We Bankers Said We’re Sorry — Now Buzz Off

Alain Sherter writes a column called Financial Folly. His latest essay is entitled – Barclays CEO: We Bankers Said We’re Sorry — Now Buzz Off.

New Barclays (BCS) CEO Bob Diamond is tired of apologizing for the economic damage big banks have wrought in recent years. As he told members of Britain’s Parliament during a hearing on possible restrictions on banker pay:

“There was a period of remorse and apology for banks. I think that period is over,” Diamond told the Treasury Select Committee.

“Frankly, the biggest issue is how do we put some of the blame game behind us? There’s been apologies and remorse, now we need to build some confidence,” he added.

Seems to me Diamond, who took over last fall as chief executive at the U.K. banking giant, is skipping a step between expressing regret and rebuilding confidence. Tip of my tongue…. Ah, yes: reform. That includes restricting the kind of compensation that inclines bankers to let it roll. And since we’re nitpicking here, I don’t remember many financial executives exactly hanging their heads in shame over their role in the meltdown.

I don’t recall any real apologies or confessions of wrong doing or regret for what happened.

The general perception of the financial community is that they were profitable before the disaster, they didn’t really need the bailout and what was all the fuss about in the first place?

You may think I am exaggerating or misinformed about that my analysis of the attitude of the banking community. I truly wish I was wrong.

We have a financial class that not only can do no wrong whatever, but have no responsibility for anyone in this country at any time, under any circumstances. In their minds, they are worthy, the rest are not.

Their sense of entitlement is beyond most American’s comprehension.

If I had not heard these things said myself, I would have difficulty believing them.

James Pilant