21/11/2012 Newsnight


21/11/2012

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.


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Transcript


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Remember when this was the sort of thing that came to mind when

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someone mentioned "banking". merely the servant of the bank, to

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carry out the policy of the bank. Isn't that so? That's so, Sir, yes,

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merely the servant. How the great and the good would

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like to be able to make banking safe and dull again.

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But how? You want to know about banking, talk to a Rothschild.

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Could this really have been one of the last attacks on Gaza. We will

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explore what the ceasefire means. Revolting students protest at the

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cost of university education, but are fees actually remodelling ivory

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towers into something of practical value?

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And this was China at the weekend, not that they wanted us to know.

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We talk to three Chinese writers will sow censorship works and how

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they -- how censorship works and how they work around it.

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TRANSLATION: In this system people worship authority.

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worship authority. Night. As if we needed any

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reminding of the mess we are in. It turned out today that last month

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the country had to borrow �2.5 billion more than was necessary a

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year ago. So goes the programme of reducing the debt. This morass was

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created originally by a banking crisis, which has triggered a

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wholesale loss of affection for banking in its turn. You may

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perhaps know the feeling. If you have a banker in the family, it is

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not quite up there for being outed for having Radovan Karadzic on your

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Christmas card list, but the fear and loathing linger. A

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parliamentary commission took evidence from the Chancellor today

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on what might be done. We watched. The 18th century philosopher David

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Hum e said politicians must think every man was supposed a knave.

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Certain environment and groups create an atmosphere of greed and

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selfishness, that might otherwise not be the case for individuals. He

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said that as London was rapidly becoming the centre of the banking

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world, with a reputation for honesty and probity, and the saying

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"my word is my bond". Now that bond is severely damaged by 21st century

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greed. None more so than the LIBOR scandal, where bankers willfully

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manipulated a key interest rate, that may have affected even

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mortgage rates. An all-powerful commission was established to look

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at why some bankers behave in such a reckless way, and how it can be

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mitigated. Today they were grilling the man who set up the commission.

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I hoped this commission can look at other issues, like the standards we

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expect of the profession and how, for example, in the medical

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profession, or the teaching profession, we expect certain

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standards, and those standards are you know administered by the

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profession, often, but how we can create something similar in the

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banking industry. But peers and MPs wanted to talk

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about the actual laws being introduced by the Chancellor, aimed

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at changing banking behaviour. Especially ring-fencing or the

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partial separation of banks' high street operations from their

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speculative investment banking division. The commission of worried

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that banks could find a way to bore under any ring-fence. There is a

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very clear objective in the bill. Which is is that the regulators and

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the Government of the day can continue the provision of core

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services in the banking industry, in the situation in which a bank is

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failing. And that, I would say, is then absolutely a crucial objective,

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which, by the way, my predecessor found himself unable to deliver.

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The Chancellor, smarting from today's disappointing Government

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borrowing figures, also warned the commission not to undo many of the

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reforms which had already been agreed over the last two years.

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Commission grandees didn't like that. You gave us the job of going

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over the ground, and I suspect if you were sitting on this side of

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the table you probably wouldn't take too kindly to a Chancellor or

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Government minister saying, I want you to look at that, but not that,

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and so on. I'm sure you will appreciate will we find it very

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convincing to be told that we should be wary of unpicking a

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consensus, you just something has achieved a consensus, it doesn't

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make it right, it is our job to take a look at it. You would agree?

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The LIBOR scandal may be the trigger for the latest probe, but

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it was the slithery head of the latest snakes. We have seen banks

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linked to drug cartels and banned transactions, we have seen

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telephone salaries, fired executives with huge pay-offs and

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bonuses for failure. Can the culture of greed ever been

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pertained whilst pursuing a profit? I think it is very difficult to

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actually turn knaves back into Knights, which is, in a sense, what

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we want to do here. We want to reinstill bankers the sense of

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public service, the sense that they are providing a service to the

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community and they are not just in it purely for making enormous

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bonuses or large sums of money. think you can, I think that we have

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been through a period of great excess in the financial markets,

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where the profit motive dominated everything. Clearly things have

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changed. We have new regulation, and there is a new mind set out

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there. The new COEs in some of the major banks, one of their first

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tasks going to be to introduce a corporate culture which has much

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higher ethical standards than we have seen in the past.

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In order to work as an investment banker in the City of London, you

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need to be accredited with the FSA, to show you are not a known

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criminal, et cetera. But there is no ethical aspect to that license.

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Unlike in the retail banking sector. So, if you are selling mortgages or

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car loan, there is a far higher standard of proof and qualification

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needed, than if you are trading billions of derivatives or complex

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financial products, that could bring down an entire bank, or even,

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in some cases, an economy. It took a former derivatives trader,

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now an in coming Archbishop of Canterbury, to ask what many

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outside the establishment were thinking. Surely the easiest way to

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get lots of small banks is to break up the big ones, we might come back

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to that on another occasion. Despite the decadence of recent

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years, tough new rules are on their way to rein in bankers and banks.

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Some things can't be regulated. The shadow banking sector, which

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includes hedge funds, is worth a staggering $67 trillion worldwide.

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$9 trillion in Britain alone. No amount of ethical change could

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protect the global economy from a collapse of that magnitude.

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Here in the studio now is Sir Evelyn Rothschild, from the most

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famous banking family in the world, and John Moulton, and Jennifer

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Moses, former executive at Goldman Sachs, and director of Agent

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Provocateur. What has gone wrong with banking?

