Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Diversity

Diversity is important, not just on grounds of fairness, but also because dissent is valuable. You want different views in an organisation, different perspectives. And you certainly don't want the same culture informing all your decision makers.

In this context it is interesting to see two different storms blowing up. One against the Goldman Sachs -isation of the US Treasury. But the one I'm really interesting is the observation by Nick Cohen (here) amongst others that not only have governments of the left as well as the right been obescient to business, they have not even tolerated any non financiers in positions of power of the City. Think of people like Lady Vadera (why does the architect of PFI have _any_ place in a Labour government?), Mandelson (does judgement no long matter at all in a politician?) or Paul Myners. Is Vince Cable the only person in parliament who knows something about finance and isn't in the pocket of the banks? Even bankers know that hedging can sometimes be a good idea - and a good hedge against coming up with bad policies is having a few people around with different points of view.

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