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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 December 2010

Bankers: The new untouchables?

THE BANKERS' astronomical pay just won't go away, however much the Con-Dems wish it would. George Osborne asked the banks (nicely) to tell him how many of their staff earned over 1 million a year (remember: the UK average wage is 26,000). They squirmed and said no - it might increase pay demands (!), lead to competitive disadvantage etc, etc.

Paul Gerrard

According to the Times business editor: "The Chancellor appears to have swallowed the banks' line. Or perhaps he wants to bury the evidence that all efforts to curb bonuses have had little effect." British banks' half-hearted attempts to agree to rein in bonuses were scuppered by Standard Chartered's decision to pull out of the negotiations.

The banks are embarrassed. Investment arms of Barclays and RBS haven't done that well this year (all together now: A-a-a-a-h!). Barclays Capital has actually taken more staff on this year - 2,300 to be precise - so their overall bonus tally might be even bigger than last year! By the way, does this mean a new investment bubble is under way?

The final straw was Standard Chartered. George Osborne was trying to restrict bonuses to one-year deals only. Standard Chartered is considering leaving the UK anyway for sunnier climes like Hong Kong and Singapore where multi-year bonuses are typical for 'star' bankers, so it abandoned negotiations.

The Con-Dem government desperately want a face-saver so they can show 'we're all in it together'. But the bankers won't help the government off the hook and the government won't dare lay a finger on the bankers - the new untouchables.

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In The Socialist 1 December 2010:


Youth Fight for Education

Young people lead fight against cuts

We can win: student struggle must escalate


Socialist Party editorial

Unity - but not unity of the graveyard

How can an anti-cuts movement be built? Coalition of Resistance conference report


Anti-cuts campaign

Defend jobs and services

Riot police called to Lewisham town hall lobby

Irish working class in huge show of defiance

Fight against cuts continues to grow

Coventry council - stop job cuts

NHS walk-in centre saved, but campaign continues

News in brief


Anti-racism

Nuneaton protest against racist EDL


The Socialist Interview

Len McCluskey speaks to The Socialist: Building workers' confidence


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Vote 'yes' for action against cuts

London Underground strike most solid so far

Wales TUC leadership tries to stifle action to stop the cuts

A united battle for pensions

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

North Korean artillery attack raises tensions

Portugal: 'Biggest strike action ever'


Climate change

Climate change: Socialist planning needed to avert a global catastrophe


Readers' comments

Our health - A market for big business

Bankers: The new untouchables?


 

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