How the Banks Won

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As the government prepares an emergency budget to help pay for thebank bailout, Will Hutton investigates the banks and what they’ve donewith our money. He discovers that while ordinary taxpayers take the pain, for the banks it’s largely business as usual. Huttonanalyses the banks’ accounts and shows how they are usinggovernment-guaranteed funds to gamble with derivatives as they didbefore the crash. He also reveals how the banks are still paying vastsalaries and bonuses, and City head hunters tell Dispatches how thebanks hide the sums they’re really paying out. With the help offormer and current members of the Bank of England’s monetary policycommittee, Hutton shows how the banks’ booming margins come from thefree and near-free money the government and taxpayers gave them to savethe banking system. He also investigates the banks’ intenselobbying to resist government plans for reform and highlights recentresearch from the OECD on how Britain is internationally unusual in theextent to which bankers have key roles in the civil service andgovernment. Featuring high-powered contributors such asPresident Obama’s banking advisor Paul Volcker, former ChancellorAlastair Darling, former City minister Lord Myners and current BusinessSecretary Vince Cable, Hutton shows why without urgent reform we riskthe prospect of another crash – this time there won’t be any money leftfor a bail-out – plus the certainty of British business being starvedof vital funding. With the Eurozone crisis fuelling fears of another banking crash, this programme is an urgent and shocking call to action.

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