Saturday, 17 December 2016

Royal Bank of Scotland : A banking failure made in Edinburgh by Scots Nationalists

"The cataclysmic collapse of RBS – which ensnared many of its employees and shareholders in its inflated vision of world domination – is a vivid example of the dangers of narcissism that has led to shame and economic misery for millions of people.  It is interesting to note that George Mathewson, the former Chairman of RBS who notoriously recruited Fred Goodwin as his successor, has long been a Yes supporter.  While Alex Salmond was of course also employed there as an economist in the 1980s.  Another interesting parallel is between Goodwin’s ‘Make it Happen’ slogan and Salmond’s similarly vague and aspirational ‘this is our moment’ language."
Another connection between the SNP and RBS is Andrew Wilson who is currently heading up the SNP's own "Growth Commission" enquiry. Wikipedia states he started  with the Royal Bank of Scotland as a business economist in 1997  and while in RBS Group worked in a variety of roles including Deputy Chief Economist and since the 2008 financial crisis as Head of Group Communications. You have to wonder about what involvement someone with the title Deputy Chief Economist had on the decisions that helped bring RBS group to its knees ?  There seems to be an awful lot of interconnections between the people responsible for the failures in RBS and that are also involved in SNP/YES groups. See more info by clicking here 
This Story Reported by Iain Martin a well respected Financial Journalist (Career Details Here)

Alex Salmond blithely declares that an independent Scotland would be a land of milk and honey in which business magically flourishes, the economy will outgrow England’s and taxes will be slashed.
This crazily unrealistic and deeply irresponsible prospectus is very reminiscent of another Scot, whose arrogance and monumental incompetence cost British taxpayers £45 billion when they had to bail out the Royal Bank of Scotland, of which he had been boss.
Step forward Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin, who walked away from the wreckage of the once-proud institution with a £693,000-a-year, index-linked pension. It was his management of the Edinburgh-based bank that helped to trigger the worst recession since World War II — the financial crash in 2008.
In the wake of this catastrophe, I spent two years researching and writing a book on Goodwin and the ignominious collapse of RBS, which he and his colleagues had run into the ground at such enormous cost to the rest of us.
What emerged was that Goodwin was a deeply dysfunctional individual bent on domination, and immune to common sense.
Crucially, I believe the similarities between him and his fellow Scot, Alex Salmond, are deeply troubling and should act as a warning to all Scots as they vote today.
Like Salmond, Goodwin wanted to realise a patriotic dream of never-ending expansion in which nothing could possibly go wrong. And just like Salmond, he savagely suppressed dissent and refused to listen to sensible warnings about the serious risks that lay ahead
Six years on, Salmond seems to have failed to learn the lesson. Instead, he charges ahead, making reckless promises about Scotland’s future that are eerily reminiscent of Goodwin’s bombastic claims in the boom years for the prospects for RBS.
Perhaps this is not surprising because Salmond had very close links to Goodwin and the others who ran RBS at its peak.
When Goodwin made the single most calamitous of his many catastrophic decisions — to over-extend and recklessly buy ABN Amro, a Dutch bank riddled with toxic debt — it was Salmond who urged him on.
Freshly installed as First Minister of Scotland in May 2007, he wrote to Goodwin. ‘Dear Fred,’ he began, on Government-headed paper. ‘I want you to know I am watching events on the ABN front closely. It is in Scottish interests for RBS to be successful and I would like to offer any assistance my office can provide. Good luck with the bid.’
Salmond signed off with a flourish: ‘Yours for Scotland, Alex.’

The absurdly over-valued £55 billion ABN Amro takeover, which would double the size of RBS and thus make it vulnerable to potential market shocks, turned out to be a disaster, the worst deal in banking history.
Yet even as Salmond put pen to paper, it was clear to most experts that a financial storm was gathering. American banks had already begun issuing warnings about sub-prime mortgages (loans to high-risk borrowers who were unable to repay the money).
What’s more, before the deal — which saddled RBS with billions of pounds of toxic assets — was sealed, the easy availability of credit on the financial markets had started to dry up. By the time the deal was completed in the autumn of 2007, another bank, Northern Rock, had already effectively gone bust, requiring a taxpayer bail-out, and it was clear that there were more huge problems ahead in the financial world.
Admittedly, Salmond wasn’t the only leading politician who fawned in front of Goodwin and RBS in the years before disaster struck. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair cultivated Goodwin, and talked to him regularly. Goodwin and his wife were dinner guests of the Blairs at Chequers.
It had been at the instigation of Salmond’s predecessor as Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell (now Lord McConnell), that Goodwin was given a knighthood for his services to banking and the Scottish economy.
But Salmond was much closer to RBS than either Brown or Blair. As one of Salmond’s friends told me: ‘Alex is an RBS man through and through.’ His links to the bank go back to the early Eighties, when he started work there as an economist.
After seven years — much of it spent examining Scotland’s then-booming oil sector — Salmond left to pursue a political career. Duly elected as an MP, he maintained extremely close links with the bank, and became friends with its pro-nationalist chief executive, Sir George Mathewson, Goodwin’s predecessor.

Indeed, Sir George is now an adviser to Salmond and has been a noisy advocate for independence.
The fact that Goodwin made such a mess of the bank has meant that it has often been overlooked that it was Mathewson who originally steered the Royal Bank of Scotland on the road to disaster.
It was his view that there was no reason why Scotland should not have the best of everything in the world. As part of this mission, he launched a radical overhaul of the bank, codenamed ‘Project Columbus’.
The message was that a great Scottish institution was setting sail for an exciting new world. What could possibly go wrong?
An aggressive programme of takeovers was duly launched in England and the U.S. In 1998, when he needed a successor to continue this rapid expansion, Mathewson hired a young accountant called Fred Goodwin.
Together, the two men became heroes of the Edinburgh Establishment after winning the battle to take over an English bank — NatWest — that was twice the size of the Royal Bank. In triumph, the pair travelled to its offices in the heart of the City of London to inspect their prize.
Like mediaeval monarchs on a cross-border raiding party, they ordered the wine cellar — like spoils of war — be transported to Scotland. In the aftermath, as the Edinburgh banks boomed and their profits soared in the early 2000s, the Scots’ sense of self-confidence soared.
When Goodwin took over from Sir George (who became chairman), he was so obsessed with beating English rivals, such as Barclays, that he pig-headedly refused to heed the danger signals.
Disgracefully, profit projections were produced that were, in fact, pure wishful thinking. And anyone inside RBS who dared to question the wisdom of the impending ABN Amro deal was squashed.
Sir George (who by now was no longer RBS chairman) championed the takeover in his new job as chairman of a hedge fund which wanted the Dutch giant sold off.

For his part, Salmond was desperate for Goodwin to succeed because it would suggest that anything was possible for a brave new Scotland. 

Humiliatingly, though, just a year later, RBS had to be rescued by the UK Government.

The original article can be read via this link HERE

"RBS reaches settlement with shareholders"  Scots might want to ask themselves whether this settlement was made to keep Fred Goodwin away from having to stand up in court and expose his own as well as SNP's Salmond and "Yes" supporter Mathewson (the former RBS Chairman who recruited Goodwin) from having their reckless and gung-ho approach to the way they ran the Bank (and perhaps the same issues within the wider Scottish Independence cause by the same people) put under real close scrutiny to protect their own careers. What we don't yet know is just how many reckless Nationalists were involved in helping ruin the Bank at a senior level who appear now to have escaped being found responsible and could be working within other Financial organisations or Government.