Bob Diamond and Picasso – loads o’ money

What links Bob Diamond with Picasso you might ask – probably not very much unless he happens to own one; perhaps he does!

I was looking at an on-line piece of news that described the £6.5 million Mr Diamond has just received as his bonus for 2010; a little top-up for his £250,000 a year salary. I’m sure he feels that he earns it, but I cannot help but think of the excesses (not just his) within our society and imagine the greed of them and over-indulgences they probably create. So many people are counting pennies, some wondering where next week’s food will come from or how they will pay the rent, mortgage or utility bill that is outstanding. How have we grown a society of such financial inequality?

I was recently talking with a client who comes from a north-African country. He describes the level of corruption as being so objectionable within a system that has some super rich people whilst the vast majority remain exceedingly poor – a poverty he suggested that we can only understand if we have seen it first hand. In the UK people look disparagingly at such countries, scoffing sometimes at how aid and investment money gets diverted into the bank accounts of individuals.

When I read about bankers’ bonuses I wondered if we are becoming such a state. I am not suggesting that the people like Mr Diamond are in themselves corrupt, but what kind of system allows them to earn such sums. How can his individual annual pay be the same as 270 people earning £25,000? Only a corrupt one!

And where you might ask does Picasso come in? Well, the same on-line page had an item showing one of his paintings that is due to sell for £65 million – a mere ten times the amount of Mr Diamond’s bonus. Can there really be people prepared to pay so much for a piece of art, however rare and priceless it may be – I won’t pretend to be naïve, I know there are many people with that kind of wealth. After all Mr Diamond could buy it himself in ten years!

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About equalityedge

I run Equality Edge and its unique and creative "Working with Difference" project. It supports employers and managers in gaining a competitive and cost saving advantage from meeting equality and diversity best practice obligations. Coaching and workshops are used to deliver organisational, team and leadership development, assisting in improving communication and the understanding of the impact difference has on workplace behaviour.
This entry was posted in beyond diversity, discrimination, Equality & Diversity, inequality, poverty, Prejudice. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bob Diamond and Picasso – loads o’ money

  1. Chris Markiewicz says:

    Interesting connection Michael. It’s not so much poverty that is always the probem, rather the inequality.

    Another fascinating connection is that Bolton Council are selling off two of their Picasso pieces in order to raise funds in the current climate. So, at least some money may come into the public sector from wealthy art lovers . It also makes me wonder about what other riches local authorities may be sitting on up snd down the country.

  2. Jose Jacobs says:

    I agree that it is disgusting that these people can receive so much money. With that
    amount they could afford to house and feed all the homeless help those on the breadline struggling. Look at westminster council trying to stop the soup kitchens feed
    the homeless instead of helping them. no home no money no money cannot find home or get a job or benifit to help them. I watch the secret millionaire and the what they have found and the money they have poured out to the volontary people people changing lives to those in need and changed their own lives. have the money to help
    the poor which is the base of all religions I dont earn much but I give some to charity
    every months the greedy bankers footballers should do the same We need Robinhood bach to take from the richto give to the poor. I also thought polotitions were greedy
    with their expence sheets.

  3. Totally agree with the link to corruption. The same thing occurred to me the other day. What separates the west from the overtly corrupt thiefdoms of such nations is that we seem to have legitimised corruption. The banks make so much money out of us, both ‘legally’ in the sense that they are not breaking any laws and illegally when they blatantly defraud people e.g. by adding such things as payment protection to loans and charging interest on it. Its estimated that ppi in the UK alone is worth £7m a year to banks and they have been doing it for years! This is despite being asked to pay most of it back. The banks pay less than 3% on savings and charge what they like on credit card and over drafts and the interest always starts in double figures. No wonder they can afford to pay a single person £6.5m.

    And the link to women – women do 2/3 of the world’s work for less than 10% of the income and own less than 1% of all property. Why because greedy so and so have control of a system that rewards them at the expense of others. !

    • equalityedge says:

      Thanks for your reply Ola

      Of course, you are right. The overriding theme of these blog pages in inequality. The payment to top banking executives (and other over-paid people, like footballers) emphasises the huge inequality between rich and poor.

      By highlighting this as a UK based issue, I am left wondering whether Mali or Chad, as two of the poorest nations on earth, pay their banking executives this kind of bonus.

      The difference between rich and poor is a global problem.

      Thanks for your link regarding women.

  4. alpna says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I also read somewhere that Michael Jordan’s fee for endorsing Nike was more than the combined paychecks of the entire workforce that made Nike shoes.

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