I do not wish Barclays PLC president Robert Diamond harm. Nor do I wish BlackRock chairman Laurence Fink harm. Short of that, I surely do not wish them well.
I would love to be in a room with the duo, so I could have the pleasure of not shaking their hands. I would not spit on them—but I would be tempted. Sorely tempted.
Diamond and Fink graced page B1 of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. The story was of BlackRock’s purchase of Barclays’ money management operation. It was reported that the top 400 Barclays execs would divvy up $630 million—and Diamond would receive about $36.5 million.
What bugged me was not the $$$-signs per se.
What made me gag were the big, gaping grins on the two guys’ faces. I think that is appalling-insensitive-stupefying-outrageous-disgusting-sickening in June 2009.
Would I love to find a check in the mail for $36.5 million? Damn right. Might it light up my face? Sure, but hopefully in the privacy of my entry hall at home. Not some big silly ass public grin—as thousands more are in the process of receiving pink slips in the same mail delivery.
One suspects that the pathetic saps actually think they deserved the bucks for “hard work” and personal brilliance. And maybe they even think the 20,000 a day who lose their jobs in the U.S. alone deserve their fates for not having kept their collective noses close enough to the grind stone.
But (not the first time I’ve used this phrase of late) … have they no shame? If the photo was a must, couldn’t they have shown a little sobriety of demeanor? I’m not asking for grim—just the tiniest inkling that they comprehend that not quite everyone experienced a $36.5 million payday on 12 June 2009.
I do not wish them harm.
I do not wish them well.