The announcement of massive profits for the banks who intend to continue paying huge bonuses to some staff as a result underlines how well the government and by extension the tax payer has been duped.The banks have been allowed to restore their balance sheets at the tax payers expense. Borrowing rates have reached rock bottom. The banks have only handed rate cuts on to savers. Meanwhile, lending to small businesses has been restricted.While the banks are allowed to operate in this bubble of prosperity, everyone else picks up the bill in the form of higher taxes and cuts to public services. The government still appears enthralled to the tune of the bankers, blustering about regulation but on the ground allowing business to continue as usual. When the next great crash comes about, as it undoubtedly will due to the unwillingness of government to seriously regulate the banks, then whoever is in power may be forced to let banks go to the wall. The banks need to be put on notice that they will not be bailed out the next time.
* See Metro - 5/8/2009