Photo: flickr: craigbaker
Joris Luyendijk, the Guardian’s brilliant bank blogger, sat down with an equity analyst at a major bank in’ The City’ for his latest column.The analyst loves his job, and gave readers the run down of what he does all day, which is interesting, but the best part was toward the end of the column. He shared something in the financial industry that worries him — something we never really hear about — homogeneity.
Here’s how he put it (from the Guardian):
“…In the old days you got people who had applied in their last year at university or who had other careers, in the industry or in trade papers. These days you get people who have started working at getting that job from the first year of university. The recruitment process has been industrialised and professionalised, it’s become so difficult to get in.
The result is paradoxical. Diversity has increased, with far more women and ethnic minorities than before. On the other hand it’s become a terribly homogeneous bunch of people. You don’t get graduates who did not at 18 want to work at a bank. You only get people who spent their summers in internships at banks, who went straight from college into the bank. Their biggest exposure to the world outside is… business school.”
He goes on to say that this homogeneous group inside the banker bubble doesn’t really know how to deal with change. They’re not cynical enough either — they believe in the industry and industry people — and they don’t think outside the box enough.
Imagine this from an analysts perspective:
Quite a lot of regrettable stuff was written in the last years of Lehman Brothers. This was in part because the young people writing it were unable to take a step back, psychologically, and ask themselves if they were being lied to, flat out.
Regrettable seems like a bit of an understatement, but we’ll take it.