It’s 5 years now since the banking crisis hit the headlines and it’s amazing how little scrutiny the banking sector have come under in the intervening time. OK, some heads did roll at some of the worst banking offenders, and everyone became acquainted with the nature of dubious ‘product’ derivatives like Collateralised Debt Obligations but focus quickly shifted from the banking system.
The MPs expenses scandal drew attention to the financial abuses which abounded in Parliament and public anger was directed toward that area of the establishment for a while, and then it was the turn of the journalist to feel the general public’s ire, the Millie Dowler revelations provoked universal disgust in the UK and the government wisely, or unwisely depending on your viewpoint, set up an independent judicial inquiry under the auspices of Lord Justice Leveson. In both cases, the MPs expenses scandal and the Leveson Inquiry the public have been given unprecedented insight into how the establishment operate. The ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ culture which pervades the top tiers of our society, not out of public interest, or a greater national good, but for personal gain and preferment.
Over this entire period the Euro crisis has dominated public attention within the financial sphere and rightly so, it is still the biggest threat to everyone’s standard of living currently on the political radar.
But all this time the public have been distracted from further focus on the very institutions which precipitated this economic crisis, the banks.
The news over the last week has brought the banks sharply back into focus. The general public have been left with an impression that the bankers are not just amoral but immoral, actually enriching themselves and the institutions they represent at the expense of their own customers and against the national interest.
But here is the crux of the matter, the general public have no confidence that these hustlers will ever be held to account in the same way any ordinary member of the public would be if they had done something comparable. Every policy both the last Labour government and the present coalition have pursued has been directed at propping up these financial leviathans, hundreds of billion of taxpayer pounds have been pumped into them for this very purpose. As I wrote in a previous article ” All those in the top 5% are desperate to mend the broken system but many others are now asking themselves whether it is a system they really want to repair. The top 5% want to draw a line under everything that has happened.”
Although the right thing to do would be to investigate, jail, and heavily fine these misanthropes, to do so would wreck any plans to repair the economic system and enable the top 5% to continue to wield power and influence. The politicians, journalists, and bankers are all in this together and they will try to set the agenda and write the national narrative.
If the banks were too big to fail, then it would appear that the bankers are too big to jail.
There is a Crisis of Confidence in our establishment, the public now realise that they are nothing but cash cows to be milked regularly to keep the top 5% in the lifestyle that they’ve become accustomed to, and that the laws of this land have been designed by that 5% to maintain their supremacy and not to hold them to account.