Wednesday, 11 February 2009

That Old Boy Network

Much will no doubt be written on blogs today about the apologies of the four bankers at yesterday's hearings and I wonder whether comment will be made about the 'relationship' of those 'ex-bankers' with Gordon Brown and the government.

Consider who was Chief Executive of HBOS until 2006, during which time he oversaw the rapid expansion of that bank? Answer: Sir James Crosby, who left HBOS to become Deputy Chairman of the Financial Services Authority and which is supposed to be the body that monitors risk lending. This is the man who sacks his Head of Risk Management whilst still at HBOS (so we are led to believe) and appoints a successor who has no experience in that field!

Surely the appointment, by Brown and Darling, of Sir James Crosby raises a question about their judgment, does it not?

Consider also that last January Gordon Brown admitted, in a Today interview, that he wished he had kept a closer watch on the American sub-prime market. But the man was Chancellor for heavens sake - is that not part of his job? Is that also not part of his job as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury? That admission was made without any sense of personal blame being conveyed. On the basis that were Gordon Brown to try and say sorry for his apparent lack of personal responsibility in this financial debacle we are now suffering, it is fairly certain the words 'its not my fault' will feature prominently. And are those 'ex-bankers' going to shoulder all the blame - highly unlikely I think bearing in mind human nature to 'lash out' at others when blame is being directed at oneself.

It is reasonable to expect that we have not heard the last in the 'blame game' which is sure to erupt soon.

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