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Well,bankerswerenotstandingforthat!

SointotheringsteppedtheirrepresentativeAngelaKnight。

ThefairKnightistheChiefExecutiveoftheBankingAssociation,andwouldspeakupfortheindustryevenifthebanksweretotakeallourmoneyandfireitintoouterspace。

Pouringscornuponthecentralbankersheblastedhimwiththefollowingwitheringwords。

‘Thisisafinancialservicesindustryonwhichalotofjobsarehanging。

Idontthinkweshouldhavetheluxuryofpublicsquabbles。



Wow!

Strongstuff,eh?

AndnottobeleftoutofagoodscrapDougMcWilliams,thechiefexecutiveoftheCentreforEconomicandBusinessResearchhasalsolambastedthereelingbankingindustry。

‘Itdoeslook,’heblazed,‘asifbonusesgotpaidonthebasisofriskswhichturnedoutnottobejustified。

’Phew!

AllweneednowisfortheArchbishopofCanterburytoweighinwithhisviewsandtheveryfoundationsofourfinancialsystemcouldshake。

Butwhatisthis!

Hehasdonejustthat!

DrRowanWilliamshasjumpedovertheropeswithfistsflying。

‘Ministers,’hesnarled,‘shouldbealittlemoreworriedaboutthedisproportionatesalariesenjoyedbyCityhigh-fliers。



‘Alittlemoreworried’。

Ouch!

Steadyon!

WhowouldbeaCitybankernow,attackedonallsidesbytheBankofEngland,bytheeconomicsprofessionandnowbytheChurchitself?

Hasthebankerbeenleftwithanyself-respect?

Howcanhefacehisfamily,pilloriedbythecommunity,heldincontemptbythehighestmoralauthority,andaccusedbyoneandallofdestroyingthedreamsofhousebuyers?

Afterkissingthetearsfromthecheeksofhissobbingchildren,doeshecrawlupstairstothesparebedroomandcounthismoney?

Doeshevowtobuyapearlnecklaceforhispoorwife,ashamedandunableassheistomeetthedamninggazeofherneighbours?

ChangeisunlikelyintheCity

Idoubtit。

Becauseheknowsthatnothingmuchislikelytochange。

Themorallecturesofthegreatandgoodwillmakenodifference。

AlthoughtheCityisnotquitethecosyclubitoncewas,MervynKingmaystillfindhimselfsittingnexttoAngelaKnightataMansionHousedinner。

Andneitherofthemwouldwanttheatmospheretobetoofrosty。

Whatevertheymightsayforpublicconsumptionthereisnotmuchtheseleaderscandoaboutbankers’pay。

Andanyway,asAngelaKnighthaskindlyremindedus,itisnotreallythefaultofBritishbankerswho,inthetruenationalspiritofself-restraintandservice,wouldgladlyworkformuchless。

Itisallthefaultoftheforeigners。

ItisthoseAmericanandFrenchbankerswhoareallsofrightfullygreedy。

TheyhavebidupCitypayandthepoorBritishbanksunfortunatelyhavenooptionbuttocompete。

Itisjustthewayofthemarket,butweshouldbethankfulthattheseforeignershavechosentheCityastheplacetopuntaroundinforeignexchangemarkets,inventincomprehensiblederivativeinstruments,buyupallthebestflatsandcloguptheroadswiththeirFerraris。

Iamnotthankfulforanyofthis。

AndIagreewithtwoothercommentsofMervynKing。

HetoldtheTreasurySelectCommittee‘Therewasalotofhubrisaroundinthinkingthattheexpansionoffinancialserviceswasagoodinitself。

Itisnot;itisameanstoanend。

’Exactly。

Thefinancialservicesindustryshouldserve。

Itshouldservesavers,borrowers,andbusiness。

Itisnottheretoprofitfromexotictradingandtofindevermoreinventivewaysofrippingmoneyoutofthehandsoftherestofus。

AndthesecondcommentwithwhichIagreeisthis。

‘IdothinkitisratherunattractivethatsomanyyoungpeoplewhencontemplatingcareerslookatthecompensationpackagesavailableintheCityandthinkthatthesedominatealmostanyotherkindofcareer。



Tooright。

Weneedourbestandbrightestpeopleinindustry,inmedicine,inteaching,inthearts–infactinanythingotherthanwhatshouldbethehumdrumbusinessoflookingafterpeople’ssparecashandlendingtogovernmentandindustry。

Thebigquestionis–howcanthisbeachieved?

Nodoubtbankerswillissuealittlehumilityinthenextfewmonths。

Butunlessthereissomeradicalchangeinthesystem,oncetheengineofeconomicexpansionhasbeencrankedupagaintheCitygreedmachinewillbeupandrunningandawholenewgenerationofthrustingnumber-cruncherswillbechasingCityrichesinsteadofdoingsomethinguseful。

ThisarticleistakenfromTomBulfordsfreedailyemail,‘PennySleuth’。

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