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April 4, 2010

Lord Mandelson gets personal over banker’s pay

The Times of London
by Rachel Sylvester and Katherine Griffiths

Barclays President and Jay-Z fan Bob Diamond is catching some heat from the Lord for his excessive pay package.

Lord Mandelson has singled out the president of Barclays as the “unacceptable face” of the banking sector in one of the most vitriolic attacks on financiers since the financial crisis.

The Business Secretary, who said 12 years ago that Labour was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes”, said that Bob Diamond was socially useless and paid an unjustifiable amount of money.

Mr Diamond, 58, who is American-born, is the number two at the bank and head of its highly profitable investment bank.

Lord Mandelson told The Times: “If you look at Bob Diamond, who took £63 million in pay — that to me is the unacceptable face of banking. He hasn’t earned that money, he’s taken £63 million not by building business or adding value or creating long-term economic strength, he has done so by deal-making and shuffling paper around.”

He added: “If anyone could justify that I’d like to see them do so. Just because somebody is very rich, it doesn’t mean to say different standards of morality apply to them.”


NoLandGrab: Lord Mandelson apparently has a quaint, merry-olde-England sense of morality, since over on this side of the pond, different standards of morality most definitely apply to the very rich. Exhibits A and B: Ratner, Bruce and Prokhorov, Mikhail.

Posted by eric at April 4, 2010 10:15 PM