Friday, October 8, 2010

Have we grown wiser from the GFC?

I think the short answer is "no." We have not grown wiser from the global financial crisis of 2008. Australia is going back to status quo, while the other first world countries that are still in recession are slowing trying to recover status quo from the looks of it. Chief executives of public listed companies are back to the game of rewarding themselves with multimillion dollar pay rises (e.g. Myer CEO Brookes' pay jumped from $2.9 million to $5.45 million last year), while retrenching staff to "increase productivity" (e.g. Westpac Bank in today's Herald Sun news). In the first case, CEO's are unjustifiably rewarded; in the second case, staffs are retrenched at a time when the banks are raking in record profits.

We all now that the GFC is caused by greed on the part of corporate leaders, especially those high fliers in the financial world of hedge funds and investment banking. Slowly but surely, the talk of financial reforms has been just that - talk.

No, I think we have grown too used to the comfortable existence of pre-GFC days to want to give it up so easily. The people who will pay the price of this lassitude are our children and the generations to come. Even the people who think they are doing alright today, they won't be doing their children a favour. Greed has reached a new level, where people are even willing to sacrifice their children's future wellbeing. Why else would local councils keep raising council rates? Why else would government leaders privatize the public amenities and allow the private companies to raise prices at liberty? Why else would companies retrench staff when they are making huge profits (and rewarding their CEO's with big bonuses)? Why else would companies re-locate offshore and starve their own people of jobs?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Human learnt nothing in last 5000 years....still killing!