Two decades ago, I attended one of the most gripping press conferences of my life. It was called by Andrew Buxton, Barclays’ then-chairman, to apologise for the bank’s £414m loss, mainly on reckless property lending, and to announce that he would be halving his job by resigning as its chief executive.
Bob Diamond arriving to give evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on interest rate fixing. Getty Images
Bob Diamond’s keenly awaited appearance before the Treasury select committee promised much and has so far (it was still going on when I broke off to write this post) offered very little for those seeking to know more about the Libor rate-fixing scandal.
But I think the former Barclays chief executive’s responses have shed light on one puzzle: how did the bank underestimate the public revulsion to the outcome of the investigation so badly? The short answer: the bank thought it would receive more credit in the court of public opinion for having helped expose the mess. Read more
Barclays has finally got the order of resignations the right way round. Bob Diamond’s departure – and the temporary restoration of Marcus Agius as chairman, a day after announcing his own exit – hands the can to the man who should have carried it in the first place.
As I wrote in my column on Monday, after Mr Agius said he would go, the resignation of the chairman didn’t mean Mr Diamond had “dodged the bullet aimed at both of them”.
Yet I still think there is worrying evidence that Barclays senior directors are in denial. In ringing the wagons against outside attack, they seem to be pursuing the line that talented individuals have been laid low by external “events” – the word used in Mr Agius’s resignations statement (now rescinded). Read more
Two elements of Marcus Agius’s statement of resignation as Barclays chairman strike me as strange.
Apple $60m settlement with Proview Technology of Shenzhen, the manufacturing city in the Pearl River delta, to gain undisputed control of its iPad trademark, shows how tricky controlling intellectual property in China remains.
China is still stuck between its official policy of moving to more innovation and protection of intellectual property and the sketchier reality on the ground. It remains very easy to buy knock-off Apple phones and components in the Pearl River. Read more
Kodak's headquarters. Image by Getty.
The timing of the demise of the online Kodak Gallery, just two days before the July 4th holiday in the US, is both sad and apposite. Millions of digital photos will still be taken on Independence Day – you just won’t be able to store, share and reprint from them via the Kodak Gallery websites any longer.
At noon Pacific Time on Monday July 2, the US version will move all the photos stored there to new owner Shutterfly. At the same moment (8pm British Summer Time), the UK site will simply be switched off. Never has the greeting “Dear valued Kodak Gallery member” – on the email I received four days ago announcing the UK shutdown – sounded more hollow. Read more