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The Financial Crisis in Perspective (Collection) by Mark Zandi, Satyajit Das, John Authers

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21. Financial Nihilism

When bankers say that it’s not about the money, it may even be true. Ron Beller, a Goldman Sachs partner, was one of a group of bankers who had more than £4 million stolen from them by Joyti De-Laurey, their secretary. The bankers made so much money that they did not notice the theft of large amounts for many years.

Ceasing to be ordinary—anyone with a net worth less than $100 million—elite bankers discovered that they actually had always been art experts, public intellectuals, men or women of letters, or all of these. Their ambition rivaled that of Salvador Dali: “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.”1 As poet T.S. Eliot knew: “Most ...

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