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By ATWadmin On February 10th, 2009

It should prove entertaing to watch those bankers who led Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS to the brink of collapse offering a public apology today. But amid the furore over bankers’ bonuses, they will also seek to point out that they have personally been “punished for failure”, losing millions of pounds because of the meltdown in their banks’ share prices.

Sir Fred Goodwin and Sir Tom McKillop, respectively the former chief executive and chairman of RBS, will express their regrets at a meeting of the Treasury Select Committee. Their expressions of remorse will be echoed by Andy Hornby, the former chief executive of HBOS. and Lord Stevenson of Coddenham, its former chairman. RBS is 68 per cent owned by the Government while the new Lloyds Banking Group, formed after the rescue of HBOS by Lloyds TSB, is now 43 per cent owned by taxpayers.

Now then, a few points on this.

1. They SHOULD apologise to their shareholders for their abysmal decision-making.

2. They SHOULD explain why they were asleep at the wheel.

3. Those politicians who will use today as a latter day “Star Chamber” should also apologise for their own recklessness over the past decade when they pretended that they had abolished boom and bust.

I knew Tom McKillop in a previous commercial incarnation and cannot believe how he presided over this grand folly. I can only conclude that the middle management in these banks is as rotten and useless as those at the top.

7 Responses to “THE STAR CHAMBER….”

  1. What a poor show. Goodwin, McKillop and the rest ought to have

    1. Apologised for believing that the boom was real, just like everyone else.

    2. Demanded an apology from the politicians and monetary authorities who created this mess

    3. Read out details of salaries, expenses, claims, perks, second jobs, interests and numbers of homes owned by every political goon on the Treasury Committee

    4. Reminded each criminal thieving goon that no criminal thieving MP is in any position to demand questions of others

    5. Required each one of those goons to detail precisely how they opposed and protested UK monetary policy from 1st May 1997.

    They should then have stuck two fingers up and walked out.

    But they sat there like a bunch of wimps.

  2. Pete

    You are becoming a carricature of yourself.

    These banks went bust through their own greed and stupidity. It wasn’t the government that decided that RBS should pay a crazy price for ABN Amro, the deal that broke it. It was the board of RBS, who totally failed to rein in their rampaging chief executive. They failed totally and they should be utterly ashamed.

  3. Peter –

    I refer you to my point number 1.

  4. Pete

    Your point 1 does not begin to address the culpability of the directors of the banks that went bust. They were not conned by anyone and they behaved in a reckless fashion.

  5. Peter –

    Yes, to some greater or lesser extent they were venal, stupid, unthinking and far too easily excited in a supposed boom.

    If it can be proven they behaved in a demonstrably reckless fashion I hope the shareholders sue for recompense.

    Shareholders ought to sue for the return of bonuses paid to traders for profits which turned out to be illusory.

    Now Peter, on that ABN Amro deal, you say:

    They failed totally and they should be utterly ashamed.

    Does that criticism apply also the regulators who approved the deal?

  6. ..AND does that apply to the politicians who put the Regulators in place? Where is THEIR apology? Can we sue them for losing us so much money?

  7. Any company that sold crap to investors should be held to account, as well as those in the civil service and politics who are charged with preventing the selling of crap. And, last but not least, those monitoring agencies that declared crap was gold. Restoration of confidence requires that all the crooks who were involved the actual selling and those who facilitated sale of crap be removed and charged. It is just and will discourage other scam artists. The lawyers should be drawing up cases – but are they?