Whether it’s social unrest or an economic downturn, it’s easy to blame banks when things go wrong. But banks have developed and survived over the course of thousands of years – the earliest bank prototypes were in Assyria around 2000 BC – because we need them for both our commercial and individual needs.

At some level we must recognize that we are unstable creatures living in frequently unstable circumstances. This makes it impractical to stash all of our millions (hopefully) in pillow cases or secret safes, so instead we give our money to an institution that we perceive as stable and secure. Consequently, we also create an engine of commerce because that money can be lent out on a basis of risk, permitting businesses to be started so that we can make money and spend money.