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HSBC's Green becomes trade minister and Diamond to run Barclays

Robert Peston | 00:43 UK time, Tuesday, 7 September 2010

It's all change at the top of the UK's biggest banks.

Stephen Green and Bob Diamond

Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, is quitting to become trade minister in the coalition government, I have learned.

The announcement of his appointment will be made this afternoon.

And Bob Diamond is replacing John Varley as chief executive of Barclays.

I'll write a longer note in the morning about what it all means.

But it is significant that the individuals perceived to have steered these two giant banks through the worst financial crisis in living memory are moving on.

In the case of Barclays, the appointment of Diamond confirms that the bank sees itself primarily as an international investment bank.

It'll generate speculation that Barclays might voluntarily spin off its historic British retail operation, even if not forced to do so by the government.

And the departure of Green may well prompt even greater talk that if HSBC doesn't like the reforms to be proposed by the government's banking commission, the group's domicile may be moved away from the UK (and, as I said in my note yesterday, bankers tell me that the most likely new home for HSBC would be Australia).

UPDATE 06:30: During the general election campaign, the three main parties were united in their condemnation of the tens of millions of pounds earned by Bob Diamond, who runs Barclays investment bank, Barclays Capital.

So in appointing Mr Diamond (who is thought to be worth around £100m in total) as the new chief executive of Barclays, the bank's board is taking the risk that the bank's relationship with many leading politicians - which hasn't always been close and friendly - could deteriorate.

This matters, at a time when the government has set up a high-powered commission to examine whether big universal banks such as Barclays - which combine an investment bank and a retail bank - should be dismantled.

Barclays has argued that it is a safer and more successful organisation for the way that it combines services to investors, businesses and individuals.

But if commission and government ultimately disagree, the appointment of Mr Diamond will be seen as proof that Barclays is prioritising investment banking, for the future.

Why is Mr Varley going? Well I was told many months ago by a member of Barclays' board that Mr Varley wanted to go before too long, while he was young enough to do other things.

Barclays, in an official sense, denied that Mr Varley had any such plans.

But now that he has decided that enough is enough, the bank's non-executive directors had no real choice other than to appoint Mr Diamond: even Mr Diamond's most jealous rivals would concede that he has done in impressive job in building up Barclays Capital or Barcap; and that it's the growth at Barcap which has turned Barclays into a leading global financial institution.

But this extraordinary expansion of Barcap has also transformed the group's culture. It is now the British bank which pays the biggest bonuses and the most bonuses. Which doesn't endear it to everyone.

UPDATE 07:19: This is what Barclays says about Mr Diamond's new pay arrangements.

"Bob Diamond will continue to work under his existing compensation arrangements for 2010.

"With effect from 1 January 2011, Bob Diamond's compensation arrangements will reflect his new responsibilities. The compensation arrangements have been benchmarked against a peer group of global universal banks, industrial companies and financial services institutions. Bob Diamond's salary will increase to £1,350,000 and his annual incentive award opportunity will be up to 250% of base salary. It is intended to award a long term, performance-based share incentive of 500% of base salary in 2011."

This implies that his annual remuneration could be as much as £11.5m.

At a time when the economy remains weak, this package is likely to spark widespread criticism.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Gordon Gecko running Barclays. Be afraid.

  • Comment number 2.

    Stephen Green as Trade Minister? What's he selling, credit cards to penguins and pythons?

    Not many humans on planet earth with any money to buy the odd one or two things made in Britain and you can only sell a certain number of golfing holidays at Royal and Ancient Golf Club to tax-dodgers and their assorted corporate-o-cracy.

    and, as I said in my note yesterday, bankers tell me that the most likely new home for HSBC would be Australia

    Doesn't Australia have quite tough policies on immigration? You know, age, health etc, skills. Maybe the paperwork can be taken along in the move, but some employees might have a problem!

    Still, their London offices can be used as cheap housing with a view once the bankers vacate.

  • Comment number 3.

    I hope Robert will get a chance to interview Stephen Green


    They can discuss the ins and outs of





    FRB [fractional reserve banking]

  • Comment number 4.

    "Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, is quitting to become trade minister in the coalition government, I have learned."

    How on earth will he cope - no FRB; no naked short selling; no credit default swaps; no collatralised debt obligations; no high frequency trading manipulations.

    Hey Robert do you think he will be in on the US carve up ? AAA advising and what not ?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

  • Comment number 5.

    Can someone become a minister in a UK government without being elected as an M.P. or made a peer?

  • Comment number 6.

    Ah well, all bad/good things come to an end.

    Just wonder what 'steering these banks through the worst recession actually means'?

    The small print.

