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THE FOG

The economy, politics and current affairs Money, power and its guiding forces

Diamonds Aren’t Forever

The resignation of Bob Diamond

 

Today, Bob Diamond finally bit the dust and resigned as chief executive of Barclays in a dramatic move designed to save the bank from further embarrassment in the wake of their having being fined a record £290 million last week for attempting to manipulate the interbank lending rate, Libor, between 2005 and 2009.

 

Bob Diamond, centre, with John Varley and Marcus Agius

Of his decision, Diamond commented:

 

“No decision over that period was as hard as the one that I make now to stand down as chief executive. The external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise – I cannot let that happen.”

 

Meanwhile, George Osborne MP added:

 

“We now have an opportunity to fix what went wrong and move on.”

 

The Chancellor’s attempts to sweep this scandal under the carpet illustrate how out of touch he is with public opinion on this subject and Gina Miller, founder of the True and Fair campaign, raises a far more valid point in her statement on the affair:

 

“Bob Diamond’s departure and the Libor scandal shows lack of oversight, accountability and regulation in the City. Current industry self-regulation, overseen by the FSA, has been widely abused by the financial services industry and has failed to protect consumers or provide a level-playing field for the more responsible financial services companies.”

 

With an inquiry looming next into professional standards in banking, one has to wonder which other heads will roll next. As someone said to me in a Facebook message this morning: “Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank; Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.”

 

For more information on the True and Fair campaign, go to: http://www.trueandfaircampaign.com

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