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How much would IMF bank taxes raise?

Robert Peston | 08:51 UK time, Wednesday, 21 April 2010

If the UK implemented the duo of taxes proposed by the International Monetary Fund, the proceeds could be very substantial indeed.

City workers

My estimate, based on the parameters set out by the IMF, is that the take from financial firms from the two would be between £5bn and £10bn per annum.

That's based on what the IMF says should be a possible rate for any new tax on the profits and pay of financial institutions, and also what it indicates should be the yield from the separate liabilities tax for countries like the UK with relatively large financial sectors.

Such a sum would make a useful dent in the ballooning British deficit - although the IMF is (naturally enough) explicit that it doesn't think such taxes should be dedicated to filling a fiscal hole, but should be a provision to meet the costs of future financial crises.

What's striking is that proceeds of such magnitude massively exceeds what any of the main political parties currently say they want to raise from new bank taxes.

The Tories have said that their planned bank tax - which looks very similar to the IMF's Financial Stability Contribution, as a levy on what banks borrow - would raise around £1bn.

And the Lib Dem's tax on banks' profits - arguable a "lite" version of the IMF proposed Financial Activities Tax - is budgeted by Vince Cable to generate £2bn a year, rising to £3bn in 2014/15.

As for Labour, it has kept its powder dry, preferring to wait for what the IMF had to say (see last night's note for more on this).

That said, the government has already raised £2bn from its one-off tax on bonuses. And Alistair Darling has already in the past few hours made it clear that he believes that the IMF proposals give him licence to do a lot more.

Among those who'll be very disappointed with the IMF proposals are Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, and campaigners for a tax on financial transactions, or a Tobin Tax.

The IMF is explicit in rejecting Lord Turner's argument that a Tobin Tax could make a useful contribution in reducing the bloated size of financial markets or their volatility.

It does look, in spite of the passion of its proponents, as though the Tobin Tax is dead.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    The IMF may suggest a tax on banking/financial activity against the cost of future bail-outs, but is there any way of actually ensuring that the money will still be there when needed?

    Certainly the UK government (all flavours for many years) has a track record of raising a tax under the pretext of a specific provision - as, for example, road tax or NI - then putting the money into the general pot and failing to provide whatever it was that the tax was supposedly for.

    So what guarantees are there that if banks and other financial institutions pay this tax they will get a bail-out if and when they need it?

    Or would they be better off paying a mandatory insurance against the need for a bail-out? Now insurance companies are at least as dishonourable as governments when it comes to meeting their obligations, but at least when you take out insurance you have a legally-binding contract with your insurer.

  • Comment number 2.

    What I can not understand is why the IMF is giving recommendation all of a sudden - has the UK taken up a loan from them?

    The IMF is an instrument of the FED for maintaining the dollar's dominance as a reserve currency. We do not want IMF in our back yeard. They are like plague.

  • Comment number 3.

    One thing to remember is where the money the banks makes comes from. It comes from their customers. Take more from them in taxes and they will increase their charges to their customers. anybody who thinks that the bankers will give up their bonuses because of additional taxation costs it living outside this reality. Increase their costs and they increase their charges so they continue to make large (virtual) profits) and pay themselves unbelievable salaries and bonuses.

    Thus, at the end of the day it is us who will be paying this tax.

  • Comment number 4.

    OK, so such taxes may raise a decent amount of money.

    But the question people seem to have immediately failed to ask is....

    If this tax is supposedly going towards the next bailout, does this mean financial institutions WILL be bailed out when they hit trouble?

    In which case of course their behaviour will hardly change.

    The issue of moral hazard remains.

    A far better line to take will be to split basic banking activity from the casinos, and then implement the other change that the IMF would like to see - remove the tax deductibility of interest.

    It's fantastic that the IMF Board have clocked that this latter point is important... (seems like the brilliant sensible guys within the IMF like Paul Mills are really being listened to!).

    To mention again why this is so important for those who don't understand...a short explanation of how our government rewards people for getting into debt, and why our whole system is biased to help those who want to borrow now, rather than those who want to save up until they have the money.

    Let's say two exactly similar companies with two similar products start up in different parts of the country with similar amounts of money, although one is financed wholly with debt, while one is financed wholly with equity.
    They both make exactly similar returns equal to double the interest that the one company pays on its debt funding.

    Great, you think, so what?

    Well, so... the company funded 100% with equity pays exactly double the tax of the company funded with 100% debt.

    i.e. our tax system is wanting us to get into debt.

    So, what mugs we who try to save up and then bet these savings as equity in a new start-up company are, compared to those who get into debt! We've got the whole government system against us.

    A few implications....

    If there is just one explanation for the Private Equity boom it is this..... that all the PE guys have been doing is playing the arbitrage game on this loophole in the system. By taking lowly indebted companies and leveraging them up as far as possible, they have simply been collecting the taxes that should have been paid to the government into their own pocket!

    Simple really.

    Which will mean of course the end of Private Equity if tax deductibility of interest is removed.

    It would also get rid of this ridiculous situation where so-called risk free debt is supposedly cheap as chips, while equity costs a fortune, which is bonkers.

    Last point.....

    The banks will be desperate to protect the status quo, of course, because this public subsidy of debt really encourages us all to get in hock to them, whereupon, as we all know perfectly well, they can then start to turn the screw and extract supra-normal rent and profits from us.

    So there it is.... our government's public subsidy of debt (.... this is our own money being used here, for heavens sake!) is helping to deliver us into the hands of the bankers to the enslavement of us all.....

  • Comment number 5.

    Would the tax really work? Would it stop the fraud in the system that seems to appear every day?
    Would the consumer really benefit from such a high tax?
    It is the end consumer that overall would pay in charges (again and again and again).

    I don't see the banks moving, just passing on the charge.
    And for the present I am awaiting the 'hidden charges' to escalate, because they will.

  • Comment number 6.

    We dont understand what you do but bung us an extra £10 billion and we'll turn a blind eye. Say no more ! A nod's as good as a wink to a blind man in a sandstorm !

  • Comment number 7.

    The banking crisis, and as it now appears the ash cloud crisis, was caused by a failure of our regulators, who should be monitored by the government. This tax will do nothing to save us from the same mistake being made again. All that will happen is that is tax will be passed on to bank customers, and the government will get more taxation to waste on whatever folly they are wasting our money on at the time. So when another crisis occurs, and it surely will occur, because politicians never change, we will have to go all through bailing the banks out again.

  • Comment number 8.

    IMF or MFI?. Welcome to the world of Flat-pak banking.

  • Comment number 9.

    Small wonder it's called the International Money-tree Fund!

  • Comment number 10.

    It's a good start, but that's all.

    By making banks pay specially high taxes, we are making it clear that they are special to our economy, and thus need to be treated more strictly than normal businesses. The argument that the customers will be charged has merit, but only if the tax is poorly structured. We must hit the bankers, while protecting the shareholders and the public. That can be done by limiting bonuses using exponential tax, essentially setting a maximum bonus for bankers, allowing banks to spend the money on tax instead of bonus. The net effect would be no change for customers, no change for shareholders, poorer bankers and better public finance.






