Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Yesterday morning I listened to a riveting edition of The Choice on Radio 4. Michael Buerk was interviewing Paul Moore, who hit the headlines as the whistleblower of HBOS's foolish policies which eventually contributed the banking fiasco last year. As The Times reported when he gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, 'Paul Moore, a former partner of KPMG and head of group regulatory risk at HBOS between 2002 and 2005, accused the bank of "a total failure of all key aspects of corporate governance" and said that he was repeatedly rebuffed and thwarted when he tried to register concern.' He was sacked by Sir James Crosby, the chief executive. It was a remarkable story of faithful witness in the highest reaches of corporate finance. I've no doubt there are others. What was special about this one was the contrast between the anything-goes culture of the banks and the integrity of their head of regulation - and also the rock-like faith of his wife. Well worth listening to:

Today we had our friends, John and Mary, to lunch. They are two of our oldest friends. We bought our first house 35 years ago in their parish in Hertfordshire, and have remained in touch ever since. John appears in 'My Donkeybody' as the person who reassured me about MRI scans. Although he had a brain tumour, he is still going strong. We had a good meal and enjoyed catching up. Time flew by. He always blesses me when we say goodbye - I suppose that's appropriate, since goodbye means 'God be with you'.

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