Saturday 9 October 2010


The Committee of European Banking Supervisors’ recommendations for new rules to contain the worst excesses of the people who nearly brought our country and many others to the brink of ruin, and whose debts we will be paying for a generation or more, contain the following points:

• Curbs to apply in all parts of company inside and outside EU
• Non-performance related golden parachutes banned
• Up-front bonuses subject to claw back
• Big bonuses not to be awarded purely in up-front cash
• Should be an appropriate rate between base pay and bonuses
• 40%-60% of variable remuneration to be deferred for 3-5 years
• Governments must be repaid before bonuses paid
• Contracts must be subject to regulations
• Information on remuneration to be made available to shareholders
• No multiple-year contracts.

This has apparently left the City in an uproar.

Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, and patronizing woman, has told us that companies might very well relocate elsewhere outside of the EU and that the UK will lose the millions that they pay in taxes every year, perhaps forgetting that we had to bail them out with billions, a
nd there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again in fairly short order.

I can’t see anything unreasonable about the regulations. The bankers remind me of BBC executives and civil servants with their “We could get more elsewhere” attitude. Frankly I doubt very much that many of them want to live in Mumbai or Hong Kong, and if they do, in order to satisfy their extreme greed, then good riddance.

I’m sick of us ordinary people having to pander to other people’s greed in order to retain their incomparable services... the British Civil Service who seem to be incapable of getting anything right, the BBC, for which we have to pay if we want to watch any television at all, on pain of criminalization, and bankers, who light cigars with £100 notes.

So GO, I say, if you can't behave like human beings, but you don't go until you pay every halfpenny back and if that breaks be it.


  1. Like it, where can I sign, Tris?

  2. Thanks OR.

    You just did sign up ...


  3. That dried up old prune, of a failed Tory MP, pops up every time the question of anything that may damage business with the same hackneyed clichés about going abroad, she really ought to change the record. Where is she gonna go? Beijing? Well let her I for one will carry her bags to the airport.

    The Tories need not be so self satisfied either if this had happened on their watch it would probably have been equally as bad if not worse.

  4. I think there would be a queue to carry that ones bags Munguin.

    She is frequently on the Today programme where she talks down to the interviewer and the listeners. We've been used to that from a variety of politicians. Patricia Hewitt was the worst, but there are plenty more.

    However Angela Knight is defending the indefensible.

    In my personal life I’ve never bowed to someone who threatened me. I don’t see why I should have to tolerate it from this lot.

  5. For anyone who questions the new powers enjoyed by the EU parliament post-Lisbon, take note. Much of the bankers bonus limits, salary caps etc talked about were all initiatives by MEPs, not the banker-loving commission!

    As for Knight, she is only doing her job; for which she is paid; and that is to defend the financial sector. I won't criticise her for effectively lobbying etc, she is competent at her job. That is not to say I like what she does, I cannot stand it.

  6. somepapfaedundeeOctober 09, 2010 7:52 pm

    Let them go!
    Let another country become their host (biologically speaking).

    And as for the mouthpiece, just because she represents the financial sector excuses her in no way! As a representative for the sector she ought to be reacting in the context of the situation not without regard to it, after all aren't the rest of us! Aren't we 'all in it together' Dean?

    Call their bluff, reign them in tight and let's get the economy working for society instead of the wrong way round. It's about time the entire business sector (and the politicians apparently so hypnotised by it) got over itself and remembered that they exist within society not above it.

    And please, if anyone's going to respond with some disguised variant of 'trickle down' voodoo economics you better bring some evidence to the party).

  7. What are they waiting for? should we have a whip round for their tickets out...I'll gladly pay something to get rid of the greedy f***er's!

    Good post tris!

  8. For US replace UK mirror image

    I wouldn't pay anything to get rid of the leeches just allow them to buy a pair of armbands before doing a Reggie Perrin.

  9. Indeed Dean. This is the EU that is doing this. Not the British government or the bank of England.

    As for knight, she could try to be just a little apologetic about the mess her people have landed us in, but she's not. She busy explaining why they should still receive millions of pounds of taxpayers' money in bonuses while ordinary people get the boot from their £15,000 a year jobs..

  10. Well said Dundee.

    If the only way our economy can work involves what we have been through in the last 10 years then it's time we found another way of living.

