Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

Andrew Hill

As his job security plummets in line with Barclays’ share price, Bob Diamond is haunted by what he said in the BBC Today Business Lecture last year about culture:

Culture is difficult to define, I think it’s even more difficult to mandate – but for me the evidence of culture is how people behave when no one is watching.

But Mr Diamond didn’t suddenly wake up to the importance of a strong corporate culture after becoming chief executive of Barclays. He’s been talking about it for years and mainly with reference to his “no jerk” rule at Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm he used to run and that was home to the trading “dudes” skewered in the Libor-fixing scandal. Here he is talking about the rule in an interview with The Times last December:

If someone can’t behave with their colleagues and can’t be part of the culture, it doesn’t matter how good they are at what they do, they have to be asked to leave. You know what a jerk is when you see it. If we ever ignore the rule it always comes back to haunt us.

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Rupert Murdoch has a few things in common with Warren Buffett. They are both 81, they both love newspapers and they both run public companies named after their worst investments from the past. Mr Buffett’s is Berkshire Hathaway, a New England textile company, Mr Murdoch’s is News Corp.