Joris Luyendijk, a Dutch journalist and author has started an interesting blog for the website of the British newspaper the Guardian. On it he tries to figure out how the banking business works and what makes people in the financial sector tick.
For this he has moved to the City of London, its financial district and tries to speak with as many (mostly anonymous) insiders as he can find. And apparently quite a lot are willing to talk to him. His pitch to these people to appear on his blog is along the lines of “So you know bankers have a bad name, but you don’t see yourself as a bad person? Why don’t you explain why to me?”
This results in an interesting series of personal portraits of people who are active in the financial sector of London. One of the first things you notice, Luyendijk says in a Dutch television interview is that there is no such thing as the banker. These people all have very different jobs and personalities.
I personally find it very interesting to see what these people are doing (the insane working hours are the most baffling), but there are about 35 posts on the blog now and it’s not much more than a series of portraits yet. Luyendijk said one of the reasons he started this project is that he wants to start looking at the financial sector with a clean slate and wants to gather all kinds of information about it on the blog. This way any lay person can follow him in the journey of understanding the financial sector. This hasn’t happened that much yet, but he plans on continuing the blog for a long time (at least nine months) so I hope this will happen more in the future.
I think it’s a great initiative which will make us understand our own economy a but better and perhaps provide some insights in how the financial crisis came to be.