The Blame Game

There was something mildly ironic about four of the previously most powerful men in the banking industry being chastised on the naughty step by a group of MP\'s.

Let’s face it; most MP’s don’t strike me as being the bastions of morality themselves.

I would have preferred a debate in the local pub with a specially invited audience of ordinary folk that may have asked more perceptive questions rather than just resorting to constant interruptions to try to look good in front of their constituents.

Whilst I believe the not-so-fantastic-now four have some serious questions to answer, this political charade is merely trying to find someone to blame and there is nothing I hate more than people playing the blame game.

I am sure we all have personal experience of this, you know the type, “nothing to do with me gov, it was him what started it”.

Sound familiar?

We need to be careful in our treatment of banks going forward as they are critical to our economy and wider spin-off employment, as we are finding to our cost now.

I am not saying we let them off the hook, far from it.

But there are other players in this game.

At the time reckless upstarts from across the pond were setting up lenders left, right and centre and threatening to blow our traditional banks out of the water.

There were strong egos at play. Others culpable are the regulators, the ratings agencies, accountancy rules, and of course our dear old Government.

Let’s also look closer to home shall we. There was a whole new breed of “mortgage broker” and “packager”.

Distributing sub-prime mortgages to those who could not really afford it and earning big bucks for contributing nothing.

These were not the old school professional advisor from respected companies, or the well-established mortgage clubs and networks.

Then there were property clubs, for some a respectable name for shysters and fraudsters. Property development companies who grossly inflated property prices with dodgy valuers and the odd hooky solicitor.

And then there was us. Look in the mirror and admit it. We lapped it up.

We believed it and lived the dream. Sitting on bags of equity, borrowed beyond our means and spending like crazy. How many times did I personally have a conversation with a client which ended, “well if you won’t do it I know another broker who will”.

But like Paul Moore, the sacked HBOS whistleblower I am not bitter!

What was his comment, “anyone whose eyes were not blinded by money, power and pride knew there was something wrong”.

Deep down everyone knew that it could never last.

That the money going around and the crazy figures being earnt were unsustainable.

But don’t just blame all bankers for the actions of a few.

Not all received crazy bonuses.

There were many more average bankers who kept the wheels of finance turning and did not have anything to do with increasingly risky trades.

There are also plenty of other industries where bonuses simply reflect good work and extra effort.

Bonuses as a concept are not wrong.

Banking as a concept is not evil.

All bank workers are not to be lumped in with the few who made some reckless decisions.

This is also not just a UK problem, it is global.

For me what’s done is done.

The horse has bolted and a bunch of politicians engaged in their own show of ego and power solves nothing.

Better to concentrate on getting us out of this mess.

Spend your energy trying to solve the problems and getting people back to work.

Get the banks lending and stop them closing down many good small businesses.

Stop trying to find people to blame and avoid the real issues.

I tell you what, I’ll take the blame.

Even though I am on record as saying it makes no sense to me why you would have heavy adverse products and lend to people who cannot afford
it early on, blame me.

Now the Government have someone else to blame they can stop wasting time and solve the issues.

Your responsibility is to get Britain working again.

Now.

Meanwhile, the fabulous four can do some community service in bright orange jackets for the rest of the year.