Monday, July 23, 2012

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair: Hanging bankers won't help

 Public anger over the financial crisis is wrong and must not lead Britain to “hang bankers at the end of the street,” Tony Blair says today.

 In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the former prime minister launches a defence of the free market and liberal economic rules established by the Thatcher government.

The approach promoted by Baroness Thatcher’s government is not to blame for the recent financial and economic crisis, Mr Blair says, warning against taking vengeance on bankers and increasing State intervention in the private sector.

We must not start thinking that society will be better off “if we hang 20 bankers at the end of the street”, Mr Blair says.
Read the rest here.

I don't know anyone arguing for a lynching. But strict enforcement of the law and the criminal prosecution of persons and entities (banks) publicly known to have engaged in fraud, price and rate rigging, and securities manipulations needs to happen if confidence in the integrity of the financial system and markets is to be restored. To the best of my knowledge there has not been a single significant criminal prosecution of any of those responsible for the vast mortgage frauds, manipulation of commodities markets, rate fixing, and rampant naked short selling. The only significant criminal prosecutions against bankers over the last four years that I can recall have been a handful of truly egregious insider trading cases.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Agreed, but as a fall-out from the latest revelations of fraud, there has been a fairly shrill cry from several sections of the media that seem to call for all bankers to be strung up by their toes and suffer the death of a thousand cuts. I think that this is what Blair is cautioning against.

Having stood up for Blair, I believe I will now go and subject myself to a sustained shot-blasting to scrub off the taint.