Fred the Ned

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Fred the Ned

Post by Doon the Water on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:17 am

Poor Fred has been stripped of his Sirdom. Keeps his £350k a year pension though!

What are your views on the honours system?
What would you do if placed in charge?
Should the Welsh be included?
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by Davie on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:25 am

I'm not sure I understand it all to be honest. Did he actually do anything criminal? (some may say it was criminal what he did but was he ever actually charged with anything?)

Sure he ballsed-up and perhaps stripping him of any financial rewards would be more appropriate, but to be stripped of a knighthood just for messing up (no matter how bad that mess-up was) seems a bit harsh

On the news this morning they were comparing him to people like Anthony Blunt and Robert Mugabe who were similarly stripped of titles - should a banker (albeit not a very good one) be put in the same category as a national traitor or despotic president? I'm not sure...

As I say though I maybe don't understand it all
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:33 am

From what I understand he got the knighthood for services to banking, as he subsequently has blotted his copybook with some pretty shocking diservices to banking then it was right that he lost it. If it had originally been awarded for some amazing altruistic charitable deeds then he should have got to keep it.
Personally I dont think you should get a knighthood in the first place for services to banking, services to banking will have made him rich, no need for any further kind of reward.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by super_realist on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:52 am

He got the knighthood in 2004, when everything was rosey, and yet he's being pilloried as if he's just pumped your gran.

There are far worse criminals in the House of Lords who have done much worse but kept their peerages.

How come Gordon Brown isn't being hounded? He's just as culpable.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:55 am

So you think he should get a knighthood for running a bank when the economy is booming ?

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by super_realist on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:02 am

No, I think that taking financial recompense from his pension would have been better.
He's an arrogant man, to whom a knighthood probably meant a lot, but it's not really going to hurt him. Decimating his pension would have been a better penalty.

Why not get a knighthood for running a bank when the going is good. It's doing a good service to the economy so why not.
It happens in other businesses, Terry Leahey, Richard Branson, John Harvey Jones, Alan Sugar.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:08 am

Branson and Sugar are at least entrepeneurs, they generate new business. All Fred did was run an exisiting business...eventually into the ground.
I think you completely underestimate how much losing his knighthood will hurt him, it has made him look like a failure and for a guy like him that will be worse than losing the pension. Im sure he has enough investments stacked away to live quite comfortably anyway.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by super_realist on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:17 am

Have to admit that I'm not a fan of the honours system in any event, could do with being abolished with the House of Lords and lifetime benefits.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by diggers on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:56 am

Agree with you there, though I think recognition for people who do charitable work is good, especially when they are people involved are not loaded and just have time on their side to just do something to make themselves better about themselves.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by super_realist on Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:05 am

Good compromise Diggers, I wouldn't give it to sportsmen either as it's what they want to do and is a completely selfish pursuit.
Scientific discoveries or medical cures/developments might also be worthy.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by Doc on Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:06 am

The problem is that its taken us 4-years to make someone responsible for the whole banking sector collapse. That in itself is a huge joke and as SR rightly says Brown oversaw this and did nothing. 4-years on we manage to strip him of his knighthood, which is fair enough, but unprecedented as he hasn't commited a crime - well he has but we didn't have anything on the statute books to charge him with and than itself is a folly. In the states there has been countless bankers, hedge fund managers and financial gurus who have been taken to court and thrown in jail for what happened, again its right and fair to do that. What this bunch of greedy bastards did will have caused the deaths of a good amount of people who lost the homes, jobs, families, businesses etc and in this country nobody has commited a crime.

For me he should have gone to jail, had his knighthood stripped, had his bank account sequestered and all property taken as it was got through ill gotten gains (As they do with criminals) If RBS had not done some of the deals that Goodwin had them do, then the UK would not be in half the trouble we're in at the moment. Yes theres a worldwide problem and the eurozone hasn't helped, but we would be much further away from it had he not done what he did. The bank wouldn't have collapsed which caused a domino effect, and Northern Rock would have been the only casualty.
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by Doon the Water on Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:53 am

As far as I know Lords Archer and Watson were not on the comittee that made the decision to strip Fred.
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by gaelgowfer on Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:30 am

Awff with his head, I say! Jail's too good for him. His bullish manner had a devastating effect on the morale (and health) of RBS managers expected to meet unrealistic targets. He should never have received a knighthood in the first place.

