In the year 1124, the King of England had a problem with the people who produced the kingdom’s money.
The quality of the coins in the early part of the reign was poor, as the moneyers made a large profit by producing underweight coins or coins of debased fineness. In 1124 Henry called all 150 moneyers to Winchester, and called them to account for their activities — 94 of them were convicted of issuing sub-standard coins and were mutilated, their right hands and one testicle being cut off, as a result of which the quality of coins improved for most of the remainder of his reign.
More recently, on March 22 1699, William Chaloner was hung from the neck until he died. He had been convicted of debasing the coinage.
In 1789, Catherine Murphy became the last woman to be executed by burning. Again, she and her co-defendants were convicted of coining.
In June 2005 Anatasios Arnaouti was jailed for 8 years for his part in producing £2.5m worth of fake £10 notes.
In 2012, Barclays was fined £290m after illegally manipulating interest rates. The head of Barclays – Bob Diamond – decided to forgo his multi-million pound bonus. He will still be awarded millions of pounds worth of shares.
The traders at RBS – fined £150 million pounds for involvement in the same crime – will not have to pay back their bonuses. Because RBS is state owned, the public will have to pay the fine.
In a mere eight hundred and eighty-eight years, we’ve gone from castrating people who attempt to destroy our economy – to letting them fuck us.