Monday, October 20, 2008

Daniel Davies on why blaming banker stupidity doesn't get to the heart of the credit crisis

but looking at policy does:
Look, my basic point here is not to exonerate anyone or vice versa (apart from anything, that would stray into writing about the crisis itself, which I’m still not going to do). I am sure that at the levels of individual institutions, stupid things were done and irresponsible risks were taken. But likewise, I would also dare say that during the Great Depression, a lot of the workers who were made redundant were probably a little bit lazier and not quite as skilled or conscientious as the ones who kept their jobs. But if you were going to have your main comment about the Great Depression that it was the time when lots of lazy shirkers got the sackings they deserved, then I think everyone[6] would agree that you’d kind of missed the big picture. The analysis that blames it on stupid bankers, is of a piece with the kind of analysis that regards the 1930s as being the decade when the working class of the world took it upon itself to have a great big shirk.

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