So Goodbye! then, Barclays’ Bank chief executive, Bob “Diamond Geezer.”
Bob has finally fallen on his guilded sword following revelations concerning the systematic manipulation of the key LIBOR rate over the last few years.
Bob has always been a controversial figure, with his being American and all, a highly-paid banker and all, and a man with a very good cosmetic dentist, all of which has conspired to make him a hate figure in Britain.
His novel defence to the charge that he presided over a bank that was effectively defrauding its customers, and lying to the Bank of England and various regulators, was that he only found out about it a week ago and that it was everybody else’s fault.
Sadly, no-one thought to ask how he could justify his salary of tens of millions of pounds when he didn’t know what his traders were doing.
However, he has now rightly come unstuck, as everybody else at Barclays has testified before MPs and adopted the same “cut-throat defence,” saying that he definitely knew about it years ago and furthermore, he was the one who told everyone to do it, and that the Bank of England had told him to do it, which of course, the Bank of England denies.
So, that pretty much leaves Diamond with no support, except that of his daughter, and let’s face it, who gives a flying fuck what she thinks. She is after all, just another good-time girl slipstreaming through life on daddy’s money.
She is in fact, the modern variant of the “it” girls of the 1990s; the sort of women who believed that going to parties was a career.
She has now become a media personality, stimulating such serious, in-depth and revealing journalism as: “FHM investigates: just how fit is Bob Diamond’s daughter?”
So, LIBOR rigging is the last but one calumny that Britain’s banks have visited upon us, from allowing rogue traders to run up billions of pounds in losses from un-authorised trading positions, giving out 125% mortgages in the UK, buying US sub-prime mortgages (i.e. money lent to parolees on non-existent houses in the New Orleans flood basin) credit-enhanced with guarantees from Lehman Brothers (What could possibly go wrong?), to requiring partial nationalisation from taxpayers to rebuild their shattered balance sheets, to investing in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, to mis-selling interest rate swaps to business customers and PPI to retail customers, then rigging LIBOR to avoid having to pay out on them, right up to the breaking news that HSBC has been laundering Mexican drug money.
One wonders what else they could possibly have been getting up to? In what significant ways do they differ from Italy’s mafia, who let’s face it, run similarly unethical scams but at least manage to do so profitably?