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Fred Goodwin

12 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 04 September 2012

The New Elizabethans: James Naughtie examines the legacy of banker Fred Goodwin. Having turned the Royal Bank of Scotland into a major player in global banking, he lost millions of pounds, a knighthood, and any public esteem. Just how much did the actions of "Fred the Shred" and other leading bankers jeopardise the global economy?

The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings.

They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".


    Inside RBS: The Bank that ran out of Money, a BBC Two documentary, 05/12/2011

    News footage of Fred Goodwin’s appearance before the Treasury Select Committee.

    BBC News, broadcast on the day RBS were bailed out, 13/10/2008

    BBC News Archive questioning Goodwin’s pension, 03/03/2009



  1. Image for The New Elizabethans

    The New Elizabethans

    To mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, James Naughtie introduces the 60 new Elizabethans who…

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