This lost generation has been betrayed by its elders

This lost generation has been betrayed by its elders

If you want the City to know your despair, there is no better place to declare it than on the roof garden of the Coq d’Argent. The designers emphasised the Square Mile’s historic function of allowing old money and new to meet and breed by laying out a lawn dotted with box hedges and giant stone balls that look as if they have come from the gateposts of a country estate.

Last Sunday, just before his 25th birthday, Anjool Malde, a stockbroker and organiser of “alpha parties” for his young and wealthy colleagues, walked past the Bank of England and took the private lift to the plutocratic playground. He ignored the offers of caviar, bought himself a glass of champagne, went to the edge and jumped. The last thing he saw was the offices of the financiers and regulators who destroyed Britain’s prosperity.

Only rarely can a journalist get away with speculating as to why a man committed suicide. An impenetrable darkness separates those who kill themselves from those who face identical burdens but carry on fighting. Nevertheless, we know that Deutsche Bank had sacked three of Malde’s close colleagues, and that personnel looked as if it wanted to fire him for a piffling crime against corporate correctness. It seems probable that, like hundreds of thousands of others, his road to perdition began with an email from some swine in human resources. More strikingly, Malde was a child of the long bubble, and could not cope with the notion that he must stop “living the dream”, as he called it.

His fatalism is everywhere. All the talk of green shoots misses the point that we are facing a social catastrophe that many in the British establishment lack the nerve to fight or even recognise.

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