Maybe, had Sir Fred Goodman retired two years ago when the price of Royal Bank of Scotland share was 705p and RBS was worth £65 billion, then a £650,00 year pension might have be understandable.
At that point in time he had led the bank to a successful takeover of the National Westminster Bank and delighted investors by increasing the share price by over 50% in his 8 years in charge.
But that is not the case now.
Sir Fred Goodwin is responsible for the bad times at RBS as well as the good times
The share price stands at 24p and the bank is less than worthless. Sir Fred played a major role in the takeover of ABN Amro which resulted in a mountain of toxic debt and he should bear some financial responsibility for that failure. A trite apology will not suffice.
Instead his contract rewards him handsomely for his failure. It is an unreal universe where abject failure reaps such returns.
A Different Retirement Plan
I can imagine at alternative universe where instead of generous rewards a harsh punishment awaits…
Cast your mind back to the Mr Wolfgang, the 82 year old heckler who was detained under the Terrorism Act. If the Government can arrest one pensioner for shouting at a conference then surely then it can be applied to this new super-rich pensioner who brought a bank to its knees!
Quoting from the Terrorism Act
(1)In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where—
(a)the action falls within subsection (2),
(b)the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
(c)the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
(2)Action falls within this subsection if it—
(a)involves serious violence against a person,
(b)involves serious damage to property,
(c)endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,
(d)creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or
(e)is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.
In this harsher, punitive, alternative universe, then Sir Fred actions clearly fall into section 2b) of the Terrorism Act, where he has caused serious damage to the financial property of thousands of shareholders, employees and customers.
And as a terrorist under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, he can have his assets summarily seized without trial by the Assets Recovery Agency, now part of SOCA. That should bring in ten million or so, to help fund the toxic debt. He can also be stripped on his knighthood but what else? Is that enough punishment?
If only Dubya was still in power we could hand him over to the Americans for a spot of water-boarding. But that won’t wash with Obama. I have a British alternative that does not break the Geneva convention. Instead of waterboarding in Iraq, we have surf-boarding in Scotland. Both are wet, cold and unpleasant. We can detain him at Coldingham Bay on the North Sea for 5 years without trial, with a daily regime of surf-boarding without a wetsuit. Fred and his missus can stay in a drafty B&B on a diet of fish suppers and deep fried Mars bars until the recession is over.
How will he pay for board and lodging? Well, I guess the taxpayers have to fork out for that. Unless of course, he gets a pension of £21,000 a year which is all that he would have recived if RBS had not been bailed out by the government.