July 2024

Why was it we bailed out the banks? To avoid a recession?

We’ve been pouring so much of our money into our banks (and the pockets of our bankers) for so long, perhaps it’s not surprising that people are forgetting why we did it in the first place. If I remember correctly, we were told by our politicians (most of whom were getting cash from the bankers) that if we didn’t bail out the banks, bank lending to business would collapse and this would lead to a recession. Well, we did bail out the banks, bank lending to business did collapse and we are in a recession. But the only people doing well out of the recession are the bankers, many of whom are troughing in taxpayers’ money.

What our leaders didn’t tell us is that there has been a fundamental change in the nature of banking. It used to be about supporting the economy through loans to businesses and homebuyers. That’s mostly gone. Now banking is about gouging ordinary people through flogging us worthless financial products (HSBC, Barclays); speculative trading to push up the price of essential commodities like fuel and food; and making vast fortunes through spinning our money round and round through ever more complex schemes taking a healthy cut every time our money moves. Some of the banks’ most profitable years are those where they lent the least. It now seems that there was actually no need to bail out the banks. It really wouldn’t have mattered if RBS had gone down the tubes and Fred Goodwin had gone to jail. We’ve been conned. Well and truly taken for a ride. Meanwhile, the bankers probably wake up each day wondering how they got away with it.

But if we think we’ve been had, spare a thought for the Irish. Their whole economy has been wrecked by their government’s decision to save Ireland’s banks. But much of the ‘lending’ made by Ireland’s biggest failed banks wasn’t lending at all. It was just handing billions to bank directors, their families and their business cronies pretending these handouts were loans, when in fact they were just theft. And not one single Irish banker has been prosecuted. And now the same con is about to be played out in Spain. Raping ordinary people to save the hides of a thoroughly corrupt ruling elite. Why oh why didn’t I get a job with a bank?

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