I’ve not a lot to say about the Directors of Barclays (BARC, 335p) buying in last weeks placement at 282p, except to say that

1. I can imagine that there must have been a lot of internal pressure on the directors of Barclays to subscribe for shares in the placement, and given that pressure, an increase in their personal holdings of Barclays shares of between 15% and 23% doesn’t seem to me particularly, how shall I say this, convincing.

2. I looked back through recent directors trades, and see in particular that Bob Diamond in March 2008, having exercised and been delivered shares in various incentive and award schemes, sold 974,000 shares at prices of 454p (4/3) and 461p (12/3) to ‘satisfy withholding liabilities’ *. I find it an intriguing coincidence then that he buys [back] almost the same amount, 1,025,000 shares at 282p last week.

* ‘satisfy withholding liabilities’ = pay tax. This is normal routine behaviour when share options are exercised or released to directors.