    How close to the wind (regulations) did they have to 'sail' to escape?

    With John Varley (Barclays) retiring and Bob Diamond, the 'pretender', taking on the helm, this must be the 'new way' acquisitions and mergers will be done in future - Barclays in the hands of the US! Shades of Cadbury's!

    It does mean Barclays will have to be squeaky clean in the States - no more excuses for 'not knowing' about the 'Trading With The Enemy Act' - not with an 'upright' US Citizen at the helm - Barclays recent US Court settlement meant they narrowly escaped prosecution and are now on probation, for the next two years, after being caught by the FBI for processing bank transactions with Cuba, Libya, Iran and Syria.

    Goodness knows who (or what) else goes on in these 'trusted' institutions.

    Didn't HSBC get embroiled in some fiasco in the last 4 years?

    Good to know that the UK's future is in the hands of 'sharp operators'!

  • Comment number 7.

    >>(and, as I said in my note yesterday, bankers tell me that the most likely new home for HSBC would be Australia)

    Robert,you've been had, big time !! HSBC has *already* moved its operations back to Hong Kong where it came from !!Aussieland is in the back-end of nowhere and at least 24 hours flying time to reach it !! Who, in their right mind, would set up the HQ of an international operation in Aussieland ?? Even Rupert Murdoch set his up in HK (Star TV) and the US (News group) !!

    It is also surprising that there is such ignorance in some comments, since HSBC is one of the few banks that were not affected by the greed so prevalent in most British banks that it led to their downfall !! Lloyds TSB was another but it got forced into a shotgun marriage with that "world-beating, premier" Scottish bank, HBOS and has since been turned into another lame duck !!

    #1 >> Gordon Gecko running Barclays. Be afraid.

    Perhaps but this does not sound too much like Gordon Gecko - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-11196329 - more like Braveheart !!

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    So politicians, of all parties, leave office and end up sitting in the boardrooms of the banks. Bankers who have been elected by no-one get drafted into the government, again regardless of who is in power. It really doesn't matter who you vote for does it? None of us have any real influence over things, we're just money sponges to be squeezed dry!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Never before in the field of human commerce has so much been owned by so few at the expense of so many. September 7th - the start of the financial blitz with nightly raids by the banks and coalition pounding down the assets of ordinary people!

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Stephen Green's appointment will help to get HSBC's point of view across on bank reform, which we were reminded of last week.

    HSBC doesn't have to lobby government - it's in government.

  • Comment number 13.

    Morning Robert,
    As I found out this news this morning and struggled into work, it struck me that whilst the bullying lazy RMT members are going on strike for no reason and causing chaos to thousands of hard-working londoners, we should take time out to thank John Varley for all his hard work in steering Barclays through the financial crisis so that England retains a world clas bank that hasn't relied on UK Government support.
    Barclays is a private company and have the right to appoint who they want to be their next CEO. Bob Diamond is a fantastically talented banker who has created huge amounts of wealth for both Barclays and the UK. Congratulations on your promotion Bob, Good luck for the future. The majority of the country support you and wish you well.
    For Bob Crow, look at Bob Diamond and start to encourage your members to work as hard as him, rather than be lazy, bullying and inefficient. There was revolutionary mood amongst Londonders this morning and it was against the evil, lazy unions. Enjoy your time while you can Mr Crow, soon the masses will rise up against Union power holding London to ransom.

  • Comment number 14.

    Flicks2 can you post up the Rickards link again please? I was going to save it until lunchtime and then your post got deleted.

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 15.

    I suggest that Stephen Green's appointment shows how far democracy in this country has been devalued. Ministers should come from the elected MPs, answerable in Parliament to all the other MPs. Appointments from the ranks of the Lords[ presumably where he is going] should be rare.

    It shows extreme insensitivity on the part of David Cameron that a banker is appointed to anything at this time. Will he wave his salary and expenses?

    It also shows a paucity of real talent in the ConDem government; have they no-one else suitable?

    In the past, I have found writing to my MP to be pointless. Perhaps now we do need to write to register a protest; they won't then be surprised if they are voted out of power [which is what its all about] at the next election

  • Comment number 16.

    Nice to see the banker bashes on the forum already. I particularly liked copperDolomite "Not many humans on planet earth with any money to buy the odd one or two things made in Britain and you can only sell a certain number of golfing holidays at Royal and Ancient Golf Club to tax-dodgers and their assorted corporate-o-cracy."

    Thereby proving he/she knows nothing about British manufacturing for example I hardly think Toyota and Nissan cars are expensive, other manufacturing includes the defence industry, lots of electronics and yes there are a few very expensive things like RR engines and the odd luxury boat

  • Comment number 17.

