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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bus Crash

Dear Ivor

You may have noticed that I have been a little preoccupied with elitism recently, as you have been with Graham, and the weight of inequality is lying heavy on my shoulders, either that or I’ve forgotten to remove the lavender neck warmer (trying to treat a slight dowager’s hump developed from excessive keyboard hunching!).

This morning I was determined to discover that meritocracy was alive and well and only a few keystrokes away, however my rather slight hopes were soon dashed once again, so here goes…....

Did you know that, the directors of the Lloyds Banking Group sounded out the shareholders about a proposed change in their pay packages, resulting in surprise, surprise an increase. The argument being that this was warranted as the bank was larger since the takeover of HBOS! Not unexpectedly the shareholders were a little reticent and the application was not passed.

To have the audacity to suggest even an increase in the biscuit kitty at the moment would take the…….., you get the point. These people are already raking in salaries that makes winning the lottery seem like petty cash, with bonus schemes of 200%+. So what if they have to work a little harder for their more than adequate pay packet! Hmm I need a cup of coffee!!

Back and a little calmer!

Whilst boiling the kettle was trying to get into the mind of a banker, more difficult than it sounds. People like this have made exorbitant sums of money that would even make a peer with a consultancy weep. But for them it is the going rate for the job they do and no doubt they think they’re worth it. These are the same arguments that justify footballers’ pay. But are such inflated salaries and bonus schemes really necessary to attract the right people into these jobs, or is it simply a self-perpetuating justification for excess?

It could be argued that they shoulder the risks and responsibilities of the business decisions, however is this really true, what other job receives such rewards for failure and I cannot muster any sympathy for the hedge fund manager Paul Marshall’s argument that:

"Blaming the hedge funds for the banking crisis is like blaming the passengers in a bus crash,

I would point out to him that it depends how the passengers were behaving at the time!

What is clear is that the bus has crashed firmly into innocent onlookers who have sustained injuries for which there is no compensation scheme or bailout proposal.

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