SKETCH: Bob Diamond, a LIBOR fine, and a tale of two cities.

Long-term Slog suspicions about Diamond have been borne out by this disgraceful admission. However, the case has set a precedent – as a result of which, welfare scroungers may well find they face writing obligatory letters of apology.

“What, you mean I’m Bob Diamond?”

Regular Sloggers will know that I’ve been on Bob Diamond’s case for some time now. Here’s a selection of Slog observations about the Diamond Geezer over the last two years:

Bob Diamond’s accession to the post of blue touch-paper igniter [CEO of Barclays] is a done deal. And another nail in the Coalition’s coffin.’

‘While he is seen as the bold raider who captured Lehman Brothers investment division (now folded into Barcap) it’s clear that he didn’t do enough due diligence before buying it. At the 2010 Manhattan inquiry into the acquisition, several Barcap executives testified that Barclays Plc had no real idea how big Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s futures-and-options trading business was. In particular, Elizabeth James, a director of Barclays’ futures business, described Lehman’s books as “a mess”. She said she received an e-mail from former Barclays trading executive Stephen King saying Lehman had “absolutely no idea” if it had sold $2 billion more options than it had bought, or whether it owned $4 billion more than it had sold.’

‘In 2009, [Barclays] bank reported a profit of £11.6bn, but the 2010 figure reported earlier this week was £6bn. So: profits fell by nearly half, then. Er…no, this year’s reported results changed last year’s profit of £11.6bn down  to £4.6bn, so this meant the bank could report a rise of one third in profits….Diamond explained away the ‘correction’ by saying this was the result of taking out the gain the bank made on its sale of BGI, and of comparing the performance of “continuing operations”. No, I’ve no idea what that means either: but the bottom line is that in 2009, it suited the bank to post big profits, and this year it suits the bank to shrink those past profits. It’s a three-card trick, pure and simple.Equally shifty was Diamond’s attempt to show that, despite profits having gone ‘up’, pay and bonuses had gone ‘down’. Here, it is even easier to show that his claims are complete bollocks…’

‘As you may have noticed, Barclays CEO Bob Diamond spent a two hour stretch last month looking down his nose at an MPs Committee (he was right to – their performance was awful to behold) before deciding to cut out the monkeys and simply threaten the organ-grinder in Downing Street…’

Three weeks ago, French Establishment paper Le Figaro claimed ‘the authorities suspect that key traders [at Barcap] used Treasury information via the main branch dealing with the UK Treasury[to manipulate the LIBOR rate]’. At the time, the Barcap investment division was headed by the Barclays CEO today, Bob Diamond. Diamond last appeared in Court last February, when the Lehman estate accused Barcap of having undervalued the broken company. Judge James Peck referred to Diamond’s evidence at the time as ‘devious’. Peck even advised Lehman’s lawyer, “This is a witness that needs to have the leash held tight.”’

The loveliness of the Diamond Geezer goes on and on, but there he is still walking about free as a bird after his bank was fined a record £290 million for repeatedly distorting basic financial data which are used to set interest rates on millions of loans and other transactions around the world…aka, manipulating the rate in their favour to avoid the Bank going order. He was the CEO of Barcap then, he’s the CEO of the whole shooting match now, but he ain’t facing trial. Because he’s foregone his bonus. Bless.

However, he is facing “calls to resign”. Not calls to attend Bow Street nick, “calls to resign”. And in unrelated news, 4,000 demonstrators in Croydon faced calls for their resignation this afternoon. They apologised for torching three streets and said they would forego their welfare dosh this month, on account of having been banged up in the Scrubbs so fast squire, their feet didn’t touch.

Money is no longer just power: money gives you immunity from the law. It always did, but not in quite the brazen way that Diamond seems to pull it off. His pep-talk to the staff via intranet, mind you, was a Lulu: Slog mole Pedro Recent listen in to it, and has given me the full match report…the highlights go like this:

“Mah fellow Barclayans, it is sort of a Goddamm shame what some people will get up to putting the company at risk an’ all, but mainly it’s real kinda disappointin’ that the CEO of this company is a crook, and let me tell you that when we find this son of a …oh, wait a minute, I’m Bob Diamond. Aw shucks.”


