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Money managers under the microscope

Rasmussen gives the bankers both barrels

March 18, 2010

RTXBHPA_Comp.jpgPoul Nyrup Rasmussen’s visits to London are always value for money, and today was no exception as the president of the party of European socialists launched into a tirade against banker bonuses.

“When I listen to you it’s like you’re living in another world,” he told an audience of financial executives and journalists at a Chatham House conference after a number of questions from the floor suggested EU plans for tighter regulation might be counter-productive.

“Have you heard about the recession? Do you know that we have lost 7 million jobs in Europe? Do you know that?

“Do you know that thanks to society you’re still sitting here. They are the ones who are bailing out the banks and you’re still insisting that you should have your bonuses on taxpayers’ money.

“Can you understand the seriousness of people’s anger? I don’t hear any indication of your understanding of that, and that’s a problem for you. Because if you don’t listen and if you don’t honestly go into a discussion on how to make real regulation but insist that you should not have regulation … that’s not a sustainable point.

“So in your own interests, can I give you good advice? Sit down at the table and start by recognizing that you have had a co-responsibility and a heavy one in the reasons behind the mess we are in right now… It is inevitable for me to say you are going to have regulation.”

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