2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Good Banker,
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This review is from: Making It Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the men who blew up the British economy (Kindle Edition)
Before you all mark this down as an unhelpful review, the title was meant to be ironic. In my previous review of a much shorter study of the bank that nearly died, I posed a few questions that I hoped to answer after reading this nuclear-powered masterpiece:
As a former bank employee, I recall the very first piece of rock-solid advice I was given as a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old: Remember, you are not only competing against other girls, you are also competing against the men. People will walk all over you if you let them.
I've carried that advice right the way through my life, and reading this book brought all that back to me: the mistakes I made in my career that led me to be sent to a backwater branch of NatWest I loathed with a passion. And now to the questions:
How did it all begin? Most people fill in the application form to join a bank because they want to earn some money. Check.
What inspired it? Lack of imagination? Maybe. A shortage of other available and suitable jobs? Definitely.
Why couldn't it be stopped? Or to clarify this: Why couldn't Fred be stopped? Answer (sort of): He wanted RBS to be bigger than Barclays. Yep. I can understand that.
What are its lasting effects? A lot of people - including bank staff- lost a lot of money when they were persuaded to invest in shares.
Could it happen again? Well, they say these things go round in cycles. So give it another hundred or so years, and maybe it will repeat itself.
Did something like this ever happen before in history? See previous line. You bet it did: Ayr Bank in the 18th Century after it overextended its line of credit in London.
Who are the ordinary people hurt by all this? Look in the mirror.
I would very much like to read Fred's response to this. It is so easy to blame it all on him. Oh, and I've checked out some of the reviews already posted. They make great reading also. The affair bit? Try Google.