Saturday, 30 July 2011

High Anxiety

While EU politicians deliberate over how best to prop up the Italian economy's 1.8 trillion euro debt mountain, a Tuscany vine yard owner told Ian Fraser “all that matters is family, good wine, good food and sex” and having recently read former Chief Executive of HBOS, Andy Horby has decided to take time off from corporate life, I am beginning to wonder if it is because he too shares the Tuscan vineyard owner’s views.

According to Rupert Steiner in the Mail online, Hornby has experienced a tense five years from which he has required a much needed four month stress free break before make a career move into gambling, this time at the helm of Coral the bookmakers. To facilitate this, former employer Alliance Boots, the firm behind Boots the Chemist, has seen fit to make him a payout of ”£842,000 in salary, a £750,000 bonus, a £337,000 pension payment plus £41,000 in other benefits” on his departure. In addition the firm’s accounts also reveal Hornby was paid an additional £450,000 as compensation for not being allowed to join a rival health care company where he would have been at liberty to divulge Boots secrets.

It is said Andy Hornby is in need of a "sabbatical" because he has been “a worried man who cannot concentrate on anything” and having suffered from extreme levels of debt related stress throughout the last few years myself, I can certainly appreciate exactly how this feels. However although the nation is understandably still up in arms with regard to Hornby’s contribution to the collapse of HBOS and the cost of the subsequent government rescue, my question is not directly related to this. Instead I wish to know about what it is that Andy Hornby has been worrying?
·        Is it the worry of a guilty man who is hoping he will not be discovered and, like some former HBOS employees, face the consequences with a prison sentence?

·        Is it the worry of a bought man who is between a rock and hard place because his silence has been purchased?

·        Is it the worry of a patriotic man who wishes he hadn’t played a part in bringing this country to its economic knees?

·        Or maybe, it is the worry of a man who knows I, and many more like me, have lost their homes, their health and their livelihoods as direct a result of risk management policies he supported.
Of course, I cannot begin to guess the real trigger for Andy Hornby’s worries, but in the unlikely event the latter is true, then, as far as I am concerned, absolution is simple. If Andy Hornby would just tell someone of influence in his “ old boy’s” net work that I genuinely have no means with which to repay a mortgage shortfall of £217,000 which was created by HBOS unnecessarily requesting the forced  sale of my home in 2008, I might be able to get agreement to a write off and then I could enjoy some much needed stress free time myself. 

Assuming Mr Hornby could help me get his HBOS successors to listen, I would happily forgive him the legacy of financial persecution he left behind for me when he ran for hills leaving my family and I to suffer the consequences of his board’s reckless policies towards lending and heartless directives for the people caught up in its aftermath.Unfortunately I cannot speak for the many other individuals who have suffered at the hands of an HBOS led by Andy Hornby. However, my philosophy has always been to endeavour to consume ones elephants a little bit at time and helping me could well be the first mouthful of redeeming humble pie and absolution for the allegedly stress troubled Mr Hornby as he takes up the reins in another career based on a gamble.
They say love looks forward, hate looks back and anxiety has eyes all over its head. Having been in the grips of anxiety over the welfare of my family’s future since the very beginning of the economic downturn I have come to believe worry is most definitely interest paid on trouble due before it arrives. If this is the case  I can only hope Andy Hornby’s pockets are very deep.

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