Saturday, 10 January 2009

When are the bankers going to be brought to book??

The question a a lot of people are asking is - 'When are people going to be held to account for the trashing of our economy?' That includes politicians and economists as well as the bankers. But lets focus for now on those directly responsible.

We know that mortgages were mis-sold on a massive scale in the US ( and the a lesser extent here), we know that complex financial instruments which were supposed to mitigate the risk were mis-sold, we know bankers were culpable for buying them, we know that rating agencies failed to rate these products properly, and we know that while all this was going on the bankers were lavishng themselves with massive handouts to the tune of billions of dollars. So when are these people going to be brought to book?

What we also know is the current policies being pursued by New Labour won't get us out of this mess. People are beginning to wake up to the fact that the £500 billion bail out isn't working and that we need to take control of the banks, as I pointed out in this post last October. We need to be prepared to nationalise not just the banks but leading companies like Land Rover. We must protect our skills base. Bringing these companies into the public sector will strengthen our economy. We can run them profitably as public enterprises - just like the French have. When we bring them into public ownership we must give the workers a real stake in running and controlling them.

None of this is likely to happen because Gordon and his chums are wedded to the neoliberal economic orthodoxy which got us into this mess in the first place. Hang on tight - its going to be a rocky ride.

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