  • Comment number 11.

    "a provision to meet the costs of future financial crises"

    This line is very very worrying, because in my world its easily remedied, there will be no bail out for financial institutions, none, zip, nil, nadda.Never again will the tax payer directly fund bankers luxurious lifestyles...and most of all the banks will do as they are told.

    If not the nationalised banks can be used to ruin them, by us funding better interest rates in them than those outside offer,and us the public moving all our deposits to them or other more morally run business's .There really is no expertise that the banks have that cannot be replaced.

  • Comment number 12.

    "The worlds biggest Ponzi forces banks to place our wealth into it"

    ....should have been the headline

    So to clarify....the banks have spent the last few hundred years accumulating capital from us through surplus value - then the contradictions in the system of Capitalism ensure they overproduce and the inevitable collapse happens...

    ...and now some unelected worldwide body has decided it will be taking future wealth from the banks (extracted from the people who actually produce something) in order to ensure they can bail them out should things go wrong again.

    Does this seem like world totalitarianism in disguise to anyone else? I mean soon the IMF will control the wealth of the world - and not one vote was made to give it that power.

    The conspiracy theorists may have been right all along - a new world order where we all 'owe' the IMF from the day we're born until the day we die. Having to accept any draconian public spending cuts they impose - or face economic banishment and starvation.

  • Comment number 13.

    7. At 09:50am on 21 Apr 2010, bankingballs wrote:

    "The banking crisis, and as it now appears the ash cloud crisis, was caused by a failure of our regulators, who should be monitored by the government."

    ...actually - you're spouting mis-information. The decision to ground planes was based on the advice of the engine manufacturers - right or wrong, it's their porogative to say if their engines will cope or not.

    Just because Theresa Viliers came on the TV this morning and tried to make political gain from this situation by blaming the Government - doesn't mean there is an ounce of truth in it.

    Bankingballs is just about what you're talking.

  • Comment number 14.

    Proper taxes is one thing but only when the overpaid parasites have to face the risk of jail will the government have real means of heading off the next crisis. The companies and the senior executives need to be properly licensed, the operations need to be under supervision, whistle blowers should be generously rewarded, the state must define the rules on governance and ensure they are enforced, there should be a public sector presence, no external auditor should have any other lucrative relationship with the companies, etc. Oh yes Nick Clegg should tell Brown on 7th May to go as he is obviously always keen to offer cleansing services to the derrière of finance capitalism.

  • Comment number 15.

    This sounds similar to insurance, surely these institutions can understand that sort of approach - they make enough money selling insurance to the rest of us.

    Presumably some of the insurance principles could apply. If you move abroad to avoid paying the premium/tax then you are not covered. The more risk you take the more you should have to pay. If you fail to disclose pertinent facts then you are not covered. The insurer expects to charge enough to make a healthy profit. etc etc

    Governmnent should bring in a few of the people who make billions for insurance companies to plan the scheme. Put them on big profit related bonuses to work out how to extract the maximum possible - make the pips squeal but not go elsewhere.

    Just like the banks do with us.

  • Comment number 16.

    Robert,

    Need more info.

    What happens if a bank needs to draw on this new IMF fund?

    What would the consequences be?

    Would there be any stigma attached to doing so?

    Would the money actually be there?

    As #4 pointed out, governments tend to help those who need it most, which actually encourages recklessness.

    Gamble all you can boys, no need to worry about going bust!











  • Comment number 17.

    There is an unspoken and unanswered question - where will the money collected in 'taxes' be stored? In the banking system?

    I do not see that this will assist in the regulation of the markets one little bit. A transaction tax (Tobin) to slow down the rate of movement might (but again where would the money be stored and how and who would decide how it should be invested? Bankers?)

    I am also on the opinion that CDOs apparently specifically constructed to fail situation will be not be lessened by such a tax. They may even be increased. We need legal reform where CDOs etc. MUST carry a proper estimate of their risk and have a fall-back that if this risk estimate is wrong then the constructor of the CDO has to reimburse unexpected losses.

  • Comment number 18.

    You may be interested in looking at how Twitter feeds showed election debate candidates faired on the different subjects related to the question that were asked by the audience, you can find such an analysis here https://tinyurl.com/y64rasj

  • Comment number 19.

    The only thing you need to know about the IMF is it is playing exactly the same game as the BoE and the Fed - a game of lying.

    The BoE and Fed often talk about 'recovery' but their actions of holding down rates contradicts that view.

    The IMF stated this week that they are writing down the cost of the bailout - but on Monday they increased their fund for bailouts of wealthier nations 11 fold - from $50Billion to $550 Billion.

    Strangely this is not news - but their statement about the writedowns is.

    People need to learn that actions speak louder than words in the world of liars.

    Clearly the meja haven't worked this out yet as they are simply acting as spokesmen for the PR departments of these insititutions.

    The end game approaches.

  • Comment number 20.

    # 14. At 10:34am on 21 Apr 2010, watriler wrote:

    > Proper taxes is one thing but only when the overpaid parasites have
    > to face the risk of jail will the government have real means of
    > heading off the next crisis.

    Let's start with Sir Greedie. It would cheer us all up to see him
    doing the perp walk!

  • Comment number 21.

    #16 newblogger

    At the first hint that a bank might be enquiring as to the availability of short term use of these funds a run on that bank will start, this would cause a run on all the banks and all the money in the world would not be enough to stop it.

    So future banking bailouts will be done in secret, a huge multi-national, multi-trillion dollar fund, administered by unelected faceless bureaucrats will hand out cash in secret to the directors of international private banking corporations.

    The money for this fund will be raised from your pockets.

    The only time you will know that a bailout has occurred is when they come to take some more. In the end they will be raiding you on a daily basis (or just taking it from your bank account under the heading - Other Allocation Fees).

  • Comment number 22.

    On thinking about it this proposed tax will not work, in essence it is planning for failure.

    I think a reform of banking practice is called for. It seems to me that the crunch was assisted by banks making ever and ever more convoluted deals. The regulating authority simply could not keep up with the army on the bankers’ side inventing these new investment opportunities, so I propose we approach it from the other way round. The FSA (or whoever) pre-approve a list of licensed transactions with their relative parameters and only these transactions can be carried out by the banks and finance houses. Any variations required by the banks would need to be approved by the authority first, along with the parameters for marketing the package and even lodging the ‘worst case’ monies at risk with the BoE.

    I further think that tax rates should be amended such that the rates increases dramatically beyond say 250k and reaching 98% for pay over 1mill. I also think that the banking practices should be split though I can see no merit in then making them smaller. Then just add a sprinkling of post #10 and #14 and I think we have a banking system not designed to be rescued in future and a good income source for society.

  • Comment number 23.

