A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hooptedoodle #154 - RBS - it's not just me, then?

I regret that I have been known to express some dissatisfaction with the UK banks from time to time, and anyone who is here looking for wargaming material may well be sick and tired of my banging on about it. Well, I'm very sorry, but it seems that the Royal Bank of Scotland, along with a few other British banks, have been naughty boys again. RBS, if we recall, only exists because the UK government (= taxpayer) baled them out when their mismanagement broke the game. The gentleman in this clip is Paul Mason, finance editor of the UK's Channel 4 news service; as far as I can see, he is not discussing commercial or political strategy here - he appears to be arguing from an ethical viewpoint.


Thought for today: Whatever happened to Mr Cameron's Fair Society?

9 comments:

  1. The top 10% get away with it AGAIN ! - its who you play golf with ! , Tony

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    1. It's probably less than 1%. Most people are on less than average incomes. A few on mega salaries skew the average.

      You can be in the top 10% without earning anything like what these guys earn.

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  2. The "Fair Society" was put out to tender and G4S got the contract I think?

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  3. I remember when the FSA was set up and the press was full of articles about how they shouldn't tie-up the financial services industry in red tape. The FSA's wings were clipped. The press are as equally to blame, for acting as the propaganda wing for a bunch of [expletive deleted].

    The last government got the blame for (a) the financial crisis (for not regulating the banks closely); (b) the huge hole in public accounts.

    (a) happened because they listened to the party who is now in power, and swallowed the "unregulated markets work best" mantra hook line and sinker. (b) happened, largely, because the the government borrowed so much to bail the banks out. Now the lot in power have conveniently forgotten that for years and years they were saying "leave the banks alone".

    I think Max Keiser has the correct word for them. Banksters.

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    1. A specifically post-Referendum Scottish slant on this (they used to be our own Bastard Bank before they went intergalactic using public money, after all) is that we are viewing with dread the prospect of the UK leaving the EU. One of the more infuriating reasons for our potentially joining the likes of Kazakhstan in the Almost Third World is the need to protect the Financial City of London and its self-obsessed elite from any fair regulation and taxation which Europe wishes to impose.

      A friend of the family (a London lawyer, as it happens) on a recent visit here got into a rather heated debate with an elderly relative of ours about the topic of Scottish independence, and eventually said that most people in The City are sick and tired of the Scots, who cost everyone far too much money, and wish they would just go away and get on with it. Clearly, everyone is entitled to their own view of this, but the lawyer was unable to answer the follow-up question, which was "how much more money does The City actually need, then?", and I was impressed by how remarkably closely this stated City view of the Scots mirrored the view held about The City by - well, just about everywhere outside London really.

      I cannot, for the life of me, understand how personal greed has become not just acceptable, but somehow admirable - what is the matter with these people?

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    2. Aye. And the same mentality is being allowed to obscure the debate over the "Mansion Tax". You hear the oft quoted argument that £2m doesn't buy you that much in London these days". But even in well off areas like Twickenham and Teddington, "ordinary family houses" trade for less than that - admittedly we're only talking about good Edwardian semis, but nice houses all the same.

      Taking London to mean the whole of Greater London, the vast majority of people would be happy to live in what £1/2m (which apparently is the average property price here) would buy you in GL. I'm not exactly poorly paid, and am of an age to have built up a good level equity, but I'd struggle to afford anything approaching the average figure. So, I'm quite comfortable with the idea of the mansion tax or something similar, and don't take it as an attack on my aspirations.

      Oh, and a propos of runaway greed, I've read a couple of times that the people who feel most envious of other's wealth these days are the people earning £300,000 a year. The poor lambs who used to rub shoulders with the elite in the old days, have been left way behind.

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  4. Good old RBS. In other news a (now ex) colleague of mine has just gone to work for them - 500 per day, plus expenses, and he's bloody useless.... Good to see public money being well spent yet again.

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    1. Don't tell me - he's a contractor brought in to head up a Testing Team - did I guess correctly?

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