February 11th, 2009
11:37 AM GMT
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Watching politicians dissect the bankers responsible for some of the worst of the financial crises has been very satisfying - but it has brought out the very worst in me: the drive for revenge.

The former chairmen and CEOs of HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland had an uncomfortable time being questioned by the UK Treasury Select Committee, a government panel investigating how these financial giants ended up needing multi-billion dollar bailouts.

They all duly said sorry, and then tried to tell us why it really wasn't their fault the banks collapsed, and that they'd personally lost more money than most.

But I wanted more. I wanted mea culpas of the gravest kind. "It happened on my watch. I am responsible. It is my fault." And of these there was naught.

Some came across with great sincerety. Former HBOS chairman Lord Stevenson, seemed truly troubled by what had taken place.

Others gave the impression this had been a nasty setback to an otherwise nakedly ambitious career - For instance Andy Hornby of HBOS's failure to acknowledge any personal culpability. It is easy to see why, for some, he has become a poster child for banking excess.

I am not proud of myself for wanting this revenge. But since we will be paying for these men's (and others) mistakes for years to come I feel justified.



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