Harriet Harman thought she had a catchy little bon mot when she told the world that the financial crisis probably wouldn't have happened if Lehman Brothers had been called Lehman Sisters. In Ms. Harman's reassuring world view, it is those arrogant and assertive Y-chromosones that cause all the trouble and the ever-suffering females who clean up the mess the men leave behind. Which just goes to show that there is no finer feeling than speaking volubly from a position of ignorance.
If Ms. Harman had done her research, she would have discovered that the systemic disaster that is the credit default swap sprang from the loins of the derivatives team run by the ever so definitely female Blythe Masters at J.P. Morgan. Now that is great name for a senior swaps dealer: you couldn't make it up, sheer nominative determinism.
Indeed, during the boom years, the feminist press made a great song and dance about the fact that Masters' team booked $4 trillion of the accursed things every year.
We could have said the credit crunch was started by a woman, but we didn't want to make it a gender issue.
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