"Two decades ago, before I became a journalist, I used to work as a social anthropologist in the Himalayas. It is undoubtedly an unusual background for a financial journalist.
Indeed, whenever I reveal my strange past today, bankers usually either react with horror (what does she know about finance?) or incredulity (why would anyone spend years studying Tajik goat-herders?)
But a decade later, my years in Tajikistan are suddenly starting to look a whole lot more useful. For one thing that anthropology imparts is a healthy respect for the importance of micro-level incentives and political structures. And right now these issues are becoming critically important for Wall Street and the City, as the credit crunch deepens by the day."