The honours system should be scrapped. It's lost its cachet.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by Doon the Water on Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:00 am

One of Freds Defenders was talking on the radio this afternoon saying that he had been harshly treated as he had built up a big business and created many jobs. Interviewer then asked him why was it that he was known as Fred the Shred.

I feel uncomfortable about showbiz and sports stars getting honours.
Also buggins turn senior civil servants and politicians. My cousin overcame child polio to become a well loved staff nurse I think that she is more entitled to a public award than Brucie, Chris Hoy or the third under secretary to the arts council.
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by gaelgowfer on Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:41 am

Interviewer then asked him why was it that he was known as Fred the Shred.

Don't keep me hanging Doon: what did he say?

George Mathewson sounded the warning on shredding from the top down. He once got a group of managers and assistant managers together and bluntly told them that the days of having a job for life in the bank were over. He was certainly true to his word!

The only extra jobs Goodwin created were those based abroad.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by LondonJonnyO on Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:08 am

You have to consider what the honours system actually rewards these days... Yes a lot of them are handed out to sports 'personalities' but those are generally lower levels. Knighthoods and higher awards are generally recognising something exceptional. Whilst Fred was riding the high risk high return wave then he was bringing money into Edinburgh and making it a financial capital... but the model wasn't sustainable due to the underlying risk management failings and the failure of the board, and utimately him personally, to adequately cover his potential losses with adequate capital. But was that his failing. RBS did everything required by the Basel Committee but that in itself has been shown as inadequate with cross risk aggregation not being sufficiently understood by those making up the rules and advisory panels. 0.7 as a correlation is a ridiculous 'finger in the air' for something so complex. Particularly when you talk about aggregation across legal entities into a group risk function which basically hides a huge proportion of capital requirement in case of a large scale collapse.

RBS and Fred have suffered as a result of that... but then his job was to understand and adequately plan for such eventualities as well as to sign off on the final reporting numbers to the regulator. So although people say he is a scapegoat, and he is being villified, it was his responsibility.

So stripping the honour yes. The right thing to do.

But then I don't think bankers deserve such things anyway. Unless talking at the Bank of England level and they revolutionise the sector in some manner which benefits everyone in the country.
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by Doon the Water on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:27 pm

Gael.. He did the classic talkin heads tactic and side stepped the question.

Congrats LJ.
A word of warning they go from cuttie pie to hell girl in seconds.
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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by gaelgowfer on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:06 pm

Thought that might have been the response Doon. Was that Alistair Darling by any chance? If it was him, I think he said something along the lines of it not being fair for Goodwin to be singled out for punishment given others involved were equally culpable. Given he was C of E (not the churchy kind!) and would have had a front seat view of the global financial world turning into a Madoff style ponzi, supreme hypocrisy springs to mind.

The thing is, stripping Goodwin of his knighthood barely registers on the punishment scale as far as I'm concerned. He should have been jailed for indulging himself in what seemed to me at the time to be a testosterone-fuelled financial frenzy. Remember, he wasn't the only one who was after ABN.

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Re: Fred the Ned

Post by Doc on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:21 pm

ABN the bank that was toxic ....... Seems everyone knew it was toxic, but as geal says, why were there plenty of other suiters lining up to buy it. On top of that the Icelandic banks were being allowed to play in the big league and were offering unsustainable levels of interest, which made millions of punters throw their cash at them, only to see them fail big time bankrupting the country.

EU legislation on the banking sector over a period of time, made it a place to gamble with all our futures, and Brown looks to a toothless, bottleless, inept FSA to look after our financial sector. The parents went on holiday allowing teeage parties 7 days a week. The parents came home only to find that the house they'd scrimped and saved all their lives for, was smashed to bits.
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