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personally don't think anything has gone wrong, I just think it got out

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of gear, due to many things. And if you want me to say so. JP Morgan

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made a speech, or he wasn't alone, to Congress, in 1933, complaik

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explaining a Select Committee that -- explaining a Select Committee

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that bankers needed to behave in a correct manner if they were going

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to carry out their duties. It is an interesting speech and something

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which one should pay attention to, that was in 1933. The suggestion is,

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that something has happened and it is about motivation? I think if you

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take that point, if I may say so, no-one has commented on it, but

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there is one thing that has transpired, that is technology.

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Technology has played a huge part in changing people's attitudes to

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banking. In the sense that traders are now quick in reaction, they

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take views that don't necessarily think through, you have the example

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of CityCorp, when you had silos, and one silo didn't know what the

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other of doing, and people were taking action. The other point

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which is very important, is that when day-to-day bankers saw that

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their return was half the return of investment bankers, they decided

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they should join up and do some of the investment banking work. What

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do you think has gone wrong in the way banking works? I think it is

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become too successful. We ended up with too few, large banks, many in

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the UK, of course, owned overseas, which wasn't a situation

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historically. You had distant owner, high leverage, and rapidly

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increasing remuneration, as people tried to chase the investment

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banking model. Things became far more complicated, and actually,

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ethics did take more and more of a back seat. Jennifer Moses, do you

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accept that ethics took a lower and lower place in the pecking order?

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Well, I think it's, I think we have to note that there have been

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financial panics, problems, ethical issues in banking, forever. This is

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a cyclical problem. I'm not convinced there was a golden age in

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which ethics and banks were perfect. But, I think what did happen is we

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had, not just tech nol, but, frankly, democratisation of credit,

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a lot more people had access to credit, and finance became a very,

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very large part of the economy. Excuse me cutting across you, but

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everyone is trying to work out looking forwards, how do you bring

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some sense of order, morality, and minimised danger in future? There

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are all sorts of ideas, there is an idea for a hypocratic oath for

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bangers, and an idea of something like a General Medical Council for

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bankers, are any of these ideas going to work, John Moul to n?

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don't think they will work easily. You need to change the views of the

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people -- -- change the people at the top. You need to change

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remuneration, and make sure the organisations are not so powerful

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that they encourage the arrogance, which encourages people to be

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unethical. We reached a stage where, not so many years ago, suddenly

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bankers became quit agrossive. If you said you weren't going -- quite

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aggressive, if you said you weren't going to work with them, they

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threatened to work with other people or they wouldn't support you.

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That only arose in a world where there were relatively few banks and

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they were very powerful. The big problem for tax-payers is some of

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these banks can behave like this, the traders take all the risk, and

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they know they will be bailed out by the taxpayer. How do we get to a

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position where that will never happen again? The word "never"

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happen again, is unlikely. We will hopefully have a better system.

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What you have to be aware of is the increased amount of cash in bonus

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hauls, given to bankers, rather than participating in the company

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which they work. The loyalty factor disappeared. Because if you are

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paid �50,000 a week, in cash, and then the next week you are paid by

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someone else �75,000, you will depart. But if you have shares in

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the business you are working in, and participation, that is a

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different way of looking at things. That is something that should be

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ruled in very strongly by the authorities.

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The Chancellor says we need to get to a position where bad banks can

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be allowed to fail. How do we get there? They shouldn't be allowed to

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fail, it is the question of, we have had a...Why Shouldn't they be

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allowed it fail? We should have proper regulation in supervision.

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The supervision has to be well done. We have to pay the supervisers and

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make them understand what they are doing. Supervision will

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occasionally fail. We need to have more and smaller. That is really

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the point. The Archbishop was making that point. He made the

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point, and the answer came back that, we have got ring-fencing, you

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can still have these big banks, but effectively running separate

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division, will that work? Why would you bother. You have two operations

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under a single holding company. The chances of one tunnelling to the

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other, which is the phrase the Bank of England uses, is quite high. It

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will be quite a big regulatory burden stopping them from

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tunnelling across. If you just make them separate in the first place,

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you don't need to worry about this ring-fencing. One of the things the

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Chancellor hasn't done is decide where the line actually drops for

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ring-fencing, which is rather vague. It is not clear where the line

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should be. We need to make smaller banks, so they can be orderly wound

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down. Forcibly split them up? might have to. Jennifer Moses, what

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do you make of that idea, more banks, smaller? I think that is the

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right idea. I think there is a tension between wanting to have

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very successful banks that are big players on the international scene,

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and the reality that the retail banking side was shovelling coal

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into the furnace of the casino, and that became a tax-payers' problem,

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and we can't have that again. I'm not sure changing compensation, the

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horse is out of the barn already, that is happening. That is not

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sufficient. We need more banks, we need to separate retail operations

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so, they become, frankly, more of a utility. Then have a better

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visibility around the risk-taking shadow banking sector as well. I

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don't think "never" will happen. I'm sorry there is a delay on the

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satellite, forgive me. What about the other deno mam number, the

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banks can now get involved in -- phenomenon, the banks can now get

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involved in all sorts of transfactions, they are funding

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transactions that allow hedge funds 0 drive up the price of oil or food

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or whatever, although they are making it possible, they are not

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actually accountable for it. The mechanism is entirely clean? That

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is a very good point. You mentioned the other financial instruments. It

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is really unspeakable that it took so long to license hedge funds.

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Hedge funds have been one of the most dangerous instruments in

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modern times. They do not help the economy, they are not far different

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from being bookmakers. They are funded by banks? They are, but they

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act in a manner that is not constructive for the banks.

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So the regulation is pointless, isn't it? Now they are regulated

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and licensed. Not very much. In most jurisdictions, I fear. In

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reality we need to make sure our retail banks don't fund the casino.

