According to Nathanael Fast of the Harvard Business Review, "groups and organizations with a rampant culture of blame have a serious disadvantage when it comes to creativity, learning, innovation, and productive risk-taking”.
In compiling our fourth annual survey of sentiment in the European investment and pensions industry, reported in today’s Financial Times, MHP blatantly disregarded this precept, and asked "who is most to blame for the Eurozone crisis?" Not surprisingly, for a survey of investors, only 2.4% of respondents blamed investors. Perhaps more surprisingly, fewer than one in five blamed the banking sector.
The biggest culprits by far, according to nearly half (48.8%) of our respondents, were policy makers and politicians. Presumably a poll of policy makers would have produced somewhat different results. Politicians around the world, and certainly in the UK, have proved all too ready to heap opprobrium on the perceived excesses of the financial services sector in general, and bankers in particular.
But the tone of comments we received from many of our respondents reveals a fairly deep-seated mistrust of politicians and bureaucrats – or “complacent and wasteful politicians eager to fund their tenure in office at the expense of future generations”, as one of our respondents preferred to call them.
It’s hard to see how this polarisation of views, between the financial sector and the politicians under whose legislation it operates, can be a good thing. Is it a vain hope to expect these two groups of highly-paid, often highly educated people, to overcome their differences and, in all our interests, devise an answer to the current Eurozone crisis?