Saturday, 7 March 2009

Bankers contracts & common justice

On the 28th Feb the FT carried a letter defending Sir Ron Goodwin's pension & pointing out that Governments should be defending contact law and accusing Vince of stirring up mob hatred. I sent in a reply as follows which has not been published.

" Firstly I agree that the Government must indeed defend contract law no matter how morally disreputable a specific contract might be. However it is not the Government (or Vince Cable) that is "fomenting as much social
unrest as possible". Sir Fred Goodwin & his ilk, unaided by anyone else, are doing such a superb job of it.

The "mob" has seen tens of thousands of ordinary people, for whom a pension of even one tenth of Sir Fred's is beyond their wildest dreams (3.8 million pensioners have savings of less than £1500), lose their jobs, their homes,
their savings income, their pensions & the value of their shareholding in RBS et al all thanks to the likes of Sir Fred. There needs to be some shame from, & retribution upon, these people. What we get from them instead is the equivalent of an obscene gesture. No wonder the "mob" is incandescent.

The Government does have some legal levers to extract some retribution but it chooses not to use them.The original letter's author is also right when he thus accuses politicians of being part of the cause & "currying favour". We should remember that as recently as the summer of 2007 both Brown & Cameron were making speeches to, & about, City bigwigs telling them, & everybody else, what utterly fantastic folk they were & what a huge contribution they have made to the economy. Brown & Cameron were unusually right about the last bit - except it is a contribution the country could very well have done without."

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