You've likely heard the complaint: investment bankers are just glorified gamblers who recently brought the global economy to its knees through a deep financial crisis. But if they're so bad, then why do Europe's biggest banks appear to be putting investment bankers into leadership positions? News comes today that Barclays will be installing Bob Diamond, an investment banker, as its new CEO. HSBC may follow with its Chairman Stephen Green stepping down. A Wall Street Journal piece by William Wright on this topic explains:

At HSBC, the departure of Mr. Green (who ran the group's investment bank for five years starting in 1998), opens the door to another investment banker taking on the top job. While HSBC has not announced an immediate successor to Mr. Green, there are at least three strong internal candidates to become chairman (two of whom are investment bankers).

Those two candidates held prominent positions at Goldman Sachs. Are European banks questioning their conservative cultures by embracing executives with more aggressive investment banking talent?

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

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