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Size and the City

Confusion over how to value banks’ assets explains Britain’s swollen financial sector

By Alex Crossman   October 2009

Above: Adair Turner’s interview in the September issue of Prospect hit the headlines and caused a furore in the City

The City takes too big a share of our economy and is bloated by doubtful profits from dubious activities. Not the allegations of placard-wielding demonstrators but of Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (Prospect, September), and of Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs (to a German banking conference in September), respectively. Suspicion inevitably accrues both to an embattled regulator talking tough and an emollient investment banker. And neither Turner nor Blankfein seems comfortable in their role as…

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