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Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Secret" Meeting

Hush whisper it softly, The Times reports that Alistair Darling will meet the heads of top British and American banks (including HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley) at a secret meeting in Davos tomorrow.

How can this meeting be described as "secret", if it is publicised a day in advance in a national newspaper?

The purpose of the "secret" meeting is for the bankers to express their feelings to Darling about the possibility of new sanctions against the banking sector.

The banks, quite rightly, are concerned that attempts to curtail their activities may well negatively impact the global economy.

However, be that as it may, the bankers need to recognise that on some occasions politics (even if it is emotionally charged) outweighs economics. Were Darling, and indeed any other politician, to ignore the wave of public hostility and revulsion towards bankers they would be signing their own political death warrants.

Like it or not we live in a democracy and, on occasions, the will of the people (no matter how misguided that may be) has to count more than the will of the "Master of The Universe".

That being said the near failure of the banking system took place on Darling's watch, under the tripartite system created by Brown. Blaming the bankers has provided useful cover for Brown and Darling.

True political leaders would step forward and highlight the failures of both the banks and regulations, and come up with a route map for the future whilst explaining to the electorate that the bankers were not entirely to blame.

We await the coming of these "true political leaders" with baited breath.

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