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”.