Email received from a Socialist Standard reader:
As the SPGB have always pointed out it's a total myth that banks create wealth. They make their profits by lending, borrowing or generally manipulating funds between sections of industry and private individuals which stemmed from profits via the wages system throughout the production of goods and services.
In the light of the ongoing recession, job losses, public spending and welfare cuts where the real victims are those who create the profits for the capitalists via the wages and profit system, bonuses on the scale awarded to bailed out RBS boss Stephen Hester are clearly immoral and irrational! Yet he like many other well awarded top financial executives are merely the symptom not the cause of an equally immoral and irrational economic system! Consequently such media orchestrated public hysteria that focusses on him and his ilk personally in order to seduce lesser mortals to make simplistic comparisons between their own financial situations or how much the forces earn fighting resource wars is exactly what the capitalist classes desire because it detracts attention away from the real reason why, particularly in a low growth capitalist economy bonuses of this magnitude are awarded.
Despite all the erudite explanations from the economic boffins who monopolise the air waves bankers bonuses like MP's expenses have nothing to do with performance but for the capitalist class they serve as a financial and political reward for playing an integral part in supposedly reviving a corroded low growth economic system in the most authentic way which the bulk of the population might accept!
Consequently concerns over what Mr Hester does with his bonus or whether the likes of Sir Fred Goodwin is stripped of his knighthood (which unfortunately seems to be the current Labour Opposition's sole contribution to challenging the Tories on the economy these days) are utterly futile! Alternative economic and social policies are paramount regardless of how much wrath a top financial executive's bonus provokes and if there's no alternative the bonus culture will become even more excessive as UK capitalism slumps even further!