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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  • C T Russel

    Nice to know more substandard Chinese steel will be coming into this country.

    Still, the bankers are doing ok.

  • Ron

    A small point, Craig, but it’s Teesside, not Tyneside. Of course, that doesn’t detract from the powerful and well meant sentiments, which I share.

    R

  • LeeJ

    It will never change under this corporate system. Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.I am staggered how those who lose out continually dont want to change it.

  • MJ

    When profit is privatised and debt socialised there is one way that money can flow. The banksters have persuaded us to pay off their notional debts with our own real money. What a scam. It is theft, pure and simple. We live in a kleptocracy.

    Yet most people a far more indignant about the petty expenses-fiddling of MPs. I suppose we understand expenses far better than we understand banking. When the banksters tell us that the whole system will crash if we don’t give them all our money, we don’t have the resources to refute the lie and instead continue to feed those who enslave us. It is the Stockholm Syndrome on a massive scale.

  • sam

    Brilliant piece, Craig. Should be on every mainstream front page.

    Certainly it’s fraud and Stockholm Syndrome. But it’s too lucrative, for the relatively few, to be accidental.

    We spent five-odd years scratching our heads at ‘out-of-control’ immigration. Now there’s admission of deliberate policy on that.

    Do others think there’s something quite weird behind the ‘French takeover’ of the City? It all came out of nowhere apparently. But apparently a fait accompli.

    Which suggests foresight and planning.

  • Phil

    Brilliant rhetoric Craig!

    We have to understand in more detail what is happening though. An awful lot of bank staff have been made redundant as well.

    Simply stated, what has happened is that a relatively tiny clique of people who work in investment banks have always made a great deal of money speculating at the margins of capitalism. If they over-reached their firms could go bankrupt with very little disruption to the world as a whole. On the other hand there were retail banks and building societies, which made steady unspectacular profits BUT became inextricable from the capitalist system we live under. If your firm’s bank goes bust then there is no money to pay your wages or other expenses and your firm will go bust. As all retail banks owe each other money, then a chain reaction of bank collapses is possible. This is what caused panic in governments round the world, and why Brown spoke of having ‘saved the world’. It would have been like the end of the world if the retail banks went bust.

    However, over recent years the distinction between investment banks and retail banks has largely disappeared. So for RBS it is the investment banking side which brings in all the profits and the problems, whilst the retail side provides the bulk, and the reason that the bank must not be allowed to fail.

    The bonuses are demanded by a few key people in top management and on the investment side. I believe that they are key, not because of exceptional talents, but in most cases simply because of their networks of contacts which grease the wheels. Part of their networks are of course the politicians.

    When we think of ‘the bankers’ it is these people we really mean. We need to free ourselves of the hold these people have over us. Mainstream politicians will not help us do this as they have too much to lose themselves – they are bought, basically.

  • Arsalan goldberg

    Sausages? Pigs?

    What will your wife and son say?

    Couldn’t you find yourself a nice, hmm (I’ve tried them) not so nice Chicken and beef sausage?

    Or a Marmite, butter and cheese sandwich?

    But anyway I liked the rest of what you wrote.

  • Arsalan goldberg

    The difference between pork and interest banking, is pork isb’t allowed in some religions while interest banking isn’t allowed in all religion.

    All religions teach us that God hates bankers!

  • anno

    Let the bankers resign. Let Sir Cosy kick the city bankers’ butts, 1066-style, from France. Scrap the banks and the pound with the banking vermin. Re-valuate all property in quantitively eased Euros in a new Domesday Book. Tax the stinking rich who have made megabucks out the Thatcher/Blair gamblebonanza. And let’s have Magna Carta back and get rid of the monarchy at the same time. Please.

  • TonyG

    QUOTE

    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.

    ENDQUOTE

    Craig – if you watch the Money Masters on Google Video – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936&ei=iJAaS_juMJTqqAPslpXiAQ&q=the+money+masters# – it explains everything you need to know about the banksters and what fractional reserve banking really means

    It’s worth a few hours of anyone’s time

  • dreoilin

    Strong cheddar and pickles. In a pub in Bickleigh. Mmmm

    Great post, Craig.

    Investment banks need to be split off from their retail outfits. But how one does that securely I have no idea. I would fear that they would transfer money internally and fiddle with the books.

  • ingo

    Don’t you just love a successfull, non gambling economy, such as Lebanon.

    Points well made Craig.

    Gold is going up and the Samson and Hercules (soon to be the Jewel of Samarkand, maybe) is still for sale.

  • dodoze

    Not so much the apocryphal “We are the masters now” as “We are the barbarians now.” For shame.

    The elevation of finance and a virtual world above the productive and the strategic utterly ignores the human and social costs in the logic of corporate policy. The dismantling of British manufacturing industry and engineering is one consequence of that.

    Michael will now encounter the smiling ruthlessness and intrusions of the DWP who will enforce compulsory applications for non-jobs, not to mention the mysteries of the Council Benefits Department.

    Meanwhile he will, like the rest of us, be invited to cheer on the abusive use of the armed services to help impose the violence inherent in the corporate financial model on all of those nations and people who refuse to co-operate in exploitative theft, whether that is of resources or of lives.

    In the face of the blind inhumanity of the present Benefits system masked by a pretence of care, the articulation of frustration, the expression of anything other than approved emotions, is now classed as a cause of harassment, distress or alarm.

    I would support Michael Shepherd and his ilk directly by using cash and intelligently patronising the Black Economy as we do in the area in which I live. We help each other. Taken alongside a non-violent path of resistance, dissent and disobedience, we might through that help those such as Michael.

    At the last ditch, behind the barriers we can no longer erect, the truth remains: revolution is a market force.

