Banking and the arts

Wasted talent, the death of banker bashing and the mutual concept

A farce? A farce?
The Co-op Bank, an ethical bank that's in a lot of trouble. Sir Christopher Kelly was asked by the Co-op to explain what went wrong and now the Kelly report has been published. This tells of problems going back several years but of late it went wrong because the people who try to run the bank on a day-by-day basis were undermined by others, from the board, who are a good deal less than ethical. It is certain that leaks of confidential information from the latter group were the reason that Euan Sutherland resigned, see link above. The management of the bank is done by the bank’s parent company, The Co-operative Group. This is where we find the group board. And the board is composed of elected representatives, elected by the Co-op membership.

Here diversity is all too apparent in that we find a plasterer, a grocer and, until recently, a Methodist minister. In some circles to question diversity gets you some funny looks but the truth was that apart from having bank accounts none had any practical experience of banking.


Life under the blanket

Money matters, it really does

This one?This one?

It is said that a large number of voters in the recent Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty voted yes because they felt more secure as part of the EU. What was haunting them where the bank problems seen in Iceland and the thought that this could happen to Irish banks and cause another meltdown. So the Irish pulled the security blanket over their heads and hoped the EU would continue to pay them to be Irish. Not much of a way to earn a living you may say, what about the horse trader's sixth sense of deal making, surely this will see them through as it has before? Ah, perhaps those days are long gone, anyway one 'lovable rogue' in the shape of Michael O'Leary is enough to be going on with for now! But if it's comfort you seek, then look out dear Hibernians, for regulating banks and looking after your 'own' money is not as simple as it was. And the reason for this is the very organisation whose coat tails you have sought to hide behind, is making it hard to regulate 'foreign' banks.

Bring back the DM?

The paymaster says no

Angela Merkel Angela Merkel
Why do they do it? This was asked by a friend of Germany; we had been talking about the contributions countries make to the EU coffers and the fact that the Germans always appear to pay more than anyone else. this would be a good question to ask Angela Merkel and, without her reply, the reasons can only be guessed. Perhaps the plan is to pay so much to the EU that they end up de facto owners of it all. As the financial crisis takes another turn we learn that Greece is set to follow Ireland and offer full security to bank deposits. It will soon be time to make a list of EU member countries who do and don't offer this service; because the way things are going soon Germany may stand alone with the UK.

How to fix banking

'Everything', well almost

I'm on the way to the bank I'm on the way to the bank
Gordon Brown tells us he will do "everything it takes" to sort out the present crisis in the UK's banks. The Mr Fixit role appeals to him as he is by nature an interventionist. Gordon Brown loves the 'big state' way of working and has personally waited years to be the Prime Minister of such a thing. Many people thought that Brown's dislike of the euro indicated a dislike of the EU. Not so I suggest. I would imagine Brown has a soft spot for the EU and looks fondly upon the interventionist policies of its élite. While we could never describe Brown as a friend of Peter Mandelson he is, to use that weasel word, a colleague. As we know Mandelson is one of the EU élite and so all is well, or is it? What about another of the élite, European Union (EU) Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes? For Kroes has had words with Brian Cowen the Taoiseach of Ireland about his plan to give total security to deposits in Irish banks, see HERE.

Brown has not gone as far as Cowen with deposit safety and as a result there is a suggestion that money is already flowing into Ireland from UK accounts.

For or against?

The end of the line for banking as we know it

Banking stops here?Banking stops here?
All this is being written very late on Sunday night the 28th September. This is 'Meltdown Weekend', or so they say. And I see a pattern here with our old foe the European Union.

On the subject of the European Union the debate is really simple, for or against. There are, it would seem very few 'don't knows'. The simple polar approach now applies to the financial crisis in general and the banks in particular, bail them out or let them sink. There are a few genuine don't knows and a few who don't care and are not interested either. The latter can sit with the philistines who only see the EU in terms of cheap cigarettes, booze and holidays!

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