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This crisis wasn't caused by the hedge funds. We are looking forward

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to the question of how you regulate banking effectively, when so much

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is done at arm's length, effectively, by the banks? You just

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have to make sure that the high street bank, the retail, the

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systemic bank, doesn't have large chunks of its capital exposed to

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the casino world, the huj fund world. The hedge fund -- hedge fund

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world. The hedge fund world is arguably dangerous and harmless, it

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is a betting activity. It doesn't make a difference to the economy

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unless it brings down things that matter when it fails. Where do you

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think the next crisis will come from? I think the next crisis will

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arise either in Europe, or in the current banking system, when the

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LIBOR class claims come home. I agree.

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Jennifer Moses, you have the last word, where do you think the next

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crisis will come from? I actually think it is going to come from Asia.

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Where I think we don't have very good visibility at all about the

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banking system. So we don't know if the banks are well capitalise, if

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they weren't corrupt. So I think that's where the growth and the

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danger lies. Thank you all very much indeed.

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For the last three-and-a-half hours, there has been a truce in Gaza and

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Israel. Earlier there had been more of this.

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Now, in the last eight days, Israel has killed an estimated 140

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Palestinians and lost five of its own citizens. The truce was

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announced by the Egyptians. But the American Secretary of State clearly

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had a significant role in the agreement. Can this ceasefire last?

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Mark Urban is here. How did news of the ceasefire come out? Of course,

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for days we have had this business with the Egyptians and the

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Palestinian factions saying it is imminent, any minute now. It does

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seem it was necessary for the Americans to become engaged, with

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Hillary Clinton, personally travelling to Israel yesterday to

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deliver Benjimin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, on this

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deal. Therefore, when the announcement was made in Cairo, the

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honours were done, jointly, by the Egyptian Foreign Minister and

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Hillary Clinton. The people of this region deserve the chance to live

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free from fear and violence and today's agreement is a step in the

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right direction that we should build on. Now we have to focus on

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reaching a durable outcome, that promotes regional stability, and

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advances the security, dignity and legitimate aspirations of

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Palestinians and Israelis alike. How did the ceasefire come about,

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what was each side trying to gain? In a security sense, we saw them

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going hammer and tongs in the last 36 hours, we saw the initial target

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list of the Israelis, exclusively at first the rocket sites, turned

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into something quite different. On the Palestinian side too, there was

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escalation, perhaps to try to empower the negotiating process. A

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bus bomb in Tel Aviv this morning. That is something that hasn't

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happened for quite a while. Yesterday too firing another rocket

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at Jerusalem. Very important symbolic target and showing that

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new capability. From the Israeli side, the level of violence that

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has been dished out from air and sea, and land, in the past 36 hours,

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very intense. Symbolically attack significant targets. The national

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Islamic bank, in the centre of Gaza City, an organisation set up by

:19:31.:19:35.

Hamas to try get around various international sanctions put upon

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them. Another key target very near the bank in Gaza City, the Civil

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Administration Building, all sorts of administration goes on there,

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particularly going into Israel. And symbolic from the Israeli point of

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view. Infrastructure, a key bridge put in on the highway that connects

:19:54.:20:00.

Gaza to the south of the Gaza strip, and the Egyptian border area, and

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that border area, heavy bombing, on the smuggling tunnels, Israelis

:20:04.:20:09.

would say trying to prevent reply with missile, but also damaging the

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economy and wider community in gas za. So we don't get too -- Gaza. So

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we don't get too carried away, is it likely to be permanent? Both

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sides were seeking something that lasts not months or days, but years.

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They are both trying to convince the wider world opinion that it was

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unbowed and got the better deal. Hamas has stressed this evening,

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that if this ceasefire period of 24-hours persists and is solid,

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that border crossings will be open to Israel and Egypt, the siege in

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their terms, will be broken. The Israelis from their side said they

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didn't want a sticky plaster agreement, they wanted something

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that gave accountability and monitoring. The accountability, all

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sorts of other factions have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel

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before this started, Hamas was saying, not us. They now see that

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as being a situation where Hamas will be accountable. Monitoring by

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outside forces the Egyptians, and possibly others. If you look in the

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broader sweep, not just the past few weeks, the fascinating thing is

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how far Israel's security position vis a vis dwaz za, has deteriorate

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-- Gaza, has deteriorated. When they left before they were dealing

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with bombs, rockets and firearms. Now they have cities in rocket

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range, thousands of rockets into Gaza, hitting Tel Aviv, Hamas has

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maintained the rocket fire throughout the eight days, despite

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the intensity of the Israeli bombardment. Accountability,

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perhaps the key point in awful this. Israel and Hamas do not recognise

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one another in one sense. But now, Hamas is being asked to be

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accountable. In that sense, Israel has given it that form of

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recognition. Thousands of students milled

:22:01.:22:04.

through the centre of London protesting, what they were

:22:04.:22:08.

protesting about of rather lost in the shambles at the end of the

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prosession. When, beard faced beard, anorack charged anorack, and

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oranges were thrown. It is no question that university students

:22:20.:22:23.

are having a tougher time of it than their parents had. Of course,

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they don't like paying hefty fees. The bigger question is what the new

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system of funding is doing to higher education, which raises the

:22:31.:22:36.

familiar question, what is a university for? Vasily Grossman

:22:36.:22:41.

went to today's rally. They are no longer protesting

:22:41.:22:45.

against something that might happen, students in England face a new

:22:45.:22:50.

reality. Higher fees are with us. And they are not universally

:22:50.:22:54.

popular. A lot of my friends don't have

:22:54.:22:58.

anything to look forward to once they graduate. It is such a

:22:58.:23:02.

difficult climate to get a job, it's not fair having all that

:23:02.:23:07.

burden of debt. There is a few schemes within the uni, to try to

:23:07.:23:13.

ease it, but obviously it is tough. It is clear there is still plenty

:23:13.:23:17.

of anger about the decision to increase tuition fees. Beyond that,

:23:17.:23:21.

what has been the impact on the higher education sector as a whole.

