- Category: Editor's blog
- Created: Monday, 12 September 2011 15:25
- Published: Monday, 12 September 2011 15:25
- Written by Colin Sumner
The Independent Commission on Banking [the Vickers] report published today ringfences retail banking, apparently, and thus protects it from the investment divisions, but this will only come into effect around 2019.
As one commentator said: "This is utter tripe. It took 12 months for Thatcher and others to deregulate them but it is going to take almost a decade to regulate them. This means that at least 2 other governments in the future can blame this one for it never being implemented. This is a disgrace and an insult to all British people. MPs are owned by the banks and it will be of little wonder if groups take it into their own hands to take action. Not a great union lover, but for the first time in my life will be taking part in any demonstration the union's put together." [comment by voiceofconscience on The Independent's report on this story today].
It was Roosevelt's New Deal that brought in the Glass-Steagall Act in 1934, requiring the appropriate separation between retail and investment banking, as I understand it. I believe the UK had this separation until Thatcher de-regulated the financial services world in what was either an awesomely stupid piece of legislation or a cynical piece of class greed by the bankers' political party. You choose.
My concern is that this might mean a New Deal for criminals. I assume now that if you go on a riot, nick a few quid's worth of goodies, get nicked and sentenced you will be subject to the same sentencing tariff as the super-rich and get until 2019 to reform your operation. No? What do you mean, no?
If bankers did something negligent or reckless which costs the taxpayer about 80 billion quid and get a decade to reform with no other penalty, surely if your negligence or criminality costs us a mere thousand or two you should get until about 2030 to think it through and see the futility of your sadly and pathetically individualized resistance to financial capitalism? What do you mean, no? I co-taught with David Thomas for years at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology so I understand principles of sentencing. I did, guv, honest.
Alisdair Darling says we needed the banking system not to collapse so we could n't just leave them to sink, but individuals' lives collapse when they are sentenced to prison, so does that mean the system does n't need those individuals? So, OK, given that the so-called rioters were given prison sentences that were disproportionate to the usual friendly awards, even if they were within the tariff for public disorders, as our sentencing technician, David Thomas, points out, does that mean the system really doesn't need them as people? That's not very nice.
What do you mean it's not a crime to lose the taxpayer billions? You say this 'negligence' is a tort - what's that when it's at home? Is it another name for crime? I thought tort was a cake...
If you read the last 4 paragraphs in a Peter Kay-style Bolton accent, they will read better.