In almost any other industry malpractice of this magnitude would be severely punished so why is banking given a second, or third, or twenty-seventh chance?
Greed is good, right? Gordon Gecko told us that in the eighties. It seems that several financial icons took that to mean "Do whatever thou must, but make sure thee reports a profit".
And so they did.
Standard Chartered is the latest to show us how low banking has sunk. See the full story here
HSBC laundered drug money and all manner of low-end nastiness flowed through their books. See that story here
And then there was good old Barclays and that LIBOR rigging. Here's the latest on that story
Three huge names in the banking world and they are no better than common thieves. I know that many of us were aware that banks are not the good guys. They haven't been our pals for decades. They exist only to make money, but some of us thought that they were trustworthy, deserving of some respect, but that image is forever tarnished. We may as well go back to cash. Who knows what they did with our money? Actually, scratch that. For years I have been saying that once your money is in your account at their bank, ownership is transferred. The money is no longer yours. It belongs to them. If you don't believe that, pop down to your local branch and ask them for all of (what you believe is) your money. If you have more than their daily withdrawal limit in your account you are going to leave disappointed.
I know why they do it. There are three reasons: growth, growth, and growth. But the growth needs to be sustainable. It needs to be logical, and, in an ideal world, it needs to be lawful. It seems to me that these three banks
Greed is good. Wars, for that matter, are even gooder. Have a look at this graphic, and when you understand it, stop wondering why we are always at war with Eastasia:
Blowing people to bits is lucrative business.
We live in a nasty world. Those we trusted have become the untrustworthy. Those that once traded with honour have become dishonourable. Those who were meant to remain unblemished have become forever stained.
But will they be shut down? Nope.
Will anyone go to gaol? Absolutely not.
This is crime at the most senior levels of the banking industry but just watch: these clowns will slink out of the back door with millions in severance pay. And within days or weeks, they will turn up at other banks as directors and senior officers. The banks themselves will get over this latest "blip" and carry on forever.
Because we will continue to use them. It's too much trouble to find a decent bank (if such a thing exists) and by continuing to patronise them, nothing will change.
We are our own worst enemy.