April 07, 2009

A chance for many bankers to be much better bankers

Sir my eldest daughter works for a large Canadian bank and so I have a vested interest in Gillian Tett’s “A chance for banker to refocus their talents” April 7. I have another take on this issue.

If there is one thing to be learned from this crisis is that the world is much better off with hundreds of thousands of credit analysts that get to know and truly understand their clients, look them in their eyes, decide and shake their hands, knowing that though they will be personally accountable for their mistakes they will not risk bringing down the world, as some very few high paid credit analysts in the only three credit rating agencies did.

That these good credit analyst won’t make as much money as their supercharged predecessors is clear but they will have the possibility of earning a decent salary in an interesting and worthy carrier instead of just stupidly staring into their monitors looking at what the credit rating agencies opine.

Understanding how the banks dismantled their credit analysis departments as a consequence of the regulations that emanated from Basel helps you to understand the immense potential for recreating the jobs that were.

PS. Though I have a couple of other individual articles that I favour it is clear that based on the full production Gillian Tett deserves the title of Journalist of the Year. Bravo! That said, as an anthropologist she had perhaps an unfair advantage in these times.