By Rod Bridger

Let us imagine for one moment that you are fortunate enough to own your own company.  You built your company from nothing.  You worked hard, very hard, to get to where you are today.  You provide employment for let’s say 5,000 people.  You lead a very comfortable life and justifiably enjoy the fruits of your labour.  You have a very nice home in a very nice area Just outside of the City and with fine views across the river, indeed one of your neighbours is the head of a City Commercial Bank.  Your children enjoy the best of everything, including education.  You have deserved the quality of life that you now enjoy.

 One day, you make a mistake.  A terrible mistake.  You gambled all of the assets of your company on one big deal that would have trebled the size of your company if it had come off.  But it didn’t, at the last-minute it started to go wrong.  Desperate to save the deal and the future of your company you recklessly threw into a pot a reserve of money that was not yours to throw away, but you were confident you would be able to put it back in a couple of days.  For a very short while things started to look up until one morning, what you had feared most of all happened.  The deal finally fell through.  You had no more money.  Your company was now worthless and worse still, so was the money that you had purloined.

 In desperation you call your friend, who happens to also be your MP and ask him for government help to bail you out of this ‘short term’ problem; after all you have 5,000 people and their families depending on you.  After the telephone call ends you realise that your MP is no longer your friend!  A short while later, your PA (we don’t have secretaries anymore) ushers into your office two Police Officers.  You try to explain to them that you only acted in the best interests of your company but they don’t listen to you.

 The last your employee’s see of you as they are handed letters telling them that with immediate effect they are out of work, is you being driven away, in handcuffs, in a police car.

 As you sit in your cell, wracked with guilt about the effect your actions have had on not only on your own family but also your 5,000 ex-employee’s and their families, you are puzzled when you read a report that the bank of which your neighbour is CEO, has just been given a £1.5 Billion bail out grant by the government because the bank made some bad investments – but it was too big to fail.  To rub salt into the wounds he has now been made a government advisor on how to manage the finances of the country.

 You now have seven years in which to ruminate on the injustices of life in the fast lane.

The Tale of the Second City can be found here:  –

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