Time to hug a banker?
Are we in danger of cutting off our noses (in an economic sense) to spite our ugly mugs?
Or, to be more explicit, is there a risk that we could do irrevocable harm to one of the few industries - financial services, the City of London - which has a significant competitive and comparative advantage?
Because if we are entering a sustained period of low global growth - if there was a bubble element to the prosperity of the past few years that won't return - then we're going to need the odd world-class industry more than ever, to generate overseas earnings, to pay our way in the world.
For the past couple of hundred years or so, we could point to our banks, insurers, lawyers, accountants and related business as among the best in the world.
And even where the firms based in London weren't British in a strict legal sense, they provided employment and tax revenues to the benefit of the UK.
However right now, it's fashionable - and many would say reasonable - to loathe banks and bankers.
The wholly plausible argument is that top bankers' greed and inability to control the risks they were running has brought the economy to its knees and is causing misery to millions.
The pricking of a credit bubble - which they pumped up - is now devastating manufacturing industry from South China, to Japan, Germany and the British East Midlands.
In fact, there's evidence that the financial services industry, whose excesses have caused (to a large extent) the first global recession for more than 60 years, will suffer less than businesses which make solid, real stuff for export.
It's an argument for another time whether most opproprium should fall on lenders who provided dangerously cheap credit or borrowers who used that credit to construct surplus manufacturing capacity - which is now being painfully written off.
But it does add insult to our injury that some of those bankers responsible for our woes are still receiving hefty bonuses (even if payment at Royal Bank of Scotland, for example, is being deferred) and others have retired with lavish nest eggs or on fat pensions.
It just doesn't seem fair, does it?
Can you blame President Obama for lashing out at AIG - which wouldn't be alive today without almost $200bn of support from American taxpayers - for paying bonuses to bankers whose crazy deals almost killed the giant insurer?
Isn't it understandable that in Britain Sir Fred Goodwin's pension pot of more than £16m turned him into a lightning rod for public ire about the boom-to-bust journey of the banks?
But here's the terrible truth: we need banks and bankers, to secure our own future prosperity.
And though we might want to shame all decent people into choosing any career but one in the City, that would not be very smart.
We can perhaps all agree that the UK became too dependent on growth generated from the City.
During the past few years, when 10% of economic output, a third of growth and many tens of billions in tax revenues were generated by financial services, we did have far too many of our eggs in one basket.
Many would say our dependence on the City was the culmination of decades of failure to broaden the base of our economy: an indictment of the industrial policies of successive governments.
But to say that the City became relatively too big and important does not mean we should shrink it to nothing.
That would be a fast route, almost certainly, to penury.
The City, obviously, has to change.
Banks have to get better at measuring and containing financial risk.
They have to help us, in general, to borrow less and save more.
They have to vastly improve the services and products they provide to households and businesses for the generation of sustainable wealth.
Also - and importantly - they will probably have to do all this for less remuneration and rewards that are more closely aligned to the interests of their customers and owners.
But if the City can change its spots, then the onus would probably be on us to forge a new entente, a new compact, with banks and bankers - for their good and ours.