Where’s the anger gone?
Tom is on top form:
Imagine if the economic crisis had been caused by trade unions, by constantly pushing for higher wages and using industrial action in support of short-term objectives, regardless of the long-term consequences. Imagine if at every stage in the run-up to the crisis when government or regulators or the public had tried to curb their behaviour, or urged restraint, they had simply responded with threats to withdraw their labour (in the traditional sense, not by relocating overseas…). Imagine if that behaviour had left the country saddled with debt that would take years to pay back, with related cuts in public services.
Do we really believe legal curbs on their behaviour wouldn’t be introduced? Do we have any doubt that legislation would be enacted to hamper their ability to do such damage again in future? Do we seriously think society would be satisfied with voluntary codes of conduct which they could choose to comply with, or explain why not?
To be Candide about it, perhaps it is time we should shoot some of them to encourage the others. Failing that, if it is status they’re worried about, can we organise a national laugh-in at these overgrown Pru salesmen? Can we just make it seem ridiculous that people who ensure a continual supply of water, and guard against the risk of water failure, get normal wages whilst bankers get paid fortunes?
Where has the all the outrage gone? Has the chnace for fundamental reform been missed? Isn’t this more important than the question of whether the FSA or the Bank should be the lead regulator?