It’s the banks, Stupid!

The slow motion train wreck that is the collapse of the financial
system gets more Orwellian every day.  In the Guardian I read that
Alister Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer which is the UK’s
Minister of Finance has sent a letter to G20 finance ministers…

“The key to retaining faith in financial markets is to establish and
maintain a consensus within the G20 and elsewhere as to the importance
of open capital markets. We need to have a fuller explanation of the
benefits of the financial system, and of financial globalisation in

I would of thought that the “benefits of the financial system” (which
are clear to those of us who like to spend money) are separate from
“…the importance of open capital markets”.

It seams that the British government is determined to silence calls
for “root and branch overhaul” of the financial system (as the
Guardian puts it).

I enjoy being able to spend money, I think it is appropriate that
wages and bills get paid, so I agree that the financial system needed
to be saved.

But with bank failures, share collapses and nationalisations spreading
across the globe surly even Gordon Brown and Alister Darling can see
that now is exactly the time for route and branch reforms?

Since most of the banks receiving the trillions in bailouts (trillions
that incidentally have not been available for public schools or
hospitals) are insolvent without the bailouts, their shares should be
cancelled, the top executives fired and rehired as public servants.
The banks should be nationalised.

I know the worshippers of Hayek will wail and moan about the inability
of governments to manage businesses, but (a) could they do worse and
(b) where is the money coming from?  No and from the state/taxpayer.

So Darling wants us to have confidence in a failed system, rather than
create a system that we can have confidence in.