Troubled bank Bradford & Bingley is to be nationalised, the BBC has learned.
Officials from the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have been in talks with executives from the bank in a bid to secure its future.
Why? Look, you fucking morons, if you want to stop this kind of shit happening again, you have to teach these people that their actions—and their failure—have consequences.
A couple of days ago, I posted a Forbes article which pointed out that many US banks carried on with various dodgy deals because they believed that they were "too big to fail"—that the government would bail them out however stupidly they behaved.
It seems that they were correct.
Of course, as the same article highlighted, in the US the banks could justifiably claim that, since the Community Reinvestment Act stopped them from discriminating against customers using "arbitrary or outdated criteria that effectively disqualify many urban or lower-income minority applicants"—criteria that included most of the essentials of responsible lending: income level, income verification, credit history and savings history—that the government (and the taxpayers who had elected said government) should bear some of the financial fallout.
No such excuse exists in Britain. No doubt the UK banks would witter on about having to trade internationally, etc. but, ultimately, no one forced these banks to buy dodgy loan packages or to ignore their own loan rules.
And yet our government is bailing out these fuckers. I wonder why. Could it be that, like Northern Rock, B&B employs significant number of people in the Labour heartlands...?
I think that I would like to propose a Bill that ensures that the government has a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers: if the government takes an obviously bad punt with our money—Northern Wreck, B&B and fuck it! let's throw the NHS spine in there too—then the taxpayer can take them to court and make ministers personally fucking liable for the repayment of that money in the event that it all goes tits up.
I think that you would find government spending would start to drop like a fucking stone...
UPDATE: Tom Paine, revelling in his 13% flat tax in Russia, summarises this point very nicely.
If you insulate people (not just greedy bankers, but the foolishly greedy people who over-borrowed to go into buy-to-let or remortgaged to pay for short-term expenditures) from the consequences of their actions, you promote levels of irresponsibility which will bring you back to this point over and over again.
Entirely true. Has the whole world gone mad? Oh, no, wait: it's that people having to suffer in order to learn that their actions have consequences is frowned upon in our wonderful "social democracy", isn't it?