Mindworks’ Weblog

Thinking Matters

Left alone in a cage with a mountain of cocaine, a lab rat will gorge itself to death.

Posted by Andrew Cooper on February 28, 2009

goodwinThat’s the first sentence of this article, which has nothing to do with Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension, but is the only explanation I can think of for why this banker is behaving as he is.  No doubt if we could interrogate the rats they’d say, shortly before they expired,  ‘you really can’t get enough of this stuff’.  When he was working and receiving bonuses he earned more in a year than most of the population would need for a lifetime of reasonably comfortable living.   He really doesn’t need the money.  It’s easy to think that his behaviour is driven by greed, but perhaps he – like the lab rats – is suffering from an addiction and is in need of help and understanding rather than pure approbation.  Just a second – no, it is just greed.

According to BBC Radio 4’s Money Programme today, if HBOS had failed – ie if it hadn’t been bailed out – Fred would have received £28,000 a year instead of the £695,000 to which, he maintains, he’s entitled.


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