:23:21.:23:25.

For a start, let's look at student number, there were bre dictions

:23:25.:23:28.

before the change came in, -- predictions before the change came

:23:28.:23:33.

in, that we would see a massive dropping off in the numbers of

:23:33.:23:37.

people going to university. If you lock at the graph t appears the

:23:37.:23:41.

drop off has happened. But much of this is accounted for by many

:23:41.:23:45.

students who would have come this year, foregoing their gap year and

:23:45.:23:48.

starting their degrees last year to avoid the fees. Allow for this in

:23:48.:23:52.

the graph for England where fees went up, it looks pretty similar to

:23:52.:23:56.

that of Scotland and Wales who have their own systems of university

:23:56.:24:00.

finance. So much for student numbers, what

:24:00.:24:02.

about the composition of the university population. Has there

:24:02.:24:06.

been, as some predicted, a massive drop in the numbers of students

:24:06.:24:11.

from poorer backgrounds going to university? There are some

:24:11.:24:14.

suggestions when you look at the applications this summer, it is

:24:14.:24:20.

students from richer backgrounds, more prosperous socialy economic

:24:20.:24:23.

backgrounds who have decided not to go to university. The numbers are

:24:23.:24:27.

very small, so you can't read too much into it. Certainly it looks as

:24:27.:24:30.

if students from poorer backgrounds are still going to university. That

:24:30.:24:34.

is not what many people predicted. Of course, the Government put a lot

:24:34.:24:38.

of work into making sure students from poorer backgrounds weren't put

:24:38.:24:43.

off applying, with all sorts of help available. However, one study

:24:43.:24:46.

of this help suggests that students won't know exactly what they will

:24:46.:24:50.

qualify for, until they get well into their first term. Which seems

:24:50.:24:56.

of limited value, if the purpose is to persuade them to apply in the

:24:56.:24:59.

first place. Simon Hughes advised the Government on fair access. He

:24:59.:25:03.

says we clearly have more work to do on this system. There is money

:25:03.:25:07.

given, increasing amounts for scholarships, I'm trying to make

:25:07.:25:10.

sure the decision is made by Government to move it from

:25:10.:25:14.

scholarship for fees or living costs, so scholarships for living

:25:14.:25:18.

costs F we can get that message across, there will be help for

:25:18.:25:21.

youngsters who need it, with living costs, you don't worry about the

:25:22.:25:25.

fees unless you are earning and it will come out of your salary. Then

:25:25.:25:29.

we will have really broken the back of the issue. Some universities are

:25:29.:25:33.

actually offering less help for poorer students. If we divide

:25:33.:25:37.

universities into five groups, with the most prestigious on the left,

:25:37.:25:42.

here is the help they offered last year and here is the help this year.

:25:42.:25:46.

The higher up the pecking order, the more is being done. Another

:25:46.:25:49.

thing that we can say has changed are the kinds of courses that

:25:49.:25:53.

students are opting for. For vocational courses like

:25:53.:25:58.

medicine, dentistry, engineering, physical science and law, have only

:25:58.:26:02.

seen small declines in applications from last year. However, the big

:26:02.:26:07.

hit has been taken by courses that less obviously lead to a job, like

:26:07.:26:12.

creative arts and design, social studies, and non-European languages.

:26:12.:26:17.

Each suffering a double-digit drop. Blunt low, the universities that

:26:17.:26:20.

are -- bluntly, the universities that are not delivering courses

:26:20.:26:24.

that do well for students. Where the student feedback says it is not

:26:24.:26:27.

well taught or the buildings aren't good, and they don't get enough

:26:27.:26:30.

seminars or lecture, those courses are go. The finances of

:26:30.:26:34.

universities will not, in the end, be able to fund, courses that

:26:34.:26:39.

aren't seen to be good by the people going to them.

:26:39.:26:43.

Politically determined that these protestors won't get near

:26:43.:26:48.

parliament, however, -- police are determined that protestors won't

:26:48.:26:54.

get near parliament. MPs will say victimisation was not the plan. The

:26:54.:26:58.

purpose of increasing tuition fees was to shore up the future of

:26:58.:27:02.

higher education funding. In that context, how successful have the

:27:02.:27:06.

changes been. If we look at the projections for university finance

:27:06.:27:10.

going forward, this line shows what the Government is putting in,

:27:10.:27:14.

falling off rapidly. But this is more than offset by the rise in

:27:14.:27:19.

fees, and the increase in foreign students. On paper, this all looks

:27:19.:27:24.

healthy enough. But it is dependant on keeping enrolment stable. And

:27:24.:27:27.

that the Government doesn't put more barriers in the way of foreign

:27:27.:27:30.

students. Clearly, it is a very difficult

:27:30.:27:34.

issue, with the immigrations and visa reforms going on at the moment.

:27:34.:27:39.

