Amongst the pearls that fell from his lips was the following:
Shareholders must also take responsibility to be active individually and more importantly, in collaboration with other investors, to engage with senior management and Non-Executive Directors in companies and question the effectiveness of the construct of their boards. The FSA is keen to encourage greater dialogue between the regulator and investors and we would certainly like to hear when any issues or risks you raise are not being addressed.
At this point one might be tempted to tell Sants that he should look at his own failings before criticising others. But he continues:
"Turning to you as investors, the question I would like to focus on is whether you all knew and understood what you were buying. The crisis has arguably been driven among investors by an intense search for yield; a desire to gain as much as possible at a 'risk free rate'. These imbalances stimulated demand which has been met by a wave of financial innovation in the form of complex securitisation. How many of these different ways to satisfy demand and "add value", by offering investors more combinations of risk and return more attractive than those available historically, were truly understood?"
Indeed, it appears that Sants fails to see the irony or hypocrisy of his own track record, but he continues:
"It is critical to recognise that the principal responsibility for managing firms responsibly remains with the management of the firms and that shareholders are the principal mechanism for holding these managers accountable."
Did I hear that right? Shareholders have a responsibility to hold directors to account? Not at all, shareholders can buy shares, put them in the bank and go cruising round the world if they wish. They have a right, but no such duty, surely. But Sants went on with the following summing up points:
"Shareholders going forward, have a duty, an obligation to make that
oversight role more effective."
So what is he going to do next? Regulate non-compliant shareholders. The man is clearly deranged.
But then we know Sants rhymes with pants. Need I say any more?