Monday, 30 April 2012
It was 1986 when Cecil Parkinson, Courtier of Queen Margaret of Finchley, started the de-regulation of UK Financial Services. Was it pure co-incidence that for most of the 20th century to that point the return on bank equity rose broadly in line with the growth of the UK economy [about 2%p.a.] but between 1986 & 2006 that return shot up to an annual average of 16%? I don't think so. Freed from constraint, & with the opportunity to make obscene levels of personal wealth for those at the top of the pile, the banks simply started to play roulette. Bankers bonuses are one of history's great thefts. A gigantic reward for failure. At long last shareholders are starting to flex their muscles & vote against such pay. But Government must do more. It is outrageous that Barclays Bank proposes a bonus pot of £2.1bn whilst spending only £700m on dividends.