Sunday, February 08, 2009
In The Independent on Sunday, Maggie Pagano, a friend, plugs the Facebook Make Bankers Accountable campaign run by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, another friend. (I am a global hub, a sorcerer of connection.) Meanwhile, Obama having capped pay in newly-supported banks at $500,000. Darling-Brown sets up an 'independent inquiry' into bank remuneration (great word, suggesting, as it does to my ear, 'manure'). Ha-bloody-ha. Brown can't make decisions and bad bankers were his best pals, kicking this into the long grass is so much in character it's embarrassing. Also in character is the fact that it won't work. All the papers are now bashing bankers, inspired by the realisation that a) this is just and b) bankers are despised by the public. The depth of this loathing cannot be overstated and it will get deeper as unemployment rises. In this climate, the political temptation must be use them as the sole scapegoats to divert attention from the countless other horrors we face. No doubt this is on Mandelson's mind. Unfortunately, he's only got Brown to work with and he can only say one thing over and over again in answer to every question. (I see Mandy as a movie director who used to work with Cary Grant (Blair) and now finds himself with some klutz who once had a walk-on part in Emmerdale.) Guilty bankers - most of them by the sound of it - should be humiliated, impoverished and, in some cases, imprisoned. (The latter is the humane option as it should prevent them being lynched, assuming their fellow prisoners don't read the business pages.) Then we can get on with remembering how to make real stuff like the Germans.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:30 am