    Would it not be great if, like the financiers, we could virtualise our assets and hold the world to another kind of ransom? Ideas on a postcard, please, or e-mail: [email protected]

  • Polo

    @mj

    “When profit is privatised and debt socialised there is one way that money can flow.”

    This, along with Phil’s comment, says it all.

  • hawley_jr

    Prof. Michel Chossudovsky on why the banks need our money –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eSVIXQzsFs

    And what they’ll be able to do with it to help us out of our debt:

    August 2009 proposal to the UK government by NM Rothschild, ‘the influential investment bank’ and ‘an architect of several privatisations (including British Steel, British Gas and British Coal)’, for the privatisation of British motorways, to raise £100 billion –

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6814923.ece

  • writerman

    The ‘bankers’ or what refered to as the financial sector, are, more or less, the economy these days. Britain has gone from a country that produced things for export, to a society that revolves around a huge casino, also known as the City.

    Power in society has moved from manufacturing towards the financial sector, simply because the potential profits were enormous compared with the long, hard slog, of acually making things.

  • tony_opmoc

    Great post by Phil. It really did nearly all go tits up just over a year ago, and Gordon Brown did actually save it. The Tories wouldn’t have had a clue. Not that I like anything else much about Nu-Labour – but credit – where credit is due.

    A year later, I think ordinary Americans are suffering far worse than us…

    As regards to the casino banking world – its a zero sum game – and any profits result from scamming the poorest in the World…You don’t create wealth with a roulette wheel

    On a long term basis, none of this is sustainable.

    Economically, we can’t compete with slave labour and no environmental protection….

    But the Chinese et al are going to eventually realise, that we are paying them absolutely nothing for their stuff, because we don’t actually do any useful wealth creating work.

    There has to be some balance in trade with whoever you are trading with…They provide goods and services to you – and you give them goods and services in return. Money just lubricates the process.

    All we have exported to China is all our pollution…

    We ship them paper – or rather electronic dollars and pounds which we make up on our computers – to their elites and their elites are quite happy. As “communists” they really couldn’t give a shit about their slaves…

    So basically we on a course leading to World impoverishment of virtually everyone, except for a tiny number of the World’s elite.

    How can your labour compete with a slave’s?

    Tony

  • malcolm Pryce

    ‘The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.’

    Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England, appointed 1928

    Yeah, I know it’s probably apocryphal, but hey! I’m sure that’s what he thought even if he didn’t say it.

  • JimmyGiro

    The vehicle needs fuel and oil to run. When you run low on fuel, you can still drive to the garage; but if you run low on oil, you would risk losing the engine if you drove to the garage.

    The banks are relatively few compared to the businesses that work with them, so when a few businesses fail, the economy continues; but if banks fail, then the economy fails. Bankers are not banks, therefore when bankers fail, they must be removed like old oil.

  • anno

    I haven’t had any work for a month. I’ve worked for agencies as an electrician for about ten years. I’ve used up all my available, and to me illegal, credit and I’m completely broke. The Jobseekers won’t pay me anything but the council wants £730 of arrears. In spite of this I regard myself as better off than the case of Michael Shepherd because I don’t have a mortgage and I’m used to scratching around for work. God is Great and He provides. I nearly took a part-time job in Turkey but I had to leave my wife behind. I thought something would turn up and it has. The bankers are going to carry on and bankrupt us completely in round two of Gordon’s Ruin and Obama is going to destroy Pakistan.

    I wouldn’t sell my lovely Muslim wife for all the money in all the banks in all the world, or whatever they pay themselves in now that can’t be taxed,like shares. Sorry to make you jealous mates. I do actually believe it is American jealousy of the blessings of Islam that is the principle motive for their wishing to destroy it. When they find they can’t, it just makes them more angry. The bankers are getting ready to re-locate from the city of London before they destroy the UK completely. Gordon Brown is equally determined to abandon the values of Western democracy and international law so that he can get on the Zionist New World Order gravy train, like Blair, when the entire system collapses in a few months’ time.

    Is he looking after our interests by bailing out the bankers and sending troops to Afghanistan? Oh ye chattering classes who have contracts of employment and half-salary pensions, for goodness sake see which way your bread is buttered and support government policy unquestioningly on BBC Question Time so that you get some positions of priviledge when the New World Order is ushered in.

  • dreoilin

    “Obama is going to destroy Pakistan”

    –anno

    I’ve believed for some time that that is their motive. I read this today:

    5 Dec 2009

    LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif served notice on the Interior secretary for not replying to a petition against the alleged activities of Blackwater in the federal capital …

    Plea: Separately, the CJ also called a detailed report from the Foreign Ministry on a plea to order the search of US Embassy to recover illegal weapons.

    Hashim Shaukat Khan, president of Watan Party Pakistan, had filed the petition.

    Barrister Zafarullah, the petitioner’s counsel, cited several news reports according to which American and Dutch nationals were found patrolling the federal capital’s streets with sophisticated weapons. He said the diplomats and marines of both the countries had also beat up the people. He said the “culprits of these incidents” were set free and no action was taken against them for violating the law of the land.

    He said an American magazine, The Nation, had disclosed the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan and its hideouts in Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad.

    The counsel also said that the Sihala Police Training Centre commandant had also complained that explosives were being heaped in the centre and he was not allowed to visit the sites.

    Illegal weapons: Seeking search of US embassy, he said the day Blackwater had stepped into Pakistan, terror acts and suicide attacks had been scaled up. The counsel also alleged that in the US embassy illegal arms and ammunition were being stored, which were being used for “sabotage acts” in the country.

    http://tinyurl.com/ykfe89v

    Blackwater/Xe are under investigation in the USA, but nevertheless they have been given further contracts by the Obama administration.

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