Former United States Presidential Candidate, three times governor of Colorado and lawyer, Richard Lamm, once said, “Christmas is a time when kids tell adults what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it” yet despite four long years in the grips of a global financial crisis it remains an unwelcome fact that both adults and kids are still paying the price of a banking crisis deficit which lined our banksters pockets with millions while their regulators condoned and excuse them.
During the past year we have been encouraged to believe 2012 was to be the year in which regulation and banking reform would finally make a difference.
“CEO’s are ultimately accountable for the way their staff are incentivised, so we expect them to take a real interest in fixing this [and] we have made sure the firms where we found failings are fixing their incentive schemes, improving governance and controls and, in the worst cases, checking past sales to identify if mis-selling has occurred.”
“The occupy movement has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one simple reason : they are right” and “policy makers like me will need [their] support in delivering radical change” while this “quiet but unmistakable leaf is being turned” by our bankers.
What I want to see is [banking reform] recommendations made quickly so that we can get on and implement them, which is, I think what the people of this country want to see".
However, despite encouraging words, the talk of 2012 proved cheap and instead of our banking fraternity calculating the prospects of repaying their ill gotten gains, it is only EU threats to cap their remunerations to a modest couple of million which have captured their undivided attention while, in complete contrast to the lifestyle afforded the favored few who waged economic war on the masses, the victims of their banking crimes continue to endure,
- Widespread and economically damaging unemployment
- Austerity measures which have cost the average family more than twenty pounds a week
- Possession order applications against UK homes filed, on average, every two and half minutes
“ It takes time to recover and we've got to do more. We’re going to do more. We’re going to roll up our sleeves and do everything possible to get business going in Britain, to get housing going, to get jobs going.”
However, if Andrew Bailey, chief executive designate of the Prudential Regulatory Authority’s words are to be believed, nothing could be further from the truth. Without a shadow of a doubt it appears,
- Some banks are just too big to fail
- Some banks are just too big to jail
And unlike the rest of society,
- Some bankers enjoy carte blanche to operate outside the law
Benjamin Franklin once said, “A good conscience is a continual Christmas” and while I cannot pretend my four years of fighting and two years of complaining to the FOS about HBOS is in any way reminiscent of an eternal Christmas, I cannot help but wonder how those responsible for the avarice and arrogance which brought about levels of widespread hardship likened only to that of a world war have, despite all corporate, governmental and regulatory attempts to whitewash their crimes, enjoyed the festive traditions of proffering goodwill to all men or the peace of a good conscience during the fourth Christmas of this ongoing economic crisis.