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Banking

Barclays: Diamond’s clear, not flawed

Barclays is in investment mode; Diamond supports strong regulation

Bob Diamond: “No one is more upset than the strong banks at the mess the system got into”

Bob Diamond: "No one is more upset than the strong banks at the mess the system got into"

Judge James Peck gave headline writers a gift last month by describing Barclays’ president, Bob Diamond, as coming across as "evasive". Diamond, testifying in a federal court in Manhattan over the UK bank’s purchase out of bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers’ US brokerage business in 2008, had asked to be allowed to respond at length to detailed questions over mismatches in the cash consideration Barclays paid for Lehman versus the value of its collateral and whether or not the acquisition was immediately capital accretive. His inquisitor wanted "yes" or "no" answers.

These were not, let’s remember, questions that weighed heavily when the bankruptcy court was desperate to find a buyer for Lehman in 2008, the US and global financial systems appeared to be going into meltdown, the US Treasury and Federal Reserve were in crisis mode and no other acquirer was ready to step up.

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