What are we looking for when Bob Diamond, the ousted Barclays boss, testifies in front of the Treasury Select Committee today? Here are a few things the committee members might like to ask:
* Diamond’s memo yesterday revealed details of his phone conversation in October 2008 with Paul Tucker, deputy head of the Bank of England. It appears to reinforce the idea that the Bank wanted Barclays to submit lower figures for Libor. MPs will ask the former Barclays CEO precisely what Tucker said and whether the memo is an entirely accurate transcript of Tucker’s words.
* MPs will ask whether Tucker told Diamond the identify of the powerful “Whitehall” figure or figures who supposedly wanted Barclays to lower its Libor submissions in line with other banks. The Tories have leapt on this, suggesting that it points towards Labour ministers and advisers of the time: but what if it was a Treasury mandarin? Read more
Bob Diamond, who resigned as Barclays CEO today
Now that Bob Diamond has quit as chief executive of Barclays, what does that mean for his appearance in front of the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow?
It may mean that the members of the committee tone down their attacks: it is less edifying watching a panel pillorying someone who has just resigned than someone who is refusing to do so.
But more importantly, it may mean that Diamond now feels free of his shackles and goes after other people he feels were complicit in the Libor scandal.
So who else could be in his line of fire? Read more
Before Andrew Tyrie became chair of the Treasury select committee I predicted that the Tory MP would make a tough and independent figurehead for the body. This has so far been the case.
This morning he put the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the spot by asking whether he had exaggerated the scale of the financial crisis facing Britain to justify massive public spending cuts. Read more
Here’s the final list of hopefuls for election to be select committee chairmen and the nominations from MPs they’ve managed to pick up.
For Westminster insiders, it’s a fascinating insight into some of the bare-knuckle fights that have been going on behind the scenes. Just as an example, I’ve highlighted the pledges made for the Treasury select committee contest between Michael Fallon and Andrew Tyrie. Read more
Of all the 23 select committees in Westminster, the Treasury one matters most; and not just for the FT. Its role is to hold to account Treasury ministers, banking chief executives and the governor of the Bank of England. That means it is essential that the body is chaired by a high-calibre individual.
Like many I had presumed until recently that Michael Fallon, who has served eight years as deputy chairman, would be the natural shoo-in to John McFall, the Scottish Labour MP who has just stepped down from his seat. Read more