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Inside the Royal Bank of Scotland

November 21st, 2011 A documentary on which I worked as senior researcher and lead consultant is to be shown on BBC2 nationally on December 5th. The one-hour BBC film charts the rise and fall of the Royal Bank of Scotland, starting with its £21bn acquisition of NatWest in February 2000 and ending soon after its […]

November 21st, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Does Vickers go far enough?

September 12th, 2011 This morning I was listening to Nicky Campbell’s phone-in programme on BBC Radio 5 Live. The topic was the final proposals of Sir John Vickers’ Independent Banking Commission for reforming the UK’s banking system, which were published this morning. To many, including Philip Augar (who since leaving the City in 2000 has done […]

September 12th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

We do have among the most heavily taxed fuel in the world in the UK

By Ian Fraser Published: Newsnet Scotland Date: Wednesday March 12th, 2011 George Osborne is a very different animal from the more bombastic Gordon Brown but judging by this afternoon’s performance, there are some similarities. Both like to stuff their budgets full of minor fiscal tinkering, unleashing a torrent of bamboozling fiscal tweaks and superficial measures […]

March 12th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

The delusional groupthink of New Labour and how it crippled the UK economy

November 2nd, 2010 I couldn’t believe it when I heard Lord Turnbull speak about the extent of former prime minister Gordon Brown’s self-delusion to the Treasury select committee (via Radio 4′s Today in Parliament). Basically, Turnbull claimed that the groupthink in Westminster and Whitehall had become so pronounced by the mid-Noughties that everyone at 1 Horse Guards […]

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Cameron now has no choice: he has to fire Coulson

September 8th, 2010 When prime minister David Cameron appointed Andy Coulson,  former editor of the News of the World, as the Conservatives’ head of spin in June 2007, it was always seen as a bizarre appointment (and this was only partly because Coulson had left the paper under a cloud, resigning because of the phone […]

September 8th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

O’Neil appointment confirms UKFI’s warped priorities

July 19th, 2010 Chinless wonder: UKFI’s Robin Budenberg The coalition government of David Cameron and Nick Clegg is reverting to type where appointments to UK Financial Investments, the vehicle established by the previous government to hold the public’s stakes in lenders including RBS and Lloyds Banking Group. Most of the people who work for this […]

July 19th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The secrets and lies of Gordon Brown

April 18th, 2010 Gordon Brown’s hypocrisy towards the banking sector knows no bounds. The doomed prime minister recently branded investment bank Goldman Sachs “morally bankrupt” and asked the FSA to investigate. Yet Brown has ignored corruption and moral bankruptcy closer to home. Has he “forgotten” that, eighteen months ago, he was alerted to one of […]

April 18th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Why HBOS’s Cummings should hand back his rewards for failure

February 27th, 2010 PETER Cummings, former head of corporate lending at HBOS (pictured above), is the archetypal ‘fat bloke’ banker. He was handed an astonishing £660,000 pay-off on leaving the bank he helped destroy in January 2009. Worse, the Dumbarton and Marbella resident was also, according to this Daily Telegraph article , awarded an annual […]

February 27th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The bank, the regulator and the Vavasseur fraud

November 8th, 2009 (first published January 2009) (Minor edit on 20 March 2014) No touch regulator? John Tiner was the FSA’s boss from April 2001 to July 2007 One of the FSA’s roles is supposed to be to protect consumers from being ripped off by crooks and charlatans in the financial world. But the City […]

November 8th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

How UKFI lost its nukes

October 6th, 2009 Does anyone know why Gordon Brown’s government created UKFI as a hands-off organisation with zero interest in pushing for real change at the two basket-case Scottish banks it owns? Why UKFI has done nothing to root out the corruption that became endemic at Bank of Scotland Corporate and probably elsewhere? Or why […]

October 6th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »