It took about four years for the Bank of England, under Lord King's governorship, to be persuaded to examine its performance and decision-making during the financial crisis.
Even then, critics said the specific areas of soul-searching were chosen to cause minimum fuss.
By that yardstick, the Bank, under Mark Carney's leadership, has gone into overdrive when faced with allegations that officials condoned, or ignored, rigging of currency markets by banks' trading desks. An internal investigation was launched last October when the allegations were first made. This week, as a member of the Bank's staff was suspended, the investigation was booted up to the governing court's new "oversight committee".
This committee was established only a year ago to address the worry that corporate governance at the Bank belonged to a different era and that the executives were all-powerful. It comprises solely non-executive members of the court, including Sir David Lees (former boss of engineer GKN), Sir Roger Carr (chairman of BAE Systems) and Dave Prentis (general secretary of Unison).
Everybody happy? Not exactly. Andrew Tyrie, tenacious chairman of the Treasury select committee and long-standing critic of the Bank's governance arrangements, told the Financial Times that the central bank needs "a board worthy of the name" to investigate the foreign exchange allegations.
Tyrie has a point. First, it seems very odd that Lees, Carr, Prentis & co didn't insist on leading the investigation in the first place. This affair should have gone straight to the top. If Bank officials knew of attempts by banks' trading desks to manipulate rates regularly at 4pm but didn't tell their superiors, Threadneedle Street's credibility as a competent regulator would suffer immense damage. The court minutes show the executive-led investigation was discussed at the December meeting. Given what's at stake, why not at the November gathering, the first opportunity?
Second, one has to wonder whether external members of the court, the supposed newly-empowered policemen of the Bank, have time to do much digging themselves. Most have big jobs elsewhere; Lees, chairman until June, is contracted to work only five days a month, even if, in practice, he does more. Law firm Travers Smith will prepare the actual report. That's not the same as appointing a judge or external senior accountant to investigate.
Carney, when he appears before Tyrie's committee on Tuesday, will clearly be unable to say anything meaningful about the investigation itself. But he must give an opinion on how the Bank can avoid the suspicion it is still allowed to mark its own homework.
• Essar Energy's arrival on the London market in 2010 was a big event at the time. In the midst of a flotation famine and recession on the home front, the arrival of a £5bn Indian power group conjured welcome visions of growth in emerging markets.
Investing in the electrification of India seemed a promising bet. From 420p at float, Essar Energy almost touched 600p within a year. Confidence was high and the founding Ruia brothers, still with a majority stake, displayed their global ambitions by buying the Stanlow oil refinery in Cheshire.
It's been downhill fast since then. Essar Energy's troubles have come in droves in India – tax squabbles, permit wrangles over coal mines, the decline in the rupee and tough conditions in oil refining.
The shares had plunged to 60p when the Ruias' Essar Global fund, with a 78% stake, said last month it was minded to offer minority investors 70p to take the company private again.
Cue a bitter row. David Cumming at shareholder Standard Life calls the buyout proposal "cynical opportunism". The independent directors think 70p "clearly undervalues the company and its long-term growth prospects". They're right.
While most of Essar Energy's woes have been inflicted from outside, which makes the company a different beast from the wretched Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (taken private by its Kazakh backers last year), Essar Global simply hasn't explained why it is making its move now.
There has been much muttering about how London's investment community has lost interest in the business. As a general observation, that's correct. But those shareholders who have remained on the register plainly are still engaged and think there may still be a decent investment opportunity when the Indian outlook brightens.
More to the point, Essar Global was describing Essar Energy's shares as "exceptional value" as recently as last November when the price was 97p. If anything, the news on coal permits has been mildly positive since then, making a pitch at 70p plain mean.
Under London's "put up or shut up" rules, Essar Global has until Friday to make its intentions clear. It may try to add a few extra pennies to the price and hope the furore dies down.
But, if the Ruias really want to show they're different from ENRC, the right thing to do is to shut up, drop the buy-out attempt and allow the likes of Standard Life to continue to take their chances.
Four years as a public company is no time at all when you are trying to supply Indian's long-term need for reliable energy.
• Another day, another chance to buy an online retailing wonder-stock. At £560m, Boohoo.com, say its fans, is actually valued at a discount to the likes of Asos, the fashion leader, and AO World, the fridges folk with pan-European ambitions.
The financial calculation is correct. Boohoo made "adjusted" earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £10.1m in the 10 months to December last year. Call that £12m on an annualised basis and Boohoo is priced at "only" 47 times top-line earnings.
As usual in the current climate for online retailers, demand for the shares will be strong. But, when 47-times earnings has become the definition of cheap, these are strange days.
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