    How much extra money would be raised by this proposal ? Nothing. Smart accountants and lawyers will make plenty, helping the bankers to avoid the tax - sorry, be "tax efficient", but no extra money will appear. But you can bet that banks will still use any such levy as yet another excuse to raise their rip-off charges and loan interest rates. Caledonian Comment

  • Comment number 24.

    12 Writings, a superb post yet again. Writings for PM anyone.?

  • Comment number 25.

    The ultimate Stealth Tax.

    Bankers will simply extract money from the rest of us in order to pay the tax. So why not proceed to the logical next step? Drop all other taxes on us.
    If the bankers want to be the worlds tax collector then so be it.
    Governments simply tax the banks.
    And only the banks.
    No more PAYE, NI, VAT etc.
    Only a bank tax.

    I can see only one flaw. What do we do with the no longer needed droves of tax inspectors etc?

  • Comment number 26.

    12. At 10:21am on 21 Apr 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "The worlds biggest Ponzi forces banks to place our wealth into it"

    ....should have been the headline

    So to clarify....the banks have spent the last few hundred years accumulating capital from us ...

    ...and now some unelected worldwide body has decided it will be taking future wealth from the banks

    Does this seem like world totalitarianism in disguise to anyone else?"

    YES, we should be genuinely scared by this proposal, as well as the almost total agreement conferred on it by our three main parties.

    "The conspiracy theorists may have been right all along - a new world order where we all 'owe' the IMF from the day we're born until the day we die. Having to accept any draconian public spending cuts they impose - or face economic banishment and starvation."

    I read David Icke's book on "the global conspiracy" a few years ago, and its amazing how much of it appears to be true on closer inspection.

    We need to wake up and put our brains into gear. Do our politicians not realise that they are merely pawns in this game? They will chewed up and spat out like the rest of us. I am seriously worried about the future: we are sleep-walking into slavery.

  • Comment number 27.

    Q: How much would IMF bank taxes raise?

    A: Very little!

    These are the consumate professionals at dodging tax! They have been practising this art on behalf of clients and themselves for quite a while now.

    A Transaction Tax (Tobin Tax) is the only true solution to a credible wind down:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2010/04/imf_bank_tax_plan_the_parties.html

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    Will there be any banks to tax anyway?

    Another 8 went belly up in the US last week - must have been another news story with greater importance in the business world.....oh yes, it was Goldman's profits.

    You see the meja don't like to talk about losses - only gains...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008-2009_bank_failures_in_the_United_States

  • Comment number 30.

    Just another tax to screw the banks. As usual, the successful are the losers so I hope no agreement can be reached.

    The tax will simply be passed on to customers large and small.

    The whole idea of this "insurance" against future crashes is crazy. Each bank can be made to make provisions itself.

    Trouble with outfits like the IMF is that it's too immersed in its subject with no eye to the consequences on users of the financial system. It can't see the wood for trees.

  • Comment number 31.

    That is a good point, where would the money be placed 'just in case'?
    Under the lumpy mattress? Or would the fund managers make risky investments to make a bigger fund?

    Or even funding start up businesses?
    Maybe loans to the banks?

    Not thought through enough yet

  • Comment number 32.

    The IMF proposal sounds good and is made for politicians worldwide to provide a convenient scapegoat to deflect blame and get at new tax revenue without having to say so. It will not work.
    - If banks have to pay new taxes, guess where they're going to get the money from.
    - Governments will immediately spend the new revenue on whoever screams the loudest or whatever will get them reelected. Typically they increase the size of the government to create a new block of dependent voters.
    - Now that they paid for it, these banks have it in writing that they will be bailed out by governments. They will adjust their risk/reward levels accordingly. Financial institutions without this guarantee will be at a competitive disadvantage and vanish over time. Governments will create regulations targeted for massive international banks making it impossible to create new, smaller and more nimble competitors.
    - Government/Banks will become indistinguishable entities.
    - Once the inevitable meltdown happens the "Bank"tax money will be long gone and either current of future taxpayers will have to pay up.

    The capitalist solution: STOP BAILING THEM OUT! NOW!

  • Comment number 33.

    And what will happen to this pot of money being built up in the meantime? Invested by a trader who has few if any regulations to ensure his behaviour is safe? AIG MrkII? Can the fund be shorted and thereby make more money for those who see nothing wrong with betting against a raid on the biggest pot of money in the world?

    Will it be raid-proof? And the man in charge of the pot, will that be Fred Goodwin or one of his pals?

    I like the idea of banks being taxed to death - a bit like all of us really, but I'm not so sure there are enough details while the IMF doesn't exactly have an inspiring track record.

    Where are the regulations, where are the mandatory prison sentences and the mandatory massive fines to those who break them? We have tough laws for drug dealers so why not for financial dealers?



  • Comment number 34.

    13. At 10:24am on 21 Apr 2010, writingsonthewall

    Thank you!

  • Comment number 35.

    22. At 11:43am on 21 Apr 2010, Uphios wrote:
    On thinking about it this proposed tax will not work, in essence it is planning for failure.


    It's always wise to plan for failure - or having a fire escape. What matters is you have a decent plan for it. I'm not sure this is a decent plan.

    We tough fire regulations and we need tough financial regulations.

  • Comment number 36.

    Two of the most interesting comments today came from Ken Clarke and the lady who speaks for the banks. (I do apologise for not remebering her name)

    Perhaps at last they realise that trying to hold an election whilst depriving people of the real truth of what's ahead will only produce a result that will be even more damaging to the future of the UK.

    Perhaps Ken Clarke had to step in and drop his 'bombshell' a bit earlier than anticipated but my goodness this should really wake everybody up now. The time for the froth and fluff is certainly over and it looks like the real 'nitty gritty' is about to start. This is what most of us have been asking for.

    The acknowledgement that the banks in future would not support the idea of failing banks being rescued by the taxpayer throws one heck of a lot of doubt on Brown's actions over the last two years.

    Perhaps many of the voters do not yet understand what calling in the IMF would mean so it's time to tell them straight.

  • Comment number 37.

    It seems that the whole bwanking industry is inheritantly set-up to be non-competitive. In other industries a new company can come along and deliver a better service cheaper and this drives competition. The banking industry is been allowed to develop along the lines of buying football players, which not just pays the stars alot of money but all Personally, I have noticed I get charged extra if my ISA funds do well. What a cheek! I do not want to participate in this, but seemingly it is a policy done throughout the industry. I would like to see the regulators begin to put barriers in place to disrupt this natural anti-competitive behaviour.

  • Comment number 38.

    If we introduce a levy on banks, spend the money raised, but don't reregulate, then that will do nothing to reduce the risk of financial crises occurring and will increase the size of the structural deficit caused when they do. The money has to go into a rescue fund or it will make things worse, not better.

    Far better to break the banks up so that we can just let those that take risks fail.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    In the long term, on a net basis, the IMF tax will raise next to nothing. Bankers are not dumb, you know. Unlike the 'general population', they are not going to just sit there and take it on the chin. In the short term, billions of dollars, euros, prounds, etc will be rigged in. Congratulations! Well done you clever politicians. However, bankers are very good at making things disappear or appear different from that they really are. They will modify their business models, they will engineer structures so that certain 'profits' will not be counted as profit, they will make their profitability less transparent, and that will hurt you, me, the shareholders, the government revenue. They will make their financial positions harder to monitor. This will increase risk. In the end, the only people who will be hurt will be the 'ordinary folks' and just about everyone else aside from banks and bankers.

