Monthly Archives: October 2008

John Gapper

I have a column in the Weekend FT about bankers’ bonuses and whether they will be able to resume earning lots of money after a pause for the next year or so. I conclude that they have a shock in store.

Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, says that he is upset at the bankers whom his government has been forced to bail out. “I am angry – I am angry at irresponsible behaviour,” he said this week. “The days of big bonuses are over.” Read more

John Gapper

I have a review in the FT of Matthew Bishop and Michael Green’s book Philanthrocapitalism, a look at the growth of giving by rich people in recent years. This is how it starts:

This is not the ideal time to publish a book on how very wealthy people – including many bankers and business leaders – can do great things. Read more

John Gapper

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My column in the Financial Times this week is on who we should blame for the financial turmoil. I say that home buyers and mortgage borrowers bear responsibility as well as bankers. Read more

John Gapper

I have just finished watching Dick Fuld, the chairman and chief executive of Lehman Brothers (RIP), testifying to a US House of Representatives committee on the collapse of his investment bank. The House members picked a dramatic time for the hearing: global stock markets were falling as he spoke.

Testifying in front of politicians after something goes badly wrong at your business, and hurts investors and others, is a thankless task. The best you can hope for is to get out in one piece, having been suitably contrite and humble without admitting to wrongdoing or incompetence. Read more

John Gapper

Picking up the Wall Street Journal this morning, I was greeted with a large advertisement from New York Life, the mutual life insurer, with the slogan: We’re Main Street. Not Wall Street.

Leaving aside the peculiarity of dismissing Wall Street in the Wall Street Journal, it struck me as a good campaign. At times like these, being associated with high finance and capital flight is a bad idea while sympathising with Main Street is all the rage. Read more

John Gapper

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My column in the FT this week is on the death of the banker, which has been predicted before but is now, I argue, plausible. Read more