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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 April 2011

Banking giants avoid punishment

When share prices in Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland rose by over 3% last week, the markets made it clear that the Banking Commission's interim report into the 2008 financial meltdown is, in fact, a paper tiger.

Simon Carter

Workers suffering the effects of cuts in jobs and services will be extremely disappointed by the lack of regulation of the banks, like Barclays, who pay little in taxes.

The commission's chair, Sir John Vickers, attempted to assuage a sceptical public by saying: "In no sense at all are these half measures ... these are absolutely far-reaching reforms."

Instead of the bottomless bailouts of billions of pounds in public funds to the bust banks, the commission meekly suggested that banks hold more cash in reserve. The report recommended holding 10% - as opposed to 7% as set out in new European regulations - but contradicted this by saying it wasn't proposing that UK investment banks should hold higher capital ratios than their international rivals.

Holding more reserves will mean less profits and banks will inevitably seek to recoup any losses through higher charges to customers on loans, overdrafts and mortgages.

Even the mild reform of separating the retail and investment arms of the banks was kicked into touch with Vickers telling the BBC that "total separation is not necessary".

Like previous inquiries into bankers' bonuses and financial chicanery it's clear that the establishment is not going to bite the hand that feeds it.

The Tory Party is inextricably linked to finance capital and its interests, receiving over 50% of its funding from the City last year.

'Being rewarded for failure' appears to be the bankers' leitmotif and, as usual, it's the ordinary punters who are picking up the tab through huge job losses, massive cuts in services and declining living standards.

Instead of bailouts, a workers' government would nationalise, under democratic control and management, the big banks etc, as part of a plan of production, to guarantee cheap loans and credit to the public and small businesses.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 13 April 2011:


Anti-cuts campaigning

NHS IN THE FIRING LINE

Vote socialist to fight the cuts

Fight the cuts by supporting TUSC

Fighting the cuts after 26 March demo

Hands off our services - Westminster

Hands off our Services - Leeds


Socialist Party editorial

Middle East and North Africa


Socialist Party feature

Con-Dems' economic policy... austerity, austerity, austerity!


Socialist Party workplace news

Jobcentre Plus call centre strike

Saltend lock-out

Unison health conference

NUJ conference calls for general strike

Striking against a Coventry academy

NSSN conference


International socialist news and analysis

Portugal:'We won't pay their debt!'

'Unions and socialism to blame for deficit' - rants Glenn Beck


Youth Fight for Jobs

Jarrow jobs march gains momentum


Socialist Party news and analysis

Coordinated strike action to defeat the cuts

Banking giants avoid punishment

No to nuclear power - nationalise the environment-unfriendly energy giants

News of the World admits it

Chauvinist 'thoughts' from David Willetts


 

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triangle'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon

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triangle10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis

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triangleTurn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

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