Sketch: Bob Diamond may have felt ‘physically ill’ but MPs left far from impressed
WHEN Bob Diamond admitted that he was “physically ill” over the weekend, ordinary punters struggling to get by might have wondered whether the poor lamb had overdone it on the Bollinger to celebrate the prospect of a £20 million pay-off.
But no – the Diamond Geezer had been physically sick because he was so ashamed by the behaviour of his traders who had been rigging the Libor rate. “Abhorrent”, “reprehensible” and “appalling” were just three of the words used by the former Barclays boss to describe the shoddy behaviour that went on under his watch.
Such was his contrition, it was as if Diamond had donned the hairiest hairshirt that money can buy. (Or at least the most hirsute garment that can be reasonably afforded by a man whose clothes budget was given a helping hand by more than £100m in pay, pension and bonuses since 2005.) The apologies may have flowed even faster than the Bolly after a happy day manipulating the Libor rate, but this had little effect on the MPs who lined up to put the boot in.
Diamond’s defence that Barclays had acted swiftly, did not cut it with George Mudie, a combative Labour MP.
“The real worry that you should have is that the staff didn’t have the confidence or the interest or the intelligence to come and say to the boss that some people were getting up to actions that could destroy the bank,” Mr Mudie said. “You have had three years to find out who the hell were these senior managers. Would you mind telling us?”
But no answers were forthcoming from Diamond. And it was left to the Lib Dem Lord Thurso to sum up the session as being like watching Geoffrey Boycott bat.
“You’ve been at the crease for two hours and I’m not sure if we’ve got a great deal further forward.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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