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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 »

Is Lloyds the new Enron?

Updated October 29th, 2009 (first published October 9th, 2009) Lloyds Banking Group has been given the go-ahead to proceed with a £13.5bn rights issue as part of a wider capital-raising. Given their knowledge of the extent of the challenges facing the bank, were the tripartite authorities (the FSA,  Bank of England and H.M. Treasury) well-advised […]

October 29th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Soft soaping Sir Victor Blank adds little to sum of human knowledge

August 23rd, 2009 Sir Victor Blank, who has been forced out as Lloyds Banking Group chairman by investors, has spent the weekend trying to exorcise some ghosts and salvage what’s left of his reputation. Blank went on a PR offensive, granting interviews to BBC business editor Robert Peston and Andrew Davidson of the Sunday Times. In […]

August 23rd, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The recklessness of Cummings

July 13th, 2009 Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Justin Urquhart-Stewart, director of Seven Investment Management, has described HBOS as being “pregnant with the spawn of Satan” by the time Lloyds TSB saved it from extinction last September. I don’t think he’s far wrong. Most of the damage was done in the corporate lending arm, overseen by Peter […]

July 13th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Did Crosby do anything to ensure that HBOS’s wheels didn’t come off?

February 12th, 2009 James Crosby: cavalier approach to risk   Sir James Crosby – a man last seen driving an eco-unfriendly “Chelsea tractor” with blacked out windows out of the gates of his home in Beckwithshaw, on the outskirts of Harrogate, North Yorks – has taken a hammering of late. The attempts by Lloyds Banking […]

February 12th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Howard’s unorthodox riding style may yet cripple the black horse

December 12th, 2008 HOWARD Brown, the Halifax teller-turned-minor celebrity,  risks crippling his new steed, Lloyds TSB’s black horse, with his cavalier riding style. HBOS’s trading update this morning is scary stuff. In what appears to be an exercise in “kitchen sinking”, HBOS has revealed that its balance sheet is in a far more perilous state […]

December 12th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Sir George on Robert Peston: he’s a Treasury puppet and it’s a disgrace

November 16th, 2008 Sir George Mathewson clearly doesn’t think too highly of the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston, who was lampooned in Silly Money, tonight’s Bremner Bird & Fortune programme. In an interview with Gillian Bowditch (Mathewson: Riding to the rescue of HBOS) published in today’s Sunday Times, the former chairman and chief executive of the Royal Bank […]

November 16th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Lloyds TSB denies taking ‘slash and burn’ approach

By Ian Fraser Sunday Herald November 2nd, 2008 Gloves come off as English bank threatens to sue The Scotsman Lloyds TSB’s most senior Scottish-based executive has talked up the merits of the London bank’s planned takeover of HBOS, a deal which on Friday was greenlighted by the business secretary Lord Mandelson, despite concerns it will […]

November 2nd, 2008 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

How Lloyds’ advisers clashed with HBOS’s at 3am and nearly scuppered Brown’s rescue

October 18th, 2008 Last weekend, two brawling investment bankers nearly brought down the entire capitalist system. As the finishing touches were being put on the “Brown bailout” — which involves the nationalisation of three of Britain’s banks and whose supposed success has caused a spring in Gordon Brown’s step in recent days — well-padded bankers […]

October 18th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Can politicians really make banking leopards change their spots?

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: October 12th, 2008 MARKETS IN MELTDOWN: The UK government’s £500 billion bail‑out could backfire by giving banks licence to continue their reckless behaviour and preserve an outdated banking model. By Ian Fraser LAST WEDNESDAY, the British government took a massive punt on the future of the British banking […]

October 12th, 2008 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »