Not that long ago you would find huff post / guardian readers working in the public sector. Places where they could enjoy spending other people's money.
Today you will find them working mostly in banks who have had a long tradition in spending other people's money. Long gone are the times when a barrow boy or an ex drug dealer could join a bank and make lots of money. The wild west cowboys making stuff up and selling it to fools and the great fun we all had are now history. The days of trading floor banter, attacking the markets from all angles for a turn and the cut throat profit taking at all costs are truly behind us. Investment bankers who were once dynamic, clever and risk taking have been replaced by CYA, No Risk Here librarians for whom change is as dangerous as turning on Radio 1 in case you are turned into a child abuser.
The Regulators were always seen as the red tape socialist business prevention police. And they still are. But in a strange role reversal, the banks are now hiring more of these sorts of people. Is it true that Credit Suisse has more compliance officers than front office staff?
Regulators are chippy socialists who couldn't get into the banks and now they are in the banks they are ensuring they say no to everything. Old business must be sold off and new business is a no no. These are the people who say no because saying yes, and it going wrong, is too much trouble. Risk is not healthy. The end of Man. The banks who have always detested the regulators are now embracing them whole heartedly. What is going on?
Regulators are putting up so many barriers to entry that its near impossible to launch any entity that could compete with the Banks. Getting FSA regulation is taking nearly 12 months! This lack of competition is damaging us all. The likes of RDR have reduced financial products for sale to Cash Only ISAs and with investors only wanting gold and London Prime because they are fed up and having to get utility bills certified every time they carry out a trade, it is clear the socialists have won and we have all lost.
What we need is more dynamic banks to help us out of this mess. Banks shouldn't be supported at all. Implied or otherwise. And certainly shouldn't be nannied.
Some of my best friends are socialists but I like difference, not the same:
BlackRock is hoovering up the biggest real estate boom in the world (bloomberg) because the banks are too scared to trade in anything that isn't liquid cash.
The Chinese socialists running their banks are petrified of the shadow banking sector run by capitalists (reuters)
Socialist banks are leaving Russia of all places because it is too competitive (ft)
South Africa (reuters)
EUcrats force banks to join trade unions (reuters)
Web 3.0 is apparently the new saviour of banking. Cashless payments, data collection, ownership of people and their finances. Governments are lovin' it. (finextra)
But this is not good enough. I am looking to launch a bank (although I am unable to call it a bank). It will be a private club and when you join you will sign a contract saying you do want to be regulated and have no interest in MiFID or AIFM or Banking unions. My new currency, the FiNTAG will be backed by my extensive wine collection. Supertuscan of course. And I will have no compliance officers.
RBS to sell its branches to Shelter (guardian)
Jimmy Savile once worked as a trader at JP Morgan and was known for walking the floor.