rich’.

    I think that says all we need to know about them.

  15. No one will hear from me John... and no-one reads this nonsense so your safe.

    Imagine you having a nephew old enough to be a director or RBS. I didn't know they had directors who were only 12... but now I come to think of it...

    OK sorry, I mean no disrespect to your sister or your family.

    Nicholson is still alive John... although I think she's about 75.

    But she has an unhappy habit of being widowed for some reason...

  16. Are you still drunk Dean the rest of the regions comprising the UK are fed up subsidising Londonn's greed they are the cancer and it needs surgery not more drugs.

    ps. over 12ins snow and its still coming down

  17. Tris

    we should punish the Bankers severely send them around Brownlie house for the weekend.

    The only reason his nephew tells him he supports Independence is he is a banker and lying his head off

  18. Ewwwww Cynical... I hope you have some of the water of life laid in against such circumstance... LOL Silly me. if course you have.

  19. I was thinking of popping round to Brownlie's this weekend Niko.

    They tell me he still has something he can burn, so there's bound to be a little heat.

    It's bad luck for us "ordinary people" that the year the power companies look like they intend increasing and more than increasing and then increasing again their profit margin, is the year that it is deep snow and minus temperatures in November.

    Four years ago I was in London oin this very day for a concert and we were wandering around in t shirts and shorts during the day, and with only jeans and a light jacket at night.

    Good year to choose, Power Companies.

  20. I recently heard a very erudite paper by a German banker at a Bruges Group meeting. It will be published sometime soon. His thesis was that the aim of EU financial regulation was to raise British costs to the levels of French and German banks, so transferring much of their business to Paris and Frankfurt. They overlooked the fact that the business could go elsewhere to areas of lower regulatory costs.

    Brown was a regulation freak, so he developed a "tripartite" system which employed lots more people ticking boxes but took away the Bank of England's ability to deal swiftly with naughty or unfortunate banks. It had only worked successfully for 150 years. The old system was informal but swift. The Governor noticed a bank going off the rails. He raised an eyebrow and the unsound practices were either reined in or quietly bailed out. After a due lapse of time, one or more directors would tell their shareholders that he was going to spend more time with his family.
    You can see why New Labour would want to wreck such an effective, simple system.

  21. >But hey, you guys want cheap populism [might be more expensive than you think btw], and a quick fix ... don't let little things like transnationalisation and globalisation of reosurces, business and employment get in the way of a chance to pretend Tories are all in it for the money.

    Dean, no offence, but your argument here basically seems to boil down to 'well we have to stay on top and keep buttfucking developing countries because if we slip for a moment, we're gonna be getting fucked.' Let's not forget this wonderful globalisation is the same globalisation responsible for the transnationlist feudalism that much of the developing world labours (or cannot find labour) under.

  22. Niko,

    The only reason the bankers would come round my house would be with a re-possession order. Funnily enough, my nephew said you were a banker as well - how he managed to climb the greasy pole with a speech impediment I'll never know.

    It is not strange how both NewLabour and the Tories manage to reach cosy accommodations with bankers and millionaires and if the events of last week in Holyrood are anything to go by they could become even greater allies after May. I wonder if Iain Gray knows if they're tartan or not?

  23. Well, I suppose to a cetain extent I can Mr S. Unless of course what a certain banker did was to spend a couple of hours with his family telling them that he was going outside and might be some time.

    A bottle of cheap whisky and a revolver was next on his list of things to spend some time with.

    I understood that although the Labour idiots set up the FSA, it was regulated by the Bank of Britain, oh sorry, no, England.

    Indeed the person in charge of it was the deputy Governor, who aparently was as out to lunch as everyone else in the city. I blame the cocaine.

    It's just not the same quality as it used to be.

    Anyway, I've heard Mr Osborne is an expert who, with his sound financial ability (for he's an expert in that too some say, other say it's only the coke he knows anything about) will have the Bank of Britain, nope sorry, it's only England that it's the bank of... and therefore him, in charge of everything within a few weeks of being elected, well a few months, well a year...well...


  24. Not a lot of difference between New Labour and New Tories John. They even go to the same sort of schools and the same universities. They're all in it together, just like we are all in it together, only they're in an all together different thing all together from what we are in all together. Confused? It's probably an old school tie thing, and unfortunately I won't wear a tie. Gubbed!

  25. PS... Does that mean I can't come round this weekend and beurn your furniture to keep warm?

    The only aternative is going round to Nikos, and their furniture is all out in the back garden by the looks of things.

  26. Tris,

    Does it not strike you as strange that every time you come to my house I'm not in. Anyhow I've got millions of copies of the Calman report and fake Labour manifestos that we can burn in the back-garden.

  27. Yep, it is the most AMAZING co-incidence John. I've scrathced my head over it many many tmes... and it's a long walk!

    Ah, I've heard they are awesome for kindling!

    Maybe we could invite some of the Labour front bench to bank up the fire. I've heard they are slow burning, but there's a lot of heat to be had from them (specially the plumper ones...wink wink).