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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Evan Davis and The Bottom Line on Radio 4 today

I've just been listening to Evan Davis chairing The Bottom Line on Radio 4. "With protests continuing around the world against the financial sector, three guests from that industry swap candid thoughts about it. Evan puts to them a fundamental question: is their industry creating genuine wealth, or is it essentially parasitic, finding clever ways of distributing other people's wealth to its own workers? Joining Evan in the studio are Ken Olisa, chairman of boutique technology merchant bank Restoration Partners; Ian Gorham, chief executive of financial advisory firm Hargreaves Lansdown; Julian Roberts, chief executive of savings and investment group Old Mutual".

Well, give him his due, Evan Davis really homed in, again and again, on the key outrage of the rĂ´le of the bankers in the worldwide financial woes of recent years - namely their lack of accountability. Try as he might, however, and despite his repeatedly drawing attention to the great suffering endured by so many innocent people who were taken for a ride by being allowed/persuaded/conned to borrow money they could not pay back, he could not obtain much sympathy/understanding for the victims. He pointed out that 'Heads we win, tails you (i.e. the taxpayers) lose' was not right or fair, but it was largely a dialogue with the deaf. He was informed that it was a matter of 'Caveat Emptor!' (Let the buyer beware!') and if people were stupid enough to fall for dodgy deals, they must take the consequences.