In simple terms – and it really is simple – the facts are these.
We the taxpayers put two lots of money into these banks. First, a vast amount to shore up the balance sheets. And second, a small amount by comparison to formally buy the shares in the legal entity.
The line of the Guardian article was that making a profit on the second amount is the same as getting the vast balance-sheet bailout sum back again as well. This isn’t just nonsense, it’s a forgery. And if, perhaps, forgery is the wrong word, how about fraud?
If we asked for our bailout money back, the banks (especially RBS) would be bankrupt again within a week.
Darling told the media at the Budget that RBS had repaid £3 billion. This was true. It’s just that Ali omitted to mention it had borrowed a further £12 billion. The idea that RBS could lend any money to anyone for anything in its current state is preposterous.
The cynical, patronising nature of the subterfuge and mendacity in relation to the banking disaster is unparalleled in modern human history. What on earth is the Guardian doing colluding in this bollocks?