Time for a rant on a subject I know nothing about.
I’m sure I’m not the only person in the UK this week who feels quite strongly about the Sir Fred Goodwin issue. To the layman it seems as though Sir Fred, the chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland steered his great company into the largest UK corporate disaster ever and is now being rewarded for his fine efforts with a £16m pension pot. Owing to the magnitude of Sir Fred’s cock up, the poor chap has been forced to retire early and will subsequently be drawing his £650k annual pension from the ripe old age of 50!
Did I let a hint of sarcasm creep in there? It’s hard not to. Sir Fred will continue to lead a life of the utmost luxury. His earnings from RBS in 2007 alone amounted to £4.2m, a sum that most hard working, honest people can only dream of earning in a lifetime. Others are not so lucky: The poor employees of RBS are facing up to the realities of their bosses mismanagement. Many of them are soon to be unemployed; like wartime cannon-fodder, they are simply a statistic that Sir Fred can read about from the comfort of his ivory tower.
At the moment the Government is making lots of noise about Sir Fred but I can’t help feeling that the root of the problem is the Western “fat-cat” philosophy where company directors seem to decide their own value to the business and reward themselves accordingly. I don’t care how clever Sir Fred was, he broke his bank, left the taxpayer with an eye-watering bill and his employees to pay with their jobs. With great responsibility should come accountability and if that were the case, Sir Fred would be going to prison and his personal wealth to help those whose lives he’s irrevocably damaged.