The latest banking scandal (manipulating Libor rates by Barclays) has now claimed its first senior director, though most want more. Compared to previous banking scandals, the call for those at the top to go has been swift and strong. (Let's remember that Jamie Dimon is not only still running JPMorgan, but he still remains on the board of the New York Federal Reserve.)
At Barclays, the CEO Bob Diamond is still holding on by a thread though his days may also be numbered running the bank. The Tory government is struggling themselves to hold onto legitimacy, changing positions and trying anything they can do turn back the inevitable decline due to austerity. This is not a climate that gives them much room for normal Conservative apologist behavior for the banks. On the other side, Labour can sense that this is a key moment and they're jumping all over this latest banking ripoff.
Bob Diamond may still tough it out and hang on but at this point, his chances look increasingly slim. Talk of criminal prosecutions for market manipulation is heating up and unless something even bigger pops up soon to distract the media and public opinion, Diamond is probably going to be gone soon.
More on the ongoing scandal at Barclays via The Guardian.
But Monday's resignation did not puncture the political pressure on the bank with the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, calling on the bank's chief executive, Bob Diamond, to quit and stepped up his efforts to force the government to set up a Leveson-style inquiry into banks by bringing forward an amendment in parliament.For those of you with a spare 25 minutes, check out Max Keiser's report on this problem. He does a great job putting it into perspective. If Barclays and other banks can get away with this behavior, there is no rule of law left for the well connected.
"I think there needs to be more a more general change of leadership including the chief executive, Bob Diamond," Miliband told ITV Daybreak.
The bank put board director Sir Michael Rake, the former top accountant and serial company director, in the new key role of deputy chairman to oversee an audit of the bank's business practices, the findings of which will be published.
I wonder how everyone now feels about the "Barclays bikes" of London now? It would be nice if governments could regain some self respect and scrap these disgusting deals where they give away the marketing rights to corporate interests. New York is doing something similar with Citibank for their new bike system but many other cities are falling victim to begging for money this way. Even my original home town, Charm City, is now eyeing such offensive programs. This is what happens when the corporate world dominates and it's not pretty.