“In an exceptionally challenging market environment Barclays Capital profit before tax decreased 44%(£1,033m) to £1,302m(2007: £2,335m). Profit before tax included a gain on the acquisition of Lehman Brothers North American businesses of £2,262m.Absa Capital profit before tax grew13% to £175m (2007: £155m).”
This little gem comes from the Barclays Annual report out today. So do the math: Barclays Capital made £1,302 million of which £2,262 million came from a gain on buying Lehman (we bought it for £2.2 billion than its worth, but nobody else thought it was worth paying the extra), and £175 million from Absa, which means that the rest of Barclays Capital lost £1,135 million. On assets of £1,629.1 billion.
Still they managed to keep the overall tax rate for the Group down to 17%, although most of the reduction comes from the magic gain on buying Lehman.