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

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Bob Diamond falls on his cheque book and resigns!

Bob Diamond ponders life and its meaning after bonuses
Bob Diamond has bowed to the inevitable. He has resigned as chief executive of Barclays. The bank was in turmoil over the LIBOR rate fixing scandal. This whole sorry saga has been the tipping point for the banks. But I think this is a good thing. Because now we can get it right out into the public gaze and have a proper debate. Do we want our banks to be run like casinos? And casinos that can basically print their own money so the roulette wheels keep moving even if the punters run out of cash.

These bank traders have been dreaming up new "vehicles" for making money out of nothing. It's financial alchemy on a grand scale. There can be only a select few who really know what goes on. In the public mind Barclays is the high street bank. It is not the trading rooms of computer bashing financial geeks sending crass emails to each other. As one staff member, on the branch front line, put it so well just now on the BBC website "It's been so hard working in a branch for the last few days. We as front line staff do not deserve to be put in that position. We do not receive bonuses, have a low basic salary, are chronically understaffed due to the fact that there is a real problem with the retention of staff due to high sales targets. We are as disappointed and as let down as the rest of the public, and for this reason I am pleased he is gone." So that's the message Bob! Kind of goes against what you said yesterday.

Last night there was a financial journalist on TV. He had seen Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman of RBS waxing on about this, that and the other, but basically saying nothing. The journalist was Ian Fraser and he called Hampton a hypocrite. So I thought Mr.Fraser might be worth looking up and I found his blog. Good reading it makes too. It will be the likes of Mr.Fraser who eventually untangle this web of corruption. Because corruption it is. It must be utterly corrupt to try to make money out of literally nothing. We must all know what is going on so we cannot be hoodwinked ever again.

Now, another aspect has been the British Bankers Association, until now fronted up by Angela Knight, one of John Major's former Treasury ministers. Ms Knight has gone into purdah today, but she knows more than she's saying. Let her be questioned at length too.

If the politicians could stop squabbling we might get something done. What we need is the unbridled truth about what the casino bankers do. Where the quantitatively eased money went to. Until the public has knowledge of these activities, the traders will carry on.

Oh, and Bob Diamond should forget a multi-million pound severance package or even thinking of suing the board if he doesn't get the same as Croesus. As a good Catholic boy he should know it's deeds as much as belief that "maketh the man"!


The trouble is that some of the keenest, most moralising pursuers of banks will be house-flipping, expense fiddling MPs. I know that the public memory is very short. They may well re-establish themselves as sturdy, incorruptible Tribunes of the People in the Westminster bubble. But I think people outside will at least have an uneasy feeling "Wasn't he the one who......?"

All the areas of life where we have seen massive corruption recently (Press & Media the biggest show in town up to now) are amongst groups which have close symbiotic relationships with politicians. They would not have behaved so blatantly if they had not had a nod, nudge and a wink from the politicians who are supposed to regulate them. But, when, like Mandy, you are "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich" you are unlikely to be on the side of those who get their bread by honest toil and to want your backhanders from those who get filthy rich by playing fast and loose.

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