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"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

Good banking isn't dull - it's relational

In response to an FT article by John Kay on 16th June 2015, entitled 'Boring banking makes a comeback'

"The culture of retail banking, intrinsically bureaucratic, perhaps boring, driven by the routinisation needed to allow the accurate completion of millions of transactions every day, was incompatible with the entrepreneurial, buccaneering environment of the investment bank"

This is only half the story and slightly misleading, particularly in the US, which is where the trouble came to a head in the run up to the bursting of the last bubble. The repeal of Glass-Steagall facilitated a shift from relationship banking to transactional banking. Loans and mortgages were no longer approved by a banker who knew the borrower, the business/household and the local economy, and most importantly - a banker with skin in the game - his or her credibility and reputation. After Glass-Steagall loans were approved by head office against a spreadsheet of risk criteria, sliced, diced, packaged and sold off by people who didn't know what was in them, to people who didn't know what was in them, overseen by regulators, some of whom I suspect did suspect what was i.e. a transactional chain of people who were incompetent at best, bent at worst.

'Good' banking isn't boring, it's relational - relationships are not boring they are challenging - but they make for responsible commerce.

'Bad' banking is, on the contrary, transactional and 'soul-less'. The fact that the model was promoted by a bunch of big egos, many of whom had received an integrity bypass, doesn't make it 'exciting' - it makes it irresponsible and clearly quite dumb.

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