Thursday, July 31, 2008
Think: 'I am incompetent. In successive banking crises I have lost every penny I ever made from my investment strategies. I do not understand the algorithms we use to assess risk, but I know they don't work other than as mechanisms for confusing our customers. I am too stupid to understand the risks my traders are taking. I make ordinary people miserable by selling them loans they can't afford and by wrecking the economy. I make predictions but they are always wrong. Yet I cannot be punished. The banking system is now so concentrated and interdependent that there is, effectively, only one bank and, therefore, governments are terrified of allowing us to suffer from our own failings. In good times I am a capitalist; in bad times a communist. I will always be paid. I will get my bonus.'
Say: 'Oh you don't understand, Bryan, we've been through this before. We know a thing or two in the City; we've been handling this kind of thing for centuries. There's some very smart people down there. We'll be back on track after a couple of years if we can just get the government to get its act together.'
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:25 am