Socialist Worker

No crisis for the rich as banks rake in billions

Issue No. 2089

Barclays bank tried to claim that it was being hit by the global economic credit crunch when it announced this week that its annual profits had fallen.

But they had merely dropped from £7.13 billion in 2006 to £7.08 billion last year—hardly pitching the bank into dire financial straits.

Despite fears for the economy, City bankers are also to get £7 billion in bonuses, it was announced last week. A third of City bonuses are up on 2007 figures, even though records were set for bankers’ gluttony last year.

The greed is such that even chancellor Alistair Darling was moved to criticise it, though he will not do anything to stop it.

While the bosses continue to live it up in Gordon Brown’s Britain, millions of workers face an uncertain future due to the credit crunch.

Thousands of workers at the crisis-hit Northern Rock faced losing their jobs this week, despite the government “temporarily” nationalising the company.

Banks and building societies repossessed 27,000 homes last year, 21 percent more than in 2006.

The number of repossessions is expected to hit 45,000 this year as many people struggle to pay their mortgages. Millions are living on debt and any economic crisis will devastate their lives.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has found that the ratio of household debt to national income is 1.62 in Britain, the highest for a major economy. British people are saving the smallest amount of their wages since 1960.

New Labour is helping to create a society that means unparalleled riches for a minority and continuing crisis for the majority.

It backs the system that is leading to economic turmoil for millions around the world and in Britain. The bosses will try to make us pay for their crisis – and we have to make sure they don’t succeed.

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Tue 19 Feb 2008, 18:45 GMT
Issue No. 2089
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