Thursday, 9 February 2012

Don't let the door hit ya

It strikes me that a key strength you need to be a successful CEO of a major bank, especially in the current economic climate is good judgment*. Public whining about having to give up your bonus because of media and political pressure does not display good judgment in the current environment. Ergo, you are lacking one of the key strengths of a good CEO and you hence do not deserve a bonus.

I interviewed Stephen Hester once, I can't remember what for but it was before he was at RBS. Pretty much everyone I've ever interviewed has managed to be charming and polite, however stupid (or indeed to the point) my questioning. As I've said before, Fred Goodwin, even Fred Goodwin, was quite delightful. My abiding memory of Stephen Hester was that he was quite the most unpleasant, arrogant, rude man I'd ever spoken to.

*And I do not believe that this, along with the other requisite properties, is the sole preserve of a highly select few people.


  1. One of the many things that frustrate me about the bankers is this holding the country to ransom - "We DEMAND high salaries & bonuses to attract good staff, & if you don't like it, we'll leave."
    Well society needs good nurses & teachers, good cleaners & street sweepers & binmen... arguably more than the bankers that got us into this mess in the first place. Imagine if we all flounced off in search of a better deal. Imagine if all the binmen decided to flounce off because they're not paid enough. We'd be much more fucked than if the bankers left, it would be apocalyptic.

  2. People have short memories about the 1970s. It was apocalyptic and it more or less brought the Callaghan government down. In fact you could blame the binmen for Thatcher being elected so.... Unfortunately it would be a lot harder to produce a second winter of discontent with the union reforms and banning of secondary picketing.

    But yeah. I think there are a considerable number of people who could quite easily be promoted into Hester's position with no discernable reduction in output.

    I was particularly annoyed by an especially hyperbolic City headhunter who was going on about how Hester had the 'worst job in the world' (and hence fully deserved his bonus). He should try a stint in an abattoir, or as a care worker. Or a binman for that matter.