We Bailed Them Out. Nothing Has Changed.

From Primetime on RTE to Question Time on the BBC, public anger is coming through loud and clear.

We bailed out the banks because we were told they were “too big to fail” but nothing has changed.¬†

An investigation by regulators in both the US and the UK, have found that several banks including the UK giant Barclays have been manipulating the LIBOR rate.

The Libor is the London Interbank operational rate which is the rate that Banks lend to one another.

This Libor rate can cover up to 300 trillion of funds worldwide.

Barclays have been fined $92 million by regulators in the FSA, and $160 million by the US Department of Justice.

As this is the rate that banks lend to one another, it has an effect on the cost of loans and mortgages to customers. Barclays were manipulating the figures at the behest of their derivative traders in order for that section of the Bank to make gains and avoid losses on the derivative markets.

 

So much for the ordinary man in the street trying to pay his mortgage and other loans.

In the banking industry the man or woman in the street would be seen as collateral damage, just one of those things that happen. As long that the traders make big paper profits and secure their annual bonuses and enjoy the good life, too bad about the collateral damage.

There was a time when Banks were looked upon as staid, old fashioned and boring places but with a reputation for integrity and honesty. That image has now well and truly been shattered, and been replaced by an image of greed and self aggrandisement on a massive scale.

 

The problem is that there will be no real retribution in relation to the banking industry.

There will be some hand wringing after the fine is paid and business will go on as usual. How can anyone, including governments, deal with companies that are spread across the globe. Eventually organisations that are “too big to fail” will be brought to heal, but not any time soon.

It may take the end of the Euro and a depression of historical proportions to achieve such an outcome.

In the meantime, what alternatives do we have?

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