  • Comment number 41.

    Apart from all of this being paid for by muggins the customers,me and you , the other issue is that a successful UK banking industry with the competitive edge of not having a IMF style banking tax like this would generate a heck of a lot of extra corporation tax and income tax.
    The extra IMF style tax will shoo away banks from London and this will lose a lot of revenue for London , even if other countries have similar schemes.Frankfurt and Paris would chew off their arms to get some of our business.
    Turkeys with plane tickets do not stick around Bernard Matthews at Xmas.

  • Comment number 42.

    "30. At 1:20pm on 21 Apr 2010, doctor bob wrote:

    Just another tax to screw the banks. As usual, the successful are the losers so I hope no agreement can be reached.

    The tax will simply be passed on to customers large and small."

    Aren't these two statements contradictory?

  • Comment number 43.

    Forget the IMF...let's regulate the banks ourselves!

    I just looked up Max Keiser in Wiki and found this interesting part...

    "Karmabanque was a hedge fund founded by Keiser which sought to profit from any decline in equity-value of companies who are susceptible to boycott from environmental groups. The hedge fund's progress was followed monthly in the Ecologist Magazine, edited by Zac Goldsmith. Its targets included Coca-Cola and McDonalds. The Karmabanque hedge fund project was designed to simultaneously short-sell companies while funnelling profits from this activity into environmental and ethical-business pressure groups which further act to drive the price down. Describing the project, Keiser states "The Internet allows people, activists, from all over the world to gather, or swarm, and hit a company where it hurts most -- in their stock price."

    "Criticism
    Tom DeWeese of the American Policy Center branded Keiser as "a new kind of terrorist" - specifically referring to Karmabanque, a project instigated by Keiser and his partner Stacy Herbert to de-stabilize the share-price of certain companies susceptible to boycott by encouraging pressure-groups to use short-selling strategies."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Keiser

    Maybe the same idea could also be applied to the 'robber banks' in some way and part of the profits allocated to more ethical banking enterprises such as the Co-op bank or Zopa.

  • Comment number 44.

    If the tax is actually collected some portion should be advanced against the bailout funds and housing losses (bad paper assumed by the governments on behalf of the people to further benefit the banks). Legislation that would allow for the attachment of personal wealth and properties of executive officers and board of directors of banks and financial services companies would provide consequences that would instill a better sense of caution in those industries.

  • Comment number 45.

    The theft of capital has had many disguises over the last 1,000 years or so. Here are a few:

    1. clipping coins
    2. using base metals in coin production
    3. issuing notes in excess of gold reserves
    4. central banking
    5. removal of redeemability of notes for gold
    6. deposit protection
    7. banker bailouts

    This looks like another to me. Also, notice how the time gap in between these methods is shortening: its all coming to a head. For our futures we should look at Greece and Zimbabwe.

  • Comment number 46.

    36. At 1:51pm on 21 Apr 2010, virtualsilverlady

    Oh, do you mean the bit where Ken Clark supposedly suggested that if the people vote for and get a hung parliament, the IMF will be in like a shot? So the IMF gets to judge our votes? Piddle! Clarke should know he is talking nonsense and keep his mouth closed - he's usually smarter than that.

    Eyes are wide open - it is electioneering, no more.

  • Comment number 47.

    15. At 10:41am on 21 Apr 2010, jon112uk wrote:

    "This sounds similar to insurance, surely these institutions can understand that sort of approach - they make enough money selling insurance to the rest of us. "

    Unfortunately 'insurance' to a banker means:

    "Take a premium for something which will 'never' happen and should it happen (like Lehmans) then the Government will cover the demands for payment - as with AIG"

    ...which is exactly what a CDS is based on. I suppose the IMF will simply become the biggest financial CDS writer. Nice work if you can get it as should there be a world event that causes mass economic failure - the IMF will walk away and leave the mess - just as AIG did.

    Bigger and most definitely not better. We've gone from banks to big to fail (and still too big to fail) to a new massive world bank - which is even 'too bigger to fail'

    Surely only the nutters think this is a good idea.

  • Comment number 48.

    24. At 12:32pm on 21 Apr 2010, JavaMan wrote:

    "12 Writings, a superb post yet again. Writings for PM anyone.?"

    Alas the job of PM will be worthless - once the IMF has 'loaned you out' the PM becomes a puppet of the IMF Empire - or face Economic ruin.

    Where have you been JavaMan? - don't tell me you were 'stuck' in mauritius....

    As you can see little has changed - the blind still profess it will all be over soon - a la 1931, the politicians are still too busy sniping each other to realise what a total mess it all is - and the Meja has resorted to recycling old stories about taxes that will never get off the ground in order to distract us all from the Tsunami about 30 miles off shore.

  • Comment number 49.

    FOR ANYBODY WHO THINKS THIS BANKING CRISIS IS OVER JUST LOOK AT HOW MANY USA BANKS HAVE FAILED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008-2009_bank_failures_in_the_United_States

  • Comment number 50.

    26. At 12:35pm on 21 Apr 2010, Wardy29 wrote:

    "YES, we should be genuinely scared by this proposal, as well as the almost total agreement conferred on it by our three main parties."

    Did they get a say on it? - if so then it's a dire warning - this is the new world order right here

    ...because you know the only thing the 3 parties agree on during election time is one that is very bad for the rest of us.

    Anyone who gets a knock tonight from a canvasser should ask them why their leader has agreed to an unelected super-economic body dictating the removal of our wealth in order they can have a fund to 'catch falling banks'.

    If they have 'fixed the system' - what do they need a bailout fund for? What banks will fial now they're all being well behaved?

    Think about it for 2 minutes - it's a fraud - they know there will be another failure because they haven't addressed the fundamental problems.

    ...something many bloggers have been talking about for a looooooong time now but the idiot meja have sat on their fat hands scratching their thick brains.

  • Comment number 51.

    election news:''Ok. So you are not all topped up now... we have not added 2 points and deducted 1 point(but for whom?).
    NB.(A surprise is on the way...)

    UK £5-10 billion per year.
    Cost of recent banking financial bailout ??
    -----------------------------------------------
    £850 billion ??

    So, at best, we would be covered for a one in 85 year occurrence(provided the monies are ringfenced and not allowed loose into a future Chancellor's paws).

    Is this adequate/sufficient/necessary ???

    Also what about the Conflict Problem RP ?

    That is, the bigger the financial sector the bigger(you'd hope) the tax take(and vice versa,(isn't current opinion in favour of reduced size banks-Mr King-in -Vince, able Lib Dem?!), but taxing banks will also potentially stifle the rate of growth.

