Barclays Consultant Michael Klein Will Not Get Into Bed for $5 Million A Week

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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Lawyers for former Citigroup executive Michael Klein tried to prevent the judge in the Lehman Brothers estate's case against Barclays from compelling him to reveal exactly how much the British bank paid him to advise on their acquisition of Lehman's brokerage business in September 2008, but, they stressed last Friday in court, this was not because they feared the amount — $10 million, for approximately two weeks of work — would look obscenely outsize in light of the fact that that (a) Lehman is suggesting, via the suit, that Barclays overcharged them to the tune of $11 billion, and (b) the lesser but still awkward fact this payout occurred when the entire economy was on the verge of collapse, many people were losing their jobs, etc. Nor were they worried it would seem Klein wasn't worth it: He worked hardfor that money.

First, he had to get clearance from his ex-employer Citigroup, which gave him a $28 million golden parachute when he left, to consult for Barclays, and everyone knows paperwork like that is a bitch. And while it was only a couple of weeks, it was a stressful fortnight. For instance, Klein missed out on a good deal of beauty rest. The London Telegraph gives us some color on what it was like for him:

During the frenetic week that led up to Lehman's collapse on September 15 2008 and in the week that followed to secure the transformational deal, Mr Klein worked closely with Mr Diamond.

(And reading between the lines, it's evident that Bob Diamond can be as difficult to be around as some of these people.) Plus:

Mr Klein said he worked almost round the clock until the sale was completed.

Much like the dignified government functionaries who spent that same time period sleepless, he has physically still not recovered (No he did not say this exactly but look at the lines in his forehead! Not to mention his pores!) Anyway, the real reason lawyers did not want the amount disclosed, they said, was that they were afraid Klein as an independent consultant would be put at a "competitive disadvantage" if other people in the field knew how much he was undercharging for his expertise. Now, because the judge compelled him to reveal it, everyone knows. How embarrassing.

Ex-Citi banker is forced to disclose $10m Lehman fee [Telegraph UK]