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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What a bunch of bankers

So the national pay talks fell apart as everyone succumbed to recession fever.

So far, so predictable.

The trade unions threaten to pull out and start cutting individual deals with employers. The employers are warned by their representatives not to do any individual deals with unions. These are standard negotiating positions in a stand-off.

Someone sensible in government suggests everyone go and have a holiday and calm down for a couple of weeks. And everyone does so, happily. Except for one bunch of greedy unionised bastards who just aren't prepared to wait, and who want to kick off their pay claim at a truly stratospheric 10%.

Who are these cheeky bollixes?

Why, bankers, of course.

Yup, the very sector who ballsed up the world economy are the first in Ireland with their hands out for a bumper payday, now that we're entering a downturn.

The same people who inflated the property bubble, engaged in ridiculously risky lending, and who ran their own businesses like it was a casino crap-shoot are now talking about the need to 'inflation-proof their terms and conditions'.

You can see why they might need to 'inflation-proof' their capacious earnings by perusing this Daily Mail article on how London bankers are having to tighten their belts in these straitened times.

You couldn't make it up. Never mind the fact that everyone else (even the public sector) is looking at job losses and pay freezes, the people working in the single sector most responsible for the current economic carnage want a bonus for ballsing it all up.

I hope the banks, whose share prices have fallen between 50% and 70% in recent months, respond appropriately.

With mass sackings.


Informer said...

Undermine communism

God's Bankers, directed by Giuseppe Ferrara, claims the Vatican was at the centre of a huge conspiracy involving drug-dealing Mafiosi, corrupt bankers and politicians, arms dealers and Freemasons. It also suggests Pope John Paul II used mafia-tainted money to undermine communism in his native Poland and in other parts of Eastern Europe.

Could they be doing the same to the poor unhealthy Irish Government at the moment!?

"Think small and you'll stay small". Quote D.Houston

Missing Neighbour said...

Speaking as a former financial sector employee myself I have to say that I have no sympathy at all with any particular segment of the Irish workforce (especially the bankers. The financial sector certainly helped to facilitate the current global crises, but it was the masses unbridled greed for (to quote a certain A. Eldritch) 'I want more.' That helped to drive this thing.
I remember discussing the unreality of the Irish property boom with friends several years ago and very few of them could see that it was unsustainable and liable to collapse at any moment (you of course were one of the few who happened to agree with me). The current situation was easy to see by anyone who didn't happen to be blinded by pure greed at the time (in this case the majority of the population).
To pick up on one point though, I don't think the Irish banks have done too badly in all of this. The AIB certainly had the foresight to sell off their D4 headquarters (And lease it back) several years ago. There is also the issue of Ireland’s biggest real estate firm selling off a lot of its office holding at around the same time. These guys new the writing was on the wall even then and this slice of evidence was there for all to see at the time. It was largely ignored by a very greedy public though.

Missing Neighbour said...

Update: Just had a look at AIB's Assets v Liabilities and its still sitting at an equity position of close to 10 billion euro. Its share price is back to where it was around 5 years ago but still not as low as when it lost 400million in that rogue dealer fiasco. I would say it’s looking like a pretty good investment at the moment when compared to quite a few banks.

JC Skinner said...

I'd say, given the bounce (dead cat?) that Irish banking shares received today, that despite their apparent value, they've got a bit more of a kicking to take before those with limited assets or of a nervous disposition start piling in to invest.
After all, it's still not clear how much toxic debt is sloshing around in those coffers.

FutureTaoiseach said...

This could be a blessing in disguise if it means an end to the extortion of benchmarking whereby public-sector workers get massive payhikes in return for...what exactly?

JC Skinner said...

But what has Cowen offered so far in the way of pay curbs or sackings in the public sector?
No pay cuts, no job losses, guaranteed, even in recession, even despite the eightfold overemployment in the HSE administration ranks alone, FT!

Informer said...

No doubt they will try and ofset the loss off jobs in the Gov sector with the increase in tourism sector, but that egg only works at peak periods of flight travel, but that is also taking a beating at the moment.....so global crisis just hiding around the corner me thinks!

My bunker is equipped for all situations?!

Informer said...

Check the link in my name....

Who has been saying this for years?

JC Skinner said...

David McWilliams?

FutureTaoiseach said...

Well we can but hope, JC.

Informer said...