It is something we are acutely aware of, that we need to make sure

:27:39.:27:43.

we have a coherent policy in terms it of immigration in international

:27:43.:27:46.

students, I'm not sure that is the case at the moment. These students

:27:46.:27:52.

have clearly made up their minds about I hooer fees, and we can't --

:27:52.:27:55.

higher fees, and can he can't getting students to relish paying

:27:55.:28:02.

more. Although it is early days, we are appearing to see the start of

:28:02.:28:06.

reevaluation of university as a choifplts some deciding to change -

:28:07.:28:09.

- choice. Some deciding to change what they are studying and some not

:28:09.:28:15.

going at all. My guests are we me.

:28:15.:28:25.
:28:25.:28:30.

-- my guests join me now. Alice Swift is a student on the

:28:30.:28:35.

marched today. What is wrong with the reevaluation

:28:35.:28:42.

of what universities are for today? I don't think anyone would deny

:28:42.:28:49.

that universities need to be incrementalally added to. What are

:28:49.:28:52.

you against? The fundamental overhaul of universities. It is one

:28:53.:28:57.

of the asset of the country. It is one of the finest things around the

:28:57.:29:01.

world regarded that Britain does. It should be overhauled in new

:29:01.:29:03.

economic circumstances is undeniable, the Government hasn't

:29:03.:29:07.

set out to do that. From the moment the Brown review was published and

:29:07.:29:11.

the White Paper, the Government was talking about a fundamental,

:29:11.:29:14.

radical shake-up of education in England. It seems to many people

:29:14.:29:18.

inside of universities, that is a very imprudent thing to do, in an

:29:18.:29:21.

era where the universities have never been more important to the

:29:21.:29:23.

knowledge economy, and our competitive advantages have never

:29:23.:29:27.

been more difficult to obtain, to fundamentally overhaul one of the

:29:27.:29:33.

best things we have. This is an epitaf you have for your

:29:33.:29:38.

Government? I took the evidence on committee. I wish Howard was there.

:29:38.:29:42.

He's getting stuck on language. The reality is students are at the

:29:42.:29:47.

heart of the system. That is a God thing. That means that stew -- good

:29:47.:29:51.

thing. That means students are able to compare and contrast which

:29:51.:29:56.

courses are right for them. More engagment with employers, not just

:29:56.:30:00.

business, third sector, service sector, with business. Before I

:30:00.:30:06.

finish. The old system, if you are earning �21,000 today, you would

:30:06.:30:11.

pay �470 a month back. Under the new system, if you earn over

:30:11.:30:17.

�21,000, you start paying. If you earn �22,000, you pay �90 a year.

:30:17.:30:22.

There is so much misinformation about the fees. There is less

:30:22.:30:27.

concern about fees being paid back than what it is doing to

:30:27.:30:32.

universities, what is your job? Director of Employer Engagment.

:30:32.:30:36.

What does that mean? We are looking all the time at how employers are

:30:37.:30:39.

involved in the relevance of what students are learning. We are

:30:39.:30:44.

working with employers on co- creation of courses to make sure we

:30:44.:30:47.

are meeting the needs of employers. You are churning out a work force

:30:47.:30:51.

for them? We would regard in our education that we are providing is

:30:51.:30:55.

so much more than just equipping them for their work. But they have

:30:55.:30:58.

knowledge, the ability to think creativity, critically, an

:30:58.:31:08.
:31:08.:31:10.

litically, work in teams. That is what stew -- Anwar that litically.

:31:10.:31:14.

-- analytically. That is what students want? Yes, but the way the

:31:14.:31:20.

education system is now being made to be beholding to the market is

:31:20.:31:24.

very dangerous. Why? At the University of Birmingham, loads of

:31:24.:31:27.

departments that are seen as something that can't contribute to

:31:27.:31:33.

the dictate of a market economy, things like archaeology,

:31:33.:31:37.

antiquities, sociology, all of these subjects are very much under

:31:37.:31:43.

threat. They are not beholding to the markets. Is that not because

:31:43.:31:47.

students don't want to study them? No that is not it. How are they

:31:47.:31:51.

under threat? In the University of Birmingham there are threats to

:31:51.:31:55.

close these departments down as we speak. If lots of students wanted

:31:55.:32:00.

to study the subjects and pay the fees, I suspect they will be kept

:32:00.:32:06.

aon? Lots of students want to study the subjects, sociology, the

:32:06.:32:09.

University of Birmingham has tried to close sociology down, when there

:32:09.:32:13.

is a huge demand for sociology, that is why it can't close it down.

:32:13.:32:17.

Perhaps you could engage with that? If the University of Birmingham is

:32:17.:32:20.

closing down courses where there is massive demand there is something

:32:20.:32:23.

wrong at the university. I don't think that is happening. If you

:32:23.:32:27.

look at the evidence, and we saw it in the programme, the Russell Group

:32:27.:32:30.

University, this is the same in America, where you see place like

:32:30.:32:38.

Harvard do well in attracting students from lower socialy

:32:38.:32:43.

demographic backgrounds into their -- socialy demographic backgrounds

:32:43.:32:49.

into their sources. That is happening with the Russell Group

:32:49.:32:59.

Universities. We will monitor this thing. If you are saying the market

:32:59.:33:03.

is a bad thing because employers, the third sector and the service

:33:03.:33:07.

sector engage with universities, that is a good thing.

:33:07.:33:11.

University of Birmingham have departments beholden to fossil fuel

:33:11.:33:17.

companies, and teach such a wide variety of oil--based practices, in

:33:17.:33:23.

