The London Paper – 17 Oct 2008
Oh how the mighty have fallen! See how those big swinging dicks who once demanded that Governments never interfere in their ceaseless accumulation of wealth come running cap in hand demanding to be bailed out when the proverbial hits the fan. British and American taxpayers are now being forced to become part-owners in their countries’ banks as a nationalisation of sorts takes place. It’s enough to make me projectile vomit as I observe the ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ game that the economic elite have been playing over the last decade.
During what Gordon Brown has called the ‘age of irresponsibility’ senior bankers on both sides of the pond continually championed ‘light touch regulation’. When the good times rolled they didn’t want tiresome regulators to put their oar in and dilute the winnings from the massive gambles they were taking. At the time it looked as if their punts were paying off and these greedy buffoons wanted all the profits themselves.
However, last year it became clear that a portion of the vast fortunes that investment banks were making was based on over a trillion dollars worth of debt that may never be paid back as it was backed by loans given to yanks who couldn’t actually afford them. Hence, those same tosspots who demanded non-intervention quickly changed their tune. Executives made it clear to panicking politicians that if taxpayers didn’t bail them out their all-important banks wouldn’t lend any money out and as Bush said ‘this sucker (e.g. the US economy) could go down’.
Essentially, these jokers put a gun to Bush and Brown’s heads and demanded oral pleasure whilst also insisting that they not talk with their mouths full! The profits from that reckless age of plenty have been irretrievably handed out to the lucky few but the massive losses that it now transpires were actually created during those crazy wild-west years will be borne by the taxpayer.
The annual bonus system encourages short-term greedy gambling as bankers think only of their next windfall. Because Cityboys can’t have their past bonuses taken back off them they happily take massive punts with scant regard for their long-term implications. Hence, bankers handed out loans willy nilly knowing they might explode at a later date – especially as they realised they’d be bailed out if it all went Pete Tong.
Unless we want the destabilizing cycle of boom and bust to continue forever we have to change the system of remuneration so that Cityboys think longer-term and stop shafting ordinary people when the good times screech to a halt. Of course, the fact that I left the City recently, having spent 12 years benefitting from the previous bonus culture, has got nothing to do with the strength of my hostility towards it. Honestly, I’m simply a concerned citizen now and harbour no feelings of guilt about my past excessive living