    I have a feeling some politician out there thinks their party can do it cheaper and better... Oh dear.

    Come on IMF(laborious,geddit?), why have you waited so long to produce this ?

    Is there an election coming in the UK ???

  • Comment number 52.

    30. At 1:20pm on 21 Apr 2010, doctor bob wrote:

    "Just another tax to screw the banks. As usual, the successful are the losers so I hope no agreement can be reached."

    now I don't object to screwing the banks - but it should be us who screw our banks - not someone else.

    Lets not confuse the issue by implying banks don't need a good screwing - that is the view of the bank apologists and the banks themselves (who we know are only serving self interest)

  • Comment number 53.

    THE USA LOBBYISTS ARE OUT IN FULL FORCE TRYING TO KEEP EVERYTHING AS IS.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008-2009_bank_failures_in_the_United_States

  • Comment number 54.

    32. At 1:32pm on 21 Apr 2010, andreasr wrote:

    "The capitalist solution: STOP BAILING THEM OUT! NOW!"

    Capitalists don't have solutions - they only have problems.

  • Comment number 55.

    36. At 1:51pm on 21 Apr 2010, virtualsilverlady

    If you think taking the word of Ken Clarke (the man who presided over our last Economic downturn) then I suggest you are merely a glutton for punishment.

    Of course the banks have said they wouldn't support the idea of bailing out banks....until it was their turn!

    Ken Clare is merely trying to win his party the election - don't think for a minute he actually gives a monkeys about what is good for the UK Economy.

    Whilst the IMF imposed austerity measures are hideous - the Tories would implement the same measures - it's like choosing between home grown terrorism and international terrorism - it's all terrorism.

  • Comment number 56.

    41. At 2:18pm on 21 Apr 2010, onward-ho

    Aren't you describing Stockholm syndrome there? - where the kidnapped are protective of their kidnappers?

    If you adhere to free market principles the 'turkey bankers' would be replaced with younger and fitter bankers.

    ...or are the rules of free markets suspended when it comes to protecting your own job?

  • Comment number 57.

    49. At 3:32pm on 21 Apr 2010, KeithRodgers wrote:

    "FOR ANYBODY WHO THINKS THIS BANKING CRISIS IS OVER JUST LOOK AT HOW MANY USA BANKS HAVE FAILED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS :"

    Oi,
    Your 49,
    is stealing my line,
    Which I put out,
    On 29.

  • Comment number 58.

    ...and what are we going to do when the IMF announces it 'needs a defensive force to protect the tax money from Somali pirates'?

    This is like the plot from the clone wars - the IMF aren't even very imaginative.

  • Comment number 59.

    No one country can tackle this problem, we are talking about global transactions here across borders that involve numerous governments.
    It has to be a European / American solution and yes I agree the European heads are unelected by the voters in each member state.
    So may be just may be we have to merge the political system to combat this global crime. Fraud is global and we have all just witnessed the biggest fraud of all time, it makes the Brinks Mat and Great Train robbery look like a small town heist!
    Personally I would like to see all our wealth in State Controlled banks, I simply do not trust the privtae financial services sector any more!
    They claim to be protecting our interests yet they continue to fleece every one of us and with government help!
    ANy great civilisation has its day and then it crumbles, communism has crumbles, now its the turn of capitalism both have shown to be corrupt and really not in the interests of the general public.
    The politicans will be creeping around canvassing ask them this are you planning to split the banking system up? The ones that waffle don`t vote for them they are corrupt!

  • Comment number 60.

    46 copperDolomite

    Ken Clarke was relating his own experience of the hash made by the last Lib/Lab pact when it became so farcical they eventually had to call in the IMF.

    I guess you weren't around then so you wouldn't remember the chaos. It's worth referring to the history books. It will be some eye-opener.

  • Comment number 61.

    Bankers need to be incentivized in everything they do. Getting up in the morning. Going to work. Doing jobs they are already handsomely paid for. I doubt a tax will incentivise them to act responsibly. Taxes can be evaded. Or passed on to their customers.
    What is required is a proper deterrent that they cannot sidestep.





    Just like in the good old days
    .

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
  • Comment number 62.

    Bankers need to be incentivized in everything they do. Getting up in the morning. Going to work. Doing jobs they are already handsomely paid for. I doubt a tax will incentivise them to act responsibly. Taxes can be evaded. Or passed on to their customers.
    What is required is a proper deterrent that they cannot sidestep.




    Just like in the good old days
    .

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
  • Comment number 63.

    Even American Companies are waking up to the damage that derivatives
    trading and commodity speculation can do to there businesses.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/business/21regulate.html?ref=politics

    The fight on legislative controls and regulation is hotting up.

  • Comment number 64.

    55 writingsonthewall

    Our differences are clear. You want a revolution and I'm too old for one.

  • Comment number 65.

    Here is the take from the New York Times, article on the size of banks expressed as a percentage of GDP, the increase is frightening just take a look at the numbers to see how banks have got complete control of GDP.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/business/21fail.html?ref=politics

  • Comment number 66.

    # 22. At 11:43am on 21 Apr 2010, Uphios wrote:

    > I further think that tax rates should be amended such that the
    > rates increases dramatically beyond say 250k and reaching 98% for pay over
    > 1mill. I also think that the banking practices should be split though I can
    > see no merit in then making them smaller. Then just add a sprinkling of
    > post #10 and #14 and I think we have a banking system not designed to
    > be rescued in future and a good income source for society.

    Yes. The banks can have as many "Bod Diamonds of this world" as
    they like, if they all pay 98% tax on the wages! The rest of us
    could retire or (better) work as scientists...

  • Comment number 67.

    I would think that it is more than coincidence that as fraud and criminal investigations begin to unfold that the bankers now see legislation and industry self-insurance as an acceptable concept. Even the Republicans in the US are faultering in their defense of the bankers as criminal charges begin to arise. Republicans are not opposed to banking crime, just getting caught.

  • Comment number 68.

    24. At 12:32pm on 21 Apr 2010, JavaMan wrote:
    12 Writings, a superb post yet again. Writings for PM anyone.?

    Yep...gets my vote!

  • Comment number 69.

    It would raise absolutely nothing because that is NOT it's purpose.

    The truth is, this tax is factually NOT a tax and it is wholely wrong for the BBC to say it is, or any other media.

    It may be said that its a tax but in reality it is basically an insurance policy against the banks yet again joyriding and smashing up nations and world economy and societys while taxpayers are left to foot the bill. So in fact it is a financial joyriders insurance policy.

    Just as most car drivers pay for joyriders and car thieves, so too are taxpayers paying for the economic damage caused by the banking catastrophy and this proposed levy is just to protect against the next time. It is NOT to be used as payment/compensation for damage already sustained, nope, myself & every UK taxpayer are footing the bill, while we cut £40 billion, the banks have a spare £40billion to divvy up.

    It is cynical and quite deceptive of the IMF or anyone else to even suggest its a tax, because for all intents and purposes, that is NOT its purpose, so why call it as such.

