Sunday, July 1, 2012

Diamond geezer

Bad news for Bob Diamond (E-petition for public inquiry into bankers’ misdeeds « Debtonation: The Global Financial Crisis).

One of the big advantages of the banking fraternity is that the top bananas are largely unknown to the public, so that their misdeeds are rarely presented to the public in personalized terms (unlike politicians). There is huge public anger towards banks and bankers, but no obvious faces to plaster over the front pages for the baying mob to rage at.

Until now. Well, to be fair, Fred 'the Shred' Goodwin took the flak for a few months, if you can call a lost knighthood, a broken window, and a multi-million pound pension 'flak'. But then, nothing until the Libor scam produced Barclays and its egocentric CEO as main villains. Sacrificing Bob Diamond will probably have no material effect on the way banking works in this country, but at least one of the smuggest faces of  extractive finance would lose its grin.

The key point about Diamond is that he is either complicit in financial corruption, or he is a hopeless manager. What, after all, is the £17 million salary for, if the man can't prevent his own employees from running up £290 million fine? But he has also made the key mistake of attracting attention to himself, probably out of sheer vanity. He'll therefore have to take the rap at some point.