Bank inquiry

I think it was the right decision for the CEO of Barclays to resign following the LIBOR rate fixing scandal: firstly because someone senior needs to take responsibility and secondly the bank needs a fresh start to rebuild its' credibility.

I was also pleased to see that there is to be an inquiry.

Sadly however I was not pleased by the tone of some of the discussion about what form that inquiry should take and the blatant self-serving hypocrisy of some of those taking part in the debate.

For example, I was absolutely disgusted by an interview which former Labour City minister Lord Myners has just given on the BBC in which he raised the question of the inquiry.

Not because he expressed a view about what form of inquiry would best bring out the truth - that's a legitimate issue to debate even though I disagree with him about it - but because he accused the present government of trying to control the inquiry format in order to prevent "contamination" falling on themselves.

Excuse me?

Which party was in power during the whole of the period when the rigging of the LIBOR rate by Barclays took place (2005 to 2009)? And during the run up to the banking crisis, and during the crisis itself?

And who was Minister for the City towards the end of that period?

His party was, and he was!

If any political party has reason to try to influence the inquiry into the working of the banks to stop themselves being discredited, it is not either of the parties in the present government. It is the party which was in power during the period whem the problems occurred, which was the Labour party.

Lord Myners' attempt to turn the debate on what sort of inquiry we need into the banks into a political mudslinging exercise - and making, in the process, a blatantly false charge which could not possibly be true of the people he made it against, though it might possibly be true of his own party  - is exactly the sort of behaviour which brings politics into disrepute.


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