The government is selling 7.7 per cent of its shares in RBS

They bailed the banks out in 2008, and now they're ready to give them back

The government said they're selling off a 7.7 per cent stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

What it means: We tried to resist writing about this cuz, well, bank share stories are dull, but it's a headline everywhere for a reason.

The government owns 70 per cent of RBS at the moment. It bailed the bank out (i.e. bought up lots of shares that no-one wanted with taxpayer money so the bank could keep functioning) after the crash, and this year, the bank has made a profit for the very first time since then.

To celebrate, the government are selling off £2bn worth of shares, and hoping to sell another £13bn worth by 2023. It's all part of a move to privatise the bank again, which means making it majority owned by individuals rather than the government (because they think it'll be more efficient that way).

But some people, notably the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, don't think it's a good move. The bank bought those shares for almost double what they're selling them for now, so he says taxpayers are losing out on their investment.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?