If the bankers want the gain they should feel the pain | Jonathan Freedland

It’s not news but it needs saying over and over:

‘At present the financial uber-class expect to have the best of both worlds – all the rewards of being in charge without paying the price of responsibility. It’s an individual version of the injustice laid bare during the great crash: that while gains are privatised, losses are socialised. The bankers get the big bonuses when things go right, the taxpayers bail them out when things go wrong.

All this only grows more infuriating with the knowledge that the public realm still insists on accountability from the person at the top: just ask the last director general of the BBC. Some parts of the commercial sphere are the same, as Ian Holloway can testify. But the upper echelons of corporate life remain out of reach. That feeds the deeper sense, which lingers still, that those responsible for the calamity of 2008 have never been held properly to account for the damage they wrought.’ 


Coincidentally I’ve just read this from The memoirs of a Survivor by Doris Lessing:

‘Has there been a time in our country when the ruling class was not living inside its glass bell of respectability or of wealth, shutting its eyes to what went on outside? Could there be any real difference when this ‘ruling class’ used words like justice, fair play, equity, order, or even socialism? – used them, might even have believed in them, or believed in them for a time; but meanwhile everything fell to pieces while still, as always, the administrators lived cushioned against the worst – for to admit that it was happening was to admit themselves useless, admit the extra security they enjoyed was theft and not payment for services rendered …’

First published in 1974.

If the bankers want the gain they should feel the pain | Jonathan Freedland

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