Duncan’s Economic Blog

Surgeon Blamed After Smoker’s Lung Cancer Death…

Posted in Uncategorized by duncanseconomicblog on March 31, 2009

Meanwhile; ‘FSA faces heat over bail-out of Dunfermline’.

We can, and should, debate at length the terms Nationwide is getting, what the failure of a mutual says about ownership structure and indeed why the FSA wasn’t more on top of this.

But to focus on the ‘bailout’ totally ignores the key question – what on Earth were management up to? Building an £800mn ‘toxic’ loan book from a smallish mutual in Scotland? Buying sub-prime assets from GMAC and Lehman’s?

In related news Barclays have turned down taking part in the Government’s asset protection schme. Good for them. I hope they are right and they don’t need the insurance. I hope Soc Gen are wrong and they don’t actually have problems. I hope they are selling Barclays Global Investors because they don’t want it anymore, rather than because they need the money. I hope their $45.7 trillion nominal derivative book is all fine.

Because if there are any problems and it turns out management have rejected help becuase they think restrictions on pay and bonus are too a high a price to pay, then I’m going to be very angry. Especially as the press will probably report ‘FSA blamed after Stress Tests on Barclays Inaccurate’.

2 Responses

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  1. charliemarks said, on March 31, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Love the title. Yes there’s been regulatory failure – but wait a minute, isn’t this what the City wanted?

    I’m glad the takeover has been by another mutual, as this model of ownership has proven to work best for consumers – as you’d expect, since the customers are the owners…

    Likewise, if the government doesn’t want state-owned banks, they’d do well to turn them into co-operatively owned intsitutions as there’d be no need for big bailouts in future.

  2. VinoS said, on March 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Exactly. Despite the Dunfermline problems, it does seem that mutuals have done better than plcs/private firms in the finance sector.

    I agree that, if the gov’t does want to privatise the banks it has majority stakes in, it should turn them into mutuals.


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