While Fred Goodwin seems to be the focus of many today with the stripping of his knighthood, it is very easy to single out somebody to blame for the mess we are in today, but a quick look at reality and he just happened to be CEO of a bank at a time when whoever was in charge would have had the same fate.
I am not for defending banking CEOâ€™s right now, but the former RBS CEO was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Banking is a ticking time bomb and if the government wants growth in our economy, then they require banks to lend more money. That is why everybody is giving the banks a hard time for not lending more right now.
When you have to lend and lend and lend there comes a time when you cannot lend anymore without taking bad risks, but remember the government and the economy require banks to lend so we can keep up the illusion of growth.
Under Fred Goodwinâ€™s leadership RBS lent and lent and lent and when it could not lend anymore, it got creative, just like every other bank. This has been a trend for decades now and Fred Goodwin happened to be CEO at the time when the ticking time bomb was due to explode.
Did he make a lot of money out of the ticking time bomb? Yes, but so did the government and so did we when we all bought into the property bubbles created by them. We borrowed the money that banks offered us. We are all a part of it, but the easy thing to do is get angry at those who got paid the biggest cheque. Goodwin got paid a very big cheque and so we all look at him in anger. Stripping his knighthood may make us all feel better, but remember who gave it to him in the first place – the same people that wanted the economy to grow falsely by lending more and more and more.
Now the question we are left with is…are we going to focus on blame and stripping knighthoods or are we going to change the rules of money and banking so we can prevent it happening again? Experience tells me we will choose blame over real reform and wait for a bigger and badder crash.
What is your take on it…Simon Dixon