the Noble Interviews / "Sir" James Crosby

Immaculate Timing

We met in the luxurious lounge of the Hyde Park Astoria. The handsome man striding purposefully across the lush carpet is the subject of my interview today. He sits down opposite me in a comfortable leather armchair. There is an air of quiet certainty, confidence, and authority about him.

DM: Hello Sir James. May I call you Jim?

JC: Of course, of course, my honour.

DM: You've had a busy week Jim. Elements of the printed press have commended you for your immaculate timing in selling shares of HSBOS, the bank of which you were chief executive at the time.

JC: Yes, although I have to admit it was more luck than judgement. I compartmentalise my share dealings when I deal with shares of company of which I am chief exec. They are taken care of in a completely different part of my brain so that information I am privy to as chief exec cannot impinge on decisions about dumping, er, excuse me, selling shares.

DM: For the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with your exploits, we are talking about how, whilst half your brain was busy overseeing the activities of HBOS, you other half, with uncanny prescience, was selling two thirds of your shares in the two years prior to its share price collapse. This was no mean feat.

JC: (Laughs) Yes, I know, sometimes I surprise myself.

DM: And the profit from this was roughly £4 million?

JC: (modestly) Yes.

DM: And this was on top of the £8 million you made in "salary" in the same period?

JC: Yes indeed.

DM: Extraordinary. You are truly a noble man.

JC: Many thanks.

© 2013 Deacon Martin

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