As we enter a deepening international financial crisis, yet again, I look to the past for clues. What happened when Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Northern Rock went down? How did we avert complete disaster each time? After all the global banking system is still standing, at least for the moment. But again and again in my reading I come up against the samew phenomenon: senior banking moguls not understanding what their underlings had been doing with all that money; where Treasury officials seemed completely at a loss; where politicians had to be told, privately, that no cash machines would work on Monday. Blind leading the blind. My question is: is this happening now? Do the people in charge of this crisis know what they’re doing? I sincerely hope so.
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