Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Morality and money

It's commonly being said that RBS boss Stephen Hester has done the 'right thing' in giving up his bonus of nearly £1 million. On todays Daily Politics it was even described by one commentator as the 'moral' thing to do. Was morality his motivation? Surely the right and moral thing for this man to do would be to stick by what he believes in - huge salaries and very large bonuses - and work through the consequences of doing this. He has not given up his bonus because he believes it's right and moral to do. Its been widely reported (here for example)  that he did so because he did not want to be a 'pariah'. Its also been reported that his hand was forced by the prospect of a House of Commons vote (see here). For me being motivated by concern about being despised or confronted is not showing much moral spine at all. Mr Hester, who is still very likely to add to his already very large pile of money, has a morality comparable to RBS's directors, who according to the BBC's Robert Peston '...now recognise it would have been far better to delay the bonus decision until after the world had seen what Barclays' chief executive, Bob Diamond, is being paid - because Mr Hester's bonus would not look big in comparison.' They too are more concerned with impressions created than realities.

Other posts relating to Stephen Hester/RBS:


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