What will PR people be doing every day for the first six months after the crisis?
Apologising for how badly their clients behaved during it.
This thought arrived after a chat with my two top lawyers. One is a highly respectable figure who prosecutes scamsters that rip off the vulnerable. If he is after you, you are going down.
The other is more like Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. He mostly defends City traders who rip off other City traders.
If he is defending you, you totally did it.
But you might well get off lightly. As the Chris Rock joke goes, it’s better to be guilty at home than innocent in prison.
I assumed that both were presently idle, what with courts being closed. Wrong.
Both said a version of the same thing, which is that regulators in most fields, certainly in the City, are suddenly much better, more thorough, at their jobs.
Why? Because they have been freed from internal nonsense. Four-hour meetings about gender fluid policies are out. Team building drum circles where staff learn the “power of group energy” are bang out of order.
Doing your job and keeping it is the new black. So the Financial Conduct Authority is suddenly all over things it would previously have missed, say my legal eagles.
Bank employees who think no one is watching them just now, that they can get away with it, face a rude slap from reality.
They are being watched like never before, by a bunch of over-caffeinated tech nerds, hunched over laptops at home, desperately trying to justify their pay checks.
Perhaps the PR industry should nudge its clients now by saying: you are going to get caught. When you are, there is only so much we will be able to do for you…