HSBC and Barclays : gamblers

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FT.com / Companies / UK companies - HSBC and Barclays ride out global storm.

HSBC and Barclays (especially the latter) announced strong profits yesterday.

But as most noted, this did not come as a result of providing a service of benefit to society called banking; the profits came from undertaking an activity now proven to be a cost to society called investment banking. That's gambling by any other name, and tax abuse, and things of that ilk.

How long can this be allowed to continue?

These people are playing with our cash. The liquidity they trade is money pmped into the markets by central banks. The bonds they are trading are used to pay for their own bail out (and yes, these banks were bailed out - just indirectly, not directly). And they play interest rate swaps whilst leaving the real markets short of credit.

We should be angry about that. Because these banks are exploiting society at large - you and me.

And still Gordon Brown sits on the sidelines and watches.