Those long-forgotten Chinese Walls
The casual way in which these Barclays traders rigged the market is clearly the tip of the iceberg. Corruption and a disregard for the client is obviously endemic in financial services.
The root of these problems lies in the 1980s deregulation of the City. The merger of commercial and investment banks is only one of the mistakes made then; as damaging was the merger of stockbrokers with investment banks. Chinese walls are not just porous, they’ve been torn down; but for the leakage to be effective, the information has to be contained within the mothership.
We need lots of separate institutions, partnerships rather than plcs, for each speciality, so none is too big to fail, and each will be required to be totally transparent in their dealings.