Banking,  Grauniad,  Guardian,  Iran

In which John Mann is wrong and The Guardian is right

John Mann on Standard Chartered, as reported by Reuters:

Several of the bank’s top shareholders and a leading opposition lawmaker have questioned whether U.S. authorities are seeking to undermine London as a global financial centre. […]

“I think it’s a concerted effort that’s been organised at the top of the U.S. government. I think this is Washington trying to win a commercial battle to have trading from London shifted to New York,” said John Mann, a member of parliament’s finance committee who also called for a parliamentary inquiry.

Mann, from the centre-left Labour party, has become a public scourge of London bankers’ greed and immorality during the financial crisis. But he told Reuters he saw “anti-British bias” behind “disproportionate publicity that’s given to British banking problems, as opposed to American banking problems”.

“This is a political onslaught,” he said.

Here is The Guardian:

First, and most importantly, senior bank management needs to be held personally liable for serious violations of the law. The threat of losing their fancy houses, lucrative bonuses and reputation in high society may spur executives to treat the law and its enforcers with a little more respect. Compliance and ethical behaviour need to be clearly benchmarked – and any bonuses awarded to senior staff properly clawed back if malfeasance subsequently comes to light. This is also a duty for shareholders, who have seriously lost out following the publications of the allegations about Standard Chartered.

The prospect of a prison cell would certainly focus minds. The crimes alleged are massive, and where proved true, of a breathtaking scale, earning hundreds of million dollars in rewards, while assisting terrorists, tyrants and drug traffickers. The punishment now needs to fit those crimes. Prison and penury would certainly focus minds of potential future banksters.