Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank Maggie!

Would it be naive or churlish to want to put some of the blame for the current economic crisis on Margaret Thatcher ?

I can remember when banking was boring. My bank manager was particularly boring. He sent me a very stroppy letter when I went overdrawn by £20 in 1978. He was quite incandescent with rage and demanded to know what I was going to do about it.

Then it all changed with the "Big Bang" and bank people became sexy and drove Porsches and drank champagne like fish.

Instead of sending me stroppy letters, the exact same bank in 2002 invited me in to encourage me to borrow more. I wasn't using my overdraft fully, they informed me with some concern.

And all of this can be traced back to the father of the Big Bang (and much else besides), Cecil Parkinson and its mother, Maggie T.

Bonuses? Any normal person would think that you would only get a bonus if your firm makes a profit. But of course, the Thatcherite Big Bang meant a culture whereby legally-binding contractual bonuses are to be paid even if your company makes the largest loss in UK corporate history.

For this utter madness, we should thank Maggie.

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