In 1927 the British banker Sir Josiah Stamp is supposed to have told an American audience that:
Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.
For some reason I thought of Stamp when I read this week that the average new home in Britain is significantly smaller than the 96 square metres minimum recommended by the London Plan. People borrowing vast sums to buy tiny houses should be proud to live in a country that boasts such a vast and magnificent financial sector. Of course to suggest any connection between the cramped living conditions of the majority and the opulence enjoyed by the banking minority is the very worst kind of populism. Paranoid, in fact.
I hope everyone is clear on that elementary point.