It is perhaps the greatest paradox of our time.
Over the last two years, the UK banking sector generated catastrophic losses. According to the Bank of England's latest financial stability report, UK banks have accumulated losses amounting to almost ₤400 billion. Those losses were calculated as the difference between the mark-to-market value of assets held on bank balance sheets compared to their "original" book value.
As the chart suggests, banks have continued to identify more losses despite the unprecedented assistance from the taxpayer. It doesn't look like it is over yet. Banks still need to come clean and admit to the full extent of their wealth destroying activities.
The banking crisis pushed the economy into recession and required a bailout amounting almost 90 percent of GDP. Yet, the executives who run these enterprises continue to earn multi-million pound salaries. The sector is still awash with extravagent bonuses.
In the past, talent was the justification for these huge compensation packages. Gifted people deserve extraordinary wages. But looking over the wreckage of the UK financial system, these jokers only ever had a talent for making huge losses for their shareholders.