The Barclays LIBOR fixing scandal has prompted the usual moralizing from the political classes, replete with calls for more regulation of the banking ‘system’.
Barclays PLC got caught in an act of fraud and has, rightly, paid a heavy financial price. When the rate rigging scandal broke this week the bank lost a full 15% of its market value, not to mention the hefty fines imposed by various regulators totaling £290M.
Never one to miss an opportunity to bash the banks Ed Miliband, in an interview with the Times, talked of “institutional corruption” and complained that, “There hasn’t been a proper reckoning for what happened in the banking crisis. The bankers told us – it’s all fine, we’ve cleaned everything up. But I’m afraid that doesn’t hold water anymore.”
Am I alone in thinking it rather odd that a Labour leader is allowed to talk loftily of corruption while the venerable Baroness Uddin, thief and shyster extraordinaire, sits as a Labour peer? Regardless, it is not the naked hypocrisy of Miliband’s position, vis-vis institutional corruption, but the implied assumption that more state intervention into the banking sector will somehow alleviate it which is most worrisome.
In reality the banking crisis which Miliband refers to was caused by, you guessed it, government policy. To be fair to Britain’s moronic Westmisnter overlords it was the American policy of forcing lenders to make loans, in the name of ‘equality’, to people who were never going to repay them which precipitated the financial crash of 2008. And in Europe the inane policy of EU integration has forced Greece, and Europe’s banks, into a state of perpetual economic turmoil: Wherever you look financial institutions have been bastardized by meddling politicians, who then seek to blame the fruits of their meddling on the banks themselves!
So when the calls for more regulation of the banking ‘system’ get louder remember that banking should be an industry like any other; free from the malign influence of political chicanery. Imagine, if you will, Tesco had been caught rigging the price of milk. We would rightly be outraged and Tesco would pay the price for its misdeeds, just like Barclays has. But I doubt we would hear the typical statists lament that the ‘system’ is broken and the accompanying, inevitable calls for Nationalisation of the industry.
As always those wanting to expand the control of the state have the great and the good on their side. After all, it was none other than Benito Mussolini who allegedly said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” If that doesn’t convince you that we need free industries and not state controlled ‘systems’ then I’m afraid nothing ever will.