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article imageOp-Ed: Financial news from the UK — Rip offs and whines

By Alexander Baron     Jun 29, 2012 in Business
Yet again, a major bank has been caught with its hands in the till. Barclays Bank has been fined £290 million, and there are calls not only for resignations but prosecutions.
This is a scandal about the manipulation - indeed the falsification - of interest rates. Not content with creating money out of thin air and selling it to the government - in Britain and worldwide - the Barclays banksters here have been, well, start here, and follow the links.
David Cameron doesn't sound happy, does he? Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband is even unhappier, and has called for a criminal investigation. Whether or not the man at the top of this pile of guano, Bob Diamond, goes, or any of his underlings, the underlying problems will remain.
The fine sounds enormous, and £290 million is to the man in the street, but it isn't that large for such an enormous corporation as Barclays. Without asking the obvious question, is it only Barclays, what will this £290 million fine do? Hopefully it will teach the bank and other banks a lesson, but where will the money go?
If, dear reader, you thought that maybe it would be used to create jobs or provide grants for a few thousand young people to start their own businesses, or to fill in those potholes in suburban roads that we hear so much about, think again. Like the massive fines levied on the supermarkets last year for their great cheese conspiracy, this money will go straight into the Treasury, and will in effect disappear into the national debt; any good it does the country will be minuscule as the banksters continue to rip us off.
It isn't only the banks of course, but so-called hedge funds. The people who run these are paid millions, but that isn't enough, not for women fund managers. Take a gander at this. See how much pressure the poor dears are under? Now look at how much they are being paid - not earn, that word implies they would be performing meaningful work.
Shocking, isn't it? Sexism in the city. The solution is to end this shocking sexual discrimination by sacking the lot of them and winding up all these funds: hedge funds, unit trusts, the lot. What are the chances of that happening? Not great, not while the financial services industry - that produces nothing, or next to nothing - is so enormous, and while so many people are riding its gravy train.
Finally, Baroness Warsi has been found guilty of a minor breach of the ministerial code concerning a trip to Pakistan.
She is still facing another and more recent allegation of impropriety, but as a politician she can expect more flack than the banks for anything smacking of graft, after all, it is not Parliament that owns the press.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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