I note the £20-50 billion loss the NAO expects is broadly similar to my own calcs that I did last month. I thought a £30 billion loss would be the total, nasty but not on the scale of the huge public sector deficit we have run up of nearly £500 billion.
Is this a price worth paying - well probably, letting the banks fail would have cost the economy far more than £30 billion.
Should this be the end of bonus culture? No, it is a free market and you should pay what is required. However, I can't see in the long-term how a state owned bank can also be a high risk investment bank. If RBS's book was in a better state then the best plan would be to sell of RBS GBM, its investment banking division. Lloyds does not have an investment banking arm which is also why there is less focus on it in this regard.
However, being state-owned and bailed out makes a difference and huge payments are just not going to happen politically these days. Time will tell if this is a good idea for the shareholders (i.e. us) or not. Maybe I am wrong and all will be work out fine and I can eat my cyber-hat again.
Overall though Labour is being led by the nose by the media on a populist witch-hunt of bankers, it is sad to watch a fag-end Government in this phase, with poor long-term decisions taken for purely populist, electoral reasons.