Monday, November 15, 2010

Lets unleash the power of market forces

It is so entertaining to hear that banks are in “secret talks” about reigning in bonuses from £7bn to £4bn amid concerns that any precipitate action might drive “star performers overseas” as if this is some kind of crisis and that we should be concerned about it. The usual media campaign to try to convince us the City is somehow populated by “special” people.

I say – Let em go! There are plenty more to replace them!

If the financial crisis that befell us a couple of years ago taught us anything at all it taught us that this cosy club of financial “star performers” are not quite as stellar as they think. For those of us who have had the dubious pleasure of mixing with these types it rapidly becomes obvious that, far from being special or particularly gifted, they are in fact a bunch of lucky Joes who by chance, privileged, happenstance, greed (select as appropriate, multiple selection permitted) who found themselves in the fortunate position to enter into their self delusion because it is financially beneficial for to them to do so. Eventually they do actually start believing their own publicity and the emperor changes clothes regularly.

I have always felt that whilst Gorden Geko got most of the best lines in Wall Street the absolute cracker was that of Carl Fox – as played by Martin Sheen when he said “What you see is a guy who never measured a man's success by the size of his wallet!” a guide to life we should all adopt.

In much the same way the Beeb needs to happily wave bye bye to presenters with high opinions of themselves and exaggerated salary demands because the actual truth is they ain’t that special and frankly there are plenty of people queuing up to do the same thing for a lot less.

So to these advocates of the free market and market forces generally I say this – Go! Move along. I am confident that plenty of others will fill your space thereby flooding the market with so called “star performers” and, by your own logic, this will drive down the price you can command. In the words of software geeks let the banks “eat their own dog food.”

Think of it, lines of fund managers lining up at the bank gates to be picked for day work every morning, having boot polished their frayed cuffs to look presentable. Now there is a thought.

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