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29 June 2012


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1. Yes you are absolutely right on the points you make. King has finally got the message as well apparently-better late than never. As for criminal charges-yes of course a crime has been committed and you are righ as to the Act which covers it. There is no need whatsoever for new legislation-just as there is no need for legislation to combat "binge drinking". It is an offence to be drunk in a public place and has been for about a century now.

2. I don't agree on this-the cost of fuel is starting to impact severely on economic performance-especially outside London. Also taxes are to raise revenue-not to change conduct. If the conduct needs to be changed, make it unlawful. The alibi that governments use to put up taxes that "it discourages" something is hypocrisy.

3.Yes, of course the welfare bill has to be cut. The best way to do it is growth. The way to get growth is to slash spending and taxes.

4. If there is to be a revised Second chamber, I want to elect it. Personally, I think the old House of Lords, hereditaries included, worked just fine-and it was much cheaper. Logically it shouldn't have worked well-but it did.


Congratulations for your QT debut (I believe) You did exactly what it says on your tin, straight talking, well done and a most welcome change from the usual faces.

Very handy to be able to read the questions and answers at length in your email news letter.

David Thompson

Your straight talking re Question time was refreshing , as too many who appear it is about their self interest & too much waffle & serious issues are not ever tackled !!
re your comment about House of Lords- so spot on- Likewise re City etc - so where do you stand with questionable Etonians like Spencer? A true alternative voice / medium Think Tank is required !
New Ways to communicate with the Youth & the manipulative few! , this is essential if our society is going to be sensibley saved ! and at the same time developed for the beter of more !I am off to Rio- where we had a truly embarrassing Rio 20 - missed opportuntiy but Brazil is complex deceitful & much hype ! ah but to most it is samba drink football & sex! sad mad & bad ! Who looks after your Brazilian interests !

Howard des Forges

Well informed,frank and succinct. Well done TS! What a contrast with the predictable rabble rousing act from Tony Robinson, the droning pseudo gravitas of Paddy Ashdown, the self justifying Tessa Jowell and the muddle headed Justine Greening. More please!!

John Hayes

Terry, you make a valuable contribution to public debate on current issues. Please keep doing it. The Libor manipulators should be prosecuted as you suggest.


There is ample room for the prosecution of those involved in the LIBOR scam under existing laws but I suspect that Barclay's may have already done a deal with the authorities involved when they accepted the fine. If so it raises two questions, who authorised any such deal? and who else knew about it and nodded it through?


Totally agree with you about people who work in our high street banks - normal people who live in the real world like the rest of us, unlike the glory boys in their investment banking towers.
To talk about them in the same breath does them an immense disservice.
Ultimately retail banks need to focus on what they (should) do best, totally separate from the casino investment banks. That seems to me to be the right thing for everyone concerned, why is the Government dragging its heels?

Lindsay Gallon

Lords abolition is too simplistic. MPs chosen for party loyalty and aptitude for local welfare issues should not be expected to handle the great affairs of state with equal flair. A revising/editing chamber is vital but please not an elected one. Indeed, anyone with past or present party affiliations should be barred as psychologically unsuitable.


Bare with me on this one
I work in the oil industry and in the past we have had an issue with safety. The way safety was improved was by a change in culture. This was driven from the top down and enforced by the company and ultimately the HSE.
The level of the bar is set by the oil companies and if they have high targets then the rest of the industry is encouraged/forced to aim high. The lower the bar the lower the rest of the industry aims. So a very high bar is very important. A poor safety record can reduce your chances of winning work and increase your chances of going to jail
Every activity we perform has to be risked assessed, if we don’t and there was to be serious accident the HSE would investigate and it is very likely a court appearance would follow. We look at commercial, reputational, environment, operational and human risk.
Every time we do have an incident, these are investigated and the learnings from the incident are shared with the rest of the industry to try to prevent this incident from happening again.
Every time a company CEO talks to his employees he will enforce the message of safety first. It has taken time to change the culture but it has worked. Every meeting we have, starts with a safety moment, where we share knowledge on any particular risk work or non work related.
So I believe that the only way banking can change is by a change of culture, this has to be driven from the top down. The Bank of England must set the very highest standards and the Chairman, CEO, COO of the Banks must ensure that every time they communicate with their employees they communicate the need for integrity. This has to be backed up with the equivalent of the HSE (FSA or Bank of England) who, where finding any wrong doing use the full force of the law to prosecute. You have no idea how your decision making process is sharpened in the knowledge that “ in the subsequent enquiry.....” every decision will be analysed.
It is incomprehensible to us normal people that someone who steels a pair of trainers is sent to jail for six months but for a select group of bankers who effectively have undertaken one of the potentially largest frauds seen in recent history will probably walk away with a few quid for hush money.
Warren Buffet said it takes a life time to build up a reputation and five minutes to destroy it. The banks have destroyed their own reputations so badly the only reason they are still operating is that there is almost no alternatives to the banks otherwise these latest announcement would have had the effect of a “Ratner Moment” maybe we can look forward to the “Diamond Moment”
All I can do is to tell that Diamond Gezzer is that I will be moving my Barclays investments to fundsmith over the coming months.
By the way I enjoyed Question time and for the record I think Tony Robinson was spot on with how many of the public feel on these issues.


