How many firms will still be standing by this time next year? Not many, if banks behave like they did in 2008. At the end of the Second World War between 1944 and 1946 Charles De Gaulle, took bold steps to resurrect the French economy: he nationalized many vital businesses, including several banks and insurance companies. Although not strictly a socialist policy, it was done to benefit everyone, not just a few spivs. It worked: by 1982 thirty six French banks were state owned. In 2008, we witnessed the shocking behaviour of UK banks, RBS/NatWest was amongst the most immoral: a ¬£60bn bailout, a loss on share sales of ¬£3.1bn and we are still owed ¬£32bn. In March 2020, the Bank of England provided an additional ¬£200bn of QE to avoid a collapse in financial markets. Who knew? As if that was not enough: we are guaranteeing 80% – 100% of the ¬£50bn already lent to businesses. By any measure, this is another bank bailout. No proper checks are carried out and The National Audit Office said taxpayers could lose as much as ¬£26bn owing to fraud and default. Financial disparity between rich and poor is widening at an alarming rate: company directors are divvying up ¬£millions for themselves in anticipation of a depression, which is fast approaching. Many are buying gold, property and investing in private equity. Covid has presented the opportunity to clean up the financial sector once and for all. A state owned reconstructed NatWest (63% owned by the tax payer) would be a good start. How else are we going to fund a recovery? And, while we are about it: let‚’s drain the Private Equity swamp: skin some alligators, give them a tanning and send them packing with their expensive baggage before they eat us alive.
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