The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Banks In Britain Will Absorb Cost of 50% Bonus Tax

Even I am slightly surprised, though not shocked:

City bankers will suffer little or no impact from the bonus supertax imposed by the government last month, according to a Financial Times poll of leading investment banks.

Most banks, polled in an anonymised survey, said they would absorb all or part of the cost of the one-off 50 per cent tax by inflating their bonus pools, even at the risk of irritating the government and their own shareholders.

The sense of entitlement is breathtaking.  The banks simply need to be broken up, and the remaining ones turned into utilities with regulated profit levels and compensation levels.  Clearly the people in charge cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of either society or even the shareholders they claim are their primary responsibility.

Until this is done, I will add, the middle class will not see any real gains in real disposable income after all taxes (which includes interest, which is a tax) are taken into account.  It’s you or them folks, and they are damn well determined it isn’t going to be them.  They are parasites, not symbiotes, they sicken their host and can even kill it, rather than making it stronger.

And you are their hosts, from whom they suck blood to stay alive and grow fat.  Except unlike the huge swollen ticks gorged on blood who are their direct kin, no amount of blood is ever enough.


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  1. Banks as utilities is a great idea – we depend on them as much as we depend on electric and telephone utilities, yet they are barely regulated anymore. They just take our money and use it to buy politicians.

    Better yet, why not make them nonprofits, too?

  2. Jim


    I agree with the nonprofit idea. All the essential utilities should be regulated and nonprofit. Electric, phone, gas, water, sewer, banks, hospitals, education…

  3. Lex

    Here, here on nonprofit utilities…and a rather broad definition of “utility”. Low costs for consumers, plenty of incentive to put money back into the utility and plenty of incentive to provide good wages to enough employees so that the job is done well.

    And, damn, Ian. The last three sentences is powerful stuff. Too long for a bumper sticker, but probably worth commissioning my grandmother to cross-stitch and frame it.

  4. Lex

    is/are…what’s the difference?

  5. b.

    Bah. Humbug.

    There are non-profit utilities for banking. They are known as “credit unions”.

    There is absolutely no excuse for anybody to be banking with anything but the local alternatives. I have been doing just that for almost my entire life, in two US states and two foreign countries. If there is no credit union, at least go to a local bank.

    There is a lot of energy expended on umbrage in this blighted nation, and very little energy expended on action. Put your money where your mouth is?

    The reality is that the credit unions and the local banks that (by and large) worked, or failed “by the book”, will have to fleece their customers to pay for asymmetric competitive advantage provided by bailouts – e.g. by increased FDIC insurance fees. Too Big borrows at negative interest from the Bank of Big Ben to purchase failed “small fry” banks from the FDIC.

    The Extortionist-In-Chief is as unlikely to fix that racket as he is to fix anything else.

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