February 12, 2009

Sorry is not enough

Filed under: Economy, Politics/News — Tags: , , — 4fooey @ 11:00 am

This week we got apologies from all the UK bankers who were, to a greater or lesser extent, responsible for the collapse of British banking. But what exactly are they apologising for? If they feel they have something to apologise for, then they must feel that somehow they have made some mistakes and they are to blame for the mess we’re in. In this case, they should be punished or sanctioned in some way: they should be held to account for their actions. In this case, sorry (how ever many times they say it) is not good enough. Their collective apology is reported here: Former banking bosses say ‘sorry’ .

It was relatively easy for the bank managers to turn up this week and suffer the indignity of having to apologise (and their apologies seemed well rehearsed), but they personally will be able to keep all the millions that they made in salaries and bonuses — and you could ask where are all the billions of profit these companies have made over the past few years. The banks have really screwed up and it’s taxpayers who had to bail them out and will be paying for years for their mistakes — this is very unfair. And to cap it all, it turns out that Mr Hornby, the former boss of HBOS, is still getting £60k a month for his advice – this is a scandal, bearing in mind we all more-or-less own the bank.

Yes the regulators and the government are also to blame for the bank crisis, plus we were all complicit in the credit boom and housing bubble, and the UK banks were partly victims of the worldwide problems in financial markets (in particular the sub-prime scandel in the US), but it’s the actions of these large financial institutions and in particular their executives that got us into this terrible mess. I’m not sure how this could be done, but the banks and their leaders should be made to pay for their mistakes.


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