One of the things that bothers me about the "credit crunch" is people's reaction to it.
The natural reaction is to blame "greedy" bankers, but is this right?
I heard someone ask if "they" cared about the results of their actions. ie ordinary families losing their jobs and homes and the impact on the economy.
Now many of these people don't inhabit the world that you and I do, I heard one woman who had lost her job discuss how she spent her money "well I refused to spend a £1000 a night on a hotel for a long weekend in Prague...." I mean come on! I suspect many of those who lost well paid jobs are no better off than you and I when the axe falls. £250k per year is a lot of money but if you live the lifestyle when the axe falls it's just as painful.
But what if you are one of the real big earners? You've been earning a high 6 figure some and you lose your job? Well if that person has 4 or 5 million in the bank does it matter to them that a steel worker at Rotherham has lost his job?
Before you say it should (and they should), think about it for a mo. Do you care about someone starving in Africa? Nope you don't. No honestly you don't, not really. We in the west GENERALLY live a lifestyle well beyond what we "need". "Oh dahling did you see comic relief, I'll dress up in stupid clothes and get people to sponsor me won't that me good of me. Oh pass me a glass of that very nice Chateau....."
And I suspect that is what happens in the city. If you employ someone to maximise profits and stick them on hefty short term bonuses what are they going to do? Personally I'd rack the money up, why? because the paternalist system we had whereby if you worked hard you were protected has gone. Its all about today. The capitalist system needs to have checks and balances. One can hope that the current cock up will convince governments of all colours that the city is important but they are not gods.
But bear in mind the guilt goes beyond the city. People who borrowed against the equity of their houses are guilty, those who believe its their right to have an overdraft are guilty (out of interest, do you have for an agreed overdraft? I've NEVER had one, my Mum and Dad taught me the rules of Mr Micawber well, they've never heard of him but they understand him). We need to go back to proper credit that people can expect to afford, we have to be responsible, I am so fed up of adults who blame banks for lending them cheap money. FFS you are adults not 5 year olds. "It's his fault he MADE me do it".
Of course those of you who are socialists will go on and on about fairness and how we should all get the same for doing the same job. CRAP!! Honestly crap. We are not all equal. Why should someone who busts his guts out get paid the same as the bloke next to him who goes through the motions?
When we come out of this mess we have to get a system that rewards people who work hard and those who take reasonable risks. We need to reward those, ESPECIALLY those on modest incomes who try to better themselves and want to avoid reliance on the state. We need to take responsibility for our own actions.
For my own part I have immense sympathy for those losing their jobs. I've been made redundant twice and it is not nice.
I'd like to stress that the finance industry does bear a lot / the majority of the blame for what goes on. I just think we should look at ourselves and how we run our lives.