    Another part of this is a suggested potential £10 billion raised from banks each year.

    This is actually a pitance, and is ONLY around 25% of the bonuses paid out by UK banks this year.

    Just think, as a result of banking catastrophy, UK economy has been massively damaged, familys, communitys, businesses, next in line is public services, education, schools, roads, social services, childrens activitys, as well as military, science, universitys, the list is massive.. and every public service cut will have a big negative consequential effect on private industry and its workers.

    Why are these cuts necessary, because government needs to save at least £40billion by the end of this next parliamentry term.

    £40 billion may sound a lot but in reality it is not. It is but ONE year of bonuses for banks, it is the amount that UK banks paid out in bonuses this year.

    I have not just lost faith in the banking and financial systems of the world, I have also lost faith in UK politicians who I believe are basically part of the problem. They are not asking the banks to repay money. They are not asking banks to pay the hundreds of £billions of consequential cost. No, the politicians are TELLING and FORCING me and every other UK taxpayer to pay for the damage caused by banks.

    Even nice shiney Nick Clegg is not on my side. His partys very policys themselves protect the banks and as with Labour & Tory policy condemn UK taxpayers to 20/25+ years of repayments of national debts accumulated as a DIRECT result of what I believe to be banks/financial services negligence and malpractice.

    Whos side is Clegg on? Not mine
    Whos side is Cameron on? Not mine.
    Whos side is Brown on? Not mine.

    If any of these 3 were on my side they would NOT be forcing me to pay for others negligence and malpractice.


  • Comment number 70.

    Sorry, Robert Peston, your estimate based on paramaters based on the IMF view on countries globally who have suffered by bankers fraud and mismanagement of little, ordinary people and business who require tax on those who brought countries to their knees?

    One expects my comment above, makes as much sense as yours on your blog?

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is heavily funded by us all? Never forget that governments, globally, fund the IMF - how - by the people?!

    Does anyone imagine in some strange stratosphere that the IMF is funded by a mystical money fairy? NO - ordinary people fund governments, politicians - therefore the IMF! Listened to a BBC Radio 4 broadcast today where the Conservatives were telling the UK that our 'lenders and bond bankers' would not tolerate a 'hung parliament'?

    Have I missed the point that Conservatives are the bankers who trade in fear in an election year? Well, the IMF can go to hell - British tax payers have paid £billions into the IMF - are the IMF another failed pension hedge fund failure? Well - they can't have it both ways - ordinary workers and taxpayers don't?

  • Comment number 71.

    Check this link out....nothing in the UK media on this masive ponzi. I wonder why?

    https://www.gata.org/node/8557

    Maybe Brown bailed out the banks when he sold our gold..he just didn't tell us!

  • Comment number 72.

    And ... So? I failed my driving test many years ago. No one threatened me with anything next time I went out for a drive with my instructor.

    I was around and I remember very well. No school and piles of rubbsih everywhere. The snow was deep too - lots of snowmen, snowball fights when it was considered fun instead of anti-social, the school play went on under canldlelight, and dad had time to spend with us for a change. We played card games, board games and granny used her wartime skills to feed us all.

    There are more important things than empty threats from Ken.
    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/8634293.stm

  • Comment number 73.

    Hey, writingsonthewall....

    What happened to your opinion about flying through ash being dangerous and me not understanding probability?

    "Now, scientists and engineers have agreed a safe threshold - a concentration of ash of 0.002g per cubic metre of air. At or below this concentration, there is no damage to the engine."

  • Comment number 74.

    The size and scale of this mess is being played down thats for sure.
    Damage limitation by politicans seems to be the order of the day, but how much longer can they keep the lid on this three mile island melt down?
    Most political parties collude with the financial institutions because both are dependant unpon one another. Governments make the rules and tax the general public and protect the institutions at all costs.
    Sadly all of the costs are being shoveled the general publics way!
    The next six months will be interesting, if consumers don`t start spending again you will have a lot of unhappy business leaders and profits will drop every where then the real in fighting will start!

  • Comment number 75.

    If VAT returns are falling because of lower consumer consumption and income tax revenues are also falling because companies are dumping labour like its gone out of fashion. You have to ask were is the cash coming from?,those printing presses must be working 247.
    Banks are itching to put up interest rates but they have no chance of doing that if people cut back consumption even more as the tax rises cut in.Its a complete mess thats not really sunk in with the bulk of the general public yet.

  • Comment number 76.

    71. At 6:12pm on 21 Apr 2010, what-to-do-now wrote:
    Check this link out....nothing in the UK media on this masive ponzi. I wonder why?

    Perhaps it's not true! All that glistens is not gold, and all that

  • Comment number 77.

    Sorry but concerned about magnitude of this tax for two reasons:-

    i) Echoing the concern of many posters that basically it will just result in higher bank charges.

    ii) Can see significant offshoring of those activities that make money - why be based in London when you can move to a country with no equivalent tax regime and do your trading over the internet etc etc. I don't have much of a problem with a bit higher taxation but make it too much and it just makes the UK less attractive to stay.


    Why do we need to have a fund for future bail outs - split retail banking from riskier activities - strictly enforce regulation and if any of the other bits fail then LET THEM.

  • Comment number 78.

    The discussions about controls and regulations for the banking and financial services industry makes one ask a simple question: Why hasn't any of this been in place before now? I think most know the answer, but what does that say about the government.
    Those who facilitate corruption are devising those regulations to control corruption...
    One might have thought that the IMF would have noticed the coming collapse...but apparently did not...ever notice at the highest levels of national and international governance that the barn door is always closed after the horse is gone. They call it Leadership.

  • Comment number 79.

    Does this mean the IMF is saying it is impossible to stop the financial services industry from screwing over the economy.

    That the only thing we can do is to stockpile money for the next time these thieves have broken the world for everyone else?

    Is there something wrong with this picture?

    Is this really the best we can do?

  • Comment number 80.

    The big joker in the woodpile could be the election of the Liberal Democrats with an overall majority.

    This is definately not in Nick Clegg's plans and the thought of he and Vince Cable having to sort out the country's mess must be giving him sleepless nights.

    All those riots on the streets {his words} savage cuts IMF threats no-one prepared to lend us any money and so many other problems just too many to list.

    But because most of us want this country to get out of this crisis and no-one would wish such a thing on poor Vince then those who have got so carried away need to be very careful what they wish for.


  • Comment number 81.

    51. At 3:35pm on 21 Apr 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    UK £5-10 billion per year.
    Cost of recent banking financial bailout ??
    -----------------------------------------------
    £850 billion ??

    So, at best, we would be covered for a one in 85 year > occurrence(provided the monies are ringfenced and not allowed loose into a future Chancellor's paws).


    Could we please try to understand what figures mean before commenting on them?

    As far as I can tell (and please correct me if I am wrong), the figure of £850 billion is obtained by adding together:
    - the cost of buying banking shares
    - the money lent to the banks by the BOE to replace their borrowings from the money markets
    - the absolute worst case liabilities under the asset protection scheme
    It is a meaningless number produced by journalists whose editors know that bank-bashing sells.

