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from The Great Debate UK:

Don’t cry for me RBS

"Don't cry for me, RBS" could certainly be the lament being sung by Stephen Hester, outgoing CEO of bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland, after the shock announcement that he will have left the bank by the end of this year. CEOs of banks come and go; however, the government stake in RBS makes this CEO particularly important.
There are two things that make Hester’s departure fascinating: firstly, the fact that the RBS board along with the Treasury have concentrated on how a new leader is needed to privatise the bank. Secondly, the fact that Hester doesn’t seem to want to go.

During an interview with BBC Radio 4 less than 24 hours after the announcement was made, Hester admitted that he wanted to take the bank through its privatisation process “for me that would have been the end of the journey.” However, that was not meant to be, and he said he “understood” that “new blood” at RBS was a good thing.

Did he have a spat with Georgie-boy at the Treasury? Did he ask for a bigger bonus or was he planning on an off-shore tax account? Did he have something in his past that made him a media risk? We will likely never know. The RBS Chairman, Sir Phillip Hampton, sounded fairly shell shocked in an interview soon after the announcement. He feebly mentioned that Hester had been in the job for 5-years, he was 52 and so the time was right for him to leave, after all, CEO’s only tend to stay in their roles for 5-ish years, he added. Maybe Hampton needs to be worried – he is 59 and has been at the bank for 4 years…

But while we can speculate on the political interference or not of Hester’s departure, there are a couple of concerning points that I, as a British taxpayer, want answered about RBS.

Should “SuperGord” hold a snap election?

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gordonbrown.jpgOnly a few weeks ago the cartoons were showing Gordon Brown paddling up the proverbial creek without a paddle as his poll ratings slumped under an endless succession of bad news. The Tories were practically measuring up the curtains at No. 10.

Now — after a crisis that was surely the ultimate answer to a maiden’s prayer — it’s caped crusader “SuperGord” saving the world, lauded by grateful governments across the globe for slaying the fearsome credit crunch monster. Kapow, splat.

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