Much as I welcome TS's appearance on QT, I am more than a bit worried about the amount of time he is devoting to to raising his public profile. The night before I was listening to him on Evan Davies' Bottom Line, and he is a frequent contributor to the Today programme and Newsnight. Unless TS wants to throw his cap in the ring as the candidate to be the next Governor of the Bank of England (which would be a great idea), I think he should concentrate on his day job(s)- ceo of Tullett Prebon, Fundsmith etc, and his admirable Sir Keith Park campaign. Better to be remembered as an ace investor than as a public pundit. You might talk a lot of sense Terry, but large sections of the population are never going to agree with you, so what's the point of banging your head against a brick wall.

Grumpy Oldman

Terry was the star of the show.

Watch out, you'll be on 'Celebrity Big Brother' next.

Rev, phil;

Personally I was waiting for someone to mention JOBS to the question about benefits.
The benefit system would not need to be reformed if there were sufficient jobs for the unemployed. YES there are JOBS however with the system as it is WHO in there right mind would take a job that pays less than the benefits received. The answer to that of course are those immigrants that are not eligible for benefits.
The REAL solution to the benefit problem is to cut ALL benefits to only unemployed. TAX credits has never worked, they are forking out money left right and centre only to find they have made a mistake. Housing benefits are required because the government got involved in the business of housing and screwed it up. Child benefit benefits those who have the most children and of course because they have more children they cannot work, single parents are preferable for what ever reason.

If the Government was to concentrate on government and NOT meddle in the privatisation or nationalisation many companies would not move lock stock and barrel overseas. Import and export legislation has made employment in this country untenable in the manufacturing industry and don't get me going on the rulings or 'ORDERS' from the unelected EU and their health and safety issues.

Much wind was blown on this subject and the upshot of it was - MORE LEGISLATION - Like we need MORE of that, 2500 so far this year will we TOP the 4000 + of last year.

There IS a real need to help those who cannot work but why throw the baby out with the bath water when the solution is SIMPLE.

Namaste, rev;

Chris Downing

Completely agreed with everything you said on QT. Its a shame the programme continues to fill the seats with a 'balanced panel' of politicians who make the programme largely a boring roll out of the latest scripts by their respective press offices.

And its about time that someone like you points out that Government Debt is due to Government overspending and politicians' decisions, and not the fault of banks.

However, there is a separate, but parallel in time, story about how banks lent, with the encouragement of Government, to those who were never going to be able to pay them back. Bad decisions should be seen to have realistic consequences not the continuing fulfillment of personal agendas that fuelled the original problems.

But due to all the spin Politicians have put on these stories, its not possible for the average voter to understand what has actually happened - resulting in the applause for the sort of misinformed rant Tony Robison embarked on. Just surprised you didn't challange many of his assertions - which were just plain badly informed. But then, he is an actor, not a financial analysit.

Terry Smith

Dear All, I have been a bit busy lately commenting on the Libor scandal (and doing my day job(s) DarewenLad) to offer much response to your comments, but thank you for them and keep posting. DarwenLad raises the question of why I do this when it seems like I am banging my head against a brick wall. Good question-I often wonder that myself but then I recall Edmund Burke’s words that ‘all it takes for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing’. I agree Question Time is a difficult format-you have to try to carry the studio audience as their reaction has an impact on the way you are perceived, so imagine what their reaction would have been if I had given Baldrick a going over.

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