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In U.K., no bankers in shining armor

Stephen Beard Dec 31, 2009
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In U.K., no bankers in shining armor

Stephen Beard Dec 31, 2009
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: In Britain, the end of the year means the government’s annual “honors list.” That’s a reward for service to the U.K. Notably absent from this year’s list: bankers. Only one is being recognized. From London, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: Usually the banking profession is showered with titles at this time of year. Many bankers receiving the right to call themselves Lord, Lady, Dame or Sir for their services to the British economy. This year, however, the bankers are in disgrace. The government has nominated only one for an honor.

Stephen Haseler: I don’t think even one ought to be, get an honor, if you believe in the system.

Professor Stephen Haseler is a critic of the honors system. He dismisses the whole exercise as pointless and antiquated:

Haseler: Things like knighthoods, invoking images of people riding along with armor and jousting and all that kind of stuff. It’s an absolutely archaic system.

Nevertheless, many Brits take it seriously and it does give the British government a way of making its displeasure felt. In this year’s list, the Lord Mayor of London has been denied the traditional knighthood, because, it’s claimed, he defended bankers’ bonuses.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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