December 4, 2009

£850Billion. That is what we have given to banks so far. So far. That we know about.

Banks are a mechanism that are supposed to facilitate the movement of money around the economy. They serve a purpose.

RBS became vulnerable after a decade of expansion plans, that confused their ambitions with their capabilities, based on exploitation of an artificially inflated credit market, high risk ventures, and outright gambling with their shareholders money. They were warned by people inside the bank, and the FSA were warned.

The failure of one of the biggest banks was so frightening, that the biggest aid package ever given, or imagined. More money than our entire annual public expenditure, for EVERYTHING=for defence, for health, education, pensions, transport, everything-was handed over, with few conditions. Hundreds of billions more than our ENTIRE annual national expenditure. Thats how much we have given to them so far. That we know about. Without condition.

THeir fuck up has contributed to a recession which has resulted massive unemployment, home reposessions, hundreds thousands of people coming into a situation where they are relying on public services to cushion them. People who had also been sucked into a credit boom, perpetuated by banks like RBS, a credit boom which gave them more to lose.

And we have given banks £850 billion pounds of taxpayers money. And now the public purse that has just lost this unimaginable sum of money, has to find a way to maintain public spending without it.

I dare you to ring your local authority and ask how much they have been asked to cut back this year. How much has been clawed out of education, or childrens services, of all the departments we rely on.

I used to work for the DWP, when I worked at Todmorden Jobcentre, we were not allowed to open without at least 11 members of staff. Now, they open routinely with 5-6. A service for the unemployed, will obviously contract economic boom. Now that boom has bust, the service will continue to contract, to pay for the bail out, to the people that caused this bust. THe first stop for people who have already been shafted by being made unemployed, in massive debt, facing losing their homes- is a service which is woefully ill prepared for them, and will face further cuts. Do we think benefit rates will increase proportionately with the increased cost of fuel, or food, that has resulted from this recession, while we claw back this £850billion?

Last week, I was left without the ability to pay for food, due to bank charges on an unauthorised overdraft of less than £1. When the Supreme Court ruled these charges lawful. Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester, warned there was no such thing as a free lunch. Well it appears that RBS appear to think that our entire economy is a free fucking lunch.

If a bank is a mechanism which facilitates the movement of money around the economy, the banks which dominate our high street, have discovered a way of rigging the mechanism, so that money flows one way. Into their coffers, protecting their bond/deposit base- from everyone, and everywhere. And we, the public, are paying for their fuck ups, from everywhere. We pay for it with our jobs, our homes, our pockets, our public services. While they pay bonuses of £1.5 billion pounds to themselves.

That doesn’t sound much like a free market economy to me. Especially given that the basic rule of free market economics is supply and demand, and if we had stuck to the free market economics they base their bonus argument on, they would have been allowed to fail. And the market would have decided how to deal with it.

In January the VAT cut, which was imposed as a way of making the public a bit more comfortable, in the face of this daylight robbery, comes to an end, because by now the economy was going to be bouncing back. THis recession is nowhere near over. In the next few years, we have to claw this back, and its coming from the services you need. And out of your pocket. The effects of this recession are only beginning to be felt. And the only people who this recession will be over for, are RBS, and the like.

And there is fuck all anyone can do about it. A vote for a party whose entire ideaology is underpinned by the belief in ‘free trade’, and opposition to the ‘nanny'(read welfare) state, who were brought up in the same social circles as banking chiefs, or a vote for the spineless morons who deregulated our credit markets to the point where this could happen?

So this is a rant. A futile, empty, pointless rant. Cos the sheer obscenity of it all is astounding.




  1. Honey I am so fucked off with this government and banks you would not believe I am a victim of the Icleandic crash still as we banked in the Isle of Man .. no protection .. Nightmare !!
    We have all been encouraged by banks to spend and borrow so much that we could never pay back if asked.. we need to learn to live within our means all of us. Especially the Government.

