European papers unforgiving to Barclays’ Bob Diamond

Much of the European press has showed little mercy to Bob Diamond, the chief executive at Barclays who today fell on sword over the Libor rate fixing scandal for which his bank was fined, both in the UK and by US authorities, too.

Die Welt wrote that Diamond would “rue in retrospect” the fact he advocated an end to the “time of humility” back in 2011.

The paper noted that the former CEO, who some might argue was a poster child for all mistakes banks made during the crisis, had “come to loggerheads often with watchdogs”.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which had already spoken of the “storm of outrage” over the rate fixing scandal, said the “London financial scene has a new wicked witch”, even as it announced Diamond would be relinquishing his leading role on that scene.

The paper said Diamond had been “der ‘Master of the Universe’ on Wall Street as he led investment banking at Barclays Capital for years with an iron fist.”

After conceding his bank did not need State aid, and looked instead to Middle Eastern backers during the crisis, the paper said: “Diamond was the first banker, who warned enough was enough with all the apologies of bankers. His victory pose in the boss’s seat at Barclays is in the City every bit as infamous as was the victory sign by Josef Ackermann at his Mannheim case.”

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