When the bank declined to appoint him chief, did his lawyer say: ‘Think of a number and multiply it by 10’?

Think of a large round number and multiply it by 10. This, one must assume, was the legal advice offered to Andrea Orcel as he pondered how much to claim in compensation from Santander, the Spanish bank that withdrew its offer to him to become chief executive. Nothing else explains the size of the demand. A sum of €100m (£90m) is absurd.

The spurious logic, presumably, is that €100m is the jackpot Orcel thinks he could have secured over time at Santander. But such calculations lie deep in the world of speculation, since the bulk of his rewards would have relied on the performance of the share price and suchlike. Santander could equally argue it owes no more than the contractual expense of firing Orcel on day one.

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