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View Full Version : Profit is not satanic, says Barclays boss



Tylerdurden
11-05-2009, 07:26 AM
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/11/04/article-0-02CE44DA000005DC-304_233x423.jpg John Varley: The chief executive of Barclays said banking and Christianity are compatible

In an extraordinary address, Barclays chief executive John Varley said banks are the ‘backbone’ of the economy and paying out bonuses is compatible with Christianity.

The remarks from Mr Varley, who was paid £1.1 million in 2008, came in an address at London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields.

They will be interpreted as a rebuff to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who said in September that financers have displayed no ‘repentance’ and there is a sense of ‘muted anger’ at the bonus culture.

Today the chief of the government's bank investment vehicle claimed it is in the taxpayers' interest for state-controlled lenders to dish out windfall payments to City high fliers.

Mr Varley said: ‘There is no conflict between doing business in an ethical and responsible way and making money. We make our biggest contribution to society by being good at what we do.’

He added: 'Profit is not satanic.' And in remarks after the service to financial news firm Bloomberg, he argued: ‘Is Christianity and banking compatible? Yes. And is Christianity and fair reward compatible? Yes,’

The Barclays chief is just the latest banker to take to the pulpit to defend his industry, amid continued public uproar over bank bonuses.

Last month Goldman Sachs international adviser Lord Griffiths told a congregation at St Paul’s Cathedral that Jesus’s injunction to love others as you love yourself is ‘an endorsement of self-interest,' adding: ‘We have to accept that inequality is a way of achieving greater opportunity and prosperity for all.’
Mr Varley, a Catholic, echoed the peer in arguing that his industry has to pay huge awards if it is to retain leading bankers.

He said: ‘Talent is highly mobile. If we fail to pay or are constrained from paying competitive rates then that talent will move to another employer.’

But the remarks will inflame public rage over bankers’ insistence on continuing with ‘business as usual’ despite leading the world economy to the brink of collapse.

Recent forecasts suggest bonuses will rise by 50 per cent this year to just over £6billion – one of the highest levels on record.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/11/04/article-1225285-06E832FD000005DC-700_233x423.jpg Lord Griffiths: Goldman Sachs' international advisor claimed 'inequality is a way of achieving greater opportunity and prosperity for all'

John Kingman, the head of UK Financial Investments, the state vehicle that owns bank shares, stoked the bonus controversy by telling MPs that semi-nationalised giant Royal Bank of Scotland should be allowed to continue paying out big awards to top traders.

He admitted is ‘walking a tightrope’ as it tries to ensure talented staff stay at the bank while limiting the scale of payouts.

But he refused to disclose RBS’s latest bonus pot and claimed it is in taxpayers’ interests that state-controlled firms dole out out discretionary payouts.

‘We as shareholder have huge interest in holding these banks together, and that’s something every household in Britain has an interest in,’ he told the Treasury Select Committee.

‘We cannot afford to be in a position where the banks lose so many people that we start to lose serious value.’
The previous day RBS received a second infusion of taxpayer cash, making it the beneficiary of the biggest banking bailout on record - £45.5 billion.

Still, Mr Kingman warned MPs that it is too soon to say we are ‘out of the woods’ on banking losses.

And he rebuffed accusations that nationalized banks are being allowed to charge excessive profits, arguing that it is in taxpayers’ interests that they earn more in order to rebuild their finances.

‘I do have a brief to stick up for taxpayers, and these banks are still making huge loses,’ he told the Treasury Select Committee.
Asked by Committee chairman John McFall whether it is ‘a case of stuff the consumer to pay the taxpayer,’ he replied ‘No. It is emphatically a question of balance.’
UKFI, set up last December, will hold 84 per cent of RBS after the latest rescue deal. It also has 43 per cent of Lloyds, it owns Bradford & Bingley's loan book, and it will own Northern Rock from the end of this year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1225285/Profit-satanic-says-Barclays-boss.html#ixzz0VzHFusOD

Nicholas Carey
11-05-2009, 03:30 PM
All I can say is Matthew 21:12-13:


[New Jerusalem Bible]

[12] Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.

[13] He said to them, 'According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits' den.'

Tylerdurden
11-05-2009, 03:59 PM
All I can say is Matthew 21:12-13:


[New Jerusalem Bible]
[12] Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.

[13] He said to them, 'According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits' den.'

Good one, To bad we forget that.