I don’t think even today that we truly comprehend the incredible magnitude of what has happened, and what is happening, to the global banking and financial business.
With so much government involvement and government ownership of big banks in both the U.S. and the U.K., we won’t know the full impact of all of this for a decade. The stock market impact has been significant.
- the Standard & Poor’s diversified bank stock index is down 72%
- the financial index is down 76% and
- the insurance composite index is down 72%
The TSX Bank Stock Index is only down 50% - isn’t that wonderful – (we have outperformed).
I am not going to dwell on the causes of this crisis because they have been extensively and well covered in the press.
- Major public policy failure in the U.S. in the housing area.
- Far too low interest rates and easy credit under Alan Greenspan.
- Failed financial innovation on a massive scale.
- Almost complete regulatory failure in the U.S., U.K. and Europe – it was the age of deregulation.
- Total rating agency failure - - for the tenth time and
- Finally, too much leverage everywhere you look.
You could write a book on each of the above but for business owners, I recommend you pick up a copy of Money Magnet to find out about the new money - private equity.