This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
- Fury at Barclays and Bob Diamond seems to grow
- Excuses abound for Barclays and Bob Diamond
- The world welcomes the reopening of Pakistan supply routes to Afghanistan
- Pakistan’s Taliban threatens terrorist attacks on Nato trucks
- Israel calls claims that it poisoned Yasser Arafat ‘baseless’
- Commercial unmanned drones easily submit to terrorist hijacking
Fury at Barclays and Bob Diamond seems to grow
Bob Diamond, the former CEO of Barclays who received a £20 million salary last year and is still in line for multi-million pound bonuses, appeared before the British Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee and recived a stream of furious questions from MPs who obviously did not believe him. He dodged and weaved on questions, particularly on the question of whether the Bank of England had encouraged Barclays to manipulate interest rates in 2008, and then again on whether the Bank of England forced him to step down two days ago. He called all the MPs by their first names, which apparently really pissed them off. One Scottish MP, John Mann, said that he was receiving many angry e-mail messages from his constituents, and asked harshly:
“Can you remind me the three founding principles of the Quakers who founded Barclays?
[Pause] Honesty. Integrity. Plain dealing. That’s the ethos of the bank you’ve just spent two hours telling us is doing so well – in fact so well that I wonder why you’ve not received an extra bonus rather than the sack.
You’re the man in charge. But you’re accepting all the good things and the bonuses [and] the people working for you are fiddling the system, potentially going to prison… give me a suggestion of how you’re going to show contrition to those staff and customers who are wondering whether to take their money out of this rotten, thieving bank?”
Diamond remained stone-faced. He denied that he’d done anything wrong, and blamed other banks besides Barclays.
Excuses abound for Barclays and Bob Diamond
On Wednesday I watched an interview session on CNBC Europe, and listened to other analysts on BBC and elsewhere. It is astonishing how the mainframe media, with Gen-X anchors, were almost desperate to find a way to excuse this massive fraud.
The most vomit-worthy was the female who said that the people at Barclays knew that there was a financial crisis going on, and those good folks were just trying to save the world. There are two things wrong with this excuse. First, according to investigation, the interest fixing collusion began around 2005, during the middle of the huge credit and real estate bubbles, when there was no financial crisis. And second, even in 2008 the evidence shows that these good folks were simply lining their pockets, and couldn’t have cared less about saving the world.
I’ve previously expressed amazement that Barclays was being prosecuted at all, since Generation-X prosecutors in the Obama administration have adamantly refused to investigate and prosecute any of the banksters who caused the financial crisis, especially because these financial institutions provide astronomical campaign contributions to both parties. Some of the discussions I’ve heard have shed some light on this issue.
Barclays is, of course, a British bank, but the Brits were doing nothing to investigate the interest-fixing crimes, probably because Barclays contributed money to those politicians. In fact, this investigate was driven by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in Chicago, and later joined by the Department of Justice, and finally by the British Financial Services Authority.
I don’t know whether the obvious conclusion is true or not, but if it is true, then the irony is enormous: The Americans led the investigation and prosecution of Barclays because Washington had no financial gain from protecting them. Britain was pulled, kicking and screaming, into the investigation, and now the British politicians are doing everything possible to cover their own asses.
We can be fairly certain that the Brits will return the favor. The Brits will extend the investigation to Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. So this is far from over.
The world welcomes the reopening of Pakistan supply routes to Afghanistan
The Pakistan government’s decision to reopen Nato supply routes was welcomed on Wednesday by countries around the world, especially the West. China in particular in gushing with praise for the decision:
“We highly appreciate Pakistan’s position on NATO supply to Afghanistan. Pakistan has rendered great contribution and sacrifices in its efforts to combat terrorism. This courageous role is also acknowledged by the international community.”