Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Wednesday 8 September 2010

Barclays Bank

I know I keep going on about banking but the recent announcement that an investment banker called Bob Diamond is to take over Barclays Bank motivates me to revisit the issue.

Barclays did not need to seek help from the British taxpayers in the recent crisis. They do, however, benefit from the the guarantee given to all high street banks that they will not be allowed to fail. This applies to so called 'universal' banks that trade their retail sections and investment arms under the one Company.
In other words, they can speculate all they like in the knowledge that no matter how badly they do, ultimately the British taxpayer will pick up the tab.
It's not good enough. The Government doesn't need to hold an enquiry to know that this is unacceptable. Diamond knows that the retail part of the business is hard work, employing large numbers of people and having to engage with the general public. How different for the investment bankers in their sanitized working environment, remote from the public and not having to dirty their hands or risk a broken finger nail doing proper work such as manufacturing something, growing or retailing food or extracting useful minerals.I mean, just how does this man justify his earnings compared with a man who puts his life into manufacturing automobiles, on the line, say. He will never earn a million in his entire life of endeavour, whilst Diamond pockets it in under a year.

With Diamond at their head, you can probably guess which way he's going to go with this and people with Bank accounts of less than £100,000 ought to be looking elsewhere.

One more thing. I think it should be made unlawful for banks and funds to trade in commodities, paper etc that they or their agents do not physically possess. That ought to do it.

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