Monday, 19 April 2010

Greedy, or desperate, bankers

I am completely bemused.

This morning I hear Robert Peston (the BBC's Business Correspondent) arguing the case of the airline industry, that maybe the scientific advice is too conservative and maybe airplanes could fly through the ash cloaud.

The point is that airplanes have been shown to fall out o f the sky if they fly through ash. Clearly not all planes do this but some will. An airline, facing bankruptcy will be risk seeking and so is going to be comfortable about losing a plane or two, may happen, may not but being grounded will result in failure.

What the airlines will do is force their customers to make a choice - to fly or not to fly. Customers with tickets will be faced with an impossible decision. Do I risk death or risk losing the airfare? This is an unfair choice to put on the public.

Above all, I cannot believe that Peston has not learned the lesson of the credit crisis. Businesses will take unacceptable risks to remain in business, and typically it is the public who end up bearing those risk. Banks and regulators ignored the advice of scientists, if we allow the airlines to ignore the advice, we deserve extinction.

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