Bankers are “doing God’s work” are words from the boss of Goldman Sachs when he was defending his profession. I’m not sure whether the protestors outside St Paul’s in London would agree with that statement. Yet it seems that the root of banking for some was Godly philanthropy. In the light of the current crisis in banking Ian Hislop delves into the origins of some banks and discovers a very interesting past. You find out about Samuel Gurney and George Peabody having made vast sums, and then given much away. The TV programme in question broadcasts on Tuesday night BBC2 at 9:00 pm entitled When Bankers Were Good. You can read the Radio Times article here.
One passing thought is that we have to be careful that bankers don’t become the scapegoat for all the worries and woes of the country. When times were good and the money was rolling in there wasn’t a strong protest against the bankers. Avarice was not only with them in the boom times, we were all at it!