Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guilty Men

Guilty Men was published in 1940 naming and calling for the retirement of those politicians responsible for the policy of appeasement with Hitler's Germany. Within weeks it had sold over 200,000 copies. It would be interesting today to see who would be named for responsibility of today's economic crisis.

James Crosby, pictured right, would be an easy target. He was in charge of HBOS during its most badly managed period and managed to fire the compliance manager who tried to warn the bank of the problems it was getting into. Yes the bankers are responsible but they couldn't have done what they did with the help of the politicians. Both in the UK and the US politicians from Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan through to the Blair/Brown and GW Bush have done all they could to remove regulation that controlled the worst of the financial industry's scams and frauds.

Gordon Brown must carry some of this blame, but I suspect we will never hear him say he's sorry. He will continue to say it was an international problem outside of his control. Crosby was his favourite banker and Brown made him 2nd. in command of the regulators, the FSA, that should have been monitoring what the banks were up to. Now making a poacher the gamekeeper is fine and often works but it does rely on the poacher knowing that poaching was wrong. For the promotion and honours given to James Crosby, Brown should at least apologise.

For being a bad driver you can be sent to prison even if an accident wasn't intentional. Let's see some bankers in prison for the bad management they gave while driving the country into this economic crisis.

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