Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Paymasters of the Universe

Bankers certainly know how to pay themselves even if they don't know how to run banks. And once again we are being told to lay off the big bankers and their bonuses. Apparently, even though the men and women who bust the world's financial system, did it whilst receiving eye watering billions of dollars, we still need more of the same. You see if we don't pay these people vast amounts of money they may leave. Lets hope they do. Then we may end up with a system which works and protects pensions and savings.

The truth is that there has been a massive bean feast at our expense. Not only bankers and traders but company executives have had their noses in the trough, paying themselves ludicrous amounts of money. But I know that my old granny, bless her, could have run a bank better than that - its not rocket science - and she wouldn't have expected to be paid millions either. Recently on BBC 2 there was a programme where they took a group of people and gave them eight weeks to become city traders. Here is the blurb:

Eight ordinary people are given a million dollars and a fortnight of intensive training to run their own hedge fund. Hedge fund manager Lex van Dam wants to see if they can beat the professionals

It was naff TV, boring really - lots of nose picking and looking a flashing lights on screens, but guess what happened? At the end of the series at least half of them had done OK. From what I can remember only two were outright failures. You see being a trader isn't rocket science either.

What has been going on is a racket. One which those who benefited have ended up costing ordinary people millions in lost jobs, houses and pensions, not to mention the harm to future generations. We have been shafted. The perpetrators should be made to pay compensation by handing back most of the billions they pocketed. Those who committed fraud, and there must be some, should go to gaol. There is absolutely no way that we should stand for any return to business as usual. We must do all we can to prevent it. Support Put People First and join the demo on 28th of March if you can.


Anonymous said...

Although I find your title rather bizarre, I'm with you on urging people to attend "Put people first!"
My union, UNISON, issued this on theor website this week and I will be attending (at my own expense, of course). See you there?;
Leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies will gather in London on 2 April to discuss ways of tackling the recession and global economic crisis.

And the Saturday before will see a huge demonstration, organised by the TUC and a broad coalition of development, faith and environmental groups.

UNISON played a leading role in getting the demonstration, on 28 March in London, off the ground after general secretary Dave Prentis called for it at the union's December NEC meeting (see report here). There are only 55 days to organise a mass turnout.

The 'Put People First! March for jobs, justice and climate' will be organised around three key demands:

Decent jobs and public services for all!

End global poverty and inequality!

Build a green economy!

A statement from the organising coalition notes:

"Even before the banking collapse caused recession, the world suffered vast poverty and inequality and faced the looming threat of climate chaos.

"Governments, business and international institutions have followed a model of financial deregulation that has encouraged short-term profits, instability and an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental.

"There can be no going back to business as usual. The only sustainable way to rebuild the global economy is to create a fair distribution of wealth that provides decent jobs and public services for all, ends global inequality and builds a low carbon future.

"Recession must not be an excuse for putting off action for global justice or to stop climate chaos. Creating a just, fair and sustainable world is the only lasting way out of recession."


Howard Thorp said...

Hi Ben

I had thoughts about the title and then thought what the heck...its quite polite to bankers ...given the current climate.

I will do my best to be there and get as many people as I can to come


Anonymous said...

I'm going on 28th. Booked my train ticket and am getting others organised, Should be good!
UNISON hoping for a good turnout and promotion starting soon...