We were told that if these people did not get huge pay and bonuses, they might go elsewhere, to Dubai, Mumbai or Shanghai. I am trying to envisage the interview. They might be asked, "Who did you say you were working for in the City of London? Was it Lehman Brothers, Royal Bank of Scotland or HBOS? Were you helping Bernard Madoff, or were you working at Merrill Lynch?" The idea that those people would be welcomed by any sane banker—assuming there is such a thing—is quite ridiculous, but they still say that they ought not to be regulated, which is one of the arguments their apologists make.
Our Government, like other Governments around the world, have tried to introduce extraordinary measures to counter the extraordinary damage that these stupid, greedy people have caused, intending to limit the length and depth of the recession through tax changes, changes to monetary policy and monetary relaxation, and by trying to get credit flowing again. That means huge costs for the Government and for taxpayers. Needless to say, the Tory party—the political wing of the banking industry—is spending all its time blaming the Government and attacking the Prime Minister as he makes the preparations for the G20 summit in London in two days' time.
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