Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Smoke Mirrors And How A Handful Of Missed Mortgage Payments Started The Global Financial Crisis (from Sunday Herald)

LAST WEEK, something happened which I never expected to see in my lifetime. There was a general run on the entire British banking system, something that hasn't happened before, even in wartime. Ordinary people started moving their money around from bank to bank in fear that they might lose their cash. Millions of pounds were flowing across the Irish sea for the safe haven of the Irish government's recently-announced 100% depositor guarantee. The UK's banks were on the verge of losing public trust, and public trust is the one thing that banks need to survive.

We are witnessing what the commentator Martin Wolf of the Financial Times calls "the disintegration of the financial system". But how did we get here? How did a few dodgy sub-prime mortgages in American inner cities lead to what is beginning to look like the collapse of capitalism?

read on

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