Monday, July 9, 2012

A Banker Called To Account

Said Barclays' Bob Diamond quite bluntly:
"I roundly resent the effrontery
To be fired abroad
For a silly old fraud
We'd soon overlook in my country."

The LIBOR-setting scandal has caused heads to roll at Barclays Plc, the first bank to be investigated in the case. Among them is CEO Robert E. Diamond, Jr., a "hard-charging" American who has been relieved of his duties at the behest of the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.

As Gretchen Morgenson wrote in The New York Times, he may have "thought he’d be subject to American rules of engagement when confronted with evidence of wrongdoing at his bank. You know how it works on this side of the Atlantic: faced with a scandal, most chief executives jettison low-level employees, maybe give up a bonus or two — and then ride out the storm. Regulators, if they act, just extract fines from the shareholders."

In a refreshing change of pace, British regulators actually demand that bankers be called to account for their wrongdoing.

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