    #12 SeanBroseley

    Couldn't agree more. Business is taking over goverment. It's time our elected representatives of all colours remembered where their responsibility lies.
    Big business has lost sight of it's customers, MP's need to start recognising theirs before its to late.

  • Comment number 18.

    Fractional reserve banking -

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-pappalardo/gold-silver-trading-bigge_b_706594.html

    BBC moderators suggest I spam and remove.

    I suggest you run from the free speech; a possible truth and censor !

  • Comment number 19.

    #13 Sam-From-Hendon wote;

    Enjoy your time while you can Mr Crow, soon the masses will rise up against Union power holding London to ransom.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    So the banks that went cap in hand begging to be bailed out, basking in the knowledge that they were to big to be allowed to fail, didn't hold London to ransom, no it was the whole of the nation.

    Once again we see arrogant Londoners thinking the Metropolis is the centre of the universe, sorry see Hendon as the centre of the universe.

    As for Barclays being a world class bank, not needing support, I suppose it didn't support all that QE that went on.

    And by the way it's Cash ISA savings rate is less (20%) than that provided by the Credit Union to which I belong. World class, don't make me laugh, well actually with rates as good as I get I am laughing,- all the way to the bank.

  • Comment number 20.

    Oh God, I really hope this is poacher turned gamekeeper.

  • Comment number 21.

    Strikes me this is a case of the banks effectively thumbing their noses at the Govt.

  • Comment number 22.

    I third #12.

    I wonder what the on-going remuneration arrangement of Stephen Green will be? In particular if this arrangement constitutes a possible conflict of interest that might act against the interests of the British people?

    On the issue of needing to break up the banks.

    Banks that are too big to fail because we, the taxpayer, do not have the resources to bail them out isn't it as simple as that? The British taxpayer is in the position of unlimited liability for its resident banks. We are simply too poor to be able to sustain their possible losses.

    The other way to look at this is that we can have huge monolithic banks provided they are prudently run. To admit that we need to break them up is an admission that we are not prepared to properly regulate. Would it not be better to properly regulate the activities of the banks? This will require stiffened resolve on the part of auditors and changes to the accounting system for banks. This should include full break-up valuation reported in every month's accounts and that these accounts are made public by two weeks after the month end. If we are to be liable isn't it right and proper that we fully understand our liability? (Of course these provisions would only need to be for the largest mega banks!)

    To my mind the reason for the bubble economy catching the regulators completely unaware was that they simply did not know or understand how credit was being created - so this must be completely transparent in the future. There must be no over-the-counter trading of any financial instruments - all credit/debit transactions must be made in public in an open market. All contingent activities must also be full public. There shall be no off-balance sheet vehicles. Every transaction, asset and liability must be consolidated into the accounts. All loans made and received must be made public etc. etc. If we are liable (as the bank is too big to fail) we must have absolute disclosure.

    So in essence do not break up the banks - regulate them properly!

  • Comment number 23.

    Robert Peston | 00:43 UK time, Tuesday, 7 September 2010:

    "Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, is quitting to become trade minister in the coalition government, I have learned." - OK this is a very good thing in my eyes as he has business sense which is essentially what our Government needs and should also save a few quid on consultation payouts. I look forward to hearing more about his plans!

    Robert Peston | 00:43 UK time, Tuesday, 7 September 2010:

    "This implies that his annual remuneration could be as much as £11.5m." - Not a problem, Barclays have not been funded by the tax payers as far I know so they are entitled to pay whatever they like to any of their employees, including Bob. It's none of our concern unless you're a shareholder!

    7. At 06:43am on 07 Sep 2010, ishkandar wrote:

    "since HSBC is one of the few banks that were not affected by the greed so prevalent in most British banks that it led to their downfall !!" - Actually they were (greedy that is), they bought Household in America a few years back banking on the debt from all those credit cards in America. They got hurt by it but HSBC is a Global bank and can offset these issues with other entities in their empire ;)

    9. At 08:03am on 07 Sep 2010, muggwhump wrote:

    "Bankers who have been elected by no-one get drafted into the government" - OK, if this is the case it's certainly not right! More than one external non political person who has the right skills should have been voted on by the existing Government. It should be like a job interview and they should have a number of potential candidates for the position not just one.

  • Comment number 24.

    Is this not just like alex ferguson refereeing a manchester united match?

  • Comment number 25.

    Dept carries an interest rate. What is the rate at which the UK borrows money and how much is it costing the UK per year. I am asking this because I do not think I have heard a discussion on this subject. With cuts inevitable and with large numbers of us carring dept, I think a discussion on this subject would help the population understand why there will be cuts in spending.

  • Comment number 26.

