This book is primarily about the link between finance and politics, by focusing on the UK’s largest bank failure in history – HBOS. Its direct and indirect damage to the UK economy, in terms of pension and investment losses, housing bubbles and crashes, government bailouts, consumer exploitation, unemployment and economic collapse cannot be easily quantified but is in the hundreds of billions. As a reality-check, we must remember that HBOS was not a Chernobyl but a man-made institution with a long history and tradition, which exploded in the space of a few hubristic years. Even though lots of people were watching it closely, or required to monitor it, the failure was indeed sudden and dramatic. It is critical we learn lessons from such failures, including what they mean for our received wisdoms and expertise in finance and accounting. For students and researchers in finance, this detailed interpretive case study should open their eyes and minds to the critical role of theory and academic knowledge in the creation of such bubbles. It exposes the ‘expert’ detachment from social conscience and cultural devastation, and aims to awaken students to the urgency of reconnecting finance to its basic roots and meaning. This book exposes how the academic finance world is living in a ‘scientific’ bubble, whilst the real world is suffering from the ravages of financialisation. Given that both business and finance are practical endeavours, this book exposes the perils of ivory tower theorisation and the ‘rigorous’ testing of the theories whilst the practice is experiencing huge scandals and crises. It opens up the significant possibilities and opportunities of inter-disciplinary research in finance and its potential to reform both theory and practice.