Obscene bonuses show need for fundamental reform of banking sector

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Responding to the recent announcement that JP Morgan Chase paid out $26.9 billion in pay, bonuses and benefits last year, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “These obscene bonuses paid so soon after the world's taxpayers had to rescue the banking system show that there is something fundamentally wrong in the relationship between banking and the rest of the economy.

“Banks are meant to support society, but instead taxpayers' support guarantees that whatever happens to the economy banks will continue to pay gigantic bonuses.

“The best way to reintegrate banks into society is to make sure they pay a proper contribution through a transaction tax – a solution rapidly gaining support both here and abroad.”

I do not think that much can be added to what Brendan Barber has said above. The banking system needs a serious overhaul and, maybe, just maybe, we should consider a different way for banking.

We must, first of all, return to proper retail banking and return, ideally, to mutual societies of one form or the other in this field.

The international trade with dubious financial mechanisms that not even the like of Ben Bernanke understand, and that came from his very own mouth, must be stopped. They do not benefit anyone bar the banks who get filthy rich and too huge to fail, leaving the ordinary people with the bill of bailing them out.

We cannot continue down this road as, in the end, it will destroy the entire system.

© 2010