Connoisseurs of the compound cock-up are currently savouring this year's premier cru - Les Grand Shambles - as uncorked at London's Stock Exchange a couple of weeks ago. The Exchange's annual report revealed that its chief executive, Peter Rawlins, who resigned in March, was paid a very tasty £348,000 - including a £75,000 performance-related bonus 'against the achievement of specific objectives achieved during the year'.
Clearly, the 12 months up to 31 March, 1993, were something of a vintage year for Rawlins - although some critics felt that his annus mirabilis should have been just a little overshadowed by the £75 million write-off at the Exchange, and the estimated £400 million-worth of wasted effort across the City caused by the sudden collapse, on 11 March, of the Exchange's Taurus computer project.
Many of these critics say that they had been under the impression that the safe delivery of Taurus in 1993 - not its unexpected demise - had been one of the 'specific objectives' Rawlins had to achieve during the year. Aficionados of the Rawlins' methode claim that the criticism is a non-too-fine blend of noble rot and the after-taste of sour grapes. It's enough to turn a man to drink.