Lessons – unlearned

The Financial Stability Board, backed by the G20 members,  was set up in 2009 after the financial meltdown to monitor and regulate international banking.

Last Friday they announced their list of banks “too big to fail”; this list includes twenty-nine banks. It probably comes as no surprise that many of those listed were also recipients of some of the largest bailouts from their respective governments. These include:

  • Bank of America – $45 b
  • Bank of New York Mellon – $3 b
  • Citigroup – $45 b
  • Commerzbank – $11 b
  • Deutsche Bank – $12 b
  • Goldman Sachs – $10 b
  • JB Morgan Chase  – $247 m
  • LLoyds Banking Group – $60b
  • Morgan Stanley – $10 b
  • Royal Bank of Scotland  – $70 b
  • State Street – $2 b
  • UBS AG – $65 b
  • Wells Fargo $25 b

Add all of that up and you have over 350 Billion dollars of bailout; not including many other international banks I haven’t listed that were also recipients of bailout money or at least ‘protected’ in one way or another from the consequences of their selfish and stupid gambles.

These banks, their directors and staff continue to be the beneficiaries of huge profits and disgusting bonus rewards, while the rest of us work our collective asses off to pay for their mistakes. This is a level of payback that will see us through most of our lifetimes and more than likely into our children’s lifetimes.

The reason we are in such a mess is because when things started to go wrong in 2007/8, all of these banks were considered ‘too big to fail’ and were handed barrow loads of cash with no strings attached. Even while taking this money, the bankers continued to pay themselves huge salaries and ridiculous bonuses, rewarding themselves for their ‘success’ with amounts beyond avarice.

And now the FSB is making exactly the same mistake. Lessons from history are often difficult and painful – but now we don’t even learn them after the fact. Parasites like this should be left to fail; they need to learn the lessons and consequences of their own actions.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana 

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