Ringing bell-like through yesterday's evidence to Chilcot were the distinct echoes of what was happening in every bank's risk committee throughout the years of demented risk-taking excess.
"I am not used to receiving dogmatic legal advice" - Straw's rebuke to Sir Michael Wood is the authentic voice of Fred Goodwin and every other board- room bully, when faced with inconvenient advice from lawyers, accountants, tax advisers or risk-managers. "Why has this been put in writing ?" "Don't advise them that the legal issues are finely balanced" - the injunctions of executives prior to the non-execs being briefed.
And in banking there are rarely issues of war and peace, life and death at stake. How much more readily, then, will the professional advisers back down, slink away, and redraft their advice to be more helpful to their masters ?
This is the spirit of the age, of Fred Goodwin and Alastair Campbell, Jack Straw, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. There's no mystery over how the Goldsmiths of the world come to change their opinions, or how the disasters keep rolling in.