It is a rather delicious televisual prospect - airing the dirty bespoke laundry of those all-texting, all-Bollinger-swilling bankers for the sake of innocuous British viewers and excitable headline writers to gawp and cringe. Oh, and for the sake of justice.
The parallels between the public probe into press standards and a would-be bankers’ inquiry are almost too pleasingly easy to draw.
There is the Murdochian baddie who refuses to resign, Barclays chief Bob Diamond, whose name is satisfyingly villainous enough for our hypothetical scenario.
There are the emails and texts that never meant to fly free of their cosy Blackberry-cushioned channels; “This is between you and me but really don't tell ANYBODY,” “Dude. I owe you big time! Come over one day after work and I'm opening a bottle of Bollinger,” and “Done ... for you big boy” are on a wincing level with Cameron’s LOLling to Rebekah Brooks and the dodgy correspondence escaping Jeremy Hunt’s office.
There is the resulting schadenfreude of powerful establishment figures publicly learning that they are not too much of a bigwig to fail, along with the mesmerising insight into the tawdry lives of those who essentially run our world.
Sorry to disappoint, but we should cancel this show.
Although trying British banks in a public inquiry - as has been called for today by Ed Balls, Mark Garnier of the Treasury Select Committee, and Tory backbenchers - would provide the glorious morbid fascination that the Leveson Inquiry has in recent weeks, raking journalists and politicians over the country aga coals, it is a dangerous solution.
Trust in journalists has great potential to plummet with every new garden party and allegation of perverting the course of justice revealed; a devastating side effect of Leveson. Rather than focusing on cleaning up the industry, it seems merely to be exposing the extent of corruption in garish detail.
This should not translate to the banking sector.
Above all else, public confidence is key to improving our already crippled economy – a missing ingredient that no number of clauses in the Financial Services Bill could provide. It is true that disillusionment with bankers is already widespread, but why pander to those baying for their blood if it won’t yield any practical financial benefits?
The FSA should find support and strength from the government to root out individuals guilty of the recent abuses at Barclays and other banks, and prosecute them according to the gravity of their crimes. Public cross-examinations and deleted inboxes spewed before the country’s eyes will do nothing for public confidence.
Although the Leveson Inquiry has been a revelation for the public and insiders alike, this prevailing passion for sordid detail and squirming executives should not overshadow the need to find justice for constructive reasons – to rehabilitate, rather than simply to humiliate.