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enfin les archives !
16 novembre 2007 5 16 /11 /novembre /2007 07:30
bird-fortune-copie-1.jpgJe suis bien content de vous présenter cet autre bijou de messieurs John Bird et John Fortune, cette fois sur la crise de Northern Rock, et sur le renflouement de la City par la Banque d'Angleterre, dirigée par Mervyn King.
Le texte complet en anglais est à votre disposition sous la vidéo, bien sûr. Amusez-vous bien.

- George Parr, you're an investment banker.

- Yes I am, really... Arhmm...

- And of course we've just had an extremely serious banking crisis.

- Hrmm,hrmm...

- And there's a lot of people in the City, like yourself, who earn millions in salaries and bonuses, so... so, erh, shouldn't you have seen this coming ?

- Well, it is, it is true, arhem, we didn't actually foresee it, in the strict sense of the word.

- Or in any sense of the word !

- Or in any sense of the word, no, no, we, we, we didn't foresee it, but when it happened, we did notice it... we did, it is all, but it is good, isn't it ?

- But we just have the first run on a bank in this country for a hundred and forty years ! You're a banker, what is your reaction ?

- Well, of course, we're, I mean, everybody in banking, we all felt deeply embarrassed.

- You're embarrassed !

- I'm embarrassed, yes, I mean, I'm, I'm, I've hardly dared take my Ferrari in ??? service yesterday.

- What are you going to do about it?

- Aoh, what can I do about it? Bloody thing needs a service ! You know... I barely got two Ferraris.

- Yes, but yeah I mean, what was the cause of this ?

- Aoh, would you, what was, about the banking crisis, well, of course, it wasn't my fault, it wasn't banking fault, it was entirely the fault of Mervyn King !

- So he just put 10 billions pounds into the banking system !-

- Yes-

- Isn't that what you were asking for ?

- Yes, but it's far, it's far too late, you see, I mean, no, no, nobody wants it anymore, he should've done it much, much much much earlier, because it was obvious that Northern Rock was getting into difficulties, it was obvious that most people in the City were borrowing too much and lending too riskily...

- Including you !

- Well, I've, I've, I was just doing what everybody else was doing, that's how, that's how we operate in the City, and what I want to know is why didn't he do it earlier, why wait, until the entire banking sector looked stupid, as it actually was ?

- So, what you're saying is that, although Mervyn King might not have been able to prevent the crisis, he could have prevented the spectacle of people queuing up in the high street to try to get their money out!-

- Exactly, exactly-

- Yes, and people were queuing at two o'clock in the morning-

- Two o'clock in the morning, yes, I mean, the british people have only ever done that for Tim Hennemann, look how badly that always turned out !

- But these scenes must have been humiliating for the banking industry-

- We don't like to see this, it makes us look silly.

- Silly !?

- Silly.

- But, was it the other banks falling over themselves to pick up these packages of dodgy mortgages, and they've very little idea how much they're worth, if they're worth anything at all !?

- Well, that's not silly, that's a sophisticated marketing operation !

- So, you don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the banking system ?-

- Erh, look, there is some very very clever men in the City, and we, hrmm, anwe aaah, let me just give you an example in the fact that Alliance Leicester lost a third of its value in a, in a day, and the very next day got a third of its value back, that shows the system is fundamentally sound and rational !

- Ahemm.. Yes, but, can you explain why, in the beginning of the Northern Rock crisis, the government made an offer, which didn't reassure the public ? The, the the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself said people shouldn't worry because their money was perfectly safe.

- Well, that's, that's very simple, aahm, the public are use to the government telling them lies !

- You mean, if the government is prepared to tell lies about the reason for, mmmh, invading another country...

- Mmmh-

- They wouldn't be too bothered about lying about people's money ?

- People's money, no, exactly, what the House of Downing should have done was to say to everybody "Go down to Northern Rock now, take every last penny out !"... You see ?... People would've said "Well, there must be some reason the government is getting telling me to take my money out, I'm gonna leave it where it is !"

- And then, the whole thing might have just sort of faded away-

- But everything's gonna blow, blow, no, but it should never have happened in the first place, I mean, it was happening because some bright folks said "How much do you think these american houses are actually worth ?", and of course, as soon as they asked that question, we all panicked !

- Because you found out ?

- No, because, we haven't, we didn't find out, we still haven't found out how much they're worth if anything-

- Despite what you call aaah, a very very sophisticated market-

- No, we went on the assumption that property values always go up...

- Well, that's not very sophisticated !-

- Yes it is, it's as sophisticated as we have to get !

- Yes, but, I mean, why, if ??? is the case - andand that's, that's what happened - every time you sell some on a financial product, you put a big warning on it saying "Well, your investment may go down as well as go up" ?

- Yes, what we have to do, that is one of the petty ??? regulations, it's only meant, it's only meant for ignorant punters.

- Do you say it doesn't apply to you ?

- Certainly not, and you know, and, and of course, the punters themselves are now, aaah, reassured because the government have guaranteed their deposits.

- Yes, and, and also put ten billion pounds into the banking. Say, do you think that was absolutely necessary ?

- It was necessary as a symbolic gesture, because, ahmm, what the market needs is confidence.

- Whose confidence ?

- My confidence... my confidence that I have a thirty-five rooms house to go to with six cars in the garage and a private helicopter, and that I would earns enough for my Christmas bonus to pay my philippino ??? twelve pounds a month !

- But, these are huge sums that we're talking about here, I mean, where in the end is all this money going to come from ?

- Well I don't know wherever governments get their money, taxation, I suppose, I... I don't know anything about tax, I never pay any.

- But, but don't you think it's wrong that extremely rich people, people who'd run, I don't know, private equity funds, ahmm, and people like you, hardly pay any tax at all ?

- There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, the City is far too valuable to the british economy, and in any cases, as we keep saying : "If you tax us, we'll just go abroad !", and that is not an idle threat, we can go and wreck somebody else's financial system.

- Finally, erh, can we talk about moral hazard ?

- About what, sir ?

- Moral hazard...

- No sir, I know what hazard means, what's the other word ?

- Ooh never minds. Aahmm, the point about moral hazard is that the faultiest, those executives like yourself, will go out making more and more stupid and more and more risky loans in order to put up the profit of their bank, because when everything goes wrong, the banker big lenders kind of come along and bail them out !

- Humm, yeah, well, I certainly hope so, I'm looking forward to it !

- Well, I don't want to be insulting, but it does seem to me that you haven't learned anything from this whole episode -

- On the contrary, I've learned one very important lesson.

- And what is that ?

- That is, if you're going to make a corker, be sure you're making an absolutely enormous corker, because then the government will bail you out !

- George Parr, thank you very much.

- Thank you.

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