Thank goodness they’re going to appoint directors

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So RBS, HBOS and Lloyds are falling into partial sate control today: give it a week or two and they will be nationalised. I don't believe Barclays will succeed with its plans.

But the really important news is that the government is taking powers to appoint non-execs. They have to. More than that: those non-execs have to be tough enough not to observe, but to impose strategy. If they are ignored then nationalisation has to follow. The era of the banker as we have known it is over, which is what worries me about the possible appointment of Stephen Hester to RBS: the man embodies all the wrong messages about banking and cannot carry public confidence with him as a result.

But the right moves have begun, the markets have reacted positively (although I place little store in that for now) but what we really need to know is that a new era in banking has begun. On that the jury is still out, and the public are going to want a lot of reassurance before they decide this is money properly spent.