Lunchtime Links: Deep inside the mind of Bob Diamond

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Brain in jar

Oldest children are more intelligent, more ambitious and more successful. In large families especially, they tend to do better than their younger siblings. Arguably, the eldest son in a very large family will be particularly driven to prove himself, both to attract the attention of his exhausted parents and to provide for his brothers and sisters.

Meet Bob Diamond.

In anticipation of RBS dominating the media today following the FSA’s report into where it went wrong, it seems that Barclays went for some favourable press yesterday by granting the Sunday Times an exclusive interview with Bob Diamond.

In it, Bob explained how he was the second eldest of nine children and the oldest male. Because of this, he confessed that he has a, “high need for achievement.”

Bob also took the opportunity to mention the “no-jerk” policy at BarCap, which has been around for a long time, but seems to have been presented as something new. The Sunday Times reports that 30-40 senior level bankers/jerks have been removed from BarCap, “so far.” It points out that this includes the BarCap bankers who spent £44k on wine at Petrus, even though they were in fact evicted nearly ten years’ ago.

Ahead of today’s predictable vilification of Fred Goodwin, Bob comes across as a man of the people. He says he prefers Robin Hood to the Sheriff of Nottingham, East Enders to Frozen Planet and that he's changed nappies. He also says his daughter’s gone into banking, although whether she works at BarCap is not clear.

Johnny Cameron has been telling friends that if RBS hadn’t bought ABN AMRO it would be "roughly where Barclays is now". (Observer) 

Goldman will fund a hedge fund started by a former Barclays commodities trader. (Business Week) 

It seems that 22 partners have quit or announced their intention to quit Goldman Sachs this year. That compares with 26 actual departures last year, 36 in 2009 and 48 in a bloody 2008. (Financial News) 

RBS’s equity Tier 1 capital ratio at the end of 2007 was around 2 percent. (Breaking Views) 

The risk-adjusted return at the average hedge fund is zero. (Financial Mail)  

Colm O’Shea, founder of Comac, aMayfairhedge fund, has paid himself £34m for one year’s work. (Sunday Times) 

GLG’s amazing Russian female fund manager, soon to return from maternity leave, excelled at mathematics, was sent to a special school for gifted children and was the national maths champion at the age of 15. (Financial News) 

The fresh out of Wharton newbies and Wall Street fanboys cringe at this depiction of finance with sales skills at its center. Their romantic notion of finance revolves around innovation and big ideas representing self-evident genius.(Interloping) 

Bob Wigley says it’s not fair that only UK-based banks have to adhere to new pay disclosure rules, while European banks that have passported in to London, don’t. (Telegraph) 

Asset management bonus pool predictions are “tepid-to-negative”, with more than half of companies surveyed by Russell Reynolds expecting them to be smaller than last year. (Financial Times) 

Jonathan Beebe, head of European equity trading at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has left after 16 years. (Financial News) 

Anil Prasad, now Citi’s head of FX and emerging markets trading, the largest franchise of its kind in the world, is the world’s most powerful FX banker. (Financial News) 

On Corzine: “It’s like a bond trader from 15 years ago went to sleep and suddenly awoke to make these trades." (New York Times) 

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