31 DECEMBER 1994, Page 20

Broken Reed

A ROTTEN Christmas for Mark Reed. He has lost his livelihood. Mr Reed was a director of the (rotten) Levitt Group. The Securities and Investment Board thinks that present and future investors need to be protected from him, and has disqualified him from working in financial services. That contrasts with the court's sentence on his chairman, Roger Levitt: 180 hours of weeding pensioners' window-boxes or other forms of community service. Regulatory justice can be swifter and sterner. Fines, recompense, civil or penal damages, dis' grace and disqualification can add up to quite a package. It is true that the SIB can- not send you to prison, but the courts have not proved very good at that, either. The first Guinness trial was the exception, booking Ernest Saunders into Ford prison, but it is now to come up for review in the Court of Appeal. Ford was bad for NI! Saunders's health, release proved benefi' cial, and a belated acquittal could be just what his doctor ordered. His erstwhile mer" chant banker, Roger Seelig, may need to find a new charity. Mr Seelig's Christmas card this year benefited the Distressed Gentlefolks' Aid Association.