    It was the taxpayer guarantee that steered all these banks through the worst financial crisis in living memory.

    Without the taxpayer stepping up to the plate all these wonderful institutions would have come tumbling down in a catastrophe that would have made the Wall Street Crash of 1929 look like a walk in the park.

    The Credit Crunch of 2008 was due to irrational behaviour becoming institutionalised within the financial sector coupled to utter regulatory incompetence by the worst government in UK history since Lord North's administration lost the Amercian colonies.

    Without the taxpayer all these very clever people would be ekeing out a marginal living going through rubbish tips along with the rest of us.

    As a taxpayer I look forward to my reward being a demand for back taxes I never knew I had to pay. As a saver I am still being bled dry by the regulatory failure to return to real money. Yet I am being told this is all in a good cause. Whose good cause?

    I do get a distinct feeling that the public are being treated as if we are a bunch of idiots. Are we really in this together?

  • Comment number 27.

    #18 Doh! may be the link was the problem. OK BBC I'm not really into Austrian school economists but they're not supporters of terrorism/pornographers et al.

  • Comment number 28.

    #13

    The majority of the country probably thought "Ann Diamond" when they heard the news.

  • Comment number 29.

    Is this what remorse looks like?

    Where are all the Capitalists today? - stuck by the tube strike?

    Luckily the country doesn't need the workforce - these bankers can produce wealth for all simply by turning up for work!

    ...now what was being said yesterday about average wages...?

  • Comment number 30.

    #13. At 08:30am on 07 Sep 2010, Sam_From_Hendon wrote:
    "Morning Robert,
    As I found out this news this morning and struggled into work, it struck me that whilst the bullying lazy RMT members are going on strike for no reason and causing chaos to thousands of hard-working londoners,...."


    That's the point of strike action. Revolution isn't just bricks and street riots. You may think the revoltion isn't happening but believe me you're going to know it is around Spring 2011. Wheels are a turnin'.

    You aint seen nothing yet.

  • Comment number 31.

    Have you noticed how neither his forehead nor his upper lip move? Personally speaking I've never trusted anybody who feels the need to attempt to look younger than they are.

  • Comment number 32.

    #7

    Further research shows that "The jobs at Barclays are being created with public cash as the Bank is to receive a grant of up to £6.6 million from Scottish Enterprise." Very brave.

  • Comment number 33.

    3. At 08:30am on 07 Sep 2010, Sam_From_Hendon wrote:

    "Bob Diamond is a fantastically talented banker who has created huge amounts of wealth for both Barclays and the UK. "

    I'll try and get in with this before WOTW:

    Tell us, Sam, exactly how has Bob Diamond 'created wealth'?

  • Comment number 34.

    Unelected minister from the bankster mafia circle. It's all out in the open, folks. They don't hide it any more.

    Welcome to Grotesque Britain (GB)!

  • Comment number 35.

    I think another clear message about the nature of this regime.

    After the worst financial collapse for half a century - massive destruction to both the nation and individual people - the tories are appointing a BANKER as trade minister!

    A bit like appointing an armed robber as home secretary.

    This demonstrates both the hand in glove relationship of the tories with those who bankroll them and the tories contempt for ordinary citizens - they just don't care.


    (I don't normally have much time for RMT, but good luck to them - the more they can disrupt London the better. Well done.)

  • Comment number 36.

    24. At 09:11am on 07 Sep 2010, Samuel wrote:
    "Is this not just like alex ferguson refereeing a manchester united match?"

    In the sense that it's been going on for years, everyone knows about it but either doesn't care or isn't able to stop it?

    In which case: Yes it is.

  • Comment number 37.

    Stephan Green
    THiS IS THE FOOL WHO STEERED HIS BANK INTO THE CRYSIS IN THE FIRST PLACE
    If a motorist steered the way he has, they would be banned from driving and not made a driving instructor
    And had too be bailed out by the people that have now given him a new job
    A reward for incompetence in my opinion

  • Comment number 38.

    So Barclays statement include this gem;

    It is intended to award a long term, performance-based share incentive of 500% of base salary in 2011."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long term incentive?
    Since when did 12 months become recognised as a long term plan.Presumably medium term bonus gets paid quarterley? and short term gets paid monthly. If long term planning in Barclays only gets as far as next year no wonder thay have no idea of the consequences of their current actions/trading. AND

    Quote statement

    The compensation arrangements have been benchmarked against a peer group of global universal banks, industrial companies and financial services institutions. Bob Diamond's salary will increase to £1,350,000 and his annual incentive award opportunity will be up to 250% of base salary.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    They didn't compare this world leading bank with a Credit Union that can pay a Cash Isa savings rate far in excess of that of Barclays and still provide loans at lower rates than Barclays. That wouldn,t be because the board of that Credit Union are volunteers and don't get paid anything would it?
    Also to compare with a group that has brought a lage part of the worlds banks begging for gov't bailouts is not anything to be proud of.

