Tag Archives: RBS

Nice to know that schnooks come from both sides of the pond

“Sir Fred” Goodwin, the man whose ego and greed drove him to try to expand the Royal Bank of Scotland into one of the big boys and instead brought it to ruin, is getting a $million pension per year, for life. He’s only 50, so unless an angry former employee or shareholder prevents it, he should live to collect a tidy sum. Asked to return at least part of that money, Sir Fred told the Brits to pound sand. He can’t say he earned it but I suppose possession being 9/10 of the law and all that ….

“There is a sense of fury that the government seems impotent, unable to act when the man chiefly responsible for the bank’s collapse is able to walk away with a pension that others can only dream of — and at the ripe old age of 50!” said Dave Pickering, a spokesman for the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils, in an email. “And what makes it worse is that we, the British taxpayers, are actually paying for it!”

A friend of mine who spent 40 years with RBS lost his job Sunday as the direct result of Freddie G’s deluded schemes. I imagine he’d appreciate receiving just a small portion of the man’s pension.

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Good bye, RBS

Royal Bank of Scotland reports largest corporate loss in British history, plans to give British taxpayers parting gift of $466 billion of now-worthless assets. What’s going to happen to their unfinished headquarters in Stamford, eh?

The bank, which is already 70 percent owned by the government, said it would dump £325 billion ($466 billion) of mainly toxic assets into the program, a step that could raise the state’s stake to 95 percent.

RBS posted a net loss of £24.1 billion for the year, attributable mainly to its purchase of the Dutch bank ABN Amro. The bank had a profit of £7.3 billion a year earlier. The loss was smaller than analysts had expected, but it stunned many Britons as a record-setting benchmark of corporate disaster.

But the increased stake and the guarantee of billions in assets at RBS prompted renewed calls from some investors to fully nationalize the bank.

“The current model is pointless,” said Neil Dwane, chief investment officer for Europe at RCM. “Semi-nationalization continues to run the risks that moral hazard, political interference and incorrect incentives will all prolong the establishment of a satisfactory solution.”

Under the agreement, which is similar to plans that create so-called bad banks, RBS said it would move the illiquid assets, mainly from its global markets division, into a separate unit backed by taxpayers. It will also commit to increase lending and plans to sell or dispose of the assets in the next three to five years.

But many Britons, shocked at the size of the losses, also registered bewilderment that Mr. Hester’s predecessor, Fred Goodwin, was drawing a pension of £650,000 a year. The government hinted Thursday that Mr. Goodwin should forgo part of it. Philip Hampton, the chairman of RBS, said he asked Mr. Goodwin a few weeks ago to voluntarily reduce his pension payments but received no answer.

There’s probably  no telephone service on Mustique.


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Finally, Riverside takes its place in the sun

We’ve all been jealous down here, east of the Mianus and west of Long Meadow Creek.  Greenwich has Walt,Monica and the Fabulous Five, Old Greenwich has Mark Madoff and his former wife, even Cos Cob probably has some bit- player in the financial scams, but what about Riverside? When would it ever be our turn?

It looks like it may finally have arrived. According to the Financial Times (I’d credit a specific reader for the tip but “Chicken Little” doesn’t sound legitimate), Riverside’s own, Jay Levine, of  Dawn Harbor Lane, is at least peripherally involved with Royal Bank of Scotland’s failure (and Greenwich Capital, just to keep things local). And, get this, he’s a major contributor to Chris Dodd! Soooee!

A ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND executive who led its investments into “toxic” sub-prime loans was paid close to £40m in just three years, The Sunday Times can reveal.

Jay Levine, 47, was the bank’s highest-paid employee, earning almost four times more than former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin.

Levine, who ran the group’s American investment bank RBS Greenwich Capital, received the bumper pay deals over 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to sources close to the bank.

His pay has never been disclosed since he was not a main-board director. The pay deals came as the bank ramped up its exposures to sub-prime mortgages, asset-backed securities and collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

Levine, who lives in well-heeled Riverside, Connecticut, became co-head of Greenwich in 2000 after RBS acquired the business as part of its takeover of NatWest. In 2004 he was promoted to a larger role that also saw him head up corporate banking for the group across North America.

RBS has unveiled about £12 billion of write-downs since the credit crunch began and is poised to unveil full-year losses of up to £28 billion – the biggest loss in UK corporate history.

There are now six class-action lawsuits that have been filed against the group in the Southern District Court of New York, alleging that RBS misled investors on the true state of its accounts in a series of filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

One of the lawsuits details how the bank’s exposures to CDOs ballooned from 2005 onwards. The filing, lodged under the name Gary Kosseff, quotes an SEC document in which RBS said that 76% of its £5.9 billion CDO portfolio had been acquired since 2006.

Levine announced he was retiring from RBS in December 2007, but has since been appointed chief executive of Capmark Financial, a lender specialising in commercial real estate.

Levine has donated thousands of dollars to the US Democrats over the past three years. Some of his biggest donations have gone to Chris Dodd, the head of the US Senate’s banking committee. He also supported former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, in his presidential campaign.

And Levine was on the board of a financial lobby group that sued the state of Connecticut over new laws that would force political donors to disclose donations made through spouses or children.

Are you asking yourself, can even a rich Democrat afford to live in “well-heeled Riverside” if Chris Dodd’s got his snout in the poor guy’s pants? Fret not. The town values Mr. Levine’s house at $9 million, which is okay, I suppose, but this Riverside non-waterfront looks a little low-brow  for a man who made off with $40 million. Then again, there are those Dodd payments to consider.  


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RBS cuts bonuses 90%

No cash for Royal Bank of Scotland folks, now that the government owns them. Does this include our local friends at Greenwich Capital? If so, we’ll hear the howls from Steamboat Road. Either way, how’s that RBS headquarters in Stamford doing? For that matter, is Trump’s apartment project tied to his casino bankruptcy? Interesting times all around.


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Maybe RBS got what was coming to it

Just came across this news story from January 10; Royal bank of Scotland selling its 1,000 pubs. I don’t doubt that the pub business could be a profitable one, but what is a bank doing running one? A hobby of the Chairman, perhaps? Weird.


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Good bye, Royal Bank of Scotland

Or farewell, shareholders. The stock price is disappearing into a rat hole as British nationalization becomes inevitable.Even if I didn’t have friends who have their wealth tied into those shares (and their jobs tied to the company), I’d find this sad and alarming. It’s just amazing that such large institutions that seemed to have real substance just a year ago can be revealed to be hollow -cored rotten trunks. Remember Dagny Taggart’s shock when the huge oak tree on her father’s land split and fell? Something like that.


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