Monday, September 29, 2008

The End Of Demutualisation

It's just about the lot, isn't it ? Any building societies left who demutualised and haven't either gone down the tubes or been swallowed up ?

Still, the managements at the time of demutualisation will have cleaned up. I'm not sure it's improved 'consumer choice' a great deal.


Anonymous said...

Was it demutualisation itself that caused the crash or the decision to invest in risky loans?

You need to be careful Laban.

People who spend £30,000 on their credit card whine about how banks were too quick to lend them money. It's no surprise that the profligate complains. Having lost all dignity, complaining has the dual purpose of diverting responsibility away from themselves and there's a possibility, no matter how remote, that someone will bauil them out. However when the great and good support that argument they do so because they want to deny little people the right to govern themselves.

We now find ourselves at the end of a credit boom and left and right line up to prevent irresponsible banks lending money to people who can't cope. The argument is the same. We children can't be left to our own devices. The state are clever and good people who will protect us from our own worst instincts.

Your writings on this subject seem to me to be a bit wishy washy. There is a bit of nostalgic lament and a bit of a desire for socialist managerialism. It contrasts greatly with your usual demand that we hold the bad responsible for their own actions.

I'm not defending bankers. When the state manipulates the market there are no end of capitalists ready and willing to make money out of the latest obsession. Witness the eagerness with which the market is supporting alternative energy sources such as windmills. No bankers aren't innocent but there's plenty of people to share the guilt including our governors and the people who take out loands they cannot afford.

Anonymous said...

Government regulation and intervention makes bankers more reckless, not less. People are more careful on a highwire when there's no safety net.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The Nationwide is still a mutual, isn't it?

Laban said...

Yes. I hadn't realised, but Nationwide is the old Co-Op BS, renamed as far back as 1970. So they're unlikely to change.