If, like me, you’ve been made quite angry by the current financial crisis, without properly understanding it, take a while (it’s rather long, I’m afraid) to read this. It’s mainly about the Royal Bank of Scotland, Fred Goodwin and all that; but also touches on Lehman, AIG, Northern Rock, HBOS and all the other companies that you know sort of arsed up somehow, but you’d get a bit fuzzy if someone asked you for the precise details.
Oddly, it‘s not in the FT or the Economist; it’s in the London Review of Books. And it’s not by a financial journalist, but by John Lanchester, who I know best for some elegantly cruel novels that combine elements of Kazuo Ishiguro and Roald Dahl; the cool misanthropy does ooze through here as well.
Once you’ve read it (and, I reiterate, it’s by no means short - well over 10,000 words, I reckon - maybe make a pot of tea and a plate of ginger nuts first), you should understand the crisis a little better. However, you will also be a hell of a lot angrier.