Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Banksters

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.

6 comments:

Rog said...

The biggest Company in the World??!!
I'm on my way up the A1 with a pitchfork as we speak.

Billy said...

I shall get back to you once I've read it...

Yoli said...

Found your interesting blog Chasms of the Earth and I am now here. I will pull up a chair and get to know you better.

Boz said...

Fascinating. But also incredibly depressing.

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

As JL says himself, not for nothing is his new book about the crisis called 'Whoops!'

Tim Footman said...

And a flaming torch I trust, Rog.

The silence echoes, Billy. (My mum got two-thirds of the way through, and went back to bed.)

Hello, Yoli! How civilised of you to pull up a chair. Many of my regular readers sprawl on the floor.

Sorry, Boz. My next post shall be about kittens doing amusing things.

Indeed, Christopher. I'm hoping Fred Goodwin is played by Charles Hawtrey.