Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Well, Macro Man thought that Bill the Banker might stir the pot, and he was right.
Bill is, as readers immediately twigged, a fictional banker. He is not, however, a figment of Macro Man's imagination. Rather, Bill is amalgam of people that he knows in the market, the "silent majority" of anonymous finance workers who have seen both their reputations and their net worth obliterated over the last eighteen months.
While they garner no sympathy from the populace at large, the anger that Bill and his ilk feel is real. Virtually every element of Bill's rant is a quasi-verbatim quote from one of Macro Man's acquaintances from some time over the last three months. To be characterized en masse as "leeches" or compared to Nazi prison guards devoid of morality, as was the case in the comments, is unpleasant enough. To confront the prospect of physical violence on the basis of one's profession is another thing altogether.
While Macro Man may not agree with every sentiment in Bill's article, he wholeheartedly endorses the right to free expression...as long as it does not damage the person or property of someone else. But freedom of expression goes both ways; while the public has the right to (peaceful) protest, so, too, do the unpopular City workers have the right to have their persons unmolested and their concerns heard.
In the absence of any other forum, Macro Man stepped in to fill the breach, articulating the frustrations he has heard, as they were expressed, to the best of his ability. While it may have been provocative, surely it was no more so than some of the slogans and tactics emanating from the protest camp. In any event, while Macro Man is hardly an impartial observer, he thought he had established some credibility for critical assessment of the finance industry.
He deliberately abstained from commenting to let the chips fall where they may. Suffice to say that the results were.....interesting.
In any event, he trusts that readers of all persuasions will join him in hoping for a peaceful series of demonstrations this week. But if it all kicks off tomorrow, perhaps Bill the Banker will give you an insight to why some in the City choose to fight back.
Regardless, normal service will be resumed tomorrow. Roll on Q2!