    Perhaps all oil companies should copy what BP did in the gulf. We in the UK could just drive over to the coast and fill up for free?

  • Comment number 39.

    But it is significant that the individuals perceived to have steered these two giant banks through the worst financial crisis in living memory are moving on.

    This would imply that the worst is over ???

    Without the tax payer support the industry would collapse.when you get a minute robert ask these banking genius's what would happen if the government tomorrow removed the guarentee for savers.
    Which of the banks would go first ??? perhaps we could have a wager on it, now if only the government would lend me the money to place the bet.......

  • Comment number 40.

    And the first comment will be 'we will go abroad to save interference from the government and too high taxes"

    Not necessarily as blunt as that but similar.
    And if the banks do go how many staff will they take? And as some countries still have tax evading laws or lack of do you put the headquarters there?.

    For me the operational part of the bank, the staff, might not want to go elsewhere so will a major move in fact bring down a bank or even cripple its operation?
    Now there is a gamble to bet on off to Bet 365 and see if they will take my money then the banks wont see it for a while

  • Comment number 41.

    At 09:21am on 07 Sep 2010, mensch

    The Government is over spending £158bn more this year than it receives in income in taxes and will have to borrow this money from us. The government pays us interest which would otherwise have been spent on schools etc, so it is important to keep the total debt down and keep controll of spending.

    Although over the next few years total government spending will RISE each government department will have to cut their budgets to get some control of this over spend.

    By 2015 it is likley that government will still be spending more on interest payments on the debt than it does on education.

    These budget cuts will only have cut the deficit ie the over spend rather than cut the national debt which would have risen to c£1.3trillion or c£65,000 per household.

  • Comment number 42.

    13. At 08:30am on 07 Sep 2010, Sam_From_Hendon wrote:

    "Morning Robert,
    As I found out this news this morning and struggled into work, it struck me that whilst the bullying lazy RMT members are going on strike for no reason and causing chaos to thousands of hard-working londoners"

    What a shame - but only those londoners who use the tube. My journey was as normal as my bike is unaffected by tube strikes.
    I notice you call those RMT members bullying and lazy - you're just jealous because nobody stuck up for you when you were forced to take a pay cut and they can't be that lazy as their absence brings londoner like you to a standstill (i..e they must be doing something when they're at work)

    ", we should take time out to thank John Varley for all his hard work in steering Barclays through the financial crisis so that England retains a world clas bank that hasn't relied on UK Government support."

    A poor understanding of the integration of the financial sector there.

    "Barclays is a private company and have the right to appoint who they want to be their next CEO. Bob Diamond is a fantastically talented banker who has created huge amounts of wealth for both Barclays and the UK."

    So why doesn't 'Bob' create some wealth and pay those tube drivers and staff a living wage so they can get back to work then?

    You have the two ends of the argument - you just are unable to join them up. The reason tube workers are striking - impacting your little life - is because 'players' like Bob have extracted all the wealth from the country - meaning everyone has to be paid less.
    The tube workers are saying no - whereas you must have just bent over and took it like a good slave.

    "Congratulations on your promotion Bob, Good luck for the future. The majority of the country support you and wish you well."

    Majority? - is that like a Tory majority?

    "For Bob Crow, look at Bob Diamond and start to encourage your members to work as hard as him,"

    What does Bob Diamond actually do then? - do you have any idea whatsoever? - or did you read an article in the financial times and sucked it all up like a new hoover?

    "rather than be lazy, bullying and inefficient."

    Oh you're really showing your incapabilities now - a few tube workers go on strike and you're distraught - what are you going to do when we've been suffering it for the next 4 months?

    "There was revolutionary mood amongst Londonders this morning and it was against the evil, lazy unions."

    That's not what I saw, I saw a lot of people sittingin their cars looking sad and a lot of people walking and cycling - and actually enjoying it! Clearly your revolution is a very small 'Hendon based' one - and we already know Hendon isn't connected to the rest of the world.

    "Enjoy your time while you can Mr Crow, soon the masses will rise up against Union power holding London to ransom."

    Ha ha ha - I think the rising up will be against wage and job cuts - not against those fighting them.

    I'll tell you what, lets meet at the RMT picket line - you bring your revolutionaries and I'll bring mine!

  • Comment number 43.

    'Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, is quitting to become trade minister in the coalition government'

    A public relations disaster.
    I'm now fast losing what little faith I had in this coalition government.

