Valentine's day during the recession is set to be a bit of a
lacklustre affair: how is one to show appreciation for one's other
half without spending a small fortune on heart-shaped roses and
Never mind - the people of Britain have still been walking around with an extra twinkle in their eye this week - except in Westminster, where the focus was still very much on the banking crisis. On Thursday, Andy Hornby, Lord Stevenson and Sirs Fred Goodwin and Tom McKillop were sat down by the Treasury Committee, given a thorough ticking off, and told they must say sorry. Smarta has Wordled the ensuing memo.
This week's top words:
Of course the conversation was all about risk: were the banks taking too many risks? Were they risking their own money, or their customers'? What rights did they have to take such risks? The Lords dodged the accusations rather skilfully. Asked why traders had been taking so many risks, Sir Fred Godwin said they were simply doing 'what they were authorised to do'.
The financial implications of the banking crisis have been massive: according to figures released in October, credit crunch losses are topping £1,800bn - and that was before Darling's second bank bail-out - while share values have fallen more than 25% and the government has spent £450bn on rescuing the banks. Ouch.
Among the first of the large banks to require emergency funding, HBOS saw losses of £10bn in 2008 - £1.6bn more than expected. HBOS executives are being blamed for the losses - but with the chief executive on a salary of almost £2m, we doubt they'll feel too guilty.
Funny, though, that for a committee meeting which featured 'profound and unreserved' apologies from all four bank chiefs, the word 'sorry' doesn't seem to even show up in this week's Wordle. We've leaned very close to the screen and squinted an awful lot, but we don't seem to be able to spot it. For this meeting, at least, 'sorry' seems to be the smallest word.
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