This website started life in 2010, with the idea that an independent ‘truth commission’ was needed – at which bankers, traders, accountants and lawyers could explain themselves and their actions in creating history’s worst financial disaster to date.
The past 4 years have seen a series of official reports, covered in earlier posts, which have gone some way to get at the truth (albeit less so in the UK than in other countries).
Meanwhile the public have become inured to the series of financial scandals that continue to emerge. Alex Brummer’s book Bad Banks traces the history of these. Larry Elliott and others forsee a further repetition of 2008, with the problem of ‘too big to fail‘ still unresolved.
Pages on this blog written back in 2010 speculated, naively, on the motivations and values of those who work within the global financial system. And on how peer pressure exerted via a truth commission might bring about some restoration of ethical principles.
Lucy Kellaway, writing in the FT on the aftermath of the rigging of Libor and Forex, points to one change in recent years. ’Compliance departments appear to have had a 100 per cent success rate in training traders to drop a “U” (from fck) when using company software, lest it somehow damages the bank’s reputation. Yet they have entirely failed to train them to refrain from illegal activity, or from boasting about it online as they are doing it’,
Just about sums it up.