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The Hector Sants affair fits into two PCU categories: reward for failure and the revolving door

Rewarded for failure

hector santsjpegHector Sants, the chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, who failed to prevent or detect mis-selling of payment protection insurance, the Barclays Libor-fixing scandal and the bank failures which led to an ongoing economic crisis, has been rewarded by a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List.


He passes through the revolving door – twice

revolving_doorMr Sants showed the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee correspondence with Barclays, in which he had raised profound concerns about the culture and governance arrangements at Barclays, and yet a few months later he accepted a senior appointment as Barclays head of compliance.  Antony Jenkins, now Barclays chief executive, is said to have recruited Mr Sants to “bolster the status of Barclays’ compliance and regulatory oversight functions and make them integral to the way the bank operates”.

So Mr Sants moved from banking to regulating financial services, then back again to employment in this sector.

Professor Scott Cato blogs:

“Awarding a public honour to such a man is just to rub our noses in the culture of rewards for failure, while the price of the failure is borne by citizens who just work hard or the vulnerable who rely on public services”.

She points out the man’s blatant double standards:

“In his evidence to the Treasury Committee inquiry Sants commented that people who have shown ‘serial misjudgement’ should not be allowed to run financial organisations again.

“Although he also confessed to his own failure in this evidence he does not seem to think this undermines his right to a multi-million pound job as head of compliance at Barclays.

“In awarding him a knighthood the establishment clearly agree. His service to British banking has been rewarded; the devastation wreaked on the British people and our economy ignored.”

We hope that the cartoon forecast will not be accurate

hector sants cartoonCynically, Ripped off Britain looks ahead, commenting on both reward and the view of Sants’ intention to restore Barclays’ reputation:

A. He will certainly be using all his FSA  skills . . .

B. To expose dodgy dealing?

A. No. To conceal it even better so they never get caught.




Fiddling as Rome burns?

In giant amphitheatres citizens appear to be wildly excited by the Olympic spectacle, forgetting for a while the ever-increasing aspects of Britain’s destructive ‘real world’, including: 
  • soldiers and civilians being killed
  • BAe and others arming dictators and their people paying the price long after their presidents are supplanted
  • government striving to pollute the country with genetically modified crops,  and more unwanted supermarkets, incinerators and nuclear waste
  • seeking to commandeer land and homes for HS2, benefitting a small elite who require taxpayers to pay for saving 40 mins of their time
  • doctors and surgeons who cannot find work after speaking out about practices leading to premature deaths in their hospitals
  • food producers going out of business because corporate retail denies them a fair price
  • bankers continuing to profit whilst the lowest paid bear the costs of their blundering greed 
And a reader sends news of the latest in a long-drawn-out saga of corporate-political corruption.

Professor Scott Cato points out in her blog, Olympicopoly: 

“(London) has become the playground of an international elite. Those attending the games are profligate financially and in carbon terms, jetting around the world for hedonistic pleasure. ”There will be spectators, but in global terms all will be rich, since no tickets are available within the price-range of the average global worker. Londoners have lost their city, their roads, their buses, their tube stations . . . 

“Small-scale entrepreneurs. . .are excluded from economic opportunities by the mother of all restrictive practices that the Olympic contract itself embodies. . .She points out that: 

“[A]lthough most of the economic value arising from the games will be enclosed and extracted by the corporate sponsors, it is the people of the UK who will pay the majority of the cost. So just as we subsidise the roads that enable Tesco and their ilk to drive their goods from underpaid producers to overfed consumers, so we pay for global marketing opportunities that are then exploited by a narrow range of global corporations.” 

“Before the TV transmission of the opening ceremony began, Danny Boyle dedicated the performance to the volunteers who made it possible, the people who worked without being paid, who he called ‘the best of us’. In a games that seems more obviously controlled by corporate interests than any before, that is the message we must hold on to.”

But is that all we can do – hang on?