that in extraordinary times hypocrisy is tougher to sustain.
Having lived in the UK for 14 years, I was amazed at how far the
governments since Thatcher went to please business. One had the constant
feeling that big business owned the government.
The defence they used for their policies was like this:
Be good to business so they flourish and/or relocate here from other
countries. Which means good economy & strong UK.
However in practice it worked like this:
UK government sucking up to the rich, including autocrats in arab countries
but only if they have money.
Among the businesses that came to London, too many where fraudulent or at
the edge, many engaged in unethical practices. On most occasions the UK
sold their citizenship to any sleazeball with money..
The UK's unethical stance created a horrible competition downwards in
standards. Other EU countries had to relax rules to stay competitive.
Too much of the UK's prosperity is tied to immoral practices like
laundering money. It was also trying to force other EU countries to lower
taxes on business like this -a sort of policy imperialism-.
Much of this anything goes atmosphere gave birth to the horrible crisis.
Because unsupervised the bankers took crazy risks looking at their personal
interest, hoping that the bonuses will be so large they can retire and
will not be there if the bets went wrong. Many were right!
Now responsible governments after putting things right & indebting us all
to do so want to insure this doesn't happen again. Except the US & the UK
policy is still in thrall to the rich & the bankers.
Now read on:
'Their comments came as Sweden added its voice to growing demands for
regulation of bankers' bonuses and called a meeting of European leaders to
forge consensus ahead of a G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden's prime minister, whose country holds the
revolving EU presidency, urged European leaders to agree co-ordinated
measures to prevent a return to "business as usual" in the financial
sector. "We've seen a tendency to go back to the same kind of bonus system
we saw before the financial crisis," he said.
The finance ministers of Sweden, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg
and the Netherlands wrote to the Financial Times to call for a ban on
bonuses guaranteed for more than a year and regulations to make sure
payouts mirrored bank performance over time.
Signs that the bonus culture was returning to the financial sector was "a
punch in the face of all the people who are quickly becoming unemployed",
Mr Reinfeldt said bonuses would be high on the agenda when leaders of the
27 EU countries met in Brussels on September 17 to co-ordinate the bloc's
position before the G20 summit later in the month.
The Swedish prime minister was optimistic that the EU would present a
united front in Pittsburgh, despite signs of tension over a number of
issues. France and Germany have led calls for restrictions on bonuses while
the UK has been more cautious, amid fears that an EU crackdown could hurt
London's financial services industry.