    The government is already in profit on their shareholding.
    There is very little risk attached to the money borrowed from the BOE.
    Expected losses on the asset protection scheme are a small fraction of the potential liabilities (the banks will take the first losses on these assets and have already paid what is effectively an insurance premium to the government to belong to the scheme).

    On a purely cash basis, therefore, the bank bailout is likely to cost (comparatively) very little. I believe the government put a figure of £10 billion in the PBR.

    A true post-hoc accounting should take make allowance for the risk that the state has carried over the last 18 months. That's almost impossible to price, but it isn't even remotely close to £850 billion.

    The banks, of course, have lost a lot of money, say £50-100 billion so far, and will continue to report further losses. (Note, however, that the recapitalisation of the banks has already provided the capital to absorb the expected future losses and these will already be factored into the share price, so expected losses by the banks won't result in further losses to the taxpayer.) The real losers in the bailout are not the taxpayers but the shareholders who have seen shareholdings diluted 6 fold with a concommitant collapse in the share price.

  • Comment number 82.

    Sorry to disappoint you all!...but I now believe WOTW to be a troll!

    He 'talks the talk'...but he doesn't 'walk the walk'.

    What a perfect plant!

    He has admitted himself that he's on the inside....i.e. works for a prominent bank in the City. He's an inside man. He know's all of the financial scams with intimate inside knowledge. Why would he denigrate his own career/industry?

    We've all been taken for chumps by reading his incessant posts for many months now...noticeably only between the hours of 9 to 5 weekdays.....and never ever over the weekend!

    It's all been a brilliant ruse....'our outspoken cheerleeder' is actually from within.

    You've all been mugs (me included). Think lightening rod/conductor. Dare I say .....it's brilliant!

    It was RBS-temp's post earlier that woke me up to this total and utter deception....maybe, just maybe, some of 'them' are very smart indeed!

    Anonymous usernames on these websites can be a double edged sword.

    :o(

  • Comment number 83.

    Its not that people have taken on reckless loans that they cannot afford, take away anybodies wage and there life is screwed up big time! Take away your wage how would you pay your mortgage?
    The global dimensions of this global depression is horrendous , just take a look at the number of banks that have failed in USA.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Upon reading these figures do you still think its people getting in over there on the size of the loan, speculation on house prices and globalization has caused this mess.
    Moving jobs overseas effectively pulling the rug from underneath western workers is the number one culprit. Closely followed by speculative comodity & derivatives trading pushing up the cost of raw materials and forcing companies to go under.To just blame borrowers is really an over simplyfication of whats going on.

  • Comment number 84.

    #54:

    Your "Capitalists" are in fact corporate socialists. The CEO's of these banks might as well be members of the Politburo. Their knowldedge and influence are in the political realm. They get paid huge salaries not because of their financial credentials but because they have all the right government officials on speed dial.

  • Comment number 85.

    3. At 09:31am on 21 Apr 2010, DeimosL wrote:
    One thing to remember is where the money the banks makes comes from. It comes from their customers. Take more from them in taxes and they will increase their charges to their customers. anybody who thinks that the bankers will give up their bonuses because of additional taxation costs it living outside this reality. Increase their costs and they increase their charges so they continue to make large (virtual) profits) and pay themselves unbelievable salaries and bonuses.

    Thus, at the end of the day it is us who will be paying this tax.

    -----------------------------------------

    And that, my friend, is why we also need a proper national, nationalised bank where people can take their money if the porkers who presently soak up our money want to play that sort of game. As long as the private banks are the only game in time, we have to play in their casino.

  • Comment number 86.

    60. At 4:34pm on 21 Apr 2010, virtualsilverlady wrote:
    46 copperDolomite

    Ken Clarke was relating his own experience of the hash made by the last Lib/Lab pact when it became so farcical they eventually had to call in the IMF.

    I guess you weren't around then so you wouldn't remember the chaos. It's worth referring to the history books. It will be some eye-opener.

    ----------------------------------------------

    Might be worth you referring to them too. The Labour government went to the IMF in 1976 in the depths of a crisis brought on by the OPEC oil price rises. At that time they were still a majority government. The Lib/Lab pact did not come into existence until 1977.

  • Comment number 87.

    77 EmKay
    Only way to stop the banks passing the charges on or worse still going off shore is to Nationalise them. Let the state control the banks set the fees effectively stopping them doing all sorts of un savory things like :-
    a) gambling with other peoples money.
    b) setting up derivatives that pass the risk and leave them holding the bag
    c) selling us insurance scams that have more holes in them than a seive.
    d) imposing higher & higher fees charges to compensate lower mortgage business.
    e) market speculation & fixing high commodity prices so we all pay a lot more for things(goods & services).

    Interesting to draw the comparison with Venuzaula who thats spelt right!, they have just Nationalised there banks probaly for the same reason! And the oil companies but thats going a bit too far, banks and health care yes two most important things health & wealth.

    Inte

  • Comment number 88.

    81.
    One of the few sensible comments I have seen on here.
    Now, can we try and work out where the rest of the £1.4trn of debt has been generated. Irresponsible Govt spending? Surely shome mishtake.
    One might almost think there was an element of political 'smoke screen' going on here.

  • Comment number 89.

    # 81. At 9:30pm on 21 Apr 2010, osborne_reynolds wrote:

    > it isn't even remotely close to £850 billion.

    Please factor in the cost of the recession that the bank collapse brought on, then make your claims.

    > The real losers in the bailout are not the taxpayers but the shareholders
    > who have seen shareholdings diluted 6 fold with a concomitant collapse in the
    > share price.

    The bankers think they won - they still have their snouts in the trough, even now!

    That's why we need to tax them exponentially, and stop them from reclassifying the activities and their income. Put them all on watch, and tax them into submission. And that's why we need to break them up so that competition is fierce (which stops them passing the tax on to their customers). Let's make them so small that we don't give hoot about them. Give them a “white-list” of assessed safe products they are allowed to trade. Anything else is banned. Then make them pay all their debts, and let's move on, once those City guys are our slaves.

    It's a no brainer, so what's with the longgggg delay? Oh yes, we're waiting for the Lib-dems to do the work for us...

  • Comment number 90.

    82. At 10:05pm on 21 Apr 2010, DebtJuggler wrote:
    Sorry to disappoint you all!...but I now believe WOTW to be a troll!

    Love it!

  • Comment number 91.

    # 46. At 3:12pm on 21 Apr 2010, copperDolomite wrote:

    > So the IMF gets to judge our votes? Piddle! Clarke should know he
    > is talking nonsense and keep his mouth closed - he's usually smarter
    > than that.

    Some of the conservative elements are getting desperate. Don't worry, copperDolomite, we all know that everything they say during an election is a load of rubbish. That's why people don't buy their newspapers anymore.

  • Comment number 92.

    Meanwhile back in the real world our foreign competitors are continuing to take advantage of our stupidity, greed and complete lack of understanding of long term strategic issues. What's worse the govt just doesn't appear to be interested.

