Friday 6 March 2009

Word of the week

£650,000 a year?? This is the figure that has stoked the fury of the headlines over the past week as it emerged that Fred ‘the Shred’ Goodwin would take his leave with an exorbitant pension despite notching up a £24bn loss as former Chief Executive of RBS. It was made worse by the realisation that as a part nationalised bank we, each of us, would be paying for it. On my calculation, taking the UK population as around 65million, every penny that Goodwin ‘earns’ as a retired man will be paid for by 10 of us. However, the debate over whether Goodwin will surrender this pension package still seems like a side issue to the real mistake. The government, Lord Myners as City minister in particular, have yet again been caught between two bases.

1. We knew about this and did nothing.
2. We didn’t know about this and we should have.

If all the indignation against Sir Fred was aimed at the government then there would soon be the change that is necessary to change the wider crisis. However Brown’s faulty triple regulatory structure of the Treasury, the Bank of England and the FSA seems yet again to be doing him the service of bouncing blame around until it loses its punch and drifts down on no one.

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