6 Degrees Lunch returns on the 29th of January 2015,
at The Royal Over-Seas League, Princes Street
The speaker for lunch is Ian Fraser, author of Shredded.
Ian Fraser has worked as a journalist for 25 years, writing for titles including The Economist, Financial Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Independent, Reuters, Dow Jones, Daily Mail, Herald and Sunday Herald. From 1999 to 2006 he worked for the newly launched, Glasgow-based Sunday Herald as financial editor, closely following developments at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Since 2008, he has focused on covering the unfolding banking crisis, working on seven BBC documentaries including the Baftda-nominated RBS: Inside The Bank That Ran Out of Money. He has also taught at Stirling University. Before becoming a journalist Ian worked in the advertising industry in Edinburgh, London and Paris; on a mine in Greybull, Wyoming; and as a 'jackeroo' on a Queensland, Australia sheep station. He was born in Edinburgh, is married with three children, and has a degree in English from St Andrews University. Shredded is his first book.
There has never been a bigger banking collapse in British history than the spectacular implosion of Royal Bank of Scotland in October 2008 - a story of drama, greed and hubris that is brilliantly laid bare in Scottish journalist Ian Fraser's account of how a once revered institution was brought to its knees under the leadership of Fred "The Shred" Goodwin. Shredded: Inside RBS, The Bank That Broke Britain has won rave reviews since it was published in June 2014 and named as a book of the Year by The Week, Huffington Post, Bloomberg and the Financial Times. It was also longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year award. Fraser will be discussing what caused the UK banking sector went off the rails from the 1970s onwards, and how RBS became the poster child for banker recklessnes and excess? Why was the Blair government so keen to encourage RBS in its breakneck expansion strategy? What does the collapse of RBS mean for the UK and the economy? Why have no senior bankers ever been prosecuted for their part in its downfall and how much evidence is there that they broke the law? Have the UK and international authorities put in place sufficient measures to prevent this kind of corporate disaster recurring? What are the risks of another major bank collapse in future?
What the critics have said about Shredded
“A gripping account … RBS was a rogue business, operating in what had become a rogue industry, with the connivance of government. Read it and weep” Martin Wolf, Financial Times
"A model of the journalist's craft, Zola-esque in its broad and unsparing study of corporate hubris and nemesis and haunting in the questions it leaves in its wake" Bill Jamieson, The Scotsman
"Not just the definitive book on the collapse of RBS but one of the best five books on the great financial collapse which changed the history of the 21st century, Ian pulls no punchs in his conclusions" Russell Napier, CLSA
In Fraser's own words, Shredded "explores how, under Fred Goodwin—a former partner at accountants Deloitte—RBS became a rogue institution with few qualms about misselling financial products to individual and business customers in pursuit of profit, a cavalier disregard for the law and a warped idea of its own financial skills and strength".