John McDonnell, the opposition Labour finance spokesman, is expected to give a speech at the Bank of England in the City of London Saturday in commemoration of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, which some view as the pivotal moment in the global financial crisis of 2008.
According to excerpts from his speech obtained by Reuters, McDonnell will say that common people are still paying for the decade-old crisis through declining living standards and cuts to public services. McDonnell, who already promised higher taxes and tougher regulation on the banking sector, will say that London's vast financial services industry must never again be the "master of the [UK] economy."
"One of the key lessons to be learnt from the crash is that never again must we allow finance to become the master of the economy, rather than its servant," McDonnell is to say, according to excerpts from the speech. "Labour in government will put finance to work for the real economy."
"The crash also exposed how far the balance in the role of the City had been tipped away from securing long term investment in our economy towards short-term, high-stakes gambling," he will say. "We will restore balance to the role of finance in our economy."
The Reuters report notes that despite the loud rhetoric, McDonnell is actually negotiating with large financial players, such as Wall Street's Goldman Sachs, in order to discuss the upcoming exit from the European Union. However, his speech is believed to indicate that the Labour Party would seek to gain more revenue from the City of London, which might include proposals to expand an existing tax on shares to trading on other assets, such as bonds and derivatives.
Some experts view McDonnell's upcoming speech as a part of the Labour Party's campaign for the next government, as polls show Labour currently being on par with the Conservatives. While the next election is not due until 2022, there is speculation that the troubled Brexit might lead to the collapse of the current government.