Bankers\' Bonuses
The European Union  is to cap the amount banks will be able to pay staff in bonuses in a bid to respond to anger from investors and the public over the role played by banks in the financial crisis.

Be prepared for the howls of pain, the banging of doors and the shouts of "we're leaving". The City boys are set for another collective tantrum. The European Union decision to cap bankers' bonuses is being billed as a day of reckoning for the City practices that fomented the finanical crisis.

So set your watches, because it won't be long before some grandee or other, if not the bankers' blonde cheerleader, London mayor Boris Johnson, warns gravely of "the exodus of talent from the City" that will inevitably follow any moves to cut them down to size. But how anyone can utter the phrase "talent" in a sentence that also contains the words "City" or "banker" and keep a straight face in the light of what has gone on since 2008?

The fact that the "talent myth" is still being peddled exposes the monumental self-regard of City folk, despite being the beneficiaries of the biggest state handout in history. They have talent, all right: but only the talent to pay themselves ludicrous bonuses before, during and after crashing the world economy.

Meanwhile, don't you wish you could "short" their whining about an exodus? And if there was one, would it matter anyhow? The rationale behind the threat - "global finance is a very mobile business" - is actually the reason not to fear it. If a load of these chancers left, you could just ship in another bunch from elsewhere, perhaps by sending a few coaches to round up the punters frequenting the seedier betting shops between Ilford and Southend-on-Sea.

Indeed, a pinstripe exodus would represent an opportunity to address some of Britain's most pressing social problems. There are legions of unemployed graduates who would welcome the opportunity to earn a salary - let alone one that could be doubled with a bonus.

Meanwhile, it's well known that many of the Eastern European migrants currently pulling potatoes in the sodden fields of Lincolnshire are well educated. The Poles et al have proved excellent at every task they've been given, and, contrary to what we're led to believe, investment banking isn't rocket science (though, as it so happens, there is a Latvian physicist working at my local car wash).

They would happily take over the desk jobs, at a fraction of the huge salaries, vacated by those who'd bolted for tax-free ennui in some obscure Swiss canton, leaving their low-paid jobs open for those made unemployed by the financial crisis.

Similarly, young drug dealers currently bringing misery to inner-city communities could be re-trained to work in the City. These street entrepreneurs already have hands-on experience of buying and selling, commodity prices, risk-taking, building markets and a parallel subculture of tasteless conspicuous consumption. In fact, studies have shown that many of the best businessmen are borderline psychopaths, making the criminal underclass fertile territory for recruiting a new banking cadre.

Or how about just replacing the City boys with women? Let's put a different sex in the city. Women are proven to be less corrupt, more empathetic, more risk averse and harder workers. Finance capitalism's only hope is feminisation.