Following the cringe-worthy show trial of the former bankers I am left increasingly annoyed at the actual outcome. Each banker treated like a pantomime villain. I half expected cries of “he’s behind you” emanating from Gordon Brown. In turn each former banker was ridiculed and made to say sorry like a naughty schoolboy. The Government unleashed a startling barrage of questions and criticisms over the complete failure of the banking system. Some deserved and many simply venting the anger shared by the British tax payer.
The banks are accused of heavily over-investing in hazardous institutions with flagrant disregard of the long term. Pumping so much money into such a toxic investment, as it is now been deemed in hindsight, has led to this systematic failure. Now we, as the tax payer are drawn even further into this situation as the Government has too invested, through spiralling borrowing, countless billions of pounds into a failing and toxic system.
Whether the bail out of the banks will be deemed as a systematic failure or resounding success will only be discovered through the magic of hindsight. If it does fail, as I am cynically afraid of, the question remains; will we see Gordon Brown and his peers sitting at a desk answering questions over blame and culpability?
This is an official extract from the committee meeting held on 10th February 2009 which unedited could easily apply to the future…
Deputy Chairman of the Committee George Mudie MP/ or possibly in the future David Cameron PM: “You are all in denial aren’t you?”
Former HBOS Chairman Lord Stevenson/ Former PM Gordon Brown: “We are not in denial. We didn’t spot scenarios coming up that have come up. Stress testing didn’t stress test adequately.”
Former HBOS Chief Executive Andy Hornby/ Former Chancellor Alistair Darling: “I don’t feel I am particularly personally culpable”.
John McFall MP/ Kenneth Clarke MP: “Then, are you expressing sympathy because your PR advisers advise you to do so?”
John Mann MP/ George Osborne MP: “You don’t like criticism do you? You don’t like it when people bring you the bad news do you? You lived for the good times but didn’t want any criticism.”
Former RBS Chief Executive Sir Fred Goodwin/ Peter Mandelson former MP: “I cannot live in denial of the facts. But I don’t accept your characterisation. I believe I have led the bank in a responsible fashion. I don’t have a track record of ignoring problems.”
PS I promise to write something much more jovial and in keeping next time