Monday, 3 January 2011

UK banks try to re-capture government.

Having been on the receiving end of a fair amount of bank bashing, banks in the UK are fighting back.

As is entirely predictable, they are fighting to do what banks always try to do: capture government. The propaganda effort seems to have been stepped up in recent days. There is a “don’t be nasty to banks” article in some newspaper every, written by members of the establishment, who no doubt mix socially with senior bankers.

1. 29th December, 2010: article by former deputy prime minister, Lord Heseltine.

2. Article by Boris Johnson, mayor of London.

This is actually a volte face by Boris: he used to be a champion bank basher. Plus more stuff by Boris here:

3. Ruth Lea article in The Times “Be kind to bankers - or get shopping."

Ruth Lea was chief UK economist at Lehman Brothers, and currently Non-Executive Director and Economic Advisor to the Arbuthnot Banking Group.

All three of the above articles are based very much on the argument that banks earn lots of money for the UK so they need featherbedding. Much the same argument applies to supplying third world dictators, like Saddam Hussein, with armaments.

In huge contrast to the above, the UK is lucky to have Mervyn King as head of its central bank. Mervyn King is actually prepared to THINK about what the best banking set up is, and to think some very unconventional thoughts on the subject.


  1. Ralph, the problem is that the UK economy without the City and the arms industry booming is in really big trouble. What is the way out?

  2. Tom, If getting rid of questionable bank activities and the “arms to dictators” industries means me taking a standard of living cut, I’m happy with that. Also there are an infinite number of things for ex bank and ex arms industry employees to do. E.g. a significant number of bank employees in the U.K. have got sick of their jobs and have taken up teaching: their maths skills are highly valued.

    I just answered a point of your’s on Warren’s blog five minutes ago! We could go on like this for hours!


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