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Opinion

Abigail Hofman: The race to anoint Barclays’ new CEO

Bob Diamond resigned from Barclays on July 3 and as I write this, some three weeks later, bankers are starting to talk in hushed tones about the "Libor rigging scandal" being the financial industry’s "tobacco moment".

A number of senior bankers have been paraded in front of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee and had metaphorical tomatoes thrown at them. Jerry del Missier, the former Barclays’ chief operating officer, was accused of monumental incompetence.

Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England, was scolded by the committee chairman, Andrew Tyrie. "This doesn’t look good, Mr Tucker," Tyrie tut-tutted, obviously having missed his true calling as a headmaster. And even Marcus Agius, the chairman of Barclays who resigned and then reinstated himself the next day, was mauled.

The Barclays saga is starting to resemble a Shakespearean tragedy, maybe a comedy, and I suspect that we are only at the end of Act I. Other bankers are mesmerized. They are stunned at how rapid the fall from grace has been.

Bankers are starting to talk in hushed tones about the “Libor rigging scandal” being the financial industry’s “tobacco moment”

A few weeks ago, Barclays was a feared competitor, now it is a stunned whale drifting aimlessly in the murky waters.

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