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The path to economic crisis in Scotland
Author: Jonathan Hearn

This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001-2, during a year's fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland (BoS) and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the 2014-16 period. It explores the tension between the 'ethnographic present' of the author's original research and the unavoidable alteration of perspective on that data that the economic crisis has created. The original research had been planned to take place in the BoS but in 2001, before the research began, BoS had merged with the Halifax to form HBOS. The book provides a long-term historical perspective on BoS/HBOS, from inception to the 2008 financial crisis, and then a consideration of the nature of historical explanation, under the rubric of 'theory'. The main attempts to explain the proximate causes of the 2008 crisis, as well as more encompassing political economic arguments about the trajectory and dynamics of capitalism are examined. The concept of 'culture' as applied to both national groups, Scots and English, and organizations, BoS and Halifax, are also dealt with. The book examines other governing concepts such as organisational change in the business world and social change, identity and the way Scottish and English experience their own personhood, and comparative nature of ethnographic research. The conclusion reviews and draws together the themes of the book, returning to the overarching question of historical perspective and explanation.

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From the Bank of Scotland’s origins to HBOS and crisis
Jonathan Hearn

2 History: from the Bank of Scotland’s origins to HBOS and crisis Conceptualising history It is very traditional to begin an ethnography with a chapter of historical background to the case in question. This chapter does that, but it also seeks to be explicit about how it does that, because how we conceptualise history, how we select and organise events, facts, details into a narrative, implies a general approach to explanation. Historical narratives encode a certain amount of theory, whether we like it or not (Carr 1961; Koselleck 1985; White 1984). In the next

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
Oonagh McDonald

the ways in which LIBOR manipulation took place, as does the CFTC (and the US Department of Justice). A selection of the emails, oral trader requests to submitters and trader-to-trader requests are presented in the remainder of this chapter, for two leading UK banks, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), so that the nature of the evidence is clear. Barclays The FSA’s final notice to Barclays Bank, 27 June 2012 Barclays was a contributor to various benchmark rates, including LIBOR and EURIBOR, published by the European Banking Federation (EBF), making

in Holding bankers to account
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Jonathan Hearn

8 Conclusion In this conclusion I reflect on some of the key themes, methodological puzzles and conceptual frames brought into play. In this way I aim to overview the study and to some degree locate it in my own wider intellectual trajectory. I do this not to indulge in intellectual biography but to make the relationship between a researcher’s style of thinking and the study at hand more explicit, to the extent that I am able to do this. The continuing Bank of Scotland I should start by saying, by emphasising, that BoS still exists as a functioning banking

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Ethnography, history and the vagaries of research
Jonathan Hearn

1 Introduction: ethnography, history and the vagaries of research This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001–2, during a year’s fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the present, that is, the time of writing this book (c.2014–16). That present is one in which the global banking and financial crisis that emerged around 2008 has had devastating effects on several banks, including this one. My original research had been planned to take place in the Bank of Scotland (BoS) but earlier in 2001, before

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Nations, banks and the organisation of power and social life
Jonathan Hearn

social science concept of culture more closely and critically in the middle of this chapter. First, I provide some examples, drawing on field notes, of how culture appeared in my fieldwork. Ethnographic intimations The term ‘culture’ and its problematisation arose in preliminary scoping meetings I had even before regular fieldwork had begun. My entry into the Bank as a field site had been negotiated between figures at fairly high levels in both the Bank of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh, mobilising social connections and organisational ties. Three people in

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
Oonagh McDonald

to fail. He was unable to establish relationships with Citi’s yen LIBOR submitters in London and his attempt to use a junior interest rate swaps trader to convey messages and requests to the submitters also failed. At the last attempt, on 25 June 2010, the senior managers elevated his conduct to compliance and legal and he was dismissed. The bank then alerted the CFTC about the behaviour and conducted an internal inquiry, the results of which were reported to the CFTC in early autumn 2010. Bank of Scotland/HBOS and Lloyds Bank On 28 July 2014, the FCA issued its

in Holding bankers to account
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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

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Struggles with personhood, nationhood and professional virtue
Jonathan Hearn

, responses like these were common: Paternalistic, professional, conservative, cautious, parochial, epitomising a ‘canny Scots’ culture, Presbyterian, inclusive, friendly environment to work in. Becoming less hierarchical and having to ‘move with the times’, more open. (063, Scottish, BoS, Corporate, female) Bank of Scotland is a very conservative, very ‘Scottish’ and very proud organisation. The Bank is becoming more of a retail organisation rather than a bank. The emphasis Salvage Ethnography.indb 87 24/05/2017 15:07:37 88 Salvage ethnography in the financial sector

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Grenfell and the return of ‘social murder’
Stuart Hodkinson

the Bank of Scotland – had to be closed following the partial collapse of a wall at a primary school. Construction defects were later found in an additional 80 PFI schools in Scotland.12 Social murder As this book will reveal through damning evidence from other botched public housing regeneration schemes in England under SAH.indb 4 30/01/2019 12:44:48 Introduction: Grenfell and the return of ‘social murder’ 5 similar outsourcing arrangements, the Grenfell disaster was neither an accident nor a one-off event but instead an act of what German industrialist and

in Safe as houses