olympic torch
Public is burning with anger over continual banking scandals

You can be sure of one thing. After the Brussels summit David Cameron will return to the UK and use sympathetic journalists to spread the word that he "defended British Interests".

Translated, that means he helped shoot down proposals that might have subjected the City to regulation under plans for a eurozone "banking union".

But after the "week of Libor,' Cameron's dutiful defence of London-based Big Finance means he evermore resembles a provincial mayor defending his town's syphilitic brothel because it's popular among wealthy, debauched clients, who come from far and wide to avail themselves of its sordid services.

The Libor fixing scam has surely shredded into infinitesimal pieces the last tattered figleaf of integrity the City had left. Libor, the interbank lending rate, is the supposedly trustworthy foundation on which the banking system and lending are built

Fixing a horse race

If you or I tried to fix a cricket match or a horse race we would be arrested forthwith. Yet it would appear that if you're a self-appointed member of the financial master-race who fixes a key interest rate affecting trillions of dollars, gerrymandering the global financial market and gaming the planet in the process, you get a six-figure bonus and a bottle of Bolly.

The Libor controversy is the latest perversion of the great money orgy that began a quarter of a century ago with a "Big Bang" and has ended up with the ordinary, law-abiding UK taxpayer getting royally screwed.

The injustices wrought to service the monumental greed machine are too numerous to catalogue but last week there was a small footnote to the voracious Frankenstein the finance capitalism model summoned to life.

In the City, Peter Cummings's reckless lending is legend. The gung-ho head of corporate lending at HBOS became the year-round Father Christmas to a gang of spivvy property developers showering them with billions of pounds. His party piece was not merely approve loans but get into bed with them, financially speaking. Lending them huge sums was not profitable enough for this money maniac, so Cummings pioneered the strategy of becoming an equity partner in a series of grandiose schemes that anyone who understood risk could see was suicidal.

Asset boom and invincibility

But he, like so many of his ilk, confused their good fortune to be riding an asset boom as confirmation of their own invincibility.

The rest is history. Come the crash Lloyds Banking Group, which bought HBOS at the height of the crisis, would later write off almost £20bn of the division's £120bn loan book. In other words, the lending standards in HBOS Corporate's business were so poor the bank barely recovered £5 for every £6 lent. Ultimately, those losses alone would more than account for the £11.5bn that the taxpayer pumped into HBOS in the original October 2008 bail-out.

So far, so depressingly familiar.

But recently there was a illustrative footnote, epitomising everything that has gone wrong involving the banksters.

A court heard the sorry story of Farepak - a Christmas savings company aimed at the very poorest in our society. Every week, 100,000 cleaners, shelf-stackers and factory workers would pay a few quid from their minimum-wage pay packets so they could afford to buy their family gifts at Christmas. In 2006, however, Farepak went bust and for these honest toilers there was no taxpayer bailout waiting; no rescue plan to keep the bonuses flowing; no one in power to listen to them whine about how important they were to the UK economy and demand their staggering, self-inflicted losses had to be socialised asap.

Farepak fiasco

While the Insolvency Service sought to blame the Farepak directors for the fiasco of its bankruptcy, the judge pointed accusingly at the company's bankers. The court heard how the bank twice refused requests by the directors to safeguard £4m of customers' money by placing it in a trust. The decision meant the cash was available to be repaid to HBOS rather than being returned to customers when the business went under in October 2006. To add insult ot injury, from highly embarrassing emails the court heard how senior HBOS bankers derisively referred to savers' cash in Farepak as "Doris money".

And who was the "ultimate arbiter" of this cruel debacle? Who was the "uber-Grinch who stole Christmas"? None other than Peter Cummings.

The Libor scandal has triggered another chapter of hand-wringing and tut-tutting but with George "the bankers' chum" Osborne as chancellor chances that are all the huffing and puffing will be so much political flatulence.

Maybe we've finally found a use for all those flaming torches that will be left over after the Olympics circus has left town? Just a thought...