Simon English: New boss of the bankers is as funny as the last one
Tuesday 02 April 2013
Outlook Angela Knight joined the British Bankers' Association on April Fool's Day 2007. She was a near-constant source of fun from then onwards, though not on purpose.
Her defences of bankers in the midst of the biggest banker-induced crisis in history brought hilarity to what could have otherwise been a dire situation.
And she was tenacious. Even in 2010 she still thought it bright to say this: "The banking industry did not cause a housing bubble, it wasn't the one setting monetary policy and it wasn't in charge of the regulator."
The thing about this statement is not whether some of it is arguably true but whether contrition might have been more sensible.
By letting on that bankers aren't in control of anything, she rather undermined their claims to be so clever they just have to be paid as fabulously as some of them are.
Otherwise, they are just these guys, at the mercy of markets, cashing in on the good times just because they are in the business of money and therefore close to it.
Ms Knight has sadly moved on, but there is reason to hope that her replacement will be nearly as good. Granted half a page in The Daily Telegraph to set his stall out, Anthony Browne does not disappoint. "Across the Government there is a growing acceptance that they must put the banker bashing behind them," he writes.
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