The Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow last night questioned why no major City figure had been prosecuted over the financial crisis three years ago. Delivering the annual Longford Lecture, sponsored by The Independent, he doubted that every action by every investment banker during that period was above board.
He said: "I can't believe that you have an event so searing, so terribly destructive, as the global meltdown of 2008 without what you and I might recognise as a crime or an element of crime. But how many are behind bars?" He suggested that bodies such as the Serious Fraud Office were struggling to grapple with complex financial systems.
Snow protested that it was the innocent paying the price of the banks' mismanagement, such as the one million young unemployed adults being "punished for the fiscal failures of their elders".
He took a swipe at companies for registering their headquarters in tax havens, saying: "It's not a crime, it's legal, but it doesn't feel right." Snow also spoke of other innocent victims of crime such as the musician Carla Rees who lost a collection of valuable flutes when her home was burnt out in the summer's riots.