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Masters of the Universe...'

PUBLISHED: 10:34 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:21 12 August 2010

POLITICIANS are in unison in claiming the £37 billion bail-out was essential to avoid a banking collapse which would affect all residents, writes Marina Soteriou. Some MPs place the heart of the blame for the banking mess with the so-called Masters of t

POLITICIANS are in unison in claiming the £37 billion bail-out was essential to avoid a banking collapse which would affect all residents, writes Marina Soteriou.

Some MPs place the heart of the blame for the banking mess with the so-called 'Masters of the Universe' City bankers for excessively gambling with their banks' money whilst taking home huge bonuses year upon year. But these MPs, along with the Prime Minister, claim the measures the government announced on Monday were to help 'ordinary people'.

The news of the rescue package broke as both Bexley and Greenwich council announced they were one of the few authorities who did not invest in the collapsed Icelandic banking system.

Eltham MP Clive Efford said: "From day one it has been about helping ordinary people and trying to get banks back to what they do, which is provide the life blood of our economy. This is not money the government are using instead of building hospitals or providing public services as it is coming from the government's reserves."

Erith and Thamesmead MP John Austin said the bailout was something that needed to be done.

He said: "If the financial crisis continued and banking collapsed we would all suffer."

TWO of the capital's essential services are pleading with the government to recoup the £70 million they invested in Icelandic banks. The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has potentially lost £30 million which it deposited with an Icelandic bank. And Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed that Transport for London (TfL) had £40 million invested with failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander. The MPA has now called on the government to protect it against any potential losses. But the Bank of England made £100million loan available to just one of the troubled Icelandic banks on Tuesday - Landsbanki.

It was unclear at the time of going to press if either TfL or the MPA would recoup their investments. A spokesman for the police authority said front line policing services would not be affected.

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