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Many or perhaps most of our bankers would be much better off, at least happier, if they heeded George Bank’s “Let’s go fly a kite!”

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Sir, John Gapper refers to “Two academics who studied investment bankers in London were surprised by their degree of cynicism and noted the absence of ‘meaningfulness, emotions and personal investment in work values’. “Bankers have been alienated from their jobs” July 11.
Call me a romantic if you want but, I know that when bankers who felt proud of being savvy loan officers were, with the introduction of the risk weighted bank capital requirements, pushed aside by equity minimizing and leverage maximizing financial engineers, there had to be a lot of frustrations.
Imagine if you as a loan officer had analyzed in depth the plan an entrepreneur presented in his credit application; and you had gotten to know him well; and you had agreed on a risk adjusted interest rate that made sense for both of you, and then your superiors told you: “No we can only leverage our equity 12.5 times with this loan so you either get him to accept a much higher interest rate, or we’re not interested”… and you knew that higher interest rate doomed the viability of the project? Would you not then feel like our beloved George Banks, that you’d better go and fly a kite?
Sir, most of those who became bankers during the last three decades must have a very hard time understanding what “It’s a Wonderful Life” is all about.


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