If you’re Bulgarian and you live in Varna, yesterday was a disappointment. There you were, having a quiet class of Suindhal Merlot in anticipation of a ratings upgrade from S&P, and all they did was confirm you at BB. What a bbbbummer.

But then, worse news: the good burghers of rival city Stara Zagora (“We spit on Stara Zagora, it is full of idiots and ne’er-do-wells”) got upgraded to BB+. This is like watching Wayne Rooney get upgraded to First Class: both mystifying, irritating, and unjustifiable under the circumstances.

Moody’s last week confirmed Russia and declared it to be in great shape. Which is funny really, because I did a survey around the back streets of Zaragossa last week, and it’s very clear to me that Spain is in terrific shape and merely the unfortunate target of international speculators. I’d rate them AA+ on the beggar count, AAA on nobody jumping off buildings, and AAb(b+) on taking penalties. If anyone right now thinks Russia is ‘safe’ then they clearly haven’t noticed an economy massively overdependent on oil with a global depression almost upon us, the increasing influence of the mafia, the breakdown of democracy there, and property borrowers with name like Donald Duck owing money to RBS, the unfortunate recipients of a glitch caused by Indian incompetence. Those Indians, eh? Typical.

Stick with it, it can only get worse.


45 thoughts on “SKETCH: Bob Diamond, a LIBOR fine, and a tale of two cities.

  1. Mr Diamond’s Barclays division was manipulating Libor and Euribor. The Euribor rate is the basis for Spanish mortgage rates. Did he, by artificially reducing the Euribor rate to enhance Barclays’ profit, foster the growth of the (now seen to be) disastrous Spanish real estate bubble. I wonder.


  2. I have just heard that Ron Pauls “Audit the fed” legislation has been passed through US congress!!!!!!!!!
    This coupled to the Keenan/Scott Liens placed against all 12 of the US federal banks (Read this in full at David Wilcocks website) means there will be no more handouts to the ECB!!!
    Effectively “THE GAME IS UP”.

    Watch the US very closely over the next few days leading upto JULY 4TH
    its going to be VERY interesting.


  3. I must say I do like it when they try to state their apologies, having paid oily consultants fat moolar for coaching lessons on the company time.
    Shreddy Fred, Hester, Diamond Bob, even Blinky Blankfein. Pity Jamie Dimon and his Presidential cufflinks thought he could bluff it out. His demise will be most gratifying.


  4. property borrowers with name like Donald Duck owing money to RBS

    I thought that sort of thing was reserved for the state of Delaware. After all, aren’t the Americans keen on fraud?


  5. the increasing influence of the mafia-just how much more influence can they have?Swiss banks are refusing Russian oligarch money as it is now so poisonous.If these cockroaches are refusing don’t ya think London should?Texan “banks”are aiding and abetting the movement of money to give it a fragrant air-and the inner ring of fraud continues,as bodies lie around or slip off boats in the Med,whilst not even a raised eyebrow among law enforcement-nice!


  6. Isn’t the question – was Diamond aware of the manipulation – if so isn’t he a party to the fraud or involved in a conspiracy? If not in the UK what about the USA?

    When profits are adjusted retrospectively is the bonus poll adjusted as well? Is there any claw-back?


  7. Bob Diamond and his fellow troughers deserve a precious stoning for bringing criminality into disrepute; I wouldn’t bank on it happening though.


  8. Pingback: John Ward – SKetch : Bob Diamond, A LIBOR Fine, And A Tale Of Two Cities – 28 June 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  9. I do not envy Cameron’s chances of defending that wonderful institution of the City of London against the slings and arrows that will be coming from all sides now.

    Can he really be seen to be defending an institution that will inevitably be portrayed as both inept and corrupt.


  10. The climax will be the fall of the House of Morgan and a US Government default.
    The Morgan stronghold of US T-Bonds and Interest Rate Swap structure will then collapse, as the CDS contract floor beneath it fragments and disintegrates and the sovereign debt tied to it crumbles.
    This will bring down the whole house of cards, with the Interest Rate Swap apparatus imploding.
    The whole process which started in the weaker nations will end in Paris, London, and New York.


  11. If Diamond knew of the fraud then he should be sacked and put in prison. If he did not know about the fraud then he should be sacked for incompetence.

