Consider the paradox

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The FT has noted:

Just 8 per cent of the $1,000bn (£605bn) in .. infrastructure investment budgeted worldwide will be ready to start work by the end of next year, according to new research.

The findings call into question whether spending on major public projects can provide the hoped-for stimulus to jolt recession-hit economies back to recovery.

Infrastructure is seen as a crucial channel of economic stimulus because it employs large volumes of labour and materials, and can be easily directed by government spending.

But many large projects depend on private financing, which has dried up in recent months. The UK is particularly dependent on public-private financing for infrastructure. Although some stand-out projects such as the M25 widening scheme have reached financial close in recent months, others, such as London’s Crossrail line, remain open.

The absurdity is obvious: we bailed out the banks so we don’t have the money to pay for the infrastructure we need to create jobs and the baks we gave the money to won’t lend us back to is at a higher rate to achieve the same effect.

Remind me please: why do we need the banks in the equation?

Oh, of course, I forgot. It’s for this reason:

Staff at Goldman Sachs staff can look forward to the biggest bonus payouts in the firm's 140-year history after a spectacular first half of the year

We have an economy that does, of course, run for the benefit of the banks: the banks do not run for the benefit of us. And that’s why they continue to hold us to ransom.

And so they will whilst the Treasury remains committed to this ‚Äògroupthink’. As it is. despite Alistair Darling’s call for reform of the bank’s boardrooms last week he remains committed to the usual culprits. He appointed the board of UK Financial Investments after all, and look what a good job he did:

Glen Moreno – Acting Chairman – ex Citigroup and Liechtenstein banker
John Kingman – Chief Executive – civil servant ex private sector, formerly in charge of financial stability in the banking sector for the Treasury (which he clearly did not get right)
Peter Gibbs  - ex Merril Lynch
Michael Kirkwood – ex Citigroup
Lucinda Riches – ex UBS
Philip Remnant – ex Credit Suisse
Louise Tulett – career civil servant

All the bankers are from organisations that failed.

And Darling expects to effect change?

Not a hope – not with this lot.

They’ll do all they can to promote banking – and that’s just not good enough when the real economy needs less banking and more real jobs.

There’s never been more need for change.

So where is the left wing leader who can deliver this?