Abigail with attitude: Party's over – Bernanke removes beer and skittles
Are we experiencing a bout of the summer doldrums? The high-adrenaline events of previous years have dwindled to an unsatisfactory dribble.
The news agenda in the financial arena is anodyne. Where are the succulent stories such as Eliot Spitzer and his call girls, Ken Lewis buying Merrill Lynch as Lehman crumpled, Mike O’Neill shafting Vikram Pandit with a paper knife, or Sir Mervyn King mowing down bankers with a tractor emblazoned with the slogan ‘Regulators rule OK!’?
At the risk of sounding like your grandmother, I would point out that during my seven years as a columnist for Euromoney, I have witnessed and written about some intriguing events. I cast my mind back to the hip-hop years of 2006 and 2007, when everyone in finance was making money and the good times seemed to stretch ahead of us forever. But there was something eerily uncomfortable about that period: something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. In hindsight, of course, the edifice was built on sand. Then came the chaos as the building fell down and Lehman Brothers went bust. Western capitalism flailed around like a beached whale for six months and then gingerly started to swim again in the spring of 2009.
The western central banks used every tool in their armoury to bail out broken banks and over-leveraged consumers.