The move of the populations of China and India from poverty to middle-class prosperity should be the great historic achievement of the century.

Freeman Dyson

On first reading you may think there are two problems with this book. First, most people already think they know why the financial crisis happened – it was the bankers. Second, this book itself is written by a banker, and so tainted with the self-interest of the guilty. Let me see if I can overcome both problems.

For most people it is obvious that the important answer to the crisis can be found in the greed and risk that characterised Western banks, particularly those in America and Britain. High risk and greed together created the toxic balance sheets that disrupted ...

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