It seems like there is a new banking scandal everyday now. Every time I think we have heard it all, a new scandal pops up. I think we are all getting used to billions in financial fraud now.
Libor scandal this month, rogue trader last month, and the next banking bailout coming in the next few months, when the bankers get themselves in trouble again
But one thing that still amazes me is how we think that Bob Diamond is the one behind all this madness, Fred Goodwin last time or whoever the next CEO is when we unearth similar financial fraud in Lloyds and HSBC next.
As crazy as it sounds, I found myself feeling a little sorry for Bob Diamond this morning. Now normally I would be the last person offering any sorrow to the CEO of a bank, but if the truth be told, Diamond just happened to be sitting on the seat at a time when whoever was sitting on the seat would have had the same fate. Our banking system is designed in a way where fraud is inevitable. Remember, politician wants to get more people borrowing money to push up property prices and the economy just as much as Bob Diamond does.
So when George Osborne calls for the job of Bob Diamond, he should take a look in the mirror and wonder why they keep getting more of the same.
All policies that have come since the wake of the banking crisis have all been about getting back to business as usual. Business as usual for a bank is to find as many ways as possible of getting as many people as possible into debt. That might be through credit cards or mortgages, but the government wants it too. The success of the company is dependent upon it, the shareholders dividends are dependent upon it, the bankers bonuses are dependent upon it and the CEO's job is dependent upon it.
So it is time for politicians, bankers and us to make up our mind. Do we want more debt, more mortgages and more credit cards which will involve more financial fraud to achieve, or do we want real change in banking?
If we want to put an end to the scandals, we need banking reform, we need a complete cultural shift within banking and we need banks that lend to job creating businesses.
If we want business as usual then keep blaming the CEO's and call for Bob Diamond's job, but have it be known that nothing will change and Bob Diamond is only doing what all the other banks are doing in order to prop up a banking system that needs big change.
The change will never come when we focus on the CEO's and their jobs. It is easy to get angry about their bonuses and their fraud, but the change has to come from government enforcing structural changes in banking and a cultural shift in what the bank is for.
Let's try to stay focused on what the real problem in banking is.
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