Four seasons have now passed since the highest-profile casualty of the financial crisis, Lehman Brothers, went under. Since then, all over the world, politicians, regulators and central bankers have focused on what needs changing to prevent another meltdown. Of course, crises come and go. But at the very least have banks learned their lesson? They would argue they are better capitalised than 12 months ago and have exited the nasty products that shot holes in their balance sheets. Banks might also say that the consolidation of the likes of Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and HBOS into healthier rivals can only strengthen the sector. The regulatory environment will certainly be tougher. But there are plenty who still worry history might repeat itself. After all, most banks largely look like they did pre-Lehman, albeit with fewer people. They also remain highly leveraged and remuneration still rewards risk. Do you think banks have done enough? Join the debate. Click on comment.

Megan Murphy: Bankers are lining up for their slice of the money
Should bankers ”repent” for the financial crisis? The Archbishop of Canterbury thinks so. Dr Rowan Williams told BBC2’s Newsnight programme on Tuesday night that bonuses should be capped and that the City of London was returning to ”business as usual” far too quickly for his liking:

Martin Wolf: Do not learn wrong lessons from Lehman’s fall
Few economists then realised how fragile the global financial system had become. The failure of Lehman Brothers just under two weeks later and the ensuing crisis at AIG, the insurance giant, turned complacency into terror. The financial system plunged into an abyss, dragging the economy behind it. What lessons are we to learn from this shock, a year later?


Arena is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Is there room for morals in finance?

The FT's Arena blog is a forum for the debates of the times. Its latest discussion is on money and morals. Is there room for morals in finance? Share your views. Click on Comment to add your contribution.

Related links:
Video series: Money and morals
In depth: London fights for its future
Global financial crisis

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