Category Archives: financial crisis (2007-08)

Financial drug-pushers

What banks were like when Dalrymple was a boy

Today’s bankers

Some argue that banks

are up to their old tricks again, lending riskily with abandon, selling on their risky debts to those who have not the faintest idea of what they are buying, having learned from the last crash that when push comes to shove, they will be rescued from the consequences of their improvidence. But this time the banks will not be bailed out; we, the account holders, will be bailed in. The bankers are greedy and insouciant.

The doctor-writer observes that in his lifetime, bankers

seem to have changed in nature, or at least in image.

When Dalrymple was a boy in the 1890s,

bankers were rather respectable, dull persons who acted like the financial guilty conscience of their customers.

Consols Transfer Office, Bank of England, 1894

We are all guilty! The economic Dr Heinz Kiosk

Dr Heinz Kiosk-KIng, psychologist and central banker

Dr Heinz Kiosk

We are all guilty in general, and we are all guilty for the 2007-08 financial crisis in particular

Dalrymple reports that according to Lord King, governor of the Bank of England at the time of the financial crisis,

no human agency, certainly not the last Labour government, was responsible.

To be sure, writes Dalrymple, the British Tories, then in opposition,

did not make clear to the public that vastly increased public expenditure on the basis of largely illusory economic growth was a very dangerous recipe that would lead before long to economic hardship. Its leadership was too concerned with the latest polls to take a principled stand on anything.

Mervyn King: exculpatory contortions

Mervyn King: exculpatory contortions

But, Dalrymple points out,

it cannot be that an opposition is equally responsible with a government in power for ten years for what happens in that government’s tenth or eleventh year.

‘We are all guilty!’ is the view also of Dr Heinz Kiosk, the scientist who is, among other things, chief psychiatric adviser to the Meringue, Éclair and Profiterole Authority. (See Michael Wharton’s ‘Peter Simple’ column in the London Daily Telegraph newspaper.)

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