Sunday, September 21, 2008

On buccaneering financiers

From The Observer this morning, in an article entitled: "Britain can no longer indulge these buccaneering financiers."

It is not just the trade in arcane assets that must be driven out of the shadows. The whole culture of City opacity - the tax havens, the seclusion of liabilities off-balance sheet, the offshore investment vehicles - must be subjected to the harsh glare of public scrutiny. For a generation, the City and Wall Street have assumed an inalienable right to make as much money as possible, in whatever way they saw fit, while paying as little tax as possible. Policy-makers accepted that such unchallenged greed served the greater good. That consensus must end. A free market in financial services can still be a powerful engine of wealth-creation, but not if the financiers serve only themselves.

We just had a text message this morning. Translated from text-ese into English, it reads:

"Morning! Bet you're having the last laugh. Where's the follow-up letter saying 'told you so!'?

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