As the government prepares an emergency budget to help pay for the bank bailout, Will Hutton investigates the banks and what they've done with our money.
He discovers that while ordinary taxpayers take the pain, for the banks it's largely business as usual.
Hutton analyses the banks' accounts and shows how they are using government-guaranteed funds to gamble with derivatives as they did before the crash. He also reveals how the banks are still paying vast salaries and bonuses, and City head hunters tell Dispatches how the banks hide the sums they're really paying out.
With the help of former and current members of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, Hutton shows how the banks' booming margins come from the free and near-free money the government and taxpayers gave them to save the banking system.
He also investigates the banks' intense lobbying to resist government plans for reform and highlights recent research from the OECD on how Britain is internationally unusual in the extent to which bankers have key roles in the civil service and government.
Featuring high-powered contributors such as President Obama's banking advisor Paul Volcker, former Chancellor Alastair Darling, former City minister Lord Myners and current Business Secretary Vince Cable, Hutton shows why without urgent reform we risk the prospect of another crash - this time there won't be any money left for a bail-out - plus the certainty of British business being starved of vital funding.
With the Eurozone crisis fuelling fears of another banking crash, this programme is an urgent and shocking call to action.
This programme will be on 4oD as soon as possible after broadcast.
Make a note to catch this on 4oD, if you haven't seen it already (exact link will be posted as soon as it's available!).
It really makes you wonder why on earth consumers should be gearing up to accept current account charges as the norm, when the banks summarily fail to invest in research, development and innovation, especially in home-grown SMEs. Local businesses are the life blood of our economy, creating new employment and new markets for the UK to excel in. Goodness knows, they could take you out of unemployment, in the not too distant future!
"How the Banks" Won also explores our grotesquely inflated property market - commercial and domestic - remember the average UK house price is roughly eight times the average income in the UK! Bang goes your granny's budgeting dictum that rent or mortgage should be a third of household income. Indeed, Whilst some may be sitting pretty in a home that is worth three or four times more than they paid for it, spare a thought for our offspring if the foundations of recovery are but bricks and mortar?
Time to vote with your feet, we say, and to do so Zero-credit recommends Better Banking.