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Quote of the Week 27/02/10 February 27, 2011

Posted by Audit Monkey in Quote of the Week, The State of the British Nation, Working Life in Britain.
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I realise that I haven’t posted a quote of the week for some time.  Given the blog is only read by two people, I haven’t been inundated with complaints.  In the meantime, I’ve caught up with a couple of old friends who work in banking and asset management.  This rekindled some bad memories.  I’m not over keen on the banking sector as the number of obnoxious employees often out numbered the more reasonable ones and made the whole experience quite unpleasant.

Anyway, over lunch, old acquiescence of mine, Family Man, who now works for a private equity firm and commented on the unbridled wealth some of the employees had amassed.  He was quite stunned by the ostentatiousness of it all and described “banking as legalised crime”.

I gwaffed with laughter.  Momentarily part of me wanted to defend the bankers as I’ve always blamed over eager politicians for the credit crunch (the politicians should have pulled the brakes long before Lehman but re-election is always difficult in a recession).  However, on this occasion I couldn’t.  Based on my own experiences of  banking it all rang true; the Front Office staff seemed to pay themselves an awful of money for delivering very little.  This view was reinforced just this week as ‘Useless Auditor’ with whom I had worked remarked that bonuses is his bank were still being doled out irrespective of the gallons of red ink in the P&L.  This is simply unjust, so I’m not surprised Banker Bashing  has become a British past time.

However, this got me thinking.  Every day in the Right-wing tabloid press I read about unchecked Social Security frauds, multiple housing benefit claims, false disability claims, etc, often perpetrated by those at the lower end of the class spectrum.  Given the backdrop of the politicians’ expenses scandal (dubious expense claims submitted by those on the Left and Right) and the fact some in society still enjoy the benefits of privilege (Prince Harry, how did you get your Twickenham tickets? by being Vice Patron of the RFU of course, silly me), I was left with a sad, sobering thought:

If there is no moral stance on what constitutes wrong and right, which there doesn’t seem to be, especially from those at the top, why shouldn’t you or I be surprised that everyone else is out for as much as they can get?


1. ITauditSecurity - March 1, 2011

Reader #1 checking in (I am #1, correct?)…

Morals, laws, and right and wrong are only for the lower classes, my friend. The funny thing about bankers is that they don’t have to steal your money, they already have it!

I tend to think the bankers were more responsible for the credit issues, but the politicians were certainly pushing them on this side of the pond. Both were greedy and it was a marriage made in leaven.:)

I worked in banking a few years, but not as an auditor. I must admit those of some of the years I enjoyed the most, but not because I wasn’t an auditor yet (now that I think of it, …)

I’ve always enjoyed your Quotes. Haven’t done any Quotes of the Weak myself lately. Haven’t heard any good ones. And I found they are my least-read posts.

2. ITmonkey101 - March 7, 2011

Interesting and relevant Peston entry regarding a Turner speech on the bankers – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2011/03/turner_radical_changes_at_the_banks.html

“The underlying problem may be that banks are excessively profitable, that much of their frenetic activity adds little to general economic growth and is designed to extract “rent” or income from the rest of us in a way that increases social inequality.”

Nothing will be done of course as our politicians are too in awe of the masters of the universe. In the meantime our country and the world slides slowly into the gutter..

3. ITmonkey101 - March 8, 2011

I thought this was amusing and apposite to the situation we are now in;

A banker, a Daily Mail reader and a benefit claimant are sitting at a table sharing 12 biscuits. The banker takes 11 and says to the Daily Mail reader, ‘Watch out for the benefit claimant he wants your biscuit’

4. Audit Monkey - March 9, 2011

The irony is of course, I am regularly canvassed about compliance jobs in banking. Can’t wait to sign up…not!

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