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The banking crisis revealed a widespread problem in our culture—for which we are all culpable

Critics made few objections to the system while it was serving them, and yet now pin all blame for one of its negative side effects on others

Richard Fuld, the CEO of Lehman Brothers. Photo: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Since 2007, bankers have been shown to have gambled with other people’s money, rigged the Libor rate, ripped off customers with Payment Protection Insurance and even hidden drug money. Yet the list of bankers convicted of crimes (five) is as short as this charge sheet is long. The question many have asked is: why?

The impulse to find a scapegoat is natural, but people should only be held to account if they did wrong wilfully or through culpable negligence. If…

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