HSBC has been fined £10.5 million today for conning old people out of investment money. I won’t go into detail as its there in the news story and to be honest the actual detail isn’t what bothers me. What annoys this here Douieb is here is a case of a large multinational bank with billions of pounds and no chance of being hit by any recession or Eurozone crisis, taking advantage of some of the most vulnerable citizens of the UK. For doing this they receive a headline that’s not even picture worthy on the BBC site, so may go unnoticed by some and a fine that they could pay with the spare change in their pocket and still have enough left over to buy all the houses on your street and your dog and your dad. Probably. If anyone else hurts, confuses, or upsets the elderly in this country, its a big news story. If anyone attacks or causes harm to any of this country’s most needy, then they are scorned for the rest of their lives, with big newspaper spreads and media vitriol. Yet if the banks or the government do it, its much less of a crime.
I’m really not sure how this continues to happen. Well I do know, its because the banks have a veritable monopoly on this country and the way its run, resulting in them escaping paying proper penalties in government budget strategies – Osborne’s recent announcements included only a 0.088 percent rise in bank levy, while public sector pay takes a full 1% pay rise cap – and yet we are consistently being told that they need to be strengthened against the oncoming and constant financial crisis. I wish I was an inventor and could somehow find a way to add a bullshit-o-meter to everyone’s televisions so that every time one of these stories is released sirens would blare out across the streets causing dogs to be highly upset. Fact is, the UK still has a triple AAA credit rating. That doesn’t mean that we are even better at dealing with breakdowns than most, or that we have a far more extreme alcohol problem – though that’d wouldn’t be incorrect. What it means is that our financial system is still lauded around the world and our advice still sought after. Our banks are currently some of the strongest in the world, so our need to feel sympathy for them is really very minute.
Yes the Eurozone crisis may affect the British banking system but what will affect it more is the vulnerable being robbed of their money until they have nothing left to invest in them. The people being made unemployed and all pennies drained to the extent they can’t pay tax or contribute back into the system which will mean the government will lose even more funds to just throw at the banking system until they can all swim around like Scrooge McDuck. It needs to be highlighted that companies like HSBC, the same companies who have given their executives 49% pay rises in recent times, are exploiting people and the fines should be far far higher to reflect just how appalling it is. Sure Clegg has promised this weekend that the Coalition will be bringing in new legislation to curb these executives high pay, but getting Clegg to announce a policy basically seems to mean that it won’t happen or at least won’t happen correctly. I very much feel that he is the political equivalent of giving someone an albatross as a present to celebrate their new boat.
I’m not sure that anything will change anytime soon. The government are so heavily dictated by the banking sector that unless that changes, nothing else will. Notions of making political parties funded by tax payers were quickly shunned for fear that if they weren’t being bribed, politicians wouldn’t know what policies to back. Probably. Maybe we should all set up our own bank. Like the co-op but slightly easier to get to (there aren’t any co-ops near me). Monks started the banking system (which I think says a lot about the corroboration between religion and greed) and blow me if we can’t all get robes and bald patches and do it ourselves. I honestly can’t think of many other ways to deal with this aside from us all leaving us respective banks and keeping our cash in our mattresses from now on. Hang on. That is a much better idea than becoming a monk and far less sexually frustrating. Though judging by my bank account my mattress would be filled with pennies and I can’t imagine that’s all that comfortable for performing on either. God damn banks. Let’s all just hope this terrible corporate greed has a vicious demise soon.