Diamond Testifies on Barclays’ Bad Behavior; Are Zombie Funds Rising? Wall Street Roundup

“Reprehensible”: Barclays CEO Bob Diamond said that fixing Libor rates was “reprehensible” during testimony before the British Parliament’s treasury select committee yesterday. It wasn’t enough to assuage lawmakers, who grilled Mr. Diamond for the better part of three hours. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s each cut the outlook on Barclays credit rating. Barclays’ shares plummeted in the wake of the firm’s Libor settlement last week, and investors are left wondering which bank will be next. One of Europe’s best-known hedge fund managers is betting big on Barclays. Mr. Diamond will not be hosting that fundraiser for Mitt Romney.

Now comes the hard part…An agreement reached at the European summit in Brussels last week to create a single euro-zone banking supervisor was widely applauded (largely for creating a mechanism for injecting European rescue funds directly into enfeebled banks). That was the easy part. Now the region must agree on how and where to implement the agreement, and do it by an end-of-2012 deadline. On cue, Finland questioned the wording of Spain’s bailout agreement.

Undead money: One thing private equity firms can do is create new funds to buy out old funds, rather than return assets to investors. That may sound ill advised—if you’re going to raise money from an investor again, you probably don’t want to be known as the guy who holds money hostage. But according to the New York Post, an increasing amount of firms are going “Zombie.”

Dueling bankruptcies: A hedge fund managed by Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher Jr. filed for Chapter 11 protection in Manhattan, after a judge in the Cayman Islands appointed liquidators to close another of Mr. Fletcher’s funds in April. The New York filing represents an attempt by Fletcher Asset Management to manage its own liquidations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

New day: The era of acquisitions may be over for BlackRock, forcing asset manager to grow from within.

Ghost fleet: Large fleets of ships that typically ply domestic routes along the coast of China are seeking international business, in a sign of the slowing Chinese economy.

Round three: The Bank of England launched a fresh quantitative easing initiative.