guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 4 July 2012
He said that he did not know about the Libor-rigging at his bank and that he did not feel personally to blame. "I don't feel personally culpable but what I do feel is a strong sense of responsibility, a very strong sense that when we find mistakes, we recognise them, we are open about them," he said. When MPs suggested that he was responsible for bringing a cavalier, investment banking culture into the bank, he rejected that.
As situations become more and more serious, we start to hear terms such as "chain of accountability" - attempts to spread the blame downwards. These leaders are always happy to take the personal credit for any positive achievements though, of course.
Tony Blair is famous for this - he wants to be seen as accountable for anything anyone deems noble his office achieved, but firmly denies accountability for any illegal decisions made (in the UK) leading to the Iraq War.
It is a very interesting idea, in fact, that blame cannot be logically allocated to one person in a team environment. We are all interconnected and interdependent on a psychosocial as well as a physical level.
The greater the number of people in one's team, the less the blame can be given to the team leader, and so government leaders and huge corporations, in the absence of any direct evidence showing they called for specific illegal situations to arise, are just 'managers trying to do their job with the resources they have available'. This effectively allows them to hire psychopaths to get them their fat paychecks and then walk away without any responsibility with regards to the negative wider social repurcussions.
Bob Diamond is certainly not going to be too bothered whether he gets his bonus or not. Now he can retire in comfort while most of the West rots due, in part, to his poor management skills.