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 >>