One of the more amazing features of the financial crisis is the fact that bank executives and staff still see their inflated salaries and bonuses as sacrosanct. Despite the fact that they have failed, and have been bailed out by the taxpayer its bonus business as usual.
The World at One on Radio four reported today that Barclays Bank had done a deal with Arab wealth funds to take on an extra £7.3 billion in capital. The government had offered Barclays a capital injection just two weeks ago at 12% which was reckoned to be a fairly punitive rate. But Barclays is taking the Arab cash at 16%! Why? - so they can avoid any potential curbs on bonuses and fat payouts. This beggars belief. Barclay's customers and shareholders are being taken for a massive ride.
On the same day Naomi Klein reports in the Guardian that chunks of the $700 billion bailout cash offered up by the Bush regime in the USA appears to be heading for executive pockets, and Citigroup is planning to spend $25 billion of the bailout cash buying other banks - how nice for them!
At this rate, we might as well just hand over the billions of taxpayers cash to the rich and let them get on with it - and all this at a time when thousands of taxpayers are losing their jobs and having homes repossesed.
So what does this tell us about global Capitalism? Well its clear that the Capitalists are in charge. Governments are either too weak or too complicit in all this to be able to stand up to the Capitalists. The function of governments and the rest of us is just to make them very rich. And while they party and ravage the planet we are supposed to look on in awe.
Karl Marx wrote about this nearly 150 years ago in a book called Das Kapital. Nothing much, it seems, has changed since. As for the capitalists their attitute, like Marie Antoinette's, seems to be - 'let them eat cake'. But we all know what happened to her don't we?