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How Capitalism Works

1) British taxpayers bail out Royal Bank of Scotland to save it from insolvency.

2) Months later Royal Bank of Scotland pays investment bankers an average bonus of £250,000 each.

3) Kraft takes over Cadburys with money borrowed from Royal Bank of Scotland.

4) Several thousand British taxpayers lose their jobs.


Ian Hamilton QC

I have written before (on my old blog) about Ian Hamilton’s Blog which is always controversial and entertaining.

Ian Hamilton QC

Ian first came to public attention in 1950 when he and some fellow students nicked the stone of destiny from Westminster Abbey. He’s since been a member of, as well as being a thorn in the side of, the establishment. If you have a look at his blog you’ll see he’s no ordinary QC.

I had read last week of his action against the Royal Bank of Scotland. He claims that the bank were insolvent when he invested a small amount with them last year. This is from the Oban Times (thanks Iain M for passing this on):

FORMER QC Ian Hamilton, North Connel, has raised an action against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the small claims court in Oban.
He claims that at the time he bought his wife 640 shares at £2 each in the bank’s £12 billion rights issue last May, the bank concealed the true state of its finances and is pursuing the bank for the return of his £1,282.

Those same shares were worth just 12 pence this week and the bank announced losses of £28 billion, with the UK government pumping billions into the bank taking its share holding to 70 per cent.

Mr Hamilton, who said he would represent himself in the civil action, said: ‘I have found a way in which to bring this bank to account in this small claims action, which is for people like me who have lost a little bit of money.

‘The RBS can afford lawyers who can take this out of the reach of ordinary people.

‘I am claiming the bank was insolvent at the time of the share issue and the prospectus for this specific rights issue didn’t reflect the true position of the bank.

‘Gordon Brown is just going to leave it to the Financial Services Authority when someone gets away with this amount of money; this is not just a Russian oligarch’s money, it is ordinary people’s money.’

Goodwin/Badyin (getting by on £25k a week)

He said the trust in the Royal Bank of Scotland went back generations, with his parents having shares in the bank and it being seen as a safe place to invest money.


‘The Royal Bank of Scotland as a great institution is gone – all because of greed.’

Mr Hamilton is not alone in his sentiments, with the list of people adding their support to his cause and calling for a ‘class’ action on his online blog growing every day.

Some are even pledging financial support for Mr Hamilton’s claim.

Mr Hamilton, who was one of the four students on Christmas day in 1950 who seized the Stone of Destiny from Westminister Abbey, intends to call directors of RBS to give evidence about its finances at the time of the rights issue.

If he is successful in keeping the action at Oban Sheriff Court and winning, it could open the door for thousands of shareholders to take legal action against the bank.

RBS has said it will defend the action ‘vigorously’.

Banking – Eating Itself

OK I was wrong (in one way) about my prediction of a state bank being announced yesterday. However with RBS losing over 60% of its already rapidly diminishing value in one day then we effectively have a state bank anyway. Hardly anyone in the industry is predicting anything else but full nationalisation of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Many are predicting the nationalisation of all the banks.

The government plunged further public money in to shore up the whole crumbling tower again yesterday. I am prompted to ask a question. When the initial billions were made available to the banks in October, why wasn’t trading in the shares in the banks frozen?

Was it because the government expected an immediate rise because of their intervention? None of the commentators at the time were prepared to make such a bold prediction.

The total debt attributable to this crisis is now £200 billion for the UK.

The IMF beckons.

Or maybe revolution.

The falling pound may in fact be the UK’s saviour in all this (by making exports cheaper) although it could be accompanied by staggering rates of inflation and real hardship. It will be very interesting indeed to see how countries like Spain and Ireland, yoked to the Euro will fare.


royal bank

In line with company policy the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has sent itself a stern letter warning that as it had suddenly found itself £692 million in the red without clearing it with itself first, it would have to pay itself charges of £38 million for unauthorised borrowing.

‘You know how it is,’ said chairman Sir Tom McKillop, ‘we knew we were going to go ‘a bit over’ this year but completely forgot to phone ourselves and agree some new terms, although actually there probably wouldn’t have been much point in that really as we would have had to refuse to give ourselves any extension of facilities, given the current climate.’

‘The first thing I knew about it was when I had to write a letter to myself explaining the charges and that there would also be a further ‘maintenance charge’ of £28 million applied in September because of our actions during the last financial year,’ continued Sir Tom. ‘It arrived on my desk this morning and, though I consider myself a reasonable man, when I opened it, well, if I’m honest, I was livid.’

The full article from News Biscuit is HERE