The Hester-bonus/Goodwin-knighthood decisions were good because bankers have got to understand that they did something wrong.
Anyone who knows bankers knows that they think they did nothing wrong.
They say they saw the economic situation as it was pre-2008 i.e. governments flooding the world with liquidity post-9/11 – so bankers simply did their job which is to find investments for that liquidity.
The result was massively over-leveraged deals like Freescale and NXP.
So far, so bad, but that is not why bankers need a wake up call.
After the collapse and tax-payers’ bail-out, bankers went back to over-paying themselves.
Goodwin fought tenaciously for all his redundancy and pension rights. He seemed unashamed of busting his bank, unconcerned that ordinary people would be worse off because they were paying for his bank to be saved.
Had Goodwin not fought for his various entitlements, he would not have become a pariah.
There was a telling phrase in one of the American documentaries on the credit crunch: “The bankers turned their backs on society.”
Those bankers which have tried to justify their behaviour say that in their work they’re not concerned with morality.
If we decide we are not concerned with morality, then we self-label ourselves as pariahs.