This is a reply to Tobold post today about a Fair Distribution of Profits from Banking.
Tobold if you set-up up a company selling mousetraps and it goes bust due to mis-managament then I may feel sorry for you but unless I was foolish enough to invest in your enterprise I don't end up paying your bills.
The past year has shown us very clearly that this is not the case for financial institutions. Every citizen ends up paying dearly for mistakes in the banking and financial services sector.
This shows us that although we didn't realise it at the time they were actually gambling with public money, our money, because of our dependence on a working financial sector and the public necessity of underwriting their bad debts.
Of course this means that that we need strong regulation to prevent financial institutions from gambling recklessly with our money. This is a lesson we seem to have to re-learn every few decades.
I believe it also means that it is absolutely wrong for the profits of gambling with funds implicitly underwritten by the public purse to be commandeered by such a small group. Any claims that these are a super elite who can only be motivated to do the wonderful things they do by astronomical salaries and bonuses are made laughable by the rampant evidence of outrageous incompetence, general untrustworthiness and greed motivated recklessness that these high paid high flyers have exhibited over the last few years. Yes cap salaries. Yes get rid of ridiculous bonuses. In fact not only do I want to limit indivduals ability to cream off an excessive return from taking risks with my money I also want to ensure that the institutions themselves are forced to pay us back for that "free underwriting" they enjoy. Perhaps this means part public ownership. Perhaps it means higher taxation. Perhaps it means being forced to pay hefty "financial insurance" premiums.