  • Comment number 44.

    35. At 09:57am on 07 Sep 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    'I think another clear message about the nature of this regime.
    This demonstrates both the hand in glove relationship of the tories with those who bankroll them and the tories contempt for ordinary citizens - they just don't care.'

    I think it sends out a clear message about the Lib dems as well.
    In fact the Labour lot sent out the same message.

  • Comment number 45.

    # 13 sam from hendon stated;

    Bob Diamond is a fantastically talented banker who has created huge amounts of wealth for both Barclays and the UK.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yeah, you could say my Columbian cousins have done the same for their country? at least they are open about their methods.

    Wayne Rooneys alleged £1,200 a night escort "Juicy Jeni" is no doubt pretty good at what she does.It wouldn' surprise me if her tax bill won't pay for Varley's salary.Unless of course HMRC aren't aware of her part time income?

  • Comment number 46.

    33. At 09:51am on 07 Sep 2010, the_fatcat wrote:

    "I'll try and get in with this before WOTW:

    Tell us, Sam, exactly how has Bob Diamond 'created wealth'?"

    Thats plagiarism - don't make me redundant - what will I do then?

    I think Bob creates wealth simply by being called 'Diamond' - I am changing my name to 'Andrew Topaz' - or maybe 'Ho Ho Silver' in an attempt to be as 'wealth creating' as bob is.

  • Comment number 47.

    HOW DOES A BANKER CREATE WEALTH?

    It's not a difficult question surely - so why do I still not have an answer?

    When Dubai defaults on it's debts and Barclays are brought tumbling down - WILL BOB STILL BE WORTH ALL THAT MONEY?

    Tick, tock, tick, tock - the clock to sovereign default is ticking Bob - better get the private plane warmed up for a fast getaway...

  • Comment number 48.

    #42. At 10:20am on 07 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "I'll tell you what, lets meet at the RMT picket line - you bring your revolutionaries and I'll bring mine!"

    Where do I sign up?

  • Comment number 49.

    There's nothing wrong with a senior banking figure putting the position of the City of London as the Coalition contemplates banking reform. So long as those representing the rest of the economy get their oar in too.

    There's nothing wrong with Bob Diamond running Barclays either. So long as his brief isn't to sell it to the Americans. America has it's own banks, we want to retain strategic ownership of ours please.

    There's nothing wrong with spinning out Barclay's retail/SME banking operations either. Perhaps the thousands of employees could be encouraged to take a stake in it?

    There's nothing wrong, so far as I can see, with much of Mr Diamond's compensation package either. £1m a year for running a global multinational? Hardly unusual. Bonuses are only for good performance, hence his salary will only be £10m if he performs brilliantly.

    I must say though that if a bank makes huge losses one year, there's a case for saying the CEO should get paid nothing in cash until they're back in profit.....enjoying the downside as well as the upside you know....and more belt-tightening at the top and less hardship for those near the bottom during dark days.........

  • Comment number 50.

    Robert claims that;

    But it is significant that the individuals perceived to have steered these two giant banks through the worst financial crisis in living memory are moving on.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think its more likely that they just managed to hang on long enough as the vessel shot through the rapids and out the other end, to suggest that
    they were in control of anything more than the size of their bonus.

    Furthermore, your comment that;

    But now that he has decided that enough is enough, the bank's non-executive directors had no real choice other than to appoint Mr Diamond: even Mr Diamond's most jealous rivals would concede that he has done in impressive job in building up Barclays Capital or Barcap; and that it's the growth at Barcap which has turned Barclays into a leading global financial institution.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The non-exec have plenty of choice, they could bring in an outsider who understands that "long term" should be more than 12 months.
    Just because he led this
    " extraordinary expansion of Barcap has also transformed the group's culture. It is now the British bank which pays the biggest bonuses and the most bonuses."

    Wasn't bonus culture part of what created the mess in the first place.

  • Comment number 51.

    34. At 09:55am on 07 Sep 2010, plamski

    Nothing new. Lord Myners,Lord West Lord Sugar, and that boloke from the CBI etc.

    I think Brown's cabinet had the least number of elected ministers of any government in history. ( 7 peers in cabinet)

    This cabinet has 2 peers.

  • Comment number 52.

    34. At 09:55am on 07 Sep 2010, plamski wrote:
    Unelected minister from the bankster mafia circle. It's all out in the open, folks. They don't hide it any more.

    Welcome to Grotesque Britain (GB)!


    Do you remember 'Lord' Mandleson DEMANDING a job as a trade minister under Labour? When that happened we knew democracy was a sham - An unelected filler of his own pockets demanding a job to fill them faster!

  • Comment number 53.

