The Barclays LIBOR scandal – the world seems to have shifted towards my last bill: those at the top must be held responsible.

The Prime Minister has said he wants responsibility in banking, right to the top. The National Association of Pension Funds wants bonus clawbacks from the people who made the related trades.  There’s endless talk of the irresponsible culture in banking. All that is addressed by my last bill.

Nick Robinson just mentioned politicians trying to catch up with people’s anger. I guess he has not spotted my proposed measures to make directors and staff of financial institutions liable for the consequences of their own actions. My last bill would:

  • enforce strict liability on directors of financial institutions
  • enforce unlimited personal liability on directors of financial institutions
  • require directors of financial institutions to post personal bonds as additional bank capital
  • require personal bonds and bonuses to be treated as additional bank capital
  • make provision for the insolvency of financial institutions
  • establish a financial crimes investigation unit

There’s no way to regulate away the consequences of leaving in place moral hazard in the financial system. As one ex-trader said earlier today, people are constantly calculating risk and reward and the rewards are huge. They should therefore carry their huge commercial risks too. If the taxpayer is due to take the risk, players in the financial system will undoubtedly make reckless decisions.

There’s no mystery why the culture in banking is the way it is. The people involved do not have liberty and responsibility under the law. They have licence to be reckless. That’s why I have been campaigning against injustice in the financial system as a priority.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments & Responses

2 Responses so far.

  1. Rick Hamilton says:

    Interesting that you are an engineer. Many of the top politicians in China were engineers during their great economic boom. We need more MPs with real world experience.

    What about our politicians being made personally liable? They waste taxpayers’ money like water and walk away scot-free. In the case of Gordon Brown, literally so.

    A real threat to their assets and cosy gravy train existence would do the EU ‘elites’ a power of good too.

    • Steve Baker says:

      Making politicians personally liable for the unfunded liabilities of the state is an interesting thought exercise. I suspect many people would not want the inevitable outcome.