A bubble has burst and the banking system is reeling. Since the early ‘80’s we’ve all been in awe of the City, convinced that we’re too dumb to know what this mythical place was up to.
People in banking know that ‘The City is a massive cesspit,’ as Vince Cable said yesterday, or that it is, as the Governor of the Bank of England described it, ‘excessive, shoddy, deceitful and manipulative.’ The Governor of the Bank of England, Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee and the Financial Policy Committee might have had authority but he had no power to address the everyday corruption that everyone knew about.
This Cycle of Corruption, of money, power and policy all feeding each other, is not new and the turning of this current cycle is very far from over. Bankers are not alone in choosing personal gain over gains for all, we are all of us more or less happy to allow people we don’t know to struggle. We know that if only the poor had made different choices they too could be wealthy, if only the homeless weren’t so lazy and self indulgent they could be kings of the world.
And of course we know this is nonsense. The tension between what we know in our hearts and what we say we know can make people judgemental, bitter, aggressive and even slightly mad. The comments section of any online news outlet demonstrates this perfectly.
Recalibrating our values can be difficult especially when it can effect what we earn, how we support or are supported by people we value, and most especially our status. But ultimately it's about how we want to be related to and remembered. Success is so much more than the size of your bank balance.
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