“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Sir Fred Goodwin And The Super-Injunction.

with 5 comments

News is coming out of Fred Goodwin’s Super-Injunction, which bans any UK media outlet from reporting on Fred the Shred and the fact he is or was a Banker.

It is not too clear what case this relates to, but I would guess (and it is only a guess) it is something to do with RMJM.

I can’t be sure but a Scotsman article on them and Goodwin vanished and it seems that he was employed by the boss of RMJM.

Elsewhere RMJM seem to be falling apart, as a US employee resigns in anger, Building Design covers it here.

This is a copy of the Scotsman article, from the Google cache.

“Leader: RMJM the architect of its own woes

Published Date: 10 March 2011

IT MAY seem that the ongoing troubles at RMJM, one of the world’s biggest architectural practices, is a matter of some internal difficulty of relatively little import to the public at large, but the fate of one of the few Scottish firms with a global reputation should be of great concern.

The collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland and HBoS were major blows to national confidence, as was the revelation that as solid a firm as Weir Group was involved in illegal kick-backs to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Scotland needs its few big players to perform at the top of their game.

RMJM took a dent with its involvement with the Scottish Parliament project, but the problems were not of its making – it did not draw up the contracts, set an unrealistic price-tag or indeed devise the extraordinary concept. But its architects made the challenging Miralles vision happen, it continued to secure major international projects and stands eighth in the rankings of world architectural firms.

However, since the arrival of Sir Fraser Morrison and his son Peter, its fortunes have been on the slide. The misguided decision to employ Sir Fred Goodwin meant the firm was driven by people with little relevant experience and it was no surprise that as its troubles deepened Sir Fred decided to back off. Now it is in the extraordinary position where mismanagement has led to a mass walkout of senior staff in Hong Kong and a potential strike in the London office.

Maybe it’s time for the Morrisons to move on while there is still a business to sell. “

Also see RMJM: The highs and lows.

Remembering the timeline of RBS’s problems and Fred’s role.

Fred’s replacement, Stephen Hester, is stuffing millions into his pockets, BBC News reports:

“Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester has been awarded a pay package currently worth £7.7m for 2010.

That includes £6.5m worth of shares that won’t be available for three years. Two-thirds of these are pegged to meeting management targets.

It also includes his £1.2m salary, which has remained the same since he replaced Sir Fred Goodwin in 2008.

RBS made a loss of more than £1bn last year, and is 83%-owned by the UK government.

Under the Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP), Stephen Hester is to be awarded 10.1m shares, which are valued at £4.5m at the current share price.

That element can be clawed back, and is dependent on achieving certain targets.

If the share price increases from 45 pence, and above the government’s break-even point of 50p, then Mr Hester and others on the LTIP will benefit from that increase when they are allowed to sell the majority of the newly-awarded shares in March 2014.

Last year, he declined to take an annual bonus, but did receive 8.5m shares under the LTIP.”

So this Banker, along with Fred the Shred effectively won the lottery year-on-year, millions one year and even more the next, and then more, which probably explains Fred’s sensitivity to his failures, which seem to be numerous.

If anyone finds out what the real matter is with this super-injunction, please leave a comment.

Update 1: Slate on Who’s the World’s Worst Banker?

“The result? RBS’s stock (here’s a two-year chart) has lost 91 percent of its value since March 2007 and retains value thanks only to massive government intervention. A job well-done, Sir Fred! “

Update 2: Roy Greenslade contributes:

“Meanwhile, will we read more about Goodwin? I understand the order is very firm indeed and that The Sun’s legal arguments about public interest justification have not found favour with judges.”

Update 3: Slate in France picked up the story, but still no real evidence as to why the super-injunction, L’ancien patron de la banque britannique RBS interdit aux médias de l’appeler «banquier»

Update 4: Jon Slattery argues that the super-injunction has been shredded.

Update 5: RTE News has a snippet:

“FORMER RBS CHIEF HAS ‘SUPER-INJUNCTION’ – British newspapers report that Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has obtained a secret super-injunction banning the publication of information about him.

The Daily Telegraph says the existence of the injunction was revealed by John Hemming, a back-bench Liberal Democrat MP, during a business debate in the House of Commons yesterday morning.

The paper says his comments are protected by parliamentary privilege, which means he cannot face court proceedings for revealing the injunction’s existence.

The Telegraph says his question raised speculation yesterday about the nature of the information which Sir Fred is trying to protect.”

Update 6: Finally, BBC News picked it up early Friday morning.

5 Responses

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  1. Daily Mail – now no longer online. May be unrelated, of course.

    “A senior executive at a bank bailed out by taxpayers has taken out a gagging order to prevent a newspaper from revealing his affair with a colleague.

    The High Court privacy ruling is likely to fuel public anger surrounding controversial decisions which allow the rich and famous to silence reporting and criticism of scandals.

    In what will be seen as another blow to free speech, judge Mr Justice Richard Henriques sided with the married banker.

    His decision is the latest in a string of similar court orders taken out to cover up scandals.

    They are frequently used by stars and Premiership footballers on multi-million pound salaries, with the money to ‘buy’ them.

    The banker, who is paid a substantial six figure sum, began the illicit affair before the credit crunch erupted and plunged the country into recession, The Sun reported.

    He was present when the Government was forced to inject almost £1trillion into propping up the banks.

    Now thousands are losing their jobs amid swingeing cuts.

    One bank insider told the paper: ‘Given what was going on at the time they got together, I’m surprised either of them had the time or the energy.’”


    10/03/2011 at 21:03

  2. Amusingly, the article Fred refers to is still available to users of the Mail mobile phone app


    12/03/2011 at 02:06

  3. […] Mail removed its own story that predated the superinjunction about an unnamed banker but, as is pointed out here, that story is still live on its mobile […]

  4. […] Mail removed its own story that predated the super-injunction about an unnamed banker but, as is pointed out here, that story is still live on its mobile […]

  5. […] be uniquely criticised by the left. The state support the financial sector enjoys and the vile behaviour of its upper echelons means everyone from free market liberal to One Nation Tory can and should work to produce a better […]

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