Bang up the bankers! That has a nice ring to it, like the rioter's line in Henry VI (part two) that always gets a roar of approval, "let's kill all the lawyers".
But does anyone really think any of them will land in the clink? The degree of personal recklessness would have to be extreme.
The parliamentary commission on banking standards makes many sensible proposals on how to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis. As another housing bubble is setting off right now, inflated by the government's Help to Buy scheme, we shall see if group-think in the world of finance is any wiser in regards to property lending this time round.
So far, nothing much has changed in the culture of banking: more than 400 people at Barclays are paid at least £1m, while in all of Japan, one of the most equal nations, only 300 executives are paid as much. So will bankers really be made to wait 10 years to cash in their bonuses? Probably not: watch the lobbying begin. Former RBS chairman and chief executive Sir George Mathewson seems to have learned absolutely nothing when he told the BBC: "If you are going to have bonuses, they are to incentivise behaviours. Ten years out is not an easy way to imagine incentivisation occurring."
The degree to which none of them get it is breathtaking. Who else needs incentivising to do their job? At the other end of society, the poor have money taken away to make them try harder.
A recommendation for more women on trading floors echoes Harriet Harman's quip that if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters the bank wouldn't have crashed. Would women calm testosterone-fuelled high-risk trading? Experience shows that a few women joining a man's world requires them to be, if anything, more risk-taking than the men in order to prove themselves (Thatcher syndrome). Not until the balance is tipped to nearer to 50:50 does a collectivity of women change a group culture.
The time for remorse is over, the notorious Bob Diamond said, before leaving with bundles of millions. No, alas, it's not over until bankers return to planet Earth pay structures, rewarded like other ordinary professionals. We lost £133bn, and another slice is to be carved out of civic flesh in the comprehensive spending review next week. The report takes good steps forward and blaming individuals is fun – but will it bring culture change?
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © banspy