Who told the goons? I did. Legal & General was planning to vote against Barclays' attempt to raise £7 billion in fresh capital. L&G holds roughly 5 per cent of Barclays. L&G thought it could throw its weight around. It was wrong.
This is what happened. A phone call from my dear friend Bob Diamond. In the middle of the friggin' night! This is what Bob said: 'O Michael, O Master, you must help us. John Varley has his head up his arse. He hasn't got a clue. Marcus Agius is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Only you can save us now. I beseech you. You must help us. You have got to stop those L&G muthas from voting against the fresh capital. We need that goddamn money. You know the alternative. The alternative is our falling into the hands of those miserable commie sons of bitches in the most disgusting socialist government that ever there was. You understand me, don't you, Mikey? You know where I'm coming from. You must put a curse on Legal & General. Conjure up those dark forces! You can do it if you really try. Don't give me all that shit about how you don't dance on the dark side. This is a fucking emergency! We are talking about communism here, for Christ's sake! Do you want to live in a communist state? Do you want a chivato watching you, everything you do, everything you say? Grow a pair of balls. Go to the dark side. Just this once. Do it for me.'
Well, I'm not going to let down a friend in need. So, yeah, I went to the dark side. I flew straight to Peter Chambers' house. Chambers is the chief executive of Legal & General Investment Management. I told him straight (while hovering above his bed in my astral form): 'Listen, Pete, you're in a world of shit right now, my friend. Oh yes, Bob Diamond himself has commissioned me to scare you half to death, and that's what I’m doing - if you haven't already noticed. I'm only going to say this once - leave Barclays the fuck alone. Who cares about your 5 per cent? 5 per cent ain't shit in my eyes, or anybody else's. You better get real, Pete. You do realize I have the power to put a curse on you, don't you? This time tomorrow you could be in a living hell. Shadows all around you. Voices in your head. Chakras fucked beyond repair. How would you like them apples? Don't fuck with me, Pete. Do the right thing.'
In a newspaper this morning, Mr Chambers said: 'We will vote in favour of the plan.'
Am I the world's foremost financial shaman, or am I the world's foremost financial shaman? What do you think?