The Barclays Protium story is utterly reprehensible: a major financial institution held to ransom by a handful of employees threatening to bugger off with the keys to the toxic waste cupboard unless paid an outrageous sum. "All that's wrong in the City", indeed.
One might say that such things happen on a smaller scale quite often, in many walks of life: but being merely egregious by its scale doesn't make it any the less shocking: a dramatic proof that people - be they bankers, trade unions or parliamentarians - will behave atrociously if not regulated properly.
But now a thing of the past ? No, rather a microcosm of how banks are playing their political and regulatory masters as a whole - see this story on their attempts to thwart Basel III.
This isn't really news, of course. But it's worth thinking through how one would conduct affairs at the corporate level to prevent a re-run of Protium - and then thinking how the same principles might be brought to bear at the macro level. We know about too big to fail. Are we to accept too big to be regulated ? Because if we are, let's not imagine this weakness will not be exploited ruthlessly.
A capitalist writes ... no rules, no game. And it's a good game - worth enforcing the rules for.