  11. Load of truth in that article CH.

    Brown bragged that there were more and more people in employment, and he was right. Many of the jobs though are very seriously part time...12 hours a week. Some are zero hour contracts, which of course means that you can go a week or two without a shift... and so without money.

    Many more of them are at, or near minimum wage, which is just about enough to exist.

    Believe it or not, the people who clean the houses of parliament are on minimum wage, while the seriously greedy Lords get £300+ a day for just being there...that and subsidised meals and drinks. And we all know what the MPs get.

    You’ll never have a joined up country with that kind of carry on.

  12. Indyan:

    Thank you

    Yeah. It will be interesting, if they end up in Mumbai, to see if the Indian government wants to bail them out next time.

  13. The problem with the whole 'call their bluff' rhetoric is that they aren't bluffing! Globalisation and the transnationalisation of business operations means that they can very easily jump ship.

    And no, this isn't desirable - especially when the UK is so dependent [as is Scotland incidently] on the financial sector for employment.

    The 'let them go' crowd fail to appreciate that their path is a path to even more unemployment ofr the bank clerk working 9-5 for £20k.

    They need more regulation yes, they need limits set yes - but there is a reason as Tris said that it is Europe doing it and not individual member-states acting randomly. It is because they actually would 'go' if we failed to regulate supranationally.

  14. The very fact that we are entirely dependent on a sector which has demonstrated itself to be avaricious and incompetent to the point of self (and other) destruction, should be enough to make you understand that this process requires no two-way negotiation between the financial sector and the rest of society. It requires them to stop acting in ways that are harmful to society, the economy and their own sector.
    If requiring them to behave ethically, appropriately and proportianately is too much much for financial elite, we ought to tell them to go.

    The ability to run ops from various places across the globe doesn't render them all equal, and even with much tighter regulation, the UK still makes a wonderful place for financial institutions. if you seriously think that all the financial sector companies will simply walk away from the UK, then your naivety is breathtaking. For those who do bolt for greener (until they soil them too) pastures, they will be replaced by companies prepared to operate in a manner more benificial to society and economy. That's win-win in my book.

    The over-dependence on a single sector is a key factor in the whole debacle facing this country. A situation which forces us to be weened from it and into the revitalisation of other sectors (and the creation of new ones) ought surely to be desired rather than shied away from.

    I'd be interested to hear your theory about how the threats by the financial sector refer to retail banks (you know, the ones with bank clerks) - do you think that HBOS is going to close its retail branches and just move to another country?! It think you're confusing or conflating investment banking and retail banking.

    You do accidentaly stumble across a point - the threats made against them from the current government have been little more than rhetoric - their self prescribed impotence against the financial elite is embarrassing but not entirely unexpectedly submissive.

  15. Your in cloud bubble land Dean. The UK is bankrupt caused by the very people who you are trying to defend (abysmally). They dont create wealth except for themselves zilch for the rest of us. Work as we know it isn't the 'b' all to have a healthy country as it shifts the countries wealth to a few rich spongers lapping on the cream.

  16. Sorry all, my prev post is a response to Dean's earlier offering. Apologies to Dean for not adressing it so, and to tris & munguin for any confusion.

    cynical - yes indeed. Bankrupt, and more than financially.

  17. somepapfaethedee,

    No I am not conflating the two, if you attack and make a pariah out of the financial sector you will find retail banks downsizing too.

    Cynical, banal attacks on bankers, and puerile statements of 'go on then, leave' will impact not just on the investment sector, but on the retail as well.

    It is honestly puerile to seriously claim that you can demonize and chase out of the country investment banking independently of supreanational agreements, and not directly undermine retail too.

  18. Dundee:

    You are absolutely right. It is a travesty that industry, ie engineering, material manufacture, iron and steel and refractories, potteries, glass...and so on, were allowed to all but disappear from the UK.

    We seem to have allowed ourselves to be reliant upon a few service industries that, frankly we’re not terribly good at.

    People stupid enough to have believed that boom and bust had, in fact, been abolished, when it has been shown over and over that that is an impossibility, really ought not to think of themselves as masters of the universe. Further when we were clearly having a boom, it was naivety beyond belief that the bankers didn’t realise that it was all going to go belly up pretty soon. As night follows day!

