"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bob Bennett and Northern Rock - a pattern emerges -Après moi le déluge

Those who heard Bob Bennett on Radio 4 "Today" programme yesterday may well be inerested in this interview he gave when he announced his retirement. We have not heard the last of Mr Bennet or his relationship with Mr Applegarth.

He described the then-chief executive Adam Applegarth as "an energetic, youthful, growth-orientated individual"."He was difficult to deal with and he was difficult to handle," said Bennett who described himself as a "safe pair of hands" in the City's view.

Northern Rock should never have gone to the Bank of England for emergency financing in August, Bennett said, suggesting it should have taken action to scale back its lending.
Asked if the management was to blame he replied: "Partially, .... yes".

Interview: Moving On – Bob Bennett, group finance director at Northern Rock
Clare Bettelley Finance Week - 18-Sep-2006
Northern Rock group finance director, Bob Bennett announced his early retirement today. He tells Clare Bettelley the reason behind his decision and his plans for life after Northern Rock.

Finance Week: You told Finance Week last year that you would “definitely” not retire before your 60th birthday, next May. What changed?

Bob Bennett : I will continue to be employed until May (He was then 60) . If you think about the results, it makes sense to do the year-end and for the new guy to start as early as possible in the New Year.

FW: Were you forced to go? (now why ask that ?)

BB: No. If we had recruited an external candidate, then possibly I would have gone earlier. Some new people do not always want the old guy around.

FW: How many internal and external candidates did the bank consider?

BB: Dave Jones was the only internal candidate - he was always seen as the clear internal candidate. Northern Rock has a fairly static strategy about what it wants to do. Dave is completely conversant with this.

FW: What have been the highlights of your 13-year tenure?

BB: I am a forward-looking kind of guy, not a nostalgic one. It is not the end of Bob Bennett.

FW: But what would you consider your achievements?

BB: I always wanted to be an accountant. If someone had said I would be a finance director of a FTSE 100 company, I would have been happy.

FW: Will you consider extra non-executive director roles in addition to your post at Greggs?

BB: If people see me of use, then of course I would.

FW: What projects will you leave unfinished?

BB: I will not leave anything unfinished; it is not my style. The Basel II project will continue. One of the things that I am pleased about is that I am not a megalomaniac. I see it as a relay race, and have ensured that Dave’s been involved with all big projects.

JC Flowers wo looked at a take over of NR briefly, included Bob Bennett in their managment team for ther take over.

See also Accountancy Age the Daily Telegraph also had what will be seen as a very prescient article on September 19th 2007 which mention BB's departure and the consequences.

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