As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, there has been much talk of how "everything changed" that day. But what of 9/15? Has anything changed since 15 September 2008, when the bankers crashed the global economy? The 11 September 2001 attacks resulted in the deaths of 3,000 people; 9/15, according to World Bank studies, caused between 30,000 and 50,000 excess infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa alone in 2009.
Yet the depressing truth, as we approach the third anniversary of the implosion of Lehman Brothers, is that bankers have dusted themselves off with taxpayers' cash and carried on as before. They are masters of the universe once more. Within nine months of the crash, financial journalists were reporting the new buzzword of a born-again industry: "BAB", or "bonuses are back". In July of this year, the Office of National Statistics revealed that City bonuses had totalled a whopping £14bn in 2010 - up from £12bn in 2008.
"There was a period of remorse and apology for banks," announced Barclays boss Bob Diamond to a roomful of startled MPs in January. "I think that period needs to be over." Apologists for the City like to claim that Barclays and its boss - described by Peter Mandelson as the "unacceptable face of banking"(this was before Mandelson then went on to advise him!) - are free to do as they wish because the bank wasn't bailed out. Yet, as a new report from the New Economics Foundation points out, Barclays has enjoyed an indirect subsidy - in the form of "too big to fail" government guarantees and cheap loans - worth around £10bn from the British public. You're welcome, Bob.