Europe's banks are even more bloated and parasitic than our own
in 2011 the European banking sector held assets of €45 trillion which is roughly 350% of the combined EU GDP (Interestingly, the number for the US banking sector was around 80% of the American GDP).
Something must have happened while most of us were looking the other way. During the last decade, the European financial sector grew in size by more than 85%. The rest of the European economy grew in average by 1.3% yearly. Somehow banks managed to put their hands of billions and trillions of society´s combined fortune without giving all that much back in terms of products or services.
No wonder they can afford to pay million dollar bonuses to their employees.
Now, there seems to be a general agreement on keeping this system whereby we all entrust our money to a number of private businesses called banks and then count on them to act as middle-men or go-betweens so as to make the economy run smoothly.
Well, it hasn´t run that smoothly for a while. Surely we should rein them in a bit, seeing as they got a bit too excited last time around?
But as the authors point out, the bonuses themselves are trivial compared to "society's combined fortune."
Which, apparently, isn't doing much for "society" at all.