Before the 2008 financial crisis, bankers were the undisputed kings of the financial hill, making markets, taking risks and cooking up complex financial products such as CDOs, CLOs and MBSs (collateralised debt and loan obligations and mortgage-backed securities, in case you’ve forgotten). Then the failure of Lehman Brothers drove the industry off a cliff, forcing European and US governments to fund taxpayer rescues. The survivors faced political hearings, media vilification as a “vampire squid” (for Goldman Sachs), giant fines and much tighter regulation that reduced their role in the economy and their scope for financial creativity.
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