Monday, 6 April 2009

Sky News Business : ‘Bankers, Can You Just Feel The Love?’

Our latest Sky News piece, featured on the Business homepage;

"We had a bit of stick over our blog last week, that we were in fact helping the doom and gloom by talking about depressing statistics. Quite lengthy and interesting discussions took place, and a few pointed out some of the many confusing issues generated by the economic downturn, the situation facing other small businesses and who was to blame for causing all this.

President Obama was asked this question - he's in London to attend the G20, aka emergency board meeting of the World Inc, and he quoted one of his old law professors, saying that "Some are to blame, but all are responsible" for the crisis. He also admitted that the US had "some accounting to do with respect to a regulatory system that was inadequate" and that the UK, continental Europe and the rest of the world also had "mismatches" in regulatory regimes.

Hmmm. So there are people whose responsibility it is to keep the banks in order, and to stop this situation happening. But we're all to blame. When Nick Leeson brought down Berings bank, he got eight years in prison. In France, a young trader is awaiting trail for the same thing. Is anyone being prosecuted over this crisis - other than Bernard Madoff? Has Fred "The Shred" done anything different to Nick Leeson? He also appeared to be raking in handsome profits for his bank, and nobody questioned his methods, and rather than a jail term, he's enjoying a £7m pension. What about all the other bankers that made huge profits for their companies based on hot air, aren't they guilty of fraud? What were the regulators doing, other than sitting back and rubbing their hands with glee, the amount of money everyone was making was fabulous - why would they want it to stop?

It's this reason the average person is so angry with the system. We had Sky News on in the office for most of the day, watching the protesters in the City of London marching and trying to make their voices heard. The banks have been saved by the taxpayer, the interest rates slashed, but the banks are not passing this on and are not lending money at a fair and manageable rate. Why not? Don't we own some of these banks now, and why aren't they helping kick start the economy and help small firms?"

Read the full feature here