Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Famous Last Words

"Dear Valued Customer, In order to improve on the already fantastic service we provide, we moved the helpdesk to a shed in India…"

Banks have been increasing profits and laying people off for years with mergers and acquisitions, barely a season goes by when they don't introduce another great service or product, or announce bigger than ever profits. Until now. Suddenly these bastions of monetarism have been bought by governments to keep them alive.

In the long run then, shouldn't we have left them in government control? Protected the workers rather than the CEO's?

In every story about bankers today there are least 3 "sirs" and 2 "lords" apologising, resigning and forfeiting multi-million pound bonuses. Fortunately for them they've been pocketing the same bonuses for years so they can afford to skip one. It's a nice gesture though, it shows how much they care about ordinary people who are jobless and homeless now and don't have a penny savings but mountains of debt thanks that wonderful "c", Consumerism. Their advice to us is, "you must spend more money to get out of the recession".

We are in the middle of a financial catastrophe, so the best thing is to spend more money. I keep mulling this one over, I just don't get it. They average debt per person in UK is 12,000 pounds, that's why they need to spend more money. Is this a good system? Does it work? Is it good for us? The early eighties saw huge recession, massive job-losses which were all needed to stabilize the economy. Thirty years later we're standing in the biggest shit-pile since The Ark finally hit land. So, shall we keep on with this system? Is it working? You know, I really can't tell, I'm just not qualified in these highly complex financial matters, is there a "sir" or a "lord" nearby?

Sir James Crosby resigned from the FSA. Most people only resign if something serious kicks off and they are forced to, but this guy did it for the good of the financial sector. He was careful to stress that this had nothing with allegations that Paul Moore was now saying "see, I told you" apparently Paul was sacked three years ago after he told Sir James that the banks were stealing money without check. Paul still isn't a "sir", he never will be. If he wanted to be a "sir" he would have traded his information for a promotion and a bonus. But he didn't, he spoke out and lost his job. He would never have been seen again except now that the banks have collapsed people are saying "remember that fella who said this would happen? Why didn't we listen to him instead of this idiot Crosby?".

Oh, is it improper to call a "sir" an idiot? Yes it is, and it should be, but "sir"'s should not behave like this, "sirs"'s should be sent back down the ranks for this. That would be the proper thing to do, otherwise it just promotes the idea that "sir"'s only get their titles by nefarious means and will do anything, no matter how dishonourable, to keep those titles. If that's even half true then we might as well stop wearing wigs in court. I don't want to be melodramatic but I think it really is that serious. Why is it so difficult to tackle institutionalised fraud, theft, racism, sexism, cronyism? Same for taxes, isn't there one single person in the entire civil service whose bonus depends on how much the tax burden is reduced? It seems not. Start a new project, have another party, print another two hundred t-shirts, collect your bonus, pass go and just throw the dice again, there's no harm done.

I was being sarcastic.


No comments: