The people versus the bankers

Bankers thus have every incentive to become as “systemic” as possible and to take as much as risk as possible—they know that they can almost always get these bail-outs when they need them. Moreover, the liability of the big risk-takers (i.e., the mid-level traders rather than the executives) is often quite limited.* They keep all of the upside when times are good and leave the rest of society with the tab when their bets go south. The Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane has argued that, if you properly count the cost of crises and hidden subsidies, banking as currently practised may not actually add any value.