Monday, February 09, 2009

no, Simon Carr, "revenge" is not the answer- accountability is


In his Indy article Simon advocates the former. I disagree- revenge is a manifestly malevolent response. We need one that does not seek to harm the bankers further but simply holds them to account. I am happy to pay bankers reasonable bonuses when they have earned them. Not all the bankers in the world acted like irresponsible twats. Obviously the ones that did should suffer Simon's prescribed fate:

"We'll save your firms from bankruptcy but as your new owners we've got new rules. Existing bonus contracts are void. You'll get a utility salary with nothing on top. You won't leave for jobs elsewhere because there aren't jobs elsewhere. And if there are, you won't get them because you'll have a court case pursuing you. Yes, chum, if you bale out we will prosecute you for a) trading while insolvent, b) fraud and/or theft, or c) misfeance. Now unravel these securities and derivatives and get this bank back on its feet."

The ones that didn't, however, need to be respected and encouraged to work to bring the system back to functionality, as prescribed by that last point, although clearly not with bonuses as indecent as the ones handed out over recent years.

My solution demands evidence to ascertain guilt and therefore a system of judgment. As I wrote previously, the unknown prevalence of toxic assets on banks balance sheets is a driver of the current credit clusterfuck. Therefore the banks' accounts must be opened to full government scrutiny and the trading records of their staff too. Only then can you work out which banks are fucked and which managers and traders are responsible. Sound like a lot of work? I wouldn't deny it but justice usually requires exactly that.

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