    Based as it was on house prices, it is hard to believe that no one realised that there would come a day when no one would be able to afford a house except the Duke of Rothsay.

    As for other service industries...well, we don’t do them well.

    It makes me laugh for example that when we go abroad we expect everyone to speak English and .... when visitors come here, we expect everyone to speak...erm English.

    Germany managed to hold on to its manufacturing industry. It didn’t try to compete with first Eastern Europe and then the Far East, it maintained high quality, high price marques like Bosch, BMW, Mercedes, Braun.

    We couldn’t do that because we were persuaded of the argument that we should have a low wage economy... and you will rarely get quality goods with lowly paid workers. Strangely mrs thatcher didn’t apply that particular ethos to the management.

  19. Oh... and I agree too that for most of these companies it is all bluff. They don't want to go to places where it is hot and there are flies and they would have to learn another language.

    They are not THAT kind of masters of the universe.

  20. Dean

    We will always need banks of the retail sort. If Nat West and Barclays leave because we stop them being irresponsible and greedy with OUR money, then enterprising people will set up savings banks.

    We are Scots. We are resourseful. We're not about to be beaten down and held to ransome by some greedy bankers.

  21. Dundee...

    I guessed that...:)

  22. Off to kip but this will open the blinkered ones eyes as I'm off to see a polar bear tomorrow and some red pandas.

  23. Dean, you say it's puerile to state that moving investment banking operations (by some companies) out of the UK would result in downsizing retail banking operations in the UK.
    You don't say why.
    About to sign off now, but I look forward to hearing the explanation, particularly when even the con-dem govt has openly discussed the possibility of splitting retail and investment arms - hardly a possibility if they were tightly coupled i fear. Or perhaps you believe they would do it from spite, regardless of the cost to their business?

    tris -
    exactly, those who move out leave a captive market for new companies.

    ah Germany... While assimilating the ruin that was East Germany, holding the core of the EU, it still managed to maintain its economic diversity and social conscience - and then when facing the global financial f**ckup like the rest of us, and doing the lion's share of bailing out Greece, posts its fastest quarterly growth in 20 years, the world's 2nd largest exporter!
    But no! sod that! let's tug our forelocks to UK's political/social elite and bow to those 'masters of the universe' who deign to suck the wealth from our state rather than someone else's. That's clearly a much better route. ;)

  24. Dean - sorry, too late for me this evening, the first part of my response to you should read "... you say that ...". Ignore the "its puerile to state", I'm sure you'd have figured it out anyway, but I don't want us to get sidetracked from any response you may choose to make :)

  25. You sum up Germany pretty well there Dundee...

    If only we'd had that kind of government from the late 40s on, things might have been different.

    I've often heard it said that it was the Marshall Plan money that gave Germany a head start, but (and I didn't know this until I read Niall Fergusson's book on the UK), we got MORE money than Germany. I don't know what we did with it, but I would guess that we wasted a lot of it on nuclear weapon research and obtaining the bomb in order to keep up with the USA.

  26. somepapfaedundeeOctober 10, 2010 7:36 pm

    I know the blog's moved on, but -
    tris - "I don't know what we did with it" you say. With regard to money in the UK economy, I think that you pretty much sum up our past, present and future. If we can't have independence, I'd love to see a long running, fully public, monitored, leaf, branch (and trunk and root) analysis of the UK's economy. Something is fundamentally wrong with the UK's economy.

  27. somepapfaedundeeOctober 10, 2010 7:41 pm

    tris - i really have to get round to reading Niall Fergusson! People keep popping facts like that from his stuff at me.

  28. It's ok Dundee. I pick up late comments on my email, so I don't miss anything.

    As every morning something else is announced where the UK is the last, or near last in Europe, I couldn't agree more with your proposals.

    I have no idea why we can't be as good as other countries, but what I know for sure is that we are not.

    There must be a reason, and it has to be bad management = bad government.

    Actually you can see it even with the little bit of power afforded to Scotland. We seem to manage to do more with the money than they do in England.

    We really have to ditch what is either incompetence or misappropriation in the UK government.

    I for one am fed up living in this second rate place.

    Niall Fergusson is good. It's not an easy read, but it does reward you with a stack of facts that you wouldn't otherwise have...