UK – When we think of banks, our thoughts should turn to safe places in which to place our money. Run by sober and responsible men with propriety. A safe place within which to keep our money, and from whom both customers and industry could borrow money.
Before Thatcher’s so called “Big Bang” deregulation of the UK financial industry in 1986, that is precisely what banking was. Or to be more accurate that is what retail banking was all about.
With deregulation our retail banks became high stakes cassino’s, and our bankers high rolling gamblers. Principals went out of the window, together with other baggage like honesty and trust. Our high street banks have become dens of inequity, run by flash men in sharp suites and fast cars. The once sober men and women have become celebrities who quaff champagne and snort cocaine as if it was sherbet.
Like any field of human endeavour where there is easy money to be had, spives, crooks, fraudsters and shyster lawyers rapidly moved in and organised crime has taken over.
The high street banks became a revenue stream to feed the insatiable desire for money with which to feed the gambling houses in the city. Whole industry’s ruined and laid waste, driven into bankruptcy just so that the City spives could feed on their pension funds.
This is precisely the effect that Thatchers “Big Bang” has had. But this is only the bit that we can see, there is another aspect to this casino culture. It also has a cancerous effect on both businesses and democracy.
These crooked gamblers have become super stars, flashing great big wads of cash at whoever they seek to influence. Now politicians by their nature are little different from shyster lawyers.
Except even shysters need to know what the law is before they twist it to their clients advantage. Politicians only care about where the money is coming from and lack the basic honesty to stay bought. Politicians also like to be seen with super stars and other celebrities, in order for them to be in the public eye whilst basking in the reflected glow.
Politicians also by their nature do not like any limits on their power. Whether it is the law of the land, answering to the wishes of their constituents and or their political parties membership.
Now the business of politics has an insatiable need and desire for money. Election, re election, publicity, buying off critics, ruining rivals etc. This desire for money rapidly outstripped the ability of the political parties memberships ability to provide it, with their declining memberships.
So politicians cast their eye about and saw the opportunity to break free of the bridal and halter of their memberships wishes. Replacing them with the promise of easy money and no strings attached. Or so they thought.
But reality is not really like that. The no strings attached money came with a price, unnoticed by the politicians, but keenly felt by the party memberships. The price was the breaking of the covenant between politicians and the party members. Resulting in a further decline in party membership, which in turn resulted in a further cementing of the relationship between politicians and the city gamblers.
The next logical step was for the city spives to add conditions or “favours” to their political donations. Turn a blind eye to a bit of fraud hear, replace an over zealous city regulator with an incompetent one there. These “favours” ran contrary to the wishes of their political party memberships. Again this resulted in a further decline in part membership.
Now it is in the nature of humans endeavour for them to get greedy. In the case of politicians the need for money grows expenancially and the favours demanded get bigger. All is hunkydory while the money flows and the favours are done. The shock happens when it is a favour too much for the public to swallow. The easy money stops flowing to those in power and switches to the opposition
In effect the politicians have replaced the bridal and halter of party membership for the choke chain of city control. This is why no bankers go to jail when they commit massive frauds. they own the political class outright, so that no politician can afford to bite the hand that feeds them.
This is how the big Banks have become too big to fail. The body politic is terrified of what the forensic accountants will find should they examine the books too carefully.