Sir Fred Goodwin is now just Fred Goodwin—or, as critics call the disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland chief, Fred the Shred. The British government, saying Goodwin's bungling helped trigger the worst recession in the UK since WWII, has stripped him of the knighthood he was awarded in 2004 for "services to banking," the Daily Mail reports.
A $70 billion infusion of taxpayer money was required to save RBS, which is now 83% government owned. Goodwin walked away from his job without apologizing for his role in the banking disaster, and refused to give up any of his $26 million pension pot. The decision to take away his knighthood is rare—only criminals, dictators, and spies tend to have honors granted by the Queen stripped—but lawmakers are now calling for other bankers and regulators to lose their titles. Under pressure, Goodwin's successor decided to waive his $1.5 million bonus this week. (Read more Fred Goodwin stories.)