Open Economies Review

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 163–166 | Cite as

Sexism and the City: Irrational Behaviour, Cognitive Errors and Gender in the Financial Crisis

  • Anne Sibert
Research Article

Many factors contributed to the current global financial crisis: an imperfect regulatory environment, a flawed system of credit ratings, inadequate deposit insurance systems and banking systems that were too large relative to national resources. Recent outrage, however, has been directed at one particular factor: the behaviour of the bankers. So badly were they perceived to have acted that in the United States, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would effectively confiscate the 2008 bonuses of employees of financial firms receiving significant bailout assistance.1 In the United Kingdom, tabloid headlines refer to Sir Fred Goodwin as a ‘vulture’ and Commons Leader Harriet Harmon tried to insist that the government would the strip the RBS leader of his contractually agreed upon pension.

While much of the populist response has the feel of a witch hunt, it is hard to deny that certain aspects of the bankers’ conduct were undesirable. Bankers rashly counted on a continuation...


Banking crisis Monetary policy 

JEL Classifications

E58 G21 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.CEPRLondonUK

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