Like the casino bankers, David Cameron is gambling with the UK's economic future
Shortly after Prime Minister David Cameron revealed his plan for a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, a North West business leader gave his reaction.
David Ost, North West region director of EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said it was right that Mr Cameron should seek a better deal with Europe, but added: "This strategy is not without risk."
You can say that again ...
There is little doubt it is in the UK's interests to renegotiate its relationship with the EU but Mr Cameron's all or nothing approach seems reckless.
And he may try to sell this strategy as a reflection of the will of the British people but in reality it is about preventing Eurosceptic backbenchers from eating him alive.
This is a political strategy not an economic one. He is putting a gun to the head of the other members of the EU and hoping they will conclude that keeping Britain in the EU is in their interests as much as ours.
And I doubt the Prime Minister would be pushing the envelope so much if it wasn't for the malcontents in his own party.
The point made clear by Merseyside business leaders this week was that many businesses here depend on the trade they have in the single market.
The uncertainty that will prevail until at least the general election in 2015 potentially puts those vital trading relationships at risk.
The Forum of Private Business is firm in its conviction that a total exit from the EU would be bad for the UK economy.
But given the anti-EU feeling among many people in the UK a complete withdrawal is a real possibility.
And I don't want to cast aspersions on the British public but I worry there is not enough of an understanding about the complexities of the issue for a simple in/out vote to be appropriate.
Many people get bogged down with infantile debates about the shape of bananas and other obscure regulations. Others incorrectly confuse the Human Rights Act with the EU when in fact the two are completely separate.
In many ways the EU is an unaccountable, grossly bloated bureaucracy that desperately needs to be reformed and Mr Cameron is right to seek a renegotiation.
But that doesn't mean we would be better off out than in. One Chinese commerce leader recently stated that "the future is continents".
What he means is they only way to have real clout in a global economy is to be part of a very large nation like China or the US - or a major trading bloc like the EU.
There are around 80 free trade agreements currently in place between the EU and the rest of the world. Later this year it is due to negotiate a new agreement with the US.
Were we to leave the EU we would be excluded from all those treaties and would have to negotiate our own. That could take decades and the terms we would get would almost certainly be a lot worse. On our own, we would simply be a tiddler among economic giants.
As a nation, we still punch above our weight and that is something to be proud of. And it is our membership of the EU that enhances our appeal to foreign investment.
Last year, the North West alone benefited from more than £1bn in overseas investment.
And the truth is many of those investors view a UK base as a springboard for trade in mainline Europe.
Exiting the EU puts that at risk. If you don't believe me then listen to global car manufacturers like Ford and Honda who in recent days have said they may have to reconsider their huge investments in factories in the UK were we to go it alone.
Maybe they are bluffing but it is a high stakes game and Mr Cameron appears to be betting the farm on the outcome.