Kathleen Burk, 9 July 1992
The City of London has always had a streak of lawlessness, partly because great fortunes could be made and partly because regulation has been relatively light. Advantage has repeatedly been taken of the latter, and certainly the past few years have seen a series of scandals, notably Lloyd’s, Guinness, Barlow Clowes, BCCI and now Maxwell. Indeed, Maxwell bids fair to be one of the best. Robert Maxwell was a rogue of the first order, but no one can say that we were not warned: in 1971 the Department of Trade and Industry warned that he was ‘not a fit and proper person to have charge of a public company’. Not the least interesting question is why, with that sort of record, banks were so eager to lend large sums of money to him.