Vince ahead of the game – again

Yesterday the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer made an attempt to appear in tune with public outrage over the behaviour of Barclays’ bankers and the failure of the bank’s Chief Executive to take full responsibility for the market manipulation practised by his staff.

However it seems that once again Vince Cable was ahead of us all.

Hat tip: Richard Morris

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  • Paul Murray 29th Jun '12 - 4:13pm

    Clearly Vince Cable was right to say that vanilla retail banking should be separated from investment banking.

    The question for the investment banking sector is whether it’s goose is now cooked. The Volcker rule effectively outlawed prop trading, and the disastrous foray into concealed prop trading (under the guise of hedging) that recently blew up in the faces of JP Morgan will inevitably lead to increased scrutiny. It is likely that investment banking will now have to wind back to how it was before the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

    One very interesting aspect of this whole business is the opprobrium being poured onto bankers by all sections of the press. Reader comments in The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph websites are equally vitriolic about “the bankers”.

    The public perception of bankers is now dangerously adrift from reality. Finance lubricates the wheels of industry and the biggest danger is for the public to lose all faith in our financial institutions. Strong but transparent regulation is absolutely essential to restore lost confidence.

  • Keith Browning 29th Jun '12 - 10:03pm

    Surely all the population is asking for are pre 1987 levels of honesty and integrity, which was also a time when a banker earned the same remuneration as a doctor, lawyer, architect, civil servant or other equivalent profession. Pre-1987 all these various professional people lived in the same street and caught the same commuter train to Waterloo, St Pancras or Liverpool Street. Bankers were mature in mind and action – they had wives and 2.4 children and in my own personal experience were generally decent honest people.

    ‘Big Bang’ caused a shift in culture that has meant that ‘all bankers are now greedy’ or perhaps ‘banking attracts all the greedy people’. One of these statements must surely be true. The rest of us, even the cleverest and most hard working, are still prepared to work for a ‘fair wage’, that equates with the worth of our fellow citizens, a situation that does not appear to exist anywhere in the banking culture of 2012.

    Perhaps though the genie is out of the bottle and can’t ever be replaced – unfortunately that would seem to be the case, unless we can scrap the whole system and start again.

  • Vince is hardly saying anything new, or much ahead of the game (a few hours is nothing when people have been telling it as it is with the banning cartel for years and decades). And nor dos it all hinge on the privately owned banks. Market manipulation is the stock in trade of “official” intervention from the very top in Downing and Threadneedle Streets downward. That needs addressing as well. Both Barclays and the Bank of England started life in the 1690s as confidence tricksters and fraudsters. You cannot castigate Barclays for continuing to be so and not the Bank of England likewise.

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