Patrick O'Hare Please, can we get some bad economic news? Is that too much to ask?
Graeme Robertson It was the year the neo-liberal economic orthodoxy that ran the world for 30 years suffered a heart attack of epic proportions. Not since has the financial community witnessed 12 months like it.
Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. Western leaders, who for years boasted about the self-evident benefits of light-touch regulation, had to sink trillions of dollars to prevent the world bank system collapsing. The ramifications of the Banking Collapse of will be felt for years if not decades to come. Here, Observer writers pick out the three pivotal weeks that shaped a year of unforgettable and remarkable events.
By the end of February, all was quiet save for global banks routinely updating queasy investors over the tens of billions of dollars they had lost by fuelling the madness we now know as the debt catastrophe. At the start of the year, a global economic meltdown still seemed unimaginable to many. If by May that didn't stem a freefall in US consumer confidence, rising unemployment and plunging house prices, then he argued, perhaps we were in trouble.
But, during the first two months of the year, a lingering belief remained that perhaps the vicious economic hurricane might blow itself out before it hit the real world. That changed during the week beginning 9 March, seven days in which the real storm broke and swept away some of the biggest and most revered names in international finance.
It began on Sunday evening with an unbelievable personal fall from grace and ended with the most spectacular American banking collapse seen in decades. As the once proud defender of the people against the excesses of capitalism sank into the quicksand, financial storm clouds swiftly gathered overhead.
The following day, Blackstone Group, manager of the world's biggest buyout fund, revealed it had suffered a 90 per cent profit drop during its fourth quarter. Headed by New York society figure Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone perhaps more than any firm exemplified the gung-ho leverage mania.
Blackstone spent hundreds of billions of dollars on consumer and leisure firms as well as the betting on the latest investment craze: Now its strategy was unravelling, placing the businesses it bought in serious jeopardy. In Britain house-builder Bovis meekly warned that unless there was an urgent cut in interest rates, the property market would collapse.
It was a message the Bank of England failed to heed until much later. On Tuesday, there was blind panic on Wall Street. Few asked the question: A process that would bring Wall Street and the world's banking system to its knees had begun. It meant that when Alistair Darling, in his first Budget, said the UK was well placed to withstand the effects of US turbulence, no one quite believed him.
Darling's speech, in which he downgraded his growth forecasts, raised taxes and admitted the UK economy faced its biggest slowdown since Labour came to power, was effectively blown out of the water.
If there was hope that perhaps Thursday would bring a sense of calm, more news from America shattered that illusion. The most revered name in private equity, and for many an extension of American foreign policy, the Carlyle Group, admitted that one of its funds could not repay its debt.
In other words, it toppled over under the weight of unsustainable debt. CCC's demise would not be the last big-name casualty. In fact we had to wait just one day for the next one.
As rumours over the health of Wall Street's fifth-largest investment bank prompted clients to pull their cash out of the institution, on Friday morning, New York time, Bear Stearns received an emergency bail-out from the Fