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Barclays plan new bank robbery! Barclays is ripping us all off again!

Today’s story is all about the uselessness of our regulators, the sycophancy of our financial journalists and the arrogance and greed of our banks – in this case Barclays.

The utterly corrupt Barclays has been involved in scandal after scandal after scandal. There’s PPI mis-selling, of course. The LIBOR rigging. Massive bribes paid to Middle East rulers in return for them helping bail Barclays out in 2008. Tens of thousands of small businesses have been crippled by being mis-sold interest rate swaps. And we don’t yet know what other horrors have still to be revealed – rigging energy markets perhaps? Or rigging commodity prices? Tax avoidance? Handling money from drug cartels? Who knows?

What has been Barclays reaction to these scandals? Pay massive bonuses to those responsible. There was Bob Diamond’s £25m pay-off:

Then there were pay-offs to other bosses:

As a result of Barclays paying so much in fines, compensation and of course bonuses, the Bank of England has instructed Barclays to raise more capital – about £12.8bn. In the next few months, Barclays will be raising £5.8bn from its shareholders.

Who are Barclays shareholders? Rich capitalists? Not really. Barclays shareholders are mostly you and I through the money we have invested in our pensions, life insurance and unit trusts.

Presumably crying crocodile tears while trying to contain his laughter, Barclays new boss, Antony Jenkins, said he was “disappointed” the bank had been forced to call on investors, but insisted the capital-raising would put the business in a strong position. “This is a package of measures that is appropriate for our shareholders going forward . . . I do believe this is in the best interests of our shareholders,” he said.

Barclays, supported by useless regulators and sycophantic journalists claims that ripping off shareholders is the only way to raise the money. But hold on a minute! There’s somewhere else Barclays could find the cash – from the salaries and bonuses of its own employees who have all benefitted from Barclays’ widespread corruption. Since 2009, Barclays has paid £11.05bn in bonuses. Crikey! That’s almost enough to fill the £12.8bn black hole in Barclays’ reserves.

Now, what if the BoE made a new rule that any bank with insufficient capital should be forced to freeze (or even reduce) salaries and cancel all bonuses till it had enough capital? What if the people responsible for Barclays needing more capital were those who had to supply the capital? Strangely, this possibility is never mentioned by our worthless regulators and grovelingly sycophantic financial journalists.

And so, the show goes on. Our bankers contemptuously continue their corruption and greed knowing they are untouchable and it will always be customers, shareholders and taxpayers who will pay for bankers’ greed, corruption and mistakes.

(In case anyone is interested, in spite of my appeal yesterday, not a single person reading this blog could find the five or six quid to buy a copy of my latest book GREED UNLIMITED yesterday. Hey, ho. That’s the way it goes.)

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