30 years time what do we do when we reach a climate catastrophe, the

:33:23.:33:29.

market works on short-termism, and it doesn't consider these aspects,

:33:29.:33:32.

we are beholden to it, the whole regime. There is a question about

:33:32.:33:36.

the broader social context. Frankly, I don't want to be rude, what is

:33:36.:33:43.

the point of people paying their taxes, and you are, what, early

:33:43.:33:46.

modern intellectual history aren't you, a subject most of us don't

:33:46.:33:51.

really understand. Why should the taxpayer support that sort of

:33:51.:33:56.

activity? There is a huge range of answers to that question. The

:33:56.:33:59.

public, market face of the university is crucially important,

:33:59.:34:03.

but what universities fundamentally do. What is your contribution to

:34:03.:34:05.

the market? I'm here discussing it with the programme. You are not

:34:06.:34:10.

getting paid much for this, I will tell you? As a matter of fact, the

:34:10.:34:14.

project which I direct at the Oxford University has raised $2.5

:34:14.:34:17.

million of American money. If you are asking for a direct

:34:17.:34:20.

contribution to the market, there you have it. This is more money I'm

:34:20.:34:25.

going to make in a very substantial fraction of my career, OK. But if

:34:25.:34:29.

you are asking a more general question, which I presume you are,

:34:29.:34:35.

which is about why every modern, western, prosperous, democratic

:34:35.:34:43.

country, for the last 50 years, has supported a publicly subsidised

:34:43.:34:46.

university system, then there are all kinds of reasons for that.

:34:46.:34:54.

There is the fact that a democratic quality depends on an educated

:34:54.:34:57.

electorate, and innovation is fundamentallinessry for the economy.

:34:57.:35:01.

There is the fact that our cultural industries as well, very vital and

:35:01.:35:06.

an important part of our economy, depend directly on universities.

:35:06.:35:09.

Come on? But the really extraordinary thing, this is

:35:09.:35:13.

something that hasn't been picked up in the media, this is the first

:35:13.:35:18.

time, in modern history, that a publicly-funded university system

:35:18.:35:21.

has been eliminated with the stroke of a pen. It is not a stroke of the

:35:21.:35:26.

pen, students don't want to study a lot of these subjects? Jo that is

:35:26.:35:31.

not true. In every other -- That is not true. In every other country, a

:35:31.:35:34.

university system exists directly funded by tax-payers' money.

:35:34.:35:37.

England has just done something that is radical and unprecedented.

:35:37.:35:40.

Which is to remove, overnight, at the stroke of a pen, the direct

:35:40.:35:44.

funding of universities. I would like to make the point about

:35:44.:35:47.

innovation. It is essential to our economy that we innovate. We have

:35:47.:35:54.

just done a study through our Think And Do Tang, at Birmingham

:35:54.:35:58.

University, showing the enormous value of design and education to

:35:58.:36:03.

our economy in the Midlands. This is all about encouraging radical

:36:03.:36:06.

innovation and lateral thoughts. Probably the sort of things that

:36:06.:36:09.

come very natural in your sort of area. I don't think it is one or

:36:09.:36:13.

the other. Do you think he's a luxury? No, I don't. Do you think

:36:13.:36:18.

society is, in any way, harmed, if as, let as say for the sake of

:36:18.:36:22.

argument, that Alice is right, let's say certain subjects stop

:36:22.:36:26.

being caught in universities. It doesn't matter if it is ark kolg or

:36:26.:36:30.

something else. But something that is -- archaeology, or something

:36:30.:36:33.

else, does society suffer with that? It is about understanding

:36:33.:36:37.

where the value is of these different subjects. I would say

:36:37.:36:41.

society does suffer, absolutely. Why? Because education is a public

:36:41.:36:47.

good, it is a social good, and it can't be beholden to whatever the

:36:47.:36:51.

short-term prospects of the market. That is in your assertion.

:36:51.:36:56.

doesn't need to be a trade-off. We don't needing to purely market-

:36:56.:37:00.

driven. The evidence does seem to suggest that students are voting

:37:00.:37:04.

with their feet? Some are, some of the very successful universities

:37:04.:37:07.

will continue to subsidise courses that they think are for the social

:37:07.:37:10.

good. They are good things to have in a society. There is nothing

:37:10.:37:15.

wrong with that. Do you think it matters then that fewer people wish

:37:15.:37:18.

to study non-European languages? think it matters that we make sure

:37:18.:37:23.

that there is enough courses, enough diversity, in the economy,

:37:23.:37:27.

so there is choice for everyone. That is not what your system is

:37:27.:37:34.

allowing to happen. This is fundamentally important point, the

:37:34.:37:38.

ascendant economies in the world are not in Europe. If we want to

:37:38.:37:41.

engage with the ascendant economies in the world we have to maintain a

:37:41.:37:45.

capacity to teach young people non- European languages. If the market

:37:45.:37:49.

signals seem to be suggesting to student that this is not a

:37:49.:37:52.

profitable activity, then we are dealing with market failure. The

:37:52.:37:56.

market signal are failing to convince students to study things

:37:56.:38:02.

we desperately need. Can I make a more general point. Be quick.

:38:02.:38:06.

real point is, although engaging directly with the market is one of

:38:06.:38:09.

the very important things that universities do, really,

:38:09.:38:13.

fundamental, crucial and unique things that universities do,

:38:13.:38:16.

staying way back from the short- term cycle of journalism and

:38:16.:38:21.

politics and business, engaging people's minds with the really big

:38:21.:38:26.

problems. We're entering a century in which we are being faced by the

:38:26.:38:29.

most enormous problems, it is vitally important that universities

:38:29.:38:32.

not be swallow up by the short- termism of the political cycle on

:38:32.:38:36.

the one hand or the economic one on the other. Thank you very much all.

:38:36.:38:40.

