Dit kan niet waar zijn – Joris Luyendijk (2015)

Set up as an anthropological study, Luyendijk spent  a year and a half in the London City interviewing around 200 bankers, so-called quants, recruiters and everyone willing to participate in his experiment -published as a blog on The Guardian website. His mission was to get answers to questions as ‘What Happened?’ and ‘Have adequate measures been put in place to avoid another crisis?’. The answer to the first question is; difficult to say, but one thing is certain: a fatal combination of too much risk taking, spurred by the wrong incentives was at the core of the melt down. Answering the second one is easier: no. And there’s much to be scared about.
My most important insights: greed is not the problem, it’s fear for loss of status that make people take risks. Secondly, a small number of people can have lethal impact on a system that is as big and as complex as the financial world. Big is a problem. Too big to fail is a huge issue. Too big to manage – coined by Allistair Darling – is an as big of a problem. The irony is that the mega banks only have become bigger and, due to the collapse of Lehman and others, have less competitors than before. A new crisis is in the making.

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