Bagehot: Beware the busy banker

As Walter Bagehot, the great nineteenth-century editor of the Economist who reveled in the quaint paradoxes of English life, described them, members of the Court [TC: they governed the Bank of England] were generally "quiet serious men…(who) have a good deal of leisure."  Indeed, he felt it an ominous sign for a private banker to be fully employed.  "If such a man is very busy, it is a sign of something wrong.  Either he is working at detail, which subordinates would do better and which he had better leave alone or he is engaged in too many speculations…and so may be ruined."

That is from Liaquat Ahamed’s Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, which I am still enjoying.  Here is my previous post on the book.


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