Warning: This Video Report Contains Strong Language
williampine on May 21, 2009
If you go to work everyday, 9-5 and then hand over about a quarter of your income to the government every month and you’re not angry about the current banking F-up, then you’re either one of the financial or political elite that have been ripping off the world since time immemorial, or you’re a snivelling, subservient little slave and you deserve all the subjugation you get. Our government is bailing the banks out to the tune of £500 billion! Yes, that’s £500 billion! To put that in perspective, we give roughly £5.4 billion a year to international aid.
One of the major beneficiaries of this money is the Royal Bank of Scotland, which just made 2,300 people (mostly low-level employees obviously) redundant last week and is said to be considering cutting a further 20,000 employees. As we all know, this mess is down to utterly irresponsible banking practices and the macho behaviour of idiots like Sir Fred Goodwin (former chief exec of RBS) who last year ‘beat’ Barclays in a bidding battle for the utterly worthless and debt-ridden Dutch bank ABN Amro with an offer of €71bn (£49m) for no other reason than that he wanted to prove that he had a bigger dick than Barclays chief executive John Varley. And yet Sir Fred took home £4.2m in 2007, including a £2.86m bonus, and Brown refuses to take away his knighthood.
Despite this massive bailout, RBS has announced that it would still pay out £1 billion in bonuses and revealed that it would use money from the bailout fund to pay sports stars £200 million a year to promote their incompetent brand. Zara Phillips, the horse riding granddaughter of the Queen, will be paid £4 million while her brother Peter runs the bank’s £20 million sponsorship of the Williams Formula One team. A spokeswoman for Zara has said that: “RBS has made no move to renegotiate the contract.”
What is even more shocking is that RBS (and the rest of them) continue to maintain subsidiaries in tax-free havens like the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory and the fifth largest financial centre on the planet although they measure less than 100 square miles. Lawyers and accountants make up a tenth of the 52,000 population. Because of tax havens like this it is estimated that each year the US may lose a total of about $100bn in potential taxes, France about $50bn, Germany $30bn, the UK between $20bn and $80bn. But worst of all, the developing world loses up to $800bn in stolen capital because of the criminal behaviour of banks like RBS.
This really is the sort of shit that should spark a mass revolt, but then the majority of the population are far too concerned with either the Premier League, Americas Next Top Model or their sad, ends-meet ‘careers’ to really get up in arms about it.
In a follow up to our Fishing for Bankers film we decided to have a whip-round outside the offices of RBS for a new charitable organisation called GBFMYC (Give us Back our Fucking Money You Cunts). All money collected went to the Red Cross. Thank you to the guy from the corner shop who let us borrow his Red Cross tin.
Filmed and edited by William Pine and Heydon Prowse with Carmen Fishwick and Kieron Monks.