Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beehives and Black Horses

This rather strange title refers to Lloyds Bank, much in the news today. Lloyds was founded in Birmingham in 1765 as a private bank to assist manufacturers and traders in the city, then a major player in the period of Enlightenment. This was the zenith of the Lunar Society's activities.

Lloyds has gone from strength to strength and, together with Barclays has been a survivor. How it will weather the current banking crisis will be interesting to say the least.

Gordon Brown apparently brokered the take over of HBOS by Lloyds to create was was then called a great opportunity. I doubt if Lloyds shareholders would now agree, particularly as the truth about HBOS' reckless business model is still emerging. As an Enlightenment start-up, Lloyds was probably also anti-Establishment. Present day management has obviously joined the Establishment.

So what of the beehive? It was the bank's first symbol, representing hard work and industry (and I bet bees don't earn bonuses!) Later the bank took over premises that had a black horse as its symbol. The black horse was possibly adopted simply to save money!

Oh how things have changed.