The Finance Curse: How the Outsized Power of the City of London Makes Britain Poorer

no trickle out going on in the UK

Rigged Game

The financial sector is hailed as the crowning glory of the UK economy. But as it blooms, everything else withers.

By Nicholas Shaxson and cross-posted from The Guardian

In the 1990s, I was a correspondent for Reuters and the Financial Times in Angola, a country rich with oil and diamonds that was being torn apart by a murderous civil war. Every western visitor asked me a version of the same question: how could the citizens of a country with vast mineral wealth be so shockingly destitute?

One answer was corruption: a lobster-eating, champagne-drinking elite was getting very rich in the capital while their impoverished compatriots slaughtered each other out in the dusty provinces. Another answer was that the oil and diamond industries were financing the war. But neither of these facts told the whole story.

There was something else going on. Around this same time, economists were beginning to put…

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