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Banking

Abigail with attitude: Rage against the bankers

Indeed one of the things that surprises me most about the present zeitgeist is how incredibly unpopular bankers continue to be. I understood why bankers were the pantomime villains during the autumn of 2008 when Lehman fell under a bus and it looked as if the world was going to topple over. But why are bankers still hated two and a half years later?

Sometimes, the easiest way to understand a phenomenon is to simplify it. One of president Clinton’s advisers claimed that the key for winning the next election was “the economy, stupid.” In a similar vein, bankers continue to be loathed because most of them ‘don’t get it’. They are the new Marie Antoinettes with their let-them-eat-cake attitude. Bankers work hard (as they constantly tell us) but not that much harder than doctors, nurses or fire fighters. They therefore don’t get out much and mingle with ordinary people. The rest of us are tired of senior bankers’ smugness: their insistence that they are so much cleverer than the rest of us. This is patently not true. Most of the men running the big banks and investment banks in the developed world should be sacked.

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