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Shredded: Inside RBS: The Bank That Broke Britain (eBook)Ian Fraser
'The definitive account of the Royal Bank of Scotland fiasco. It's an engaging, if in some ways infuriating, tale of how self-serving bank executives systematically broke the rules, lent with astonishing recklessness, abused customers and got suckered by Wall Street – before ultimately dumping their mess on taxpayers. Fraser doesn't just point the finger at Royal's clueless bankers. He also expertly chronicles the role of misguided regulations, captured supervisors and deluded politicians in fuelling this catastrophe.' – Yves Smith, founder of Naked Capitalism and author of econned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism 'This book should be posted through the letterbox of every taxpayer in Britain.' – David Mellor, former chief secretary to the Treasury and secretary of state for National Heritage 'Ian Fraser has spotted stories, uncovered scandals and written about them in a detailed and accessible way that leaves many other financial journalists in the dust.' – Eamonn O'Neill, director of the MSc course in investigative journalism at the University of Strathclyde At its zenith, the Royal Bank of Scotland was the world's biggest bank. It had assets of $3 trillion, employed over 200,000 people, had branches on every high street and was admired and trusted by millions of borrowers and investors. Now the mere mention of its name causes anger and resentment, and its former CEO, Fred Goodwin, is reviled as one of the architects of the worst financial crisis since 1929. In Shredded, Ian Fraser lifts the lid on the catastrophic mistakes that led the bank to the brink of collapse, scrutinizing the role played by RBS's directors, who failed to check Goodwin's hubris, the colleagues who were overawed by his despotic leadership style, the politicians who created a regulatory free-for-all in which banks went virtually unsupervised, and the investors who egged Goodwin on. As more and more toxic details emerge about the bank's pre- and post-bailout misconduct, which stretches from the ruination of numerous small businesses in the UK and Ireland to the criminal fiddling of Yen Libor, and from the alleged manipulation of global foreign-exchange markets to the wholesale 'mis-selling' of US mortgage bonds, Ian Fraser examines what the future holds for RBS and whether it can ever regain the public's trust.