Who’s sorry now?

Oh please. Are we really going to go through a big public campaign to get Holland’s bankers to apologise for their role in the global financial crisis?

The first one – step forward Floris Deckers of Van Lanschot – has already said his piece in the NRC newspaper and wins plaudits for being the first to do so. And now, the paper says, pressure is mounting on the rest to make their peace as well.
But why should they? Yes, with hindsight bankers were irresponsible and did get carried away – but we all got carried away with them.
We greedily believed in all those unrealistic rates of return we were being promised. We piled our savings into foreign banks, we read the financial pages and dabbled in stocks and shares.
Most of us are guilty of collective greed and collective stupidity. So what good does an apology by the odd bank manager actually serve?
A feeling of smugness that the rich men in suits are being humbled? Public recognition that than banks are to blame and that the man in the street is innocent?
If anyone is guilty of failure in this whole sorry mess it is the financial sector regulators who failed to understand what was going on and the politicians who appointed them.
Bankers: forget the apologies. Slash the bonuses, de-jargon financial products and get back to the business of making money instead.

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