    NorthseaHalibut wrote:

    'You aint seen nothing yet.'

    What do YOU expect to see? Me? Another election before next April, and a baying mob chasing the tories and Liberal aristocrats from these shore?

  • Comment number 54.

    46 WOTW, excellent post lol

  • Comment number 55.

    Next thing you know they'll be putting someone from News International in charge of presenting government policies to the media
    ...ah

  • Comment number 56.

    @46. At 10:30am on 07 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "Thats plagiarism - don't make me redundant - what will I do then?"
    Get Sam_from_Hendon, yam_yzf and rbs_temp a cuppa?

  • Comment number 57.

    49. At 10:53am on 07 Sep 2010, rjaggar wrote:
    "There's nothing wrong with Bob Diamond running Barclays either. So long as his brief isn't to sell it to the Americans. America has it's own banks, we want to retain strategic ownership of ours please."
    That would be good. Shame we have absolutely no control whatsoever over our own central bank, let alone any of the others (RBS, Northern Crock et al included). Unless "strategic ownership" means a few shareholders borrowing money from the bank they're investing in to invest in that same bank... (Dunno how that works, but it was how the BoE was created in the first place).

  • Comment number 58.

    5. At 06:34am on 07 Sep 2010, wilm1 wrote:

    Can someone become a minister in a UK government without being elected as an M.P. or made a peer?
    ---------------------
    Time to complete the reform of the House of Lords?

  • Comment number 59.

    Noticed how the bankers move with ease from Wall st to US government. And the UK is different, how exactly?

    I'll be watching Robert Scheer this evening
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/7/robert_scheer_on__the_great

  • Comment number 60.

    Ah on the one hand greed on the other status. Banking it is a funny old game. Too bad managers sole concerns are with themselves rather than the benefits of their shareholders and customers.

    Such is life.

  • Comment number 61.

    Interesting use of the term 'ransome' The gentleman from Hendon used it in relation to Bob Crow and RMT and there was a response saying the banks were also holding the country to ransome.
    Now I have noticed an assymetry here. The BBC reporters use the R word in relation to unions for example a Ms Bundog on BBC business enquiring whether the BA staff can hold 'BA to ransome' [I have the recording ]; also a Mr Cox on documentary [Radio 4] about the RMT also ruminated whether this union can 'hold the company to ransome' [ again recorded I know - get a life] yet not one BBC reporter has ever used the R word in relation to the Banks or the C word capitalist [another word strangely absent in the BBC discourse]

    It is of interest because as Orwell pointed out language is not neutral.

    David Hare is the only person as a playwrite used the word in relation to the Bankers' blackmailing' us. Now the BBC has not used that B word against the unions or the banks but is not the R word as a good example of lazy cliched journalism ?- accepting the language of the powerful instead of speaking truth to power. Other examples 'Union Barons' [John Sopel yes recorded] - why not Banking Barons- wildcat strikes- actually unofficial strikes; strikes 'misery'; signal breakdowns - management responsibilty -just cause disruption; strikes cause 'chaos' well no people fornm amother pattern of behaviour because of disruption and of course a quiz WOD Whatis that an acronym for ? I sorry I forgot, we are lucky to have a job and finally from a BBC reporter during the postal strike - Spanish Pratices - now who said that !

    Strikes are normal process of industrial society -they are not pathological - strikes are in danger of spreading [Lindwood walk out ]
    So they are as in 1066 And All That A BAD THINK, well if I were on strike I would want to spread- you win some, you lose some; or score draw.
    And Mr Peston are not the banks on a Lending Strike and and an Investment Strike- Andrew Neill has referred to a gilt [ or should it be guilt strike] by the banks ! Come on Mr Peston some symmetry

    Question from you to Victor Blank ' What do you prefer, cricket or banking [recorded] Wow that really must have shook him - you qualify for the Evan Davis award for what Stuart MacConie calls the 'honey'
    question.

    Cheers

  • Comment number 62.

    Oh, and ps I am not a knew member
    Cheers

  • Comment number 63.

    Oh ps I am not a 'knew member' rather confusing.

  • Comment number 64.

    37. At 10:11am on 07 Sep 2010, JXEN wrote:

    Stephan Green
    THiS IS THE FOOL WHO STEERED HIS BANK INTO THE CRYSIS IN THE FIRST PLACE
    If a motorist steered the way he has, they would be banned from driving and not made a driving instructor
    And had too be bailed out by the people that have now given him a new job
    A reward for incompetence in my opinion



    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm




    Stephen Green is one of the last of the old school of bankers that knew their profession ,we are fortunate to have him as trade secretary .