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8636503.stm

  • Comment number 93.

    Forgot to mention of course that Deutsche Bahn is 100 per cent owned by the German state.

    I'm so proud.

  • Comment number 94.

    82. At 10:05pm on 21 Apr 2010, DebtJuggler wrote:

    "Sorry to disappoint you all!...but I now believe WOTW to be a troll!

    He 'talks the talk'...but he doesn't 'walk the walk'."

    Care to challenge me to that? - What were you doing on the 1st April last year? I took a day off work to be intimidated by the territorial police force.

    "What a perfect plant!"

    No - I grow the prefect plant.

    "He has admitted himself that he's on the inside....i.e. works for a prominent bank in the City. He's an inside man. He know's all of the financial scams with intimate inside knowledge. Why would he denigrate his own career/industry?"

    errr - selflessness? ever heard of that? I realise it's a myth in your world - but in mine it's what I live by.

    I also have the comfort of knowing that finance isn't the only string on my bow - unlike many others in the City who are totally dependent on this particular career - you see unlike a bank - I am diversified.

    It's good to be a little 'paranoid' about certain bloggers - but I think you are going a little too far.

    Would a troll openly explain how corrupt and failed finance is from the inside?

    "We've all been taken for chumps by reading his incessant posts for many months now...noticeably only between the hours of 9 to 5 weekdays.....and never ever over the weekend!"

    Well I'm not going to waste my free time blogging now am I - I've got vegetables to plant! (and in fact your statement is not true, but my keyboard is duff at home so I prefer to do it from work)

    ....and if you're quoting RBS_temp then you are seriously deluded - I think if you look back he said this was 'only a recession' - implying that this is all a big fuss over nothing and we should all go back to supporting banks for they did no wrong.

  • Comment number 95.

    64. At 4:57pm on 21 Apr 2010, virtualsilverlady wrote:

    "Our differences are clear. You want a revolution and I'm too old for one."

    You're never too old - are you not a member of that mighty force which leaves politicans weak at the knees - the grey army?

    Remember the young can be gassed and beaten and described as 'thugs' - the grey army have earned the right not to be treated in such a manner (it looks bad for the authorities to beat old people on TV).

    The most effective campaigns I have witnessed were a faction of the local grey army protecting their local hospital service - the authorities were powerless - utterly powerless.

    The country needs you more than you need it at the moment.

  • Comment number 96.

    68. At 5:27pm on 21 Apr 2010, what-to-do-now wrote:

    "24. At 12:32pm on 21 Apr 2010, JavaMan wrote:
    12 Writings, a superb post yet again. Writings for PM anyone.?

    Yep...gets my vote!"

    ...and for that you shall receive a knighthood - for services to democracy.

    You might think this is a little unexpected - but it's more than Sir Freddie did to earn his!

  • Comment number 97.

    73. At 7:00pm on 21 Apr 2010, jon112uk wrote:

    "Hey, writingsonthewall....

    What happened to your opinion about flying through ash being dangerous and me not understanding probability?"

    "Now, scientists and engineers have agreed a safe threshold - a concentration of ash of 0.002g per cubic metre of air. At or below this concentration, there is no damage to the engine."

    Hey jon112uk - you seem to have learnt about "the absolute power of money" but still haven't grasped the concept of probability of scientific research.

    So scientists have gone up and measured every cubic metre to ensure there is no more than 0.002g in the effected area?

    ...and volcanoes emit dust in a uniform manner? (i.e. you don't have heavy areas and lighter areas)

    Don't worry - I'm sure when you next step on a plane all this will have been thought of and 'tested' by Willie Walsh himself.

    You may argue differently after the fact - but it was the engine manufacturers who said "Don't fly no plane through no lava dust cloud" - do you ignore your mechanic when he says "Don't drive this car over 30 mph" and go careering down the motorway based on the probability of accidents handed to you from the back street driver?

  • Comment number 98.

    81. At 9:30pm on 21 Apr 2010, osborne_reynolds wrote:

    "As far as I can tell (and please correct me if I am wrong), the figure of £850 billion is obtained by adding together:
    - the cost of buying banking shares
    - the money lent to the banks by the BOE to replace their borrowings from the money markets
    - the absolute worst case liabilities under the asset protection scheme
    It is a meaningless number produced by journalists whose editors know that bank-bashing sells."

    ...well wrong because it doesn't account for the 0.5% base rate and the massive devaluation in our currency - needed because of the failures of banks.

    "The government is already in profit on their shareholding."

    Where? Break even lloyds = 75p, RBS = 50p
    Today's prices lloy = 66.90 RBS = 53.85

    (now before you get all excited about RBS shareprice - the taxpayer holds 75% of the shares - so this is only reflective of the 25% in circulation - selling the shares now would require about a 30% discount to maintain the price)

    Northern Rock, B&B? - who knows what the losses are - when you split into 'good bank and bad bank' you can hide the real losses from the gullible sections of the public - that's you BTW.

    "Expected losses on the asset protection scheme are a small fraction of the potential liabilities"

    Expected losses? - haven't you learnt anything in the last 2 years about forecasts and expectation from either Government or banks???

    "A true post-hoc accounting should take make allowance for the risk that the state has carried over the last 18 months. That's almost impossible to price, but it isn't even remotely close to £850 billion."

    ...strange - I thought pricing risk was how banks justified their profits (or are you suggesting they come from another source?)

    Why are you so keen to support the banks? - do you work for one? Care to disclose your positions?

  • Comment number 99.

    84. At 11:24pm on 21 Apr 2010, andreasr wrote:

    "Your "Capitalists" are in fact corporate socialists. The CEO's of these banks might as well be members of the Politburo. Their knowldedge and influence are in the political realm. They get paid huge salaries not because of their financial credentials but because they have all the right government officials on speed dial. "

    ...and how have they gained such power over the Government? - could it be the power they wielsd with their massive amounts of accumulated Capital (the goal of all Capitalists)

    Just because the Capitalist supporting Government has stepped in and propped up the system it can find no alternative to - do not confuse that with Socialism.
    You need to read a bit more about the ideology you are attacking - for the current situation is far closer to fascism than it is to Socialism.

    As far as I am aware the influence is not worker driven - but "Capital ownership" driven, the owners of production influencing rather than the providers of production.

  • Comment number 100.

    86. At 11:55pm on 21 Apr 2010, Andrew Morton wrote:

    "Might be worth you referring to them too. The Labour government went to the IMF in 1976 in the depths of a crisis brought on by the OPEC oil price rises. At that time they were still a majority government. The Lib/Lab pact did not come into existence until 1977."

    it's also interesting to note that Ken Clarke described the possible future parliment as a hung parliment or 'no Government' on Radio 4 this morning. Something which is incorrect as there always is a Government - even if it's a coalition or minority one.

    This is evidence of Tory scaremongering - the two main parties want 'absolute power' in order to drive through unpopular policy next session - a clear warning sign if ever there was one.

 

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