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  • >The bankers clearly weren't the only ones responsible for the present recession. The causes are multiple, going even into our culture and the structure of our governments. In fact a common quote that seems to be emerging at present is "you don't stop dancing while the music's still playing", and what it means is that this wasn't the fault of a few, but of the entire financial system, and beyond that our global culture, political institutions etc. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, replied to this by saying "If banks feel they must keep on dancing while the music is playing and that at the end of the party the central bank will make sure everyone gets home safely, then over time, the parties will become wilder and wilder. When the party ends, some innocent bystanders may lose their homes altogether." Here Mervyn King is accepting that reform of the financial system is necessary, but he talks more about the culture of leveraging too much and relying on support from the Central Bank should anything go wrong.Whatever your opinion banks do share in the blame, and when they're still funded by public money I think it is a crime for people to claim such huge bonuses. That's why I applaud the actions of Barclay's chief executive John Varley and president Bob Diamond to yesterday refuse bonuses amounting to millions of pounds. I also applaud calls on the bosses of Lloyds and RBS to do the same and give up their bonuses.But far too little is actually happening. For example despite the benevolant acts of two people within Barclays thousands of others within the bank are due to receive bonuses of £95,000, and this is on top of a 40% pay rise due to recent profits. In total, not including normal pay this means £2.7bn will be paid out to Barclay's 144,200 workers, with £2.2bn of that figure going to the top 23,000 high flyers. Some of the high flyers receiving these bonuses are partly responsible for the mess we are in today. So why should they take huge bonuses (unless they immediately give it all away to charities helping those others affected by the recession) when others struggle to put food on the table and pay the bills?

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