In China, hundreds of activists have rallied to the defence of a

:38:40.:38:44.

blogger, who made the mistake of making a joke about the Communist

:38:44.:38:47.

Party Congress, which has just closed. It wasn't very funny, I

:38:47.:38:50.

won't trouble you with it. The Congress is supposed to have mapped

:38:50.:38:55.

out a bold new future for China. What happens to people who have the

:38:55.:38:59.

temerity to think outside the orthodoxy, will provide a very

:38:59.:39:03.

early test of whether the country is really taking a new direction.

:39:03.:39:06.

From Beijing, Paul Mason reports on writers who work under a repressive

:39:06.:39:16.
:39:16.:39:20.

The Chinese invented writing, paper and the printed book. But from the

:39:20.:39:27.

early days of pen and paper, there were also pioneers of censorship,

:39:27.:39:31.

book-burning and propaganda. Today, many Chinese novelists and

:39:31.:39:35.

historians are seeing their work censored or simply banned. I have

:39:35.:39:38.

been speaking to three of them. About what it is like to have your

:39:38.:39:48.
:39:48.:39:49.

thoughts suppressed. In this village of 800 people, a

:39:49.:39:59.
:39:59.:40:03.

dozen blood collection stations Yan Lainke's novel, the The Dream

:40:03.:40:08.

of Da, ne Village, is the true story of an AIDS epidemic that

:40:08.:40:12.

happened when the Government encouraged people to sell their

:40:12.:40:17.

blood to get rich. Blood banks opened in the village market, the

:40:17.:40:21.

village crossroads, and the empty rooms of private homes. They even

:40:21.:40:28.

opened up in converted cow sheds. Throughout the village, blood

:40:28.:40:33.

filled plastic tubing, hung like vines. And bottles of plasma, like

:40:33.:40:37.

plump, red grapes. Everywhere you looked there were broken glass

:40:37.:40:42.

vials and syringes, discarded cotton bud, used needles and

:40:42.:40:47.

splashes of congealed blood. All day long the air was filled

:40:47.:40:54.

with the stench of fresh blood. Yan's novel about the scandal was

:40:54.:40:58.

published in China, but disappeared after three days. It is now banned

:40:58.:41:06.

there. TRANSLATION: In China today, one type of writing that is deemed

:41:06.:41:10.

unacceptable, is when a writer looks too closely at China's

:41:10.:41:13.

reality. Another kind of writing that is unacceptable here is,

:41:13.:41:17.

writing that brings back to life moments in China's history that are

:41:17.:41:21.

supposed to be forgotten. Also, if a piece of writing is too

:41:21.:41:25.

imaginative, then it is also deemed not suitable for readers. It is for

:41:25.:41:29.

these three reasons that books are seen as controversial, or are

:41:29.:41:39.
:41:39.:41:41.

consistently banned. The dream of the village does not just show a

:41:42.:41:46.

scandal, it shows how mania can take hold in a place where one

:41:46.:41:52.

party is determined to force the pace of growth. TRANSLATION: At the

:41:52.:41:56.

beginning of the 90s, the whole country needed to develop very

:41:56.:42:00.

quickly. Everywhere needed money. We must acknowledge that the people

:42:00.:42:05.

who sold blood were organised by the Government to do this. More

:42:05.:42:08.

importantly though, the environment at the time in China ignited

:42:08.:42:12.

people's desires and people's inner darkness. People desired money,

:42:12.:42:15.

they needed money, they earned money, they went crazy about

:42:15.:42:25.
:42:25.:42:26.

becoming rich, and so they sold their blood. China's new leaders

:42:27.:42:30.

have come to power, pledging a crackdown on corruption.

:42:30.:42:35.

But the book-buying public are ahead of them, Chinese readers are

:42:35.:42:39.

devouring crime novel, with stories of official skullduggery, by the

:42:39.:42:44.

million. I felt as though a heavy stone were

:42:44.:42:48.

pressing on my chest, choking off my breath. The boulder was

:42:48.:42:58.
:42:58.:43:00.

corruption itself, and everyone who hated and fought it was cisofice.

:43:00.:43:06.

This man's crime novel, The civil Servant's Notebook, tells the story

:43:06.:43:12.

of bureaucrats selling their soulss and losing their minds in the

:43:12.:43:17.

system. TRANSLATION: In China we have a very bad tradition, in this

:43:17.:43:19.

system people worship authority. Worshiping authority has become

:43:20.:43:24.

part of our way of thinking, our way of life. Like a religion. To

:43:24.:43:34.
:43:34.:43:35.

give up a way of thinking, a way of life, a religion, is very difficult.

:43:36.:43:40.

Whout challenge, the boulder of corruption would grow larger and

:43:40.:43:43.

larger, someone would need to continue to role the boulder up the

:43:43.:43:47.

hill, even though it was bound to roll back down every time. So long

:43:47.:43:52.

as we persisted, we might find a new meaning within our lonely,

:43:52.:43:55.

painful, absurd and despairing lives.

:43:55.:44:02.

In real life, the author was a civil servant, and his real-life

:44:02.:44:08.

boss was sentenced to death for gambling away $3.6 million of the

:44:08.:44:12.

public's money in the casinos. The book has not been banned, but in

:44:12.:44:18.

the wake of the Boshili scandal, China's most prominent scandal for

:44:18.:44:23.

decades, he fears a book like this would not be published today.

:44:23.:44:28.

