There has barely been a dull moment at Barclays’s corporate and investment bank since it was created 33 years ago with the acquisition of a stock broker and a jobber leading up to the 1986 deregulation of the City of London. Nor have there been many times where it was both as profitable and reliable as Barclays’s retail bank. The fireworks are returning on Thursday as Edward Bramson, a solitary and politely disruptive activist investor, tries to join Barclays board at its annual general meeting and rip up its strategy once more. Investment banking is not a predictable business, but it is predictably troublesome for Barclays. Bramson’s fellow shareholders may be tempted to agree that three decades is a long enough dalliance with global capital markets and endorse him as their instrument for reform. Electing him to the Barclays board would probably lead to the departure of CEO Jes Staley, a former JPMorgan Chase investment banker, and a retreat to its UK foundations. They should resis...

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