The Barclays scandal is not ‘wholly inappropriate’. It’s a crime

If the authorities were consistent, they would punish the banks just as severely as they reacted to last year’s rioters.


Two men pass a closed Barclays Bank branch in the City of London. But ‘make no mistake, it is banks plural ,¦ not just Barclays’ who are involved. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters

Even if he hasn’t yet debased the coinage, Bob Diamond has certainly done his bit to debase further the language of British public life. Confronted with a clear ruling that Barclays traders had lied and cheated in seeking to rig a key interest rate used to determine everything from mortgages to credit card bills, Diamond put his hands up and conceded that the traders’ action had been “wholly inappropriate”.

Inappropriate? Inappropriate is wearing a tie to a barbecue. Wholly inappropriate is burping during the wedding vows. Distorting for personal gain a rate that underpins contracts worth $350 trillion worldwide is rather more than “inappropriate”.

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Way thought for the day, 1st July 2012 – Our good or evil deeds


“Our good or evil deeds follow us continually, like shadows. That which is most needed is a loving and honest heart. Regard thy people as men do an only son; do not oppress them, do not destroy them. Keep in due check every member of thy body. Forsake unreasoning doctrine, and walk in the straight path, which is the only Way, and there is none other. Exalt not thyself by trampling down others, but comfort and befriend the suffering. Neither ponder on kingly dignity, nor listen to the smooth words of flatterers. There is no profit in vexing oneself by austerities, but meditate on the teachings of the noble Brotherhood, and weigh this wise and reasoned law.

“We are encompassed on all sides by the rocks of birth, old age, disease, and death, and only by considering and practicing the true and just law can we escape from this sorrow-piled mountain. What profit, then, in practicing iniquity?