Geraint Anderson (Headline)

The City of London in 2009 is a very different beast from the up-and-coming boomtown in which former Londonpaper columnist Geraint Anderson began his career as a utilities analyst a decade ago.

Back then, if you thought the City lifestyle was all about mega bonuses, loose women, fast cars and hard drugs, you’d have a point. It was also, as Anderson attempts to illustrate through his alter ego Steve Jones, a world of long hours, tedious clients and the insidious self-interest of a society that played to man’s universal weaknesses: greed and ego.

Steve (read Anderson), paints himself as a victim of this system – an educated, principled man sufficiently self-aware to recognise he’s turning into a wanker banker. Here’s a guy who screws everyone from his boss to his mistress (in different ways), all the while playing fast and loose with stupendous sums of cash. So intently does he dislike himself, it’s impossible to disagree.

Cityboy offers a timely dissection of an industry that’s lost its way, but Anderson’s evident bitterness detracts from his morality message.