So, (and as members of BarCap's press office have variously pointed out), we were wrong and wrong again. Not only is BarCap really hiring, but it does not appear to be holding out for any more former Lehman people from Nomura.
In the past week, BarCap has announced the imminent arrival of Howard Spooner and Sonalee Parekh from Goldman, Sam Dean from Deutsche Bank, and Jim Renwick from UBS. We think it's also hired William Tovey from UBS, but isn't letting on.
The question now, therefore, is how much BarCap's paying to attract all these people. The bank would undoubtedly point to the strength of its franchise as a sufficient lure, but the Financial News' William Wright says 'indecent amounts of money' are being offered.
How indecent? According to one headhunter (with intimate knowledge of the BarCap situation), the bank is "aggressively competitive" on pay and is offering the occasional two year guarantee to senior people. Senior hires like Dean and Spooner are thought to have got seven figure deals.
This doesn't seem particularly obscene. And an equities headhunter at a rival firm says market rumour is that the packages for people hired out of UBS and Citigroup weren't very big at all.