Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And so we wait

Yes, its been another couple of months since my last post. Hopefully, for those of you who haven't spent that time hiding in a cave somewhere in the depths of the Atacama desert and were hooked into any business news service, you'll possibly be able to connect my inability to post long, contemplative or generally witty and well-worded missives with the complete meltdown in the financial markets that took us all by surprise in September.

Even now, there are times that I have to stop and look back at the events of the past three months and pinch myself to remind myself that I'm neither delusional nor dreaming. If you'd told me in August 2008 that by the end of the year, there would be no broker dealer of note left on Wall Street, that the world's largest insurance company would be a national enterprise, that most major economies run on the principles of free markets would have injected huge amounts of capital into their national banking systems, effectively taking them to the brink of nationalisation, if not explicitly into that dubious territory, I'd have laughed, bought you a drink (or possibly taken the one you were drinking away from you) and attributed your predictions to the ramblings of someone with a very poor grip on the world of international finance.

So what does this mean for us in the banking sector, and those in the wider economy? It's very hard to say, since we live in "interesting times" that have very little precedent in economic and financial history. Suffice it to say that we're all war veterans now, and that the next few years will be nothing if not exciting.