Not that you'd have told from looking at his face. It was all so painful for him. He loved Barclays. It was run by 140,000 of the most wonderful people in the world. He made it sound like a cross between the royal family and a charity. They were the most honest people you could ever meet, except when they weren't.
Was he contrite ? You might have expected a tiny bit of contrition, like a dob of jam in a cheap doughnut. In fact it was as hard to find as a Higgs boson in the Grand Canyon. You could whirl Mr Diamond round in the Hadron collider without getting a single cheep of remorse.
His technique was to stonewall. He agreed that what had happened was wrong. We know he thought this, because he never tired of telling us. And it wasn't only wrong; it was bad, abhorrent, reprehensible, appalling, inexcusable and improper. It made him angry, really angry. It had made him physically sick! And yes, he was in charge. But he wasn't to blame. Or, as he put it, "I don't feel personally culpable, but I do feel a sense of responsibility." Pat McFadden asked if he thought that he symbolised a culture that needed changing. "I don't think so at all," he said.
(I wondered where we had heard this before. Why, from other bankers, of course, and indeed from Mr Diamond, who said last year that the time for bankers' remorse was over!)
He didn't know anything. To reverse the saying, it was all below his pay grade. Traders were shouting their mad crooked wheezes across the trading floor, but nobody had told him. It had happened seven years ago, but he only learned this month! Presumably because he loved Barclays so much, he couldn't imagine that anyone who worked for it could do anything bad, wrong, reprehensible, sick-making etc. Indeed, the problem might have been that some of his employees were too honest. Barclays' Libor rate was too high, which implied that it was having trouble raising funds. So it was in everyone's interests for the rates to be fiddled down! No wonder Andrea Leadsom (Conservative) inquired whether bankers lived in a parallel universe.
John Mann (Labour), never knowingly underbellowed, told him he'd seen nothing, he'd heard nothing, and he knew nothing. "Either you were complicit, or you were negligent, or you were grossly incompetent … at this rotten, thieving bank!"
Andrew Tyrie, the chairman, who normally looks like a public school headmaster chastising the boy who threw a stink bomb in the organ loft ("this will hurt you more than it will hurt me") , permitted himself a slight smile at this assault, like the glimpses of sunlight we've had in this miserable summer.
Mr Diamond had clearly been told to keep his cool whatever was thrown at him. He even called the MPs by their first names, as if they were among his oldest friends. They replied with a chilly "Mr Diamond".
Near the end, he protested his own decency, honesty, personal freshness, and so on. "Citizenship is one of my four planks," he declared. So, as we suspected, he really is a planker.
Now, I have to confess that my seat was opposite Mr Diamond's back, and I could only see the incredulous look on the faces of the MPs. Those who watched on the live feed thought he kept his dignity. It is the first rule of political reporting: being there is a poor substitute for watching it on TV.
And at prime minister's questions, earlier, Ed Miliband won again. As David Cameron blamed Labour for the banking mess, Miliband pointed out, to hysterical cheers from his own side, that it was Cameron who in 2008 had actually demanded less regulation in the City. Cameron replied by blaming the unions, but then he always does.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010