3 Nov 2009

I must get some cash out from one of our socialist banks

So it’s official: RBS is a nationalised bank. We today own 84 per cent of it, and that in my book makes it a government-owned bank. If it went bust – and still could – we would be paid out BEFORE the unfortunates who own the remaining 16 per cent.

It is even behaving like a nationalised bank, at last. No bonuses to anyone beyond the branch staff. And we are treating it like a state bank. We are insuring it – completely – and we are giving it tens of billions of pounds more of our money.

The 21st century is achieving something that a century of socialist endeavour across the world never achieved. Is it a good thing? God only knows.

And what of Lloyds? We seem to be easing the apron strings. But are we getting any of our billions back? Well, we ARE getting £2.1bn for insuring the thing for the past six months.

But all the rest? God only knows. God is going to be busy in these coming days and years. It is still far from certain that, if the banks crash again, we shall be able to save either bank.

All this against a backdrop in which a government minister has admitted that the current financial market is back to the worst of its worst behaviour – “deal churning”, or holding shares for a nanosecond before trading them again and again and again.

Lord Myners, the City minister, tells us in a BBC interview on File on 4 that a staggering 70 per cent of all share dealing is currently undertaken by these massive computer dealing systems that enable a trader to hold a trade for a nanosecond before selling.

It is a wholly unproductive activity and it is a part of what sank the world’s financial system a year – yes, just a year – ago. We have learned nothing. It is one reason why we should be very wary indeed of the current stock market boom and the current theoretical world recovery.

I must go and get some cash out.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4