UK Banks, Corporations and Parliament
US finance now dominates both “British” banks and its biggest companies. Three out of the four top banks are controlled by US finance companies. HSBC , Barclays and Lloyds have giant US funds as their main shareholders.
While NatWest and its subsidiary RBS still have the UK Treasury as its main shareholder, the shares are gradually being sold off.
Our top ten companies, except BP, have US funds as their main shareholders. BP itself, is controlled by Saudi Arabia.
These companies employ highly paid “experts” to tell us that ownership doesn’t matter, only that the company be allowed to work in the global free market. This is, of course, utter nonsense. The short-termism of the City of London and US finance is legendary which accounts for so much of US and UK industry being shipped abroad to China and other places in Eastern Europe and the Far East. Very little is invested in the UK and now UK entrepreneurs are turning to Chinese Banks for funding! The Big UK banks are only interested in making a fast turnover, not long term planning or investment. We leave that to the Germans and Chinese.
The rules that govern the City of London are dictated by the big US accountancy firms all of which have large headquarters in the City.
Such is the influence of the owners of these companies they direct governments to legislate and act in their favour. One only has to look at our tax laws to see confirmation of this. The offshore tax avoidance scandal being the most obvious example. The growing links between the corporate world, the media, education, universities, “think tanks,” health, the law, sport and almost every other aspect of human activity is a demonstration that we now live in a corporate democracy not a citizen’s representative democracy.
Individual ministers and MPs are assured of extremely well paid places on boards of companies in the future if only they co-operate with these companies. But this is not new. There has always been an overlap between the City and Parliament.
Our representative democracy is now almost completely undermined and influenced by the US/uk financial sector. This influence spreads to all spheres of economic, political and civil society.
UK – there are troubles ahead
The UK economy is in big trouble. There are many causes.
There is a big distortion in favour of the finance sector which has a serious impact on the economy.(* See SPERI report – appendix part 2 )
Our manufacturing has dropped to about 10% of GDP in 2018 accounting for 9% of jobs. ( House of Commons Library 2020)
Much of our economy has become dependent on cheap immigrant labour instead of modernising – leaving us far less efficient than competitors.
A vast amount of our manufacturing has been moved abroad – massively reducing our manufacturing capacity.
Our top 10 “British” companies, except BP, are now mostly controlled by US Mutual finance companies such as Blackrock. BP, our largest company, is controlled by the Saudi Arabian public fund. Our residential and commercial properties are now being bought up by US, Chinese and Mid East companies via tax dodging Luxembourg go betweens, driving up prices, rents and the exchange value of the pound.
Our large companies and rich individuals avoid paying taxes through offshore tax dodging although using the facilities at home that our taxes provide.
Our agriculture and fishing industries are in a perilous position due to the government signing rushed treaties after Brexit.
Our infrastructure; railways, water, gas, electricity, roads, motorways are expensive and run down. Our railways are out of date, there are massive water leakages, many of our roads do not need speed bumps as there are so many potholes.
The provision of “green” energy is proceeding at snail’s pace with opportunities being missed everywhere.
The huge rental sector, with some rents due to properties seized over 1000 years ago, remains a huge extra cost for both residential and commercial tenants.
Our entrepreneurs are complaining of how difficult it is to get loans from UK banks and are having to turn to, yes, Chinese banks to get funding in some cases.
The UK must develop a plan to increase manufacturing as a percentage of GDP. Whilst the emphasis must be on new and advanced technologies much traditional manufacturing could be carried out in the UK instead of importing from abroad.
The rental sector must be re-organised as it is a massive drag on incomes and profits.
UK Debt, Inflation and Economic Crisis
Huge levels of debt at government, business and personal have reached record heights. Many economic commentators believe that such debt cannot be paid off.
It must be said emphatically, that this debt was not only a result of the Covid pandemic.
Levels of government debt were at record levels before the Covid outbreak.
Such levels of debt are complex. The buy-backs of companies by off- the-book loans has made millions for company executives in bonuses but left thousands of companies, especially in the US, in a zombie like status, just able to pay off the interest on loans but nothing else.
The government supplements its tax returns with selling treasury bills paying off annual interest and finally repurchasing them at face value having sold them for less than face value. Thus, the buyer of the bonds get money for nothing except lending their money to the government. The more the government sells of these Treasury Bills the more indebted it is. Government borrowing is called the national debt. It currently stands at £2.2 Trillion pounds, i.e. 99% of GDP. This means the government owes just under the national output of the whole of the UK in one year. And on this it will pay interest before even trying to pay back the original loan.
In 2018 the National Debt was £1.78 Trillion, i.e. 85% of GDP.
In 2010, when the present Tory run of office began, the National Debt was 63% of GDP.
But the National Debt growth is not just a Tory phenomenon. When Labour took over in 1997 the National Debt was 40% of GDP and grew to 63% in 2010.
Whatever, after World War Two, the National Debt had risen to nearly 250% of GDP, but thanks to full employment and some degree of investment this had fallen to round about 30% by the early 1980s.
The simple fact is that the higher the National Debt the higher the interest payments to the financial sector and rich individuals, money which could otherwise be spent on investment.
The interest paid on this debt is now a staggering £52.4 billion per annum. By comparison, the UK Defence Budget in 2020 was £30 Billion!