So, the general election campaign starts today. You could have fooled me. Most of us reached the point of maximum saturation eight weeks ago and now are at the point of maximum irritation. Lies and inexactitudes piled on myth and fantasy; they breeze along making things up on the hoof and are stupid enough to believe that people take what they say seriously. Politicians are in their own game of tag with themselves and the media. When will they realise, the rest of us simply aren’t playing their silly little games?
Today’s “here’s another let’s pretend it’s a well thought up strategy,” comes from Labour, through Gordon Brown, recycling the old chestnut of taxing bankers bonus’s to pay for a long shopping list of things, in this instance to the benefit of Scotland. The irony of course is that it was the two principal Scottish banks that blew up in the crisis. Not to worry, because the politicians don’t, that the vast majority of bonus’s, on the rare occasions that they are paid, are done so with a minimal cash element, are paid in equity over a number of years with strict claw back provisions. As I wrote on this blog five years ago, the banks are way ahead of the Labour party, they long ago roofed basic salaries in anticipation of bonus’s becoming a political plaything.
What anyway are “bankers?” Is that anyone who works for a bank in any capacity? Is it all employees of all banks in the UK or just the British owned and listed ones? Is it legal to segregate a small portion of the working population? What about the law firms, the accountancy firms and all the other associated companies where in many, average earnings are higher than in banks.
Many people are slowly concluding that the personal compliance and reputational risk of working for a bank is simply not worth it. It is certainly becoming harder to recruit quality at board level and disenchantment is pushing further down the chain. The nonsense about much of this is that the very politicians chucking stones, like Brown, were complicit in creating the conditions that caused banks to founder in encouraging regulation lite leverage when they were in power.
I'm no friend of banks but all of these badly thought out so called policies are delusional, deceptive and downright dangerous.
I have just one question for every politician. Instead of telling us how you would spend money the country doesn't have or how you would move the counters around the board; how would you create wealth?