Monday, 30 January 2012

Saving the Hester affair

Well, Mr Hester, you clearly didn't read my post before announcing you had decided not to accept your bonus after all. I'm sure Mr Cameron has phoned you to say thank you. Of course, it hasn't got the hacks off your back - who conveniently forget that you've turned an annual £24.1 billion loss round in four years so that the bank is now making a profit. I don't reckon it's your fault that the world economy has continued to slide into recession - which, I assume, is why the markets remain a tad depressed. Things like the euro crisis and recession in the States can't be laid entirely at your door.

So I wouldn't blame you, if you picked up your substantial bonus from last year (more than four times this one!) and offered your considerable financial talents elsewhere. I'm sure there are some banks out there who'd love to use you. I get the feeling that you're not quite ready to enjoy your arboretum and twiddle your thumbs. It would be a shame if you did either.

Or here's another suggestion. How about taking an unpaid sabbatical and producing a rationale for incentives that even the grubby Quintus Slides of this world could understand? They, after all, are the public's source of wisdom on such matters. I think you could afford it. Should RBS look like going pear-shaped while you were working on it, you could always step back in and steady the ship. Hopefully the team is good enough to carry on with the progress you've made so far. While you were about it, how about George Osborne, or even David himself, commissioning you to devise a bonus-scheme for the city big bosses which is transparent and fair? I reckon, coming from you, they might listen, and something good come from this tangled mess of envy and inequality.

With best wishes.

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