If you didn’t know it before, you certainly know it now. Bankers are still getting their big bonuses. But what did we expect from a government dominated by privileged public schoolboys whose families made their fortunes in the City?
Philip Beresford, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, estimates the combined family wealth of David and Samantha Cameron at £30m-plus.
A number of the Cabinet, including Nick Clegg, were brought up immersed in family riches amassed in the City over generations.
So you wouldn’t expect them to restrict the share-out of wealth by way of bankers’ bonuses, would you?
Top executives are forecast to rake in £7bn in ‘performance-related’ cash in the latest round of payouts, even as the banks continue to rely on vast taxpayer bailouts.
Taxpayer-owned Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland are likely to double their profits to £6.5bn and £5bn respectively this year.
Last year RBS paid more than 100 bankers in its investment wing over £1m each, even though the bank had racked up £27.9bn of losses during 2008 and 2009.
So what is the Tory-led coalition’s response? Lost billions? Don’t worry, we’ll bail you out and soak the poor to pay for it.
Not enough opportunities to make a juicy profit? Don’t worry, we’ll privatise the NHS, Post Office, schools and universities to provide more chances for you to make a quick speculative buck.
Greed and excess? Cameron and Clegg plead: don’t be beastly to bankers. Their stars might decamp abroad.
Well, it’s time to remind the banks that it was these ‘stars’ who dropped us in it in the first place. Their loss would be no great threat to the British people.
Banking could be a lot better without the speculators and market manipulators who make up such a large slice of industry these days.
When the chancellor says ‘I can’t do that because the markets won’t like it...’, he should be reminded that a society run by the market isn’t a democracy.
What we need is a society run for the benefit of all that puts banks and markets at the service of the British people, not the other way round.