Tuesday, 20 January 2009


(By Richard Holway) I have a very small shareholding in both Lloydstsb and Barclays. A year ago I had quite a reasonably sized shareholding in both banks – just shows what damage a year of inaction can do to your wealth!

These were the ‘safe’ bits of my portfolio. Bought mainly for their dividend yield. I should have stuck with ‘risky’ technology stocks. Nothing has remotely performed as badly over the last year as the banking sector.

In my many years as an analyst I have read some pretty awful character assassinations in the press – but none so bad as those for RBS’ ex-CEO Sir Fred Goodwin today. See Hubris to Nemesis: how Fred the Shred became the ‘world’s worst banker’ in The Times today. Even with his hard man reputation surely he would be pretty upset with the things said about him?

On the other hand, one does get appalled to learn of the £2.8b (yep, billion – one gets so used to billions nowadays) loan to the Russian, Oleg Deripaska. Less than 20% of RBS’ loan book was to UK businesses and householders. But it is us that are picking up the pieces.

In my piece Loyalty to a Locality in a Recession last week, I made the point that Governments and companies would (actually I also think ‘should’) protect people, savers, jobs and businesses in their own countries first. The French clearly think so as The Times headline Minister tells French carmakers the price of a bailout will be keeping jobs at home says so clearly!

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