The retail shareholders complaining about Barclays Bank’s deal with Middle East and other investors might well have a point. However it is not one that appeals to me.
From a PR point of view it is attractive to believe that Barclays was protecting long-term shareholder value by being creative and courageous. Arguing that the bank is not featherbedding at the state’s expense as many of its rivals are doing is a strong point to advocate. However, the deal is complex. Time will tell. For an account of how Barclays’ independent business strategy has more pros than cons (though the cons are significant), see today’s article by Christine Seib in The Times.