July 23, 2012
Lanchester's Capital And Nationalization
Posted by David Zaring
- I wouldn't call it the book of the financial crisis, but John Lanchester's Capital is a nice look at the City of London from 2007-2009. Good things: it stars a street of rapidly appreciating homes, and there are fun fond metaphors for the crisis, and it has an excellent last line. Less good things: I thought that almost every plot twist was kind of obvious. Lanchester is a very emphathetic witness to the lives of Polish builders, English bankers, Pakistani shop owners. But he's not an amazing plotter. Still, probably the best finance novel ever, in a not very competitive field. Here's a Q&A with the author.
- This Times op-ed turns on the idea that we should just nationalize way too big banks, like they do in France with such amazingly sucessful results. You certainly couldn't say that French financiers have too great a degree of access to their country's leaders. It's not like they singlehandedly slowed and weakened the implementation of Basel III or anything. When someone comes up with a cute novel solution, you have to ask why it would be better than everyone's standard solution, which is size caps.
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