The UK Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, singled out Bob Diamond and called him “the unacceptable face of banking,” last week.
The entire quote, given in an interview to the Times Online, is pretty appalling.
“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.”
It doesn’t even seem that he has his facts straight on Diamond, whose press rep told the Times Online,
“Bob was paid £250,000 in 2009, he took no bonus for 2009 and no bonus for 2008. The £63 million figure is a total fiction — it is a wilful distortion. The sum has been innocently picked up as truth.”
Whether or not it’s true, for Mandelson to go on record and announce his disapproval of Diamond using generalizations is silly. It ends up working against him. Now readers (marginally) sympathize with Diamond. Had Mandelson presented concrete proof of Diamond’s just shuffling paper around or given us some other evidence that renders Diamond’s £63 million pay undeserve, his comments could have been useful. Instead, Mandelson just looks like an arse.
Bob Diamond did get the largest bonus in 2009. See who he beat in the bank CEO battle of the riches –>
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