Monday 9 February 2009

BROWN: Bankers need to ask themselves soul-searching questions

That was the PM’s tough line that came out of this morning’s lobby briefing - it should work I reckon.

I mean, when a school-boy won’t own up after sticking a “teachers smell” sign to the staff-room door, he’d be told to ask himself “soul-searching” questions in detention.

So obviously it should also work for people who made millions out of bringing the British economy to its knees and now want to take home taxpayers’ cash in bonuses.

The comment, during a briefing in which 99% of questions focused on banks, was aimed at those who have bonuses bound into contracts.

Michael Ellam’s answers, like Yvette Cooper’s on the Today show and Darling’s on Marr, were peppered with the word “should” where the word “will” might have been.

Bankers should/will not get bonuses, are two very different sentences. But there is a general lack of will all round at the moment.

That might be because, as the FT’s George Parker highlighted during the briefing, that these are people who’ve made a lot money for banks over the years.

Now they’ll be expected to do it for the Government, i.e. ministers don’t want to cheese them off.

As Parker said, If that is the case they should just be up front about it.


Lorenzo said...

Why would anyone anywhere listen to the Government when all its members are screwing the nation for every last penny they can squeeze out of us in every conceivable way possible. They make every member of the prison community look very petty indeed.

an ex-apprentice said...

Dear Mr Lobbydog,

A billion here or there on bonuses is small change in the overall scheme of things. I recognise, of course, the political significance of the issue to Brown.

But of far, far greater significance to the taxpayer is the recent announcement of a doubling, to £400 billion, in the size of the government's insurance scheme for toxic bank assets.

Very little of what we have been told about this either makes sense or rings true and, if the Treasury get this wrong, potential losses to the taxpayer of £200 billion would not be out of the question.

Was Brown questioned about this by our esteemed lobby?

Lobbydog said...

Ex - I would like to say "undoubtedly". Though I couldn't tell you what the response was to your specific question.
However, a hail of questions was thrown at officials when the said announcement was made with responses along the lines of "We've thought about it and it's the right course of action."
After the initial burst of interest in such announcements issues of politics often obsucre the greater questions here.

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