Obviously you are not going to find a paragon of ethical socially minded banking in any of the banks, but one corporation du moolah has consistently delighted in pursuing profit at the expense of basic morality, apartheid South Africa? Yep. Arms sales with added depleted uranium? You betcha. Mugabe? kerching! War profiteering & looting in the Congo? Why certainly. Now once again Barclays have proved themselves far and away the bestest ever at being total bankers. Rather than take government bailouts they eschew what little control that process entailed and instead royalty from Abu Dahbi and Qatar have filled their coffers in a deal giving them preferential treatment over any government package. They prefer rich princes who won’t baulk at their shenanigans to govt with a nod to regulation and some social/ethical aspect to their operations. After all royalty understand it’s important keeping ones subjects…er..subjugated in order to enrich oneself (as they do in Bush favourite ‘Teh Emirates’) and Barclays certainly hate their average high street customer, branch closures, ridiculously excessive account charges and penalties. Also I just love to hear ‘Royal family’ (sorry sovereign wealth funds, gosh nope even with that newspeak it’s still ridiculous) it’s like being a wee child again and reading fairy tales, after all who but a child would accept people having great wealth and power due to an accident of birth (has anyone studied how fairy tales impact adult attitudes to Royalty/class? or for that matter bridge related trolls).
Really we should be sort of pleased Barclays remains the biggest bankers on the block, at least they have the courage of their convictions- greed is good, evil is fun, total class war- even if that’s as near to any ‘convictions’ they will get. They clearly are not about to change how they do things-
Barclays has said it should gain a competitive advantage by not having government as an investor, and will also avoid the scrutiny that its rivals may face, analysts said.
Should though we be happy they are not getting public capital? Which I think is the wrong question, while regulation should of come without a price tag it is better to have some oversight than none at all, as this crisis of capitalism demonstrates. What’s noticeable is Barclays prefer worse deals from ideological allies than regulation, which gives the lie to business being only about the bottom line, it is about irrational greed now-
A large chunk of the £5.8bn investment will buy “reserve capital instruments”, similar to the preference shares which the UK government is taking in RBS and Lloyds TSB-HBOS. They will pay a dividend of 14% a year, compared with the UK government’s 12% a year. The new shareholders will also own warrants allowing them to buy shares in Barclays at 197.775p any time in the next five years.
“We have to ask why Barclays it is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer,” Cable said. “The answer is simple: they don’t want the British government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.
“More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British government must not simply let this pass.”
Marcus Agius, Barclays chairman, insisted the ability to keep paying bonuses “had nothing to do with this at all”.
“It’s to do with self-determination,” he said.
As their record clearly shows they are all about supporting democracy…no wait the other thing, being rich and fuck everyone else. And for all the talk of self-determination, which I’m sure is getting libertarians engorged (bless their simple little socks) even as I write, they are in fact being subsidised by the tax payer-
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…
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.
What did they pay themselves last time?
Bob Diamond, head of investment banking at Barclays received pay and shares worth over 21 million pounds last year, just down on 2006 but putting him among Europe’s highest-paid bankers.
Chief Executive John Varley, whose 2007 pay and shares could reach 4.2 million pounds
Investment banker Marcus Agius [chariman] will be paid a salary of £750,000
A fraudster posing as the chairman of Barclays stole £10,000 from the bank after tricking a member of staff into sending him a credit card, it emerged today. The conman duped call centre staff into issuing a credit card in the name of banking boss Marcus Agius and then used it to withdraw funds at a high street branch.
It is believed that the thief, working alone or as part of a gang, used the internet to find out details concerning Agius, such as his date of birth and address. He then contacted a Barclaycard employee and requested that a new card be sent out. Armed with the information and the card, the conman entered a branch of the bank and walked away with £10,000 of Agius’s cash.
Although their excessive charges meant the customers paid to replace moneybags stolen 10 grand I suppose. Agius is the lowest paid, £10,000 was a loss of one and a third percent of his salary, how did he ever survive the poor lamb?