Bob Diamond, the boss of Barclays who has resigned from the embattled bank, came out fighting for his reputation on Wednesday when he appeared before a powerful committee of MPs and blamed government officials for not doing enough to stop him being a greedy, self-obsessed crook.
The high-profile and outspoken banker blamed former chancellor Gordon Brown, MPs of all parties, the Bank of England, Whitehall officials, city regulators and the weather for allowing Barclays traders under Diamond’s direct management to be so greedy that they were forced to pay themselves huge bonuses and spend it all on expensive champagne, exclusive villas and lap dancers
He also hinted that former Labour government ministers had ruthlessly ordered Barclays staff to fill their own pockets with wads of cash and wallow in disgustingly large piles of filthy lucre by manipulating exchange rates.
His words unleashed a wave of explosive revelations about the role of City watchdogs and senior Whitehall figures in forcing helpless banking executives to accept obscenely large bonuses into their personal bank accounts and giving them no choice but to buy Caribbean islands and private jets at fantastically high prices for their personal use.
The Chancellor, George Osborne pointed a finger of blame at the previous Labour government for their appalling treatment of top bankers after he accused Gordon Brown’s administration of regularly making banking executives drink numerous bottles of Bollinger champagne for lunch and drive around in expensive luxury cars.
Diamond, under pressure from the banking regulator and the governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, decided to quit after discovering he would get over 20 million in severance pay and still be able to successfully place the blame for the wrongdoing under his management at the door of everyone else.
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