TRANSLATION: I think the system creates officials like Boshli, one

:44:28.:44:36.

may have fallen, but if the system does not change, there will be L

:44:36.:44:46.
:44:46.:44:48.

iOS hili, Xianshili and Maoshili. The background to the censorship is

:44:48.:44:53.

rising discontent. These pictures, shot on Saturday in one of the

:44:53.:44:57.

provinces, and uploaded secretly to the internet, show thousands of

:44:57.:45:02.

demonstrators and police vans overturned. The spark, a police car

:45:02.:45:09.

chase that injured bystanders, the underlying issue, corruption.

:45:09.:45:18.

It's not just the present that exercises China's censures, one of

:45:18.:45:22.

their key obsession -- censors, one of their key observations is the

:45:22.:45:30.

past. None so much about Mao's overthrow, triggering one of the

:45:30.:45:35.

biggest famines in history. Homes were dismantled, and woks, basins

:45:36.:45:40.

and bowls were requisitioned. Grain supplies were centralised. By the

:45:40.:45:50.
:45:50.:45:52.

summer of 1959, the famine was intense. Yang Jisheng's book, Tomb

:45:52.:45:56.

stone, has sold half a million copies on the black market. It is

:45:56.:45:59.

acclaimed in the English version, but it can't be published

:45:59.:46:09.
:46:09.:46:10.

officially in China itself. TRANSLATION: Tombstone has four

:46:10.:46:15.

levels, one is to remember my father, the second is a tombstone

:46:15.:46:19.

to the 36 million Chinese people who starved to death. The third is

:46:19.:46:23.

a tombstone for the system that caused the familiar anyone, the

:46:23.:46:26.

fourth is a tombstone for myself, if anything happens to me, writing

:46:26.:46:31.

this book has put me at risk, politically.

:46:31.:46:35.

Yang, a veteran journalist for the state news agency, spent years

:46:35.:46:38.

secretly compiling data on the familiar anyone, whose cause and

:46:38.:46:42.

scale were denied then by the propaganda, and still are denied by

:46:42.:46:47.

the Communist Party today. TRANSLATION: The basic reason why

:46:47.:46:51.

tens of millions starved to death was, totalitarianism, in this type

:46:51.:46:57.

of system, once a calamity occurs, ordinary people have no means of

:46:57.:47:00.

saving themselves. TRANSLATION: During the Great Leap Forward, I

:47:00.:47:04.

was active in the communist youth league, when my father died of

:47:04.:47:06.

starvation, I thought it was something just happening to my

:47:06.:47:11.

family. I thought his death was my fault. Because I hadn't gone home

:47:11.:47:15.

to pick wild plants for him. Only later I discovered that it wasn't

:47:15.:47:19.

just a provincial problem or local problem, it certainly wasn't just

:47:19.:47:23.

my family's problem, it was a national problem. I'm still a party

:47:24.:47:29.

member. Although now I think communist is a fantasy. I do

:47:29.:47:32.

believe the party wants to do good for the people and the workers. I

:47:32.:47:37.

want to speak for the people, that is why I'm still a party member.

:47:37.:47:41.

We know Chinese culture is a mixture of the ancient and new. If

:47:41.:47:46.

China's people could read their own great modern literature, it would

:47:46.:47:49.

be richer still. But the new is controversial, and the Government

:47:49.:47:52.

has no intention of freeing it up right now. What's happening in

:47:53.:47:55.

Chinese literature is important, because it mirrors what is

:47:55.:48:00.

happening on the internet, and in millions of private conversations.

:48:00.:48:04.

There's a parallel universe of ideas out there, just waiting to be

:48:04.:48:09.

expressed in the open. TRANSLATION: My aim is to speak the truth. To

:48:09.:48:13.

act honestly and to be a real person. A writer should constantly

:48:13.:48:21.

pursue the truth. I want to tell my readers what really happened.

:48:21.:48:24.

regime in history has managed to suppress its own literature forever.

:48:24.:48:30.

But China's leaders intend to give it a go. Whether they succeed

:48:30.:48:36.

depend, in large part, on the power of writing.

:48:36.:48:39.

Paul Mason, we must have talked too much earlier, I'm told that's all

:48:39.:48:49.
:48:49.:48:51.

much earlier, I'm told that's all we have time for. Good night.

:48:51.:48:54.

Good evening. We have more atrocious weather for Thursday.

:48:54.:48:58.

More very heavy rain falling another inch or two of rain in

:48:58.:49:02.

areas completely saturated already. The likes of south-west Scotland,

:49:02.:49:05.

western Scotland, we have an amber warning out here. Across parts of

:49:05.:49:08.

the south-west of England. And Wales too. Southern Wales, it is

:49:08.:49:11.

where we have seen the most serious flooding this week. We could see

:49:11.:49:16.

another inch or two of rain. Damaging gusts of wind. 50-60 miles

:49:16.:49:21.

an hour inland, 70 miles an hour in the coast. With the ground so

:49:21.:49:24.

saturated could bring the trees down. After the rush hour, with the

:49:24.:49:29.

rain across Northern Ireland and the winds t eases some what into

:49:29.:49:35.

the afternoon, and before it clears the potential for snow across the

:49:35.:49:37.

Scottish mountains wet weather into northern England and the afternoon.

:49:37.:49:41.

It looks largely dry in the south and east, that said the winds get

:49:41.:49:45.

strong into the afternoon, that gives problems for the wind itself

:49:45.:49:48.

in the rush house across the home counties and the south-east of

:49:48.:49:52.

England. It looks pretty miserable with heavy rain on Thursday, a

:49:52.:49:55.

dryer day across the northern half of the UK on industry. Showers

:49:55.:49:58.

around, after a chilly start. A slightly dryer day for some parts

:49:58.:50:02.

of southern Britain as well. But the rain slow to clear from the

:50:02.:50:06.

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