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Here comes the millennium

Last National Bank of Boot Hill, Moorgate, London EC2

Yes, it's meet and greet time once again in old Washington dc featuring the imf and World Bank and a supporting cast of 10,000, give or take the odd freeloader, but this time your boy gets tapped by the Group of 30, which represents the better element among the attendees, so the other 9,970 get left out, and I have to make its keynote speech, on global Banking in the New Millennium. Mom, this is the kinda chore that is a signal honor, or the other way around, but there is no ducking out of it, I sit down with my crystal ball to conjure up a millenary world where banking is a great new business, but my crystal tells me one or two other things are apt to happen first.

IMF goes bust: obvious, really, they make the same mistake as Barings, they ship all their capital abroad and pour it into a bottomless hole and figure they are doing the right thing and no alarm bells sound, until Mexico goes down for the third time, or maybe it is Russia, but this time it takes the imf down with it.

: obvious, really, they make the same mistake as Barings, they ship all their capital abroad and pour it into a bottomless hole and figure they are doing the right thing and no alarm bells sound, until Mexico goes down for the third time, or maybe it is Russia, but this time it takes the imf down with it.

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