Breath of sigh of relief, City of London: Alistair Darling promises he would never, ever do anything to hurt you.
Amidst reports that he's planning to impose a one-off windfall tax on investment banking bonuses, the British Chancellor said he is "determined we do not do anything that undermines" London's place as a major financial center. Careful readers will note that he did not deny that he's planning to ask bankers to dig deeper into their smaller bonuses this year. In fact, he might say, it's a matter of justice.
"There wouldn't be a bank standing today if taxpayers in this country and in every other country hadn't put their hands into their pockets to stabilize the banking system," he (actually) said. So shut up and pay up, you ungrateful bastards.
Oh, and shape up, too.
"The industry as a whole does need to show some degree of restraint, some acknowledgement that they need to rebuild their own capital positions."
Darling says will not harm financial sector [Reuters]