The news that the City watchdog allows huge reductions in the many fines it has to impose on the various financial institutions, if they "agree to settle at an early stage", comes as no surprise, especially as the fines themselves are so small relative to the wealth of the companies involved, they have no deterrence effect whatsoever. "Poodle" rather than "watchdog" is the obvious inference! In fact, the term "City" clearly no longer does the centre of Britain`s finance industry justice, especially with the news that charges for insider dealing, general fraudulent behaviour and malpractice are now approaching the 1000 a year mark. With the country well used to rapacious, mendacious bankers` mis-selling to their customers, fixing interest rates, money-laundering Mexican drug money, and manipulating the exchange market, it appears timely for a more suitable title to be given to what our politicians deem to be the heartbeat of the economy.
"Dupli-city" would appear to fit the bill; ever since the greed of the banks led to the 2008 crash, we have been repeatedly assured that lessons had been learned, never again would their lust for lottery wins every year in the form of obscene bonuses be allowed to dictate their policies, and that the needs of the customer would be given priority. Banks` CEOs told us how the culture would change, and that earnings would take second place to "ethics", whilst, of course, encouraged by a government opposing the EU`s transaction tax and bonus cap, carrying on regardless. "Auda-city" for having the brass neck is a viable alternative. "Rapa-city" might inspire modern songwriters, so "Preda-city" would be preferable, especially at a time when most people regard what takes place there as "socially useless", and when "predatory capitalism" could well be a hot topic as the general election nears.
However, in view of the duplicitous behaviour rampant since the crash, the most appropriate name for the City, which would both describe adequately its actions and its need for reform, has to be "Mend-a-city"! Well, it is Christmas!