"So," said Alice to the Mad Banker, "let me get this right. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which lost £28bn and is kept from bankruptcy by taxpayers' money, will pay staff £1bn in bonuses; people at the organisation that looks after government cash in bailed-out banks will get bonuses; so will staff at the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the very people charged with reining in bonus culture; and Merrill Lynch, which lost $27bn (£19bn) last year, will pay $3.6bn in bonuses and make instant millionaires of no fewer than 700 staff?" The Mad Banker puffed out his chest. "Correct," he said. "More tea?"
It's a mad, mad world out there.