'PEOPLE of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." The words of Adam Smith, written in 1776 in The Wealth Of Nations, ring true today.
The email traffic published last week between employees of Barclays Bank revealed the culture of cynicism among the investment bankers who have come to dominate financial services. "I'm opening a bottle of Bollinger." The interest rate fixing scandal is only the latest in a long line of scandals that have made British banking a byword for fraud, deceit, recklessness and spivvery.
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