Don’t give me credit

We treat our bank managers like we treat our doctors. They say, ‘Ah, you’ll need to buy some insurance with that, sir.’ And we believe them. But in fact we’re just being sold things. And this is an industry that’s self-regulating.”

The state of the credit industry.

At a direct-mail conference, a new item in the arsenal, the post-it note:

The letter has all the technical details. You throw the letter away and keep the Post-It Note!” So the devil is in the detail, you chuck the devil in the bin, and all you’re left with is a friendly, brightly coloured Post-It Note with a number to call. It seems that whenever new regulations are forced on the banking industry, someone springs into action and devises a clever new idea that might legally avoid them.

And on meeting the man who made the original case for democratising credit to all:

It becomes obvious during my conversation with Lord Griffiths that he has come to believe that he inadvertently unleashed some kind of monster. He says he never could have predicted “the dynamism” with which the lenders would pursue his ideas. “The dynamism,” he says. “The innovation.” I’ve never heard these words uttered with such sadness.

The casualties.

I remember an old Bob Dylan song – Who Killed Davy Moore? – in which a boxer dies in the ring. In the song, the crowd say it wasn’t their fault (“It’s too bad he died that night, but we just like to see a fight”). The gambler says it wasn’t his fault (“I didn’t commit no ugly sin, anyway, I put money on him to win”). The opponent says it wasn’t his fault (“I hit him, yes, it’s true, but that’s what I am paid to do”). In the song, nobody killed Davy Moore and everybody did.

What I want to know – in the metaphorical sense – is, who killed Richard Cullen?

A moving, and frightening story, here.

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