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Barclays-DiamondBarclays PLC President Robert Diamond Jr. shared some pretty strong opinions about the challenges ahead in financial services reform as well as in resurrecting our moribund economy during his keynote address at last night’s annual Lloyd’s New York City dinner. But he may have gotten a bit carried away in his self-congratulation when it came to the impact of government intervention.

Mr. Diamond is justifiably proud of how well his institution has weathered the economic storm of the past two years, pointing out how Barclays has remained in the black ”in every single quarter” since the financial free-fall began in 2008. He also bragged about Barclay’s ability to raise private capital “when it was most scarce,” as well as his firm’s ability to pull off a key strategic acquisition–at a distressed price–in buying the core U.S. brokerage business at Lehman Brothers.

However, I was disappointed to hear Mr. Diamond’s boast that Barclay’s “didn’t take a single penny of government money.” In fact, news reports indicate that Barclay’s was a major recipient of counterparty payments from AIG–the biggest beneficiary, getting over $7 billion–which was only possible because of Washington’s massive bailout.

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