Barclays protects its bankers' pay
Barclays existing shareholders are not universally overjoyed at the deal it has struck with the Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
Apart from anything else, if Barclays had raised the capital from HM Treasury - from all of us as taxpayers - it would have sold the new shares at just above 189p per share (assuming that it could have had the capital on the same terms as Lloyds TSB).
Now that price of 189p is almost a quarter higher than the price which Qatar and Abu Dhabi is in effect paying for 1.8bn new Barclays shares (which they'll receive when the mandatorily convertible notes are converted into shares before June 30 next year).
For the avoidance of doubt, Qatar and Abu Dhabi are paying much less than what was on offer to Barclays from the Treasury, from taxpayers, just over a fortnight ago.
So the wealth of Barclays' existing shareholders has been eroded by the refusal of Barclays to take the money on offer from taxpayers.
And it's worth noting that the Treasury was not undermining the important pre-emption rights of existing shareholders in the way that the deal with Abu Dhabi and Qatar has done.
The Treasury was offering to underwrite the issue of new shares at 189p, but taxpayers would have had the ability to buy the lot at that price.
That's very different from what Barclays has announced today.
Its existing shareholders have only been given the right to buy a fraction of the new equity on offer.
Barclays' big investors (and only the big ones) can today purchase up to £1.5bn of the mandatorily convertible notes, which is the equivalent of buying new shares at 153.3p each. They have no ability to claw back the £2.8bn of these notes that have been sold to Qatar and Abu Dhabi at that low price.
And, as I said in my earlier note ("Why Barclays prefers Abu Dhabi to GB"), existing shareholders don't get even a crumb of the attractive warrants sold to Abu Dhabi and Qatar with the £3bn of reserve capital instruments (these warrants can be converted into 1.5bn new Barclays shares at any time in the next five years, at a conversion price of 197.8p).
What's more Barclays is paying a whacking coupon, loads of income, to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. They get 9.75% on the convertible notes, and 14% (oh so loverly, a time of falling interest rates) on the reserve capital instruments.
And the 14% coupon is tax deductible (and, before you ask, the coupon on the prefs being sold by HBOS, Lloyds TSB and RBS to the Treasury is not tax deductible).
That means we as British taxpayers are subsidising the payment to these oil-rich states to the tune of £120m per annum - which presumably won't please Alistair Darling at a time when tax revenues are too tight to mention.
Oh, and by the way, while Qatar and Abu Dhabi are receiving this fat income stream, Barclays' existing shareholders have been told they can't have a dividend for the second half of this year (bye bye to £2bn).
So, to re-state the bloomin' obvious, Barclays is paying an arm and a couple of legs for this money from Abu Dhabi and Qatar (with a little bit of a contribution from British taxpayers), when it could probably have paid just one arm and one leg for the money from the Treasury, from taxpayers.
Why has it been so desperate to avoid taking taxpayers' cash?
Well, it wants to avoid making itself vulnerable to being bossed around by the chancellor and prime minister - which it fears would have happened it had taken taxpayers' moolah.
But what's really at stake?
Is this about protecting its right and ability to pay many millions of pounds, even tens of millions, to its superstar bankers?
After all, Barclays - following its takeover of the US bits of bombed-out Lehman - is in some ways more investment bank, more Wall Street, than retail bank these days.
And, famously, Bob Diamond, the head of Barclays Capital - its investment banking arm - has received double figure millions in annual remuneration for some years now.
I've already been rung this morning by sore investors and bankers who allege that Barclays has tapped Abu Dhabi and Qatar because it doesn't want Gordon Brown and Darling putting a ceiling on what it can pay its top execs.
Barclays tells me that it is motivated by a desire to protect its commercial freedom, which is about more than how it rewards its stars, but also includes that cherished freedom.