Letter: A failure of huge proportions awaits

Steven Farrall

Arch Cru sold arguably substandard products, the creation of which was largely driven by the excess quantities and mis-pricing of money (thank you Gordon Brown and the Bank of England), to investors forced to become speculators by that same failure.

Its continuing fines on various worthies and outfits are not a measure of market failure but a measure of its own endemic ignorance and incompetence. Yet its own officers have not been censured, but like Hector Sants achieve promotion within the “system” to even more well remunerated posts. Given these facts just why would anyone in their right minds assume that the failed FSA’s latest Grand Design – the RDR – would succeed?

Well, it will not. It cannot possibly be thought justifiable in a free society, run democratically, for an utterly unaccountable bureaucracy to threaten the livelihoods of honest citizens and in doing so deprive them of their property rights. To maintain that this is a “success” is again self-evidently false. Furthermore, when this imposition is based on false, self-serving and deceitful analysis it becomes doubly unacceptable. It is a failure even before it starts.

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The thing that appals me is how the RDR has been embraced by so many participants in our industry – by my reckoning mostly for reasons of self-aggrandisement, or economic advantage or financial opportunity. The failed FSA has appealed to the latent authoritarianism in many of my peer group who seem to assume that the other person always needs regulating. What they fail to realise is that they are that other person, and that the real import of their enthusiasm for regulation is that they themselves are untrustworthy.

The RDR Grand Design may create a handsome looking house, but it will be over budget and largely an individual flight of fancy that has no relevance to the ordinary lives of people needing simple accommodations and assistance.

Steven Farrall


Williams Farrall Woodward