    Central banks bare the major part of the blame for the banking crisis by their underpinning of risky bank ventures through a constant stream of fresh liquidity that fed the frankenstein banksters within the banking industry and destroyed a well established bank culture of careful risk assessment by rewarding failure with fresh central bank funding.

  • Comment number 65.

    I’m getting more confused, worse I'm getting nervous.
    1. The elevation of Barclays Capital's Bob Diamond to become group chief executive at Barclays.
    2. The departure of HSBC's Chairman Stephen Green to become a UK trade minister.
    What’s going on (financially) in the UK?
    It seems to me as though investment bankers are taking over the biggest banks in the UK and Europe. I find this someone frightening.
    Diamond is supposed to work closely with Barclays’ Group Chairman, Marcus Agius (former investment banker at Lazard).
    In Europe, the situation seems smiliar. Deutsche Bank has been run by an investment banker — Josef Ackermann — for the past eight years and looks set to be run by another— Anshu Jain — when Mr. Ackermann steps down in 2013.
    Here is the critical point: the only two (2) big European banks that are not run by investment bankers are BNP Paribas and Société Générale.
    At HSBC, the departure of Mr. Green (who ran the group's investment bank for five years), opens the door to another investment banker for top job. While HSBC has not announced an immediate successor to Mr. Green, there are at least two strong internal candidates to become chairman (both of whom are investment bankers).
    1. John Thornton, the former president at Goldman Sachs. He has been on the HSBC board since 2008 and is chairman of its US business; also he has excellent connections in China—HSBC's most strategic market.
    2. Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC since May 2006, who recently moved to Hong Kong to reflect the eastward shift in HSBC's business.
    If all these moves pander out, it would mean that 3 of the big 4 UK banks will be run by investment bankers. What's going on with that?
    What’s frightening is this: The recent, deepest financial crisis was triggered at least in part by the excesses of the investment-banking industry.

  • Comment number 66.

    Robert, can I really comment on your interview comments on tonight's News at Ten??

    I really respect your journalism and expertise, but the comments tonight were highly biased and missed key contexts... Disapointing...

    1) "banks rely on the taxpayer" - Barclays NEVER has and so NONE of your subsequent thoughts were relevant.

    2) "banks generate large profits and so large bonuses"... True, but oh my goodness, 1) I'd always prefer a company to generate large profits than smaller ones (= more employment) and 2) the generation of large profits leads to increased tax revenues for the government!

    Really disappointed! Sorry, Robert... Please don't become popularist for the sake of it...

  • Comment number 67.

    Ministers not being elected...?

    Both conservative and labour parties are guilty of this. Lord Mandelson was a minister in the House of Lords, Digby Jones similarly, so no innocence by either party there... The "advantage" is that the minister cannot be called to give comment to the House of Commons... but that's really a very devious way of avoiding democracy (in my view).

  • Comment number 68.

    64. At 9:05pm on 07 Sep 2010, Rita-R-Dius wrote:
    37. At 10:11am on 07 Sep 2010, JXEN wrote:

    Stephan Green
    THiS IS THE FOOL WHO STEERED HIS BANK INTO THE CRYSIS IN THE FIRST PLACE

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rita dahlink, I cannot always be a ROUND to write your rongs but HSBC was not crississed. They 2 were TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO big to fall but also 2 clever to fail.

  • Comment number 69.

    Stephan Green
    THiS IS THE FOOL WHO STEERED HIS BANK INTO THE CRYSIS IN THE FIRST PLACE
    If a motorist steered the way he has, they would be banned from driving and not made a driving instructor
    And had too be bailed out by the people that have now given him a new job
    A reward for incompetence in my opinion
    _________________________________________________________

    What a load of drivel - HSBC was not bailed out by anyone and didn't require financial support having kept itself mostly clear of the banking crisis thanks to a generally prudent, low-risk lending policy which is why it emerged, post-recession, as one of the stronger banks.

    Love em or hate em, Banks are and always will be an absolute requirement in the world economy - I wouldn't have my house without bank support....

  • Comment number 70.

    Does anybody on this blog, including Robert, know how much the support of the banking sector has really cost the taxpayer? I read a lot of outrage about pay and the bailing out at a huge price to taxpayers, but I never come across anybody who can authoritatively say what that price was. As I understand it the government provided debt guarantees (no cost to taxpayers) for which they charged the banks a hefty fee (income to taxpayers). They bought shares in some banks (ie swapping one asset - cash - for another - shares) on which the taxpayer stands to make a profit, and they did some quantitative easing.

    I might have this all wrong, but I would love somebody to tell me what the real cost has been in terms of non interest bearing taxpayer money paid to banks and what contribution to the annual budget deficit is attributable directly to the support of the banks.

 

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