Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye
The appeal of Candid camera type shows is pretty clear it seems to me. It is when we can watch strangers behaving in a way that we like to think that we would never behave. That compared to us, an altogether morally superior class of individual, who would never under any circumstances be so tempted or fooled or deluded. And if these people we were watching, were crooks and thieves? Well all the better to enjoy.
I can’t help thinking of this now as the bankers are again in the dock. Most of us have no idea what Libor is, but we know when we can feel morally superior. And of course, with bankers this is pretty easy to do.
But the bankers were just the bartenders at this massive credit fuelled party we all approved of and participated in. Or at least did not choose to understand what was going on and have the intelligence to walk away.
I have talked previously of the economic theories which underpinned it – the view that credit did not matter and that the system was self correcting and equilibrating and perfectible.
And the bankers? They were just being what bankers always will be - if you flood the system with lots of dosh, demonstrate to them over and over again that they will never go bust and believe them when they tell us that we cannot survive without them.
And as we now discover that the system was anything but and that we are all now vulnerable and no one seems to have the answers and we are slowly realising that there may not be any answers! Well then, that is the time that we look at the beam in our own eye rather than spend too much time worrying about Bob Diamond.
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