Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bitter Banks

It seems that the banks are very bitter. (Hence the lemons!) They have had it all their own way. Lending imprudently and without care. Constantly competing for bigger debt and projects. Not telling the truth to anyone. Not being regulated.

No-one was watching and the banks took advantage.

First they demanded and got the deposits guarantee. Then they demanded and got re-capitalisation. Now they have demanded and got NAMA. They have gotten everything. With no accountability. With no criminal proceedings instigated. With no pay consequences. With no-one to blame. "It wasn't out fault" says Dermot Gleeson of AIB at their EGM today! They still have their HUGE pay packets and sinfully large pensions.

And we took it all because we have been told that the banks are essential to keeping the economy going. Providing credit. Giving loans. Keeping the wheels of trade (i.e. cash) oiled and going.

So. The following bullet points were copied from the ISME (Irish Smals & Medium Enterprise Association) website today:

  • Bank lending crisis threatens small business viability.

  • Over half (58%) of companies refused credit by banks, up on previous survey.

  • 83% feel that the banks are making it difficult for SMEs to access credit.

  • European Investment Bank loans not being marketed.

  • The future of many companies now in the hands of errant bankers.

  • ISME calls for urgent Government action, forcing banks to free up badly needed credit.
So indeed. They are not doing that which they said they are doing. They are not lending. They are reducing over-drafts. They are, by extension, closing down small businesses and sticking a big huge stick in the spokes of the economy.

When are we going to tell the banks to go to hell. If they won't do what the economy needs, then we should do it ourselves as a nation.

My heart goes out to the small shareholders who have lost almost everything. But none of the interventions of the government have made any major difference to the share price so far. There is nothing to indicate that it will make a difference in the future.

But if the activity - or non activity - of the banks is strangling our economy, as it seems to be, then we need to loosen their grip on the economy. Thats the only way to breathe new life into it.

I have no faith in the banks. Not to bring the economy back. Not to tell the truth - not even to themselves. But sure what do they care. They're alright with their pay and their pensions. And sure it wasn't their fault anyway. Yeah!

1 comment:

Eamonn Bolger said...

It is maddening to see what the bankers and developers are being left away with. While ordinary citizens are hounded for defaulting by the very same bankers whose own businesses have failed the bankers themselves get off scot free.

Start afresh. Create new banks with new management and lower pay for executives. That is the way forward.

Not the protection of failed business entities and the equally failed developers.