A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Friday, June 29, 2012

Rough Diamond bobs and weaves in Barclays' LIBOR storm

Big Boy at Barclays to be done over if not bound over!
Today we hear of more miscreant activity in the banks. This time the rogues have allowed their salespersons to target small businesses with a toxic product linked to loans. When the hapless business owner went to their bank for a loan, the greedy "adviser" was more keen to sell an add-on that would help the bonus pool but would more than likely hinder the business it was linked to. These products were known as interest rate swaps, things that were more at home in big corporate business land than the arena of small business. In some cases the businesses went bust. All because the banks failed to disclose in an advisory capacity that there were some very nasty stings in the tale.

I'm very dissatisfied with Vince Cable's lack of reigning in these monsters. He was the one that started to call them casino banks. In opposition he was keen to get going. Well, let's see some action now he's in charge. Let us have right now a bill introduced that would sever the high street banking operations from the "investment" banks. Let us get back to bank managers advising us properly about financial matters. Let us sweep away this greedy bonus culture, which attracts spivs and charlatans. These small businesses have been caught up in a near criminal sting. The whole country, barring the spivs, is demanding action.

Now there was once a college lecturer who had dreams of being a bank boss. As in all good (or sometimes bad) fairy stories, he has realised his ambition and is a bank boss. But he doesn't take kindly to being lectured to by others, especially politicians. Bob Diamond is described as being a tough cookie. Well, he may be. He may also be arrogant but he can't be so stupid as to know he's got large numbers of people demanding he goes as chief executive of Barclays. He has written to the Treasury Select Committee implying he's staying put and laying the blame for this latest bout of criminal-like activity at the hands of "a few employees". No mention of the word "sorry" but sorry Bob, that won't do. You're supposed to be the boss. Did it never occur to you since you got the job to explore the possibilities of wrongdoing or even poor practice in your outfit? And with so many high profile exposes of rogue trading?

As Rupert Murdoch has found out, the buck does not stop with one rogue but with a whole corrupt gaggle of them. Now, under shareholder pressure, his empire is cracking into two halves. Your company, Bob, will be sliced open to see how rotten it is. If not by this weasel-worded government, it will be by the media and, more ominously for you, by former employees who get a rush of conscience.

Bank chiefs may think they can hide. They may think they can ride roughshod over their customers and the people generally. They can't. The dam has been breached. There is no going back, Bob.


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