Pity He Wasn’t A Banker 36


“It’s hard to put into words how bad I feel right now. I’m in my 40s now and I’ve been at Corus since I left school. I’m a single parent with a daughter at university and one at home. Of course they are worried – and so are thousands of other families. I fear the future. I’ve got a mortgage to pay and I’m worried that I’ll end up losing my home.”

Michael Shepherd

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8395891.stm

Had he been a banker, of course, he would keep his job, benefiting from 150 billion pounds of taxpayers’ moner actually paid out and the surety of a further 700 billion that the taxpayer has “agreed” to stump up to underwrite his job if necessary. If he were a banker, he would still get his multi-million pound bonus and his daughters’ lives would be gilded.

I am typing this on a keyboard which was not made by a banker. It rests on a desk which was not built by a banker. I am sitting on a chair which was not made by a banker, which rests on floor tiles not made by bankers, resting on a concrete and steel reinforced floor not built by bankers in a house of similar construction. I have to hand a sausage sandwich – the pigs were not reared by bankers and the wheat was not grown by bankers, and a cup of coffee – the beans were not grown by bankers, the milk was not from banker raised cattle, the water was not purified by a banker, the sugar cane was not cut by a banker. The clay was not dug by a banker nor the kiln fired by a banker. None of it was brought to this spot and assembled or constructed by a banker.

Bankers act as middlemen for the finanical transactions that enable people working with real goods to process the flows of payment. They also enable corporate entities to gamble, most of those gambles coming down to a bet on the future value of real goods. For this they get a cut.

Fair enough. But as a simple man, it is hard for me to understand how these enabling middlemen are infinitely superior to the people actually doing things in the real economy, to the extent that the middlemen may never be allowed to fail. It also looks pretty plain that, if they failed and went bust because they were no good, new paople would step in to do the same job, as they have for thousands of years.

There is no rationale beyond power, influence and a corrupt political system that sees hundreds of billions of pounds from ordinary families pumped in to keep failed bankers very rich, whereas not even the 0.0003% (that tiny fraction is 50 million pounds) of the bank bailout money paid out so far, can be spared to keep Corus going on Teeside through the downturn.

Nobody in Whitehall will give a second’s thought to Mr Shepherd’s daughters. Their dad is only a steelworker. It’s not like they’re bankers or anything.


36 thoughts on “Pity He Wasn’t A Banker

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  • stephen

    Venezuela: The Minister of Popular Power for Planning and Development Jorge Giordani urged the Attorney General’s Office and the relevant courts to reach the last consequences, and determine the responsibilities of people who acted improperly with intervened banking institutions.

  • anno

    When she was making the case for de-regulating the City, Mrs Thatcher argued that people who handled very large sums of money had to paid very well to prevent them from being tempted into dishonesty. It was Tory Trash then and even more so now that we can see the evidence of our eyes: The bankers got well paid and they stole our money anyway.

    I don’t even care about money, but I do care about violent, illegal wars overseas which are done in my name by self-seeking, deluded sons of the manse like Brown. There is nothing virtuous about our collaboration with the US against Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan. Mrs Thatcher’s lies prove that our politicians should never be taken at face varlue, especially when the majority of people in the UK appear to have been conned.

  • anno

    For the record, Shami Chakrabarti speaking about Obama’s Afghanistan ‘surge’ on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions 04/12/2009 said that in her opinion this war had been easier to justify than the war in Iraq. And that once you had been involved for a long time in such an operation you had a human moral duty to do a bit of a clean up. She also used the word ‘enemy’ twice.

    So, for Muslims, liberal values do not apply. Carpet bombing and drones that kill civilians are fine. Blackwater storing munitions in the US embassy in order to make false flag bombings is fine. Invasion of an ally of the West, whose citizens occupy all of our inner cities here in the UK is fine.

    Every body has a price, and the high of appearing on the BBC’s question programmes has certainly found Shami Chakrabarti’s.

  • Strategist

    The Morning Star notes that the profits of Tata Steel as a whole climbed from $1bn in 2007 to $3bn in 2008. This is not a company in a financial crisis.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/84071

    The editorial picks up this fact, which deserves to be more widely known:

    “Tata is not exactly building a reputation as a good employer, despite proud claims of being so in the early 20th century.

    It’s only days ago that this paper carried a story on its world pages about a months-long lockout of tea workers in northern Bengal by tea firm Tetleys.

    The lockout arose after a young tea worker who had been denied maternity leave eventually collapsed while working in the fields.

    The incident triggered protests, leading to a lockout of such duration that the West Bengal government is now having to distribute emergency food rations to the locked-out tea workers. And Tetley is owned by … Yes, you’ve guessed it, Tata Tea.”

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