Wolf of Edinburgh Pounces

Daily Mail (London), January 28, 2014 | Go to article overview

Wolf of Edinburgh Pounces


Byline: COMMENT By ALEX BRUMMER City Editor

RUNNING Royal Bank of Scotland in the post Fred Goodwin era was never going to be easy. But it is amazing to think that more than five years after the 'Great Panic' taxpayers and outside investors are still paying the price.

The disgrace is that those most responsible for the mess - Goodwin and former chairman Sir Tom McKillop - have never really paid the price for engaging in what can only be described as reckless banking.

At the core of the latest provisions is PS1.9bn to cover the cost of mortgaged-backed securities claims. It is hard to forget that when the sub-prime mortgage crisis broke in the United States, the initial reaction from RBS's top management was to suggest that their exposure was at worst minimal. Now we know that - like so much at RBS - was dissembling on a grand scale.

Those of us who have sat through three hours of The Wolf Of Wall Street since it arrived in London might rightly ask what on earth the operations of bucket shop in New Jersey, selling trash shares to sad American punters, has to do with the blue-chip traditions of Wall Street and the respectable end of finance. The answer is the dots do connect. Banks like RBS and JP Morgan Chase, who marketed the toxic securities based on sub-prime mortgages to clients, were doing exactly the same as the New Jersey bucket shops. …

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