Investment banking has, in recent years, resembled a casino, and the massive scale of gambling losses has dragged down traditional business and retail lending activities as banks try to rebuild their balance sheets. This was one aspect of modern financial liberalisation that had dire consequences.
The economy has become seriously unbalanced. Its growth has not been driven by investment or by overcoming Britain's long-standing weaknesses in investment and productivity, particularly skills. Instead, there has been a binge of debt-financed consumer spending.
These masters of the universe must be tamed in the interests of the ordinary families whose jobs and livelihoods are being put at risk... The Tories won't say anything about the current crisis as they are completely in the pockets of the hedge funds.
Well, as I said, you know the issue of Greek debt, they've grasped the principle of debt reduction. I think most people would argue that probably more needs to be done on that front, and they've just begun to take the first steps to accepting that there's going to have to be much closer economic integration in Europe.
I think what is happening is I think first of all there is confidence in the U.K. economy. We're in a German rather than a Greek position in international financial markets, which is very positive and keeps our debt service costs down, and we're also beginning to see real evidence of rebalancing.
On banks, I make no apology for attacking spivs and gamblers who did more harm to the British economy than Bob Crow could achieve in his wildest Trotskyite fantasies, while paying themselves outrageous bonuses underwritten by the taxpayer. There is much public anger about banks and it is well deserved.