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Opinion

Fred Goodwin's super-injunction: Secrets and lies

Sir Fred Goodwin, ex-chief executive of RBS, who found himself the lightning rod for UK public anger over the financial crisis in 2008, seems to have again served himself up on a plate to the UK media for ridicule.

Sir Fred Goodwin, ex-chief executive of RBS

Goodwin recently obtained a super-injunction (a court order that prevents news organizations from revealing the identities of those involved in legal disputes, or even reporting the fact that reporting restrictions have been imposed) in the UK courts – apparently to prevent him being identified as a banker. The existence of Sir Fred’s super-injunction was revealed by a member of parliament who used parliamentary privilege to reveal the order in the House of Commons. While the injunction was made to prevent Goodwin’s identification in other matters, the idea that being a banker is something that someone would be prepared to take legal action to avoid admitting is too good to be true for many reporters. Maybe Sir Fred would rather be thought of as the alternative dictionary definition of a banker: "The player in charge of the bank in some gambling games". For many involved in the acquisition of ABN Amro this might be a definition of Sir Fred that they more readily recognize.


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