In defence of bankers

They're the most vilified players in the global economy—but they shouldn't be

It’s an easy and convenient exercise, but blaming bankers for the economic mess the world finds itself in doesn’t make sense in the long-term. First of all, the credit crisis can’t reasonably be blamed on all of them. Take, for example, the ill-advised move by AIG’s London office to issue $500 billion in (now worthless) credit-default swaps; its catastrophic impact was global, but it involved less than one per cent of the firm’s employees. Moreover, and most importantly, recovering from the recession from the recession will require the help of these same bankers that have been demonized throughout it. Bankers, for better or worse, remain the agents through which money changes hands. For that to start happening again, “we will need an energetic and creative financial class,” writes Jacob Weisberg, “and shooting the wounded won’t help us get one back.”