    Everyone rises to their level of incompetence.
    Laurence J. Peter


  12. When regulators manipulate, is that OK!

    When regulators set the capital requirements for banks based on perceived risks, even though these perceived risks are already priced in by the bankers in the interest rates, they are, though perhaps unwittingly, effectively manipulating the interest rates.

    The direct consequence of that is that those officially perceived as not-risky, have to pay much less in interests than what would have been the case without this distortion, and those officially perceived as risky need to pay much more… and all for absolutely no good reason at all.

    And so when reading about Barclays being fined for manipulating interest rates, my first thought was, “Well done!… but where can the “risky” small businesses and entrepreneurs also sue the regulators for all the monstrously excessive interests they have had to pay over the years?

    Simple calculations indicate to me that a not-rated bank client, exclusively on account of this odious regulatory discrimination, has had to pay about 270 bp (2.7%) more in interest rates when compared to an AAA rated bank client… or, like now, in times of extremely scarce bank capital, suffer the consequences of being excluded from access to bank credit.


  13. This whole disaster is playing straight into the hands of those in the EU who would like to take over the City and tax and regulate it to death. Maybe now is a good moment to start thinking of how else we might make our living. Defending the City is going to be extraordinarily tough, not least because we have never properly regulated it.


  14. This (corruption) is now being shown to infect the entire body politic and financial system.

    While no apologist for what happened last year in the London riots when people are going to jail for stealing bottles of water when are we going to see these people jailed for massive fraud.

    When the law becomes different things to different parts of society the whole thing collapses.

    Will this happen no chance.


  15. Apropos of nothing one hopes…none of barclays cash machines (sorry I mean Hole In The Walls – must remember my rebranding) seem to be allowing withdrawals today.


  16. The story of how and why Martin Taylor was no longer in charge at Barclays will be part of the slide into unsustainable international operations,and the rise of Diamond and his cohorts in the City and NY establishments.


  17. Sorry to be stupid/slow on this, but could you explain further, please?
    What is ‘audit the fed’ legislation? And what is the significance of July 4th?


  18. Much sooner than you may think.
    The trouble is that Fiat money creation and Fractional
    (fictional) reserve banking are the biggest fraud.All the
    bankers know it,so they are all crooks to start with.
    These further frauds are mere icing on that cake.
    A fish rots from the head.


  19. Guardian Newspaper, 2.30 pm … George Osborne has announced that new criminal offences will be created to punish bankers guilty of misconduct.


  20. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Why the global political class lies in fear of the LIBOR scandal | A diary of deception and distortion

  21. Don’t understand why the City should not be taxed and regulated by UK in order to stop the tail wagging the dog. Of course to do that we would need to have politicians who represent the interests of voters not bankers. It would be surprising if the City is not capable of looking after itself, they are after all masters of fraud and misrepresentation and they have conned/bought our politicians into the view that they are integral to Britains national interest: bollocks!


  22. Good question, he was in charge at the investment division when his workers were suborning their colleagues to manipulate rates. Presumably he knows too much and the issue is too integrally bound up with the establishment to permit a full public airing of the facts. Another nail in the coffin for British values of fair play. Not only are they too big too fail it would appear they are too big too prosecute as well.


  23. Bob says only the guy on the desk knew? No-one above him had the data on their inter-bank borrowing? Only the guys on the other side of the chinese wall knew what the figures were likely to be, and they were supposed to be kept in the dark?
    They are manipulating every market they are operating in. Silver, oil, the stock and bond markets & HFT, definitely gold, the currency markets, the regulators, the bail-out funds, the politicians and finally their taxes.
    Yet I see no appetite in the corridors of power to take them on, the politicians heckle from a distance.
    ……. on second thoughts, maybe we should just be pleased we are getting an apology. They could have just used a poxy, proxy apologists do do the prostrating for them, like in olden days.


  24. Pingback: Exclusive: Libor manipulation…. | A diary of deception and distortion

  25. Pingback: John Ward – Exclusive : Libor Manipulation … – 1 July 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  26. Pingback: Libor manipulation [the Slog] « Mktgeist blog

  27. Pingback: Bob Diamond, Libor & a Tale of Two Cities | Doomstead Diner

  28. Pingback: CULTURE OF BANKER’S: What’s Really Eexpected « EconPOV

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