The ascent of a monument to financial folly?


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The ascent of a monument to financial folly?

Posted 13 August 2010 15:27 by martin

In the future (should it ever be completed, and even more so if it isn't), will The Shard in London be seen to exemplify everything that was wrong with early 21st century capitalism?


A monument to hubris, speculation and greed?

You're either a few bricks short of a full hod, or you've got the cojones of a Spanish fighting bull, to develop the EU's tallest building during the current economic climate.

I guess it will succeed, but God knows what other parts of London and the rest of the UK will look like when it's completed in 2012.  Some of the most deprived wards in the country are just a walk away from The City, Canary Wharf and The Shard – so much for trickle-down economics.

I just get the feeling that government and big business (and maybe most of us, by extension) have been complicit in the most monumental game of financial 'dare' these past few decades, without anyone having a clue what to do should the 'dare' spiral out of control.

Someone tell me it's just a blip, and we'll all be OK in our onward march towards global peace and prosperity for all!

(more here though a truly dreadful website)

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  1. David says:

    August 26th, 2010 at 12:52 pm (#)

    Oh dear Jamie. How depressing.
    Yes our bankers are a greedy bunch, they always have been and judging by their current disdainful reaction to restraint they will continue so to be.
    But don't damn the building just because, like the rest of us, you have qualms about the system that spawned it.
    The Shard will improve London Bridge for thousands of ordinary people – like you and me – who will find the new transport interchange cleaner, brighter and easier to use. It has already stimulated the long overdue revamp of a grossly outdated mainline station: as far as I know, plans for a post Olympic rebuild have not yet been axed by the government.
    The risk of building and letting the Shard has all been taken by the private sector, so if it remains empty once it's finished none of the cost will be carried by the tax payer.
    Some of our most loved buildings, in London and elsewhere, started life as follies. If that is what this is it may still come to be an attraction for the capital and anything that entices visitors to come and spend money in the city is surely good for all of us, isn't it?

  2. Katherine Pitt says:

    August 26th, 2010 at 3:00 pm (#)

    'The smell of money wafting around the building takes its direction inspiration from the odour of the Thames c 1853'.

  3. Katherine Pitt says:

    August 26th, 2010 at 3:01 pm (#)

    Oops direct not direction…

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