Northern Rock’s assets should be run down gradually, maximising value to taxpayers and minimising the scale of the potential loss. That much is clear. In this scenario, jobs at Northern Rock will have to be shed.
The Government has instead decided to try to keep Northern Rock going as a profitable business – never mind that it is a company with a busted brand, that would indeed be bust were it not for the £110 billion taxpayer guarantee.
There are 6,000 jobs at Northern Rock. The taxpayer liability per job is therefore a staggering £18.3 million. Should we really be risking so much for so few?