Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The RBS scandal

I think that the whole thing is a seminal event in terms of morality, ethical behaviour and responsibility. The fact that this bank has been allowed to grow and leverage its balance sheet to the tune of £1.2TN, the same as the entire GDP of the United Kingdom means that here is a corporation wishing to encompass riches, power and influence far beyond the dreams of avarice. This is something out of a fairy story, or something that would have been encompassed in one of Shakespeare's tragedies. The fact that RBS wished or wanted to be bigger than everyone and everything around it, is very worrying, especially for those of us (and that means everyone) who had to pick up the bits when RBS developed a spanner in the works. Of course one could use a bank to buy up every bad debt, useless customer and subprime asset that one could and then hook it up to that bank's balance sheet. This is what in effect RBS have done, with very little constraint. They in fact do not possess sufficient sense of morality and ethics to do the opposite. Nonetheless, I dont think it is hysterical for the public to pick up on the wide sense of dis-ease that this situation has caused. This is an institution which shows that it simply does not care for the traditions and mores that have made the United Kingdom what it is. This is an institution that wants to be more than the sum of any morality or decency with which it was created. In short, it is an institution that wants to own everything, to boss everything and ultimately to get its own way so that it is bigger than any developed nation on earth. If people dont find that sense of meglomania extremely worrying, than I do; thats why comparisons with Mussolini and others are being made at this time. The truth of the matter (if thoroughly examined) is that the banks, instead of being the servant, now seek to become the master. We cant let them do it and thats why the stripping of Fred Goodwin's knighthood was an extremely good thing in the sense that we should not be pinning gongs to the pompous breasts of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

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