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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Layman Brothers

One of the most boring dramas on the BBC is available on iPlayer, but unless you are suffering from insomnia, you really shouldn't waste an hour watching it. With poor casting and characterisation of all parts, with the notable exception of James Cromwell as Hank Paulson, this has to be one of the most unrealistic documentary dramas ever made.

"Although some scenes and doialogue have been invented, this film is based on actual events and public record." runs the title at the begiining. In truth, the entire basis seems to be Lehman went bust, the management didn't want it, there were some meetings, it happened anyway.

Why anyone would believe that the Geordie James Bolam would look the part of a Mid Westerner running a coast to coast retail and worldwide corporate bank beats me, and it was a delight to hear so many fake American accents crack under pressure. Maybe the directors bought the post-9/11 nonsense from Blair and Straw that put the number of British missing at about 25% of the WTC dead.

Apart from the sub-Dallas script, the action was quite unlike the bearing and behaviour of senior bankers. For a start, like senior politicians, they tend to be tall, really tall. 6 feet 1 inch is small for a NY banker.

And American bankers wear American clothes: button down shirts, and if not button down, with steeper collars, not the wide splayed English shirts on display, and strongly coloured silk ties, reds, stong blues even yellows. Maybe not always Hermes, but usually silky, soft and sturdy, with a matte finish.

And the suits, don't get me started on the suits, but if a costume "designer" can't spot the difference between the style of Brooks Brothers suit and its European equivalent, they shouldn't be let out with the BBC corporate credit card.

With so many out of work bankers available to advise, there were no excuses.

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