  2. I’m afraid I agree. I honestly don’t understand why people are not demonstrating in their hundreds of thousands in front of RBS head offices against this daylight robbery. And you’re right, sad as it is, Labour or Tories, they’ve all been to the same elite schools together, live in the same neighbourhoods & send their children to the same schools. So sad.

  3. I bank with Natwest. Recently, I have opened a graduate account, and the (always lovely and helpful) staff in my branch advised me to close down the old one, as it was very basic (what they give to forrins when we come here to study, taking all the BNPs jobs/banks/etc). The day my new account details arrived, I phoned up telephone banking and had all my direct debits/standing orders switched. Last week I got a letter from the Musician’s Union advising me that my monthly dues had not been received. Then one form ShatWest telling me that there were insufficient funds to cover it and i would be charged.. Yes. Because I emptied that old account with a view to shutting it down. As told.

    Branch staff sorted it out for me, and cancelled the charges. But you do have to wonder at banks being able to get away with charging for their own incompetence. I’d change bank, but as a poor, recently-graduated, self-employed musician, I’m not an attractive candidate, so must stay put.

    I hope Fred Goodwin dies in a fire. And I hope all the RBS fat cats lose it all and are forced to live on the breadline, in some inner city scumhole area, preferably in a falling down homeless hostel, so they can see how many people live.

    • I cannot open another account, the bank charges I incurred, along with my lack of income, mean that no other bank will touch me. This error on my part, came on back of a year, a complaint which had to be managed by the banking ombudsman, and a series of errors on an account that I never used-which resulted in a written apology from Natwest.
      THis bank charge on the account I use, was the first error on my part, in face of severe financial difficulty. I am not in debt, I do not get bank charges. I live so close to the bone financially, that I generally know every penny that goes in, and out. It was less than a quid, and the first in a year. And they just dismissed me, and took half a weeks income, even though Itold them I had a 3 year old and no food.
      Fucking obscene. I take responsibility for my own finances, but that is unfair. It just is.

      I just want to add- my branch staff are lovely.

  4. It’s only going to get worse from here.

  5. I remember the days we got paid in cash .. you paid out what ya owed & enjoyed the rest! Stuff the banks 😦

  6. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by slummymummy1: A rant about RBS http://wp.me/pyBFp-na (Was written hastily and in anger-excuse typos)…

  7. I agree with pretty much everything you said in your post, and absolutely with your sentiments. The way you have personally been treated is a total disgrace. The element of your analysis that I think is probably even worse than you’ve described it is the suggestion that had we “stuck to the free market economics they base their bonus argument on, they would have been allowed to fail. And the market would have decided how to deal with it.” Unfortunately the collateral damage to ordinary individuals that would have ensued from allowing the market to deal with it would have been unimaginable, worse even than the consequences of the £850 billion of public debt – and as you rightly point out those have hardly even begun to be felt yet, and they’ll continue for many years to come.

    For me the most depressing part of this whole saga is this double bind into which we have all been put. Banks – you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them.

    • I agree, and I certainly agreed at the time of the bail out, that this might be the way to avoid financial calamity. What I do not for the life of me understand, is why, at that point, BEFORE money was handed over, we didn’t place conditions about use of money, bonuses etc Its fucking idiotic to hand over everything, without condition. RBS have showed they are incompetent, capable of bringing an economy to its knees, through greed, and have no respect for the money they have received, or the cost to the public- and I am beginning to wonder if this is actually preferable to what would have happened if we had taken another route.

  8. At least if the banks HAD been allowed to fail, those involved would have stood a chance of being criminally charged.

  9. Very insightful and sadly true, As a small business owner, our bunch of bankers are cutting our overdraft because we “keep using it” ! With an absence of logic that defies rational description, one can only stare awestruck as these financial parasites continue to rape the temple of society as we know it. The Lunatics haven’t taken over the Asylum, we let the bankers have it while grabbing our ankles…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: