I lie awake at night awaiting the knock at the door. Perhaps they’ll just crash through and rush up stairs. I wonder if I’ll be handcuffed. I suppose I’ll be taken to a London prison.
My crime is a serious one. I have received an honour. In 1983 I was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of bankers. Ever since then I have shown ‘FCIB’ after my name. The award was hard earned. I wrote extensively in the ‘Bankers’ Magazine’ about big ticket leasing. This financed ships, planes and plant whereby most Boards of Directors had no idea what it was. It made balance sheets look better and bonuses increased. That was until the banks lost huge sums as they found that their assets, in a default situation, were valueless.
You may feel that I’m over-reacting. But just look at what’s happening. The authorities are looking at bankers who they feel did a poor job. There is Sir Victor Blank who engineered Lloyds’ swoop for HBOS, Sir Tom McKillip, the chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland who was said to be too close to Fred Goodwin (Sir Fred as he once was), Sir George Mathewson, who was chairman of RBS until 2006, Lord Stevenson, the former chairman of HBOS and Lord Green who was chief executive and then chairman of HSBC 2003 – 2010 and now faces concerns over Mexican drug gangs.
Like me they must await the dreaded knock at the door. The authorities must be right. The Coalition want accountability, so Vince Cable says….
I wonder if the Chancellor is awaiting a call from No 10 Downing Street (after all the PM is falling out with lots of his colleagues these days).
The economy is getting worse with another agency downgrading the UK rating, the IMF weighing in and the facts speaking for themselves. Pay packets are growing at their slowest rate on record, wages grew at an annual rate of 1% for the three months to February (take inflation into account and that’s -1.8%) and unemployment rose by 70,000 in the last quarter.
I wonder if I’ll be sharing a cell with George.