Thursday, 28 June 2012

Nude rambling, Barclays and moral hazard

In February this year, Leeds Magistrates Court fined Nigel Keer (pictured left) £315 for rambling through a popular beauty spot naked except for a backpack, boots and a baseball cap. (Read report here)

Why do I mention this case? And what on earth has it got to do with Barclays? (apart from an amusing link to 'moral hazard')

Well, the penalty handed down to Mr Keer for a minor public order offence (he provoked an onlooker to frown!) is tougher than the fine handed down to Barclays.


Barclays was handed a fine of £290 million on Wednesday for its role in conniving to fix the LIBOR rate (the interest rate used for inter-bank lending) as you may have seen (if not, a reasonable article here). 


So how is the £315 Mr Keer was fined more than the £290m Barclays fine ?


Well, the BBC's Paul Lewis tweeted this morning that Barclays fine was just ten days' profits for the banking behemoth.


So, assuming Mr Keer is an average earner, then his 10 day 'profit' (his disposable income after tax) is £205 - as the Telegraph reports that the average disposable income is £144 per week.


So there we have it, wandering scantily clad around the hills of the Leeds hinterland is worse than international banking fraud.