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Trends in Financial Services

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Snouts in the trough

04 March 2009  |  2666 views  |  0

We’ve heard much about how bankers have been rewarded too much for doing too little. And we’ve mainly heard it from politicians.

So, now I’m going to give the bankers a break.

As long as I can remember in politics (and that’s a long time), there have been allegations levelled – and fairly regularly proven - against politicians abusing their status. Overclaiming of expenses, wrongful employment of family members, cash for questions, cash for answers, cash for influence, cash for passports, passports for lovers, cash for changes and so on.

Retired politicians write their memoirs and cash in on their time paid for by the public purse, while still enjoying public purse pensions and security arrangements. We have to pay to protect former prime ministers and presidents so they can be paid to attend high profile speaking engagements.

In the UK we recently heard that the taxpayer had paid £25,000 in travel costs alone for the wife of the speaker of the house of commons to attend ten inter-governmental conferences. Why? What did the taxpayer gain in return?

So, my point is simple. Politicians may rail at bankers, and pound their pudgy fists in ersatz rage. But the truth is simple. They were merely following the example that they had been set.

TagsRisk & regulationWholesale banking

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