Author(s): Joris Luyendijk
If you could peer inside a megabank what would you see? Cigar-smoking, sharp-suited Masters of the Universe striding about the Square Mile like it is the Olympic village? Joris Luyendijk shows us that the truth is very different. Speaking to over two hundred City insiders - from the elite investment bankers and private-equity staff to graphic experts and interns, as well as therapists and recruiters - Luyendijk sets out to understand the secretive, complex world of haute finance. Protected by anonymity, the banking interviewees are refreshingly frank about what they actually do all day and what makes them tick. They talk to Luyendijk about their hopes, fears, how they see themselves and the rest of us and whether they believe things have really changed since the crash in 2008. What emerges is a picture of fear and deep dysfunction. From the toxic short-termism of the 'hire and fire' culture, to technological and mathematical opacity, life-changing rewards in the face of minimal punishments and megabanks that know they are too big to fail, Luyendijk warns we have the blueprint for a new scandal, debacle or even crash. Unique in scope and access, this is an eye-watering examination of how the City really works and why we should all feel alarmed.
A journey into the dark heart of haute finance and shows us why we have every reason to fear another crash.
Joris Luyendijk was born in Amsterdam. He is a writer, journalist and author of Hello Everybody!: One Journalist's Search for Truth in the Middle East. In 2011 Luyendijk was as ignorant of a 'CDO' or any other maddening financial acronym as you or I. The Guardian asked him to look at the world of finance from a beginner's perspective and chart his learnings - the hugely popular Banking Blog was the result of this investigation. Follow him on @JLbankingblog.