"And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that."
John Dalberg Lord Acton
What I hear is that Mr. Bob Diamond's arrogant defiance so outraged Whitehall, and so embarrassed the monied interests, that the word went down to the Bank of England to show him the door, immediately as an example, in the Old Lady's role of making and breaking the major players in the City.
And for good measure, they encouraged the resignation of his recently promoted heir apparent, Mr. Jerry del Missier.
Mr. Diamond would have been lauded in the States, and offered a settlement and a wristslap, soft pillows and sweet praises by fawning lawmakers and the captive corporate media.
He will still have to appear before the government for questioning on Wednesday. That might be worth watching.
Someone should have cautioned him that the Jamie Dimon model of deriding the regulators and attempting to intimidate the government does not work as well in the UK.
The Tories may not be any more interested in serving the interests of their people, but they do have some measure of pride in their office and self-respect, of decorum, in comparison to Wall Street's bawds in the Congressional corporate campaign contributions bordello.
Diamond Quits As Barclays Chief
3 July 2012
Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned with immediate effect in the wake of the rate-rigging scandal.
The American banker, who has faced mounting calls to step down, said: "The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise."
He added: "I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth."
The move comes after Barclays was fined £290 million by UK and US regulators for manipulating the Libor, the rate at which banks lend to each other.
Chairman Marcus Agius, who announced his intention to resign over the affair yesterday, will lead the search for a new chief executive immediately, Barclays said. (At Broadmoor Hospital? - Jesse)
Read more here.
"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
John Dalberg Lord Acton
Bankers and the Neuroscience of Greed
2 July 2012
On 11 August 2011, Bob Diamond, chief executive of Barclays, delivered the BBC Today Programme business lecture. In it he declared that "culture" was the critical element in responsible banking, and the best test of it is "how people behave while no one is watching." We now know that banking failed the test and so must ask why, in Sir Mervyn King's words, "excessive compensation", "shoddy treatment of customers", "mis-selling" and "the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate", flourished in the banking sector. Cognitive neuroscience can point to some answers.
Senior bankers hold enormous power, greater than that of many elected national leaders. Largely unaccountable except to occasional shareholders meetings and often quiescent boards, their power is much less constrained than that of democratically elected leaders. And given that power is one of the most potent brain-changing drugs known to humankind, unconstrained power has enormously distorting effects on behaviour, emotions and thinking.
Holding power changes brains by boosting testosterone, which in turn increases the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain's reward systems. Extraordinary power causes extraordinary brain changes, which in their extreme form manifest themselves in personality distortions, such as those seen in dictators like Muammar Gaddafi.
The "masters of the universe" who have arisen out of a deregulated world financial system were given unprecedented power that inevitably must have caused major changes to their brains. While power in moderate doses can make people smarter, more strategic in their thinking, bolder and less depressed, in too-large doses it can make them egocentric and un-empathic, greedy for rewards – financial, sexual, interpersonal, material – likely to treat others as objects, and with a dulled perception of risk...
Read the rest here.
Diamond in the rough; Banker Bob falls on sword
By Gregory Katz
Jul. 3, 2012
LONDON (AP) — He was a poster boy for corporate arrogance, telling Parliament last year that the time for bankers to apologize had passed.
Now Bob Diamond is just the latest victim of growing public anger at a British establishment they regard as greedy and ethically challenged. Bankers, politicians and journalists have all felt the full force of the growing disdain at a time of economic troubles.
The hard-driving CEO of Barclays bank resigned Tuesday, buckling under massive media pressure and a few none-too-subtle hints from top politicians that his days at the top should be numbered.
In the few short days since Barclays was fined $453 million for its role in the LIBOR interest rate fixing scandal, Diamond, an American with a stratospheric pay package, came to symbolize everything wrong with international banking...
Read the rest here.