An extract from the latest book worthy of your attention. Gritty dramas, murderous thrillers, sci-fi epics, non-fiction knowledge enhancers: the ink will still be wet and your book club won't have read it.
Swimming With Sharks
Author: Joris Luyendijk
What's the story: Do you know what caused the financial crash of 2008? Sure, bankers - but which bankers? And which exact banking departments were involved? And who's looking to stop it all happening again?
These are just some of the questions that journalist Joris Luyendijk set out to answer when he immersed himself in the City for a few years, speaking to over 200 people. After having enough whispered coffee meetings and exchanging many covert emails, Luyendijk has a chilling realisation: What if the bankers themselves aren't the real enemy? What if the truth about global finance is more sinister than that?
The sort of non-fiction read that makes you wonder why you ever bothered with fiction when the facts are this dramatic.
Release date: 17 September
Pancras International station in London. I had first met Rusbridger at a journalism conference in my home city of Amsterdam. We had talked about why many people
seem to have so little interest in issues that directly affect their interests. Is it indifference and apathy, or have many subjects simply become too complicated for outsiders to understand? To find out, I had launched an experiment for a Dutch newspaper. I had taken an important, complicated and apparently boring issue that I knew nothing about – sustainable transport – and asked a beginner’s question: are electric cars a good idea? I had put this to an insider, whose answers led to new questions, which prompted interviews with other insiders and so on until a sort of ‘learning curve’ of articles and stories had come about. Insiders were happy to make time while readers seemed to appreciate it when you started from zero.
to do such a ‘learning curve’ for the Guardian. Only not about electric cars. He pointed in the direction of the City and said that we were literally a stone’s throw away from the place that only a few years ago had seen the biggest financial panic since the 1930s. Billions and billions had been spent to bail out the industry yet nobody had gone to prison. Indeed, a few years on, the City seemed to be behaving more and more as if it were ‘business as usual’ again. So, how about a blog on the financial sector?
Guardian is the biggest online quality newspaper in the world. Insiders would surely make time for such a prestigious newspaper, wouldn’t they? I understood as little of
the world of finance as the average reader and this was a perfect example of an issue with a huge gap between the public interest and the interest of the public. Tell someone their money is not safe and you have their full attention; say the words ‘financial reforms’ and people switch off.
as negative emotions?
among the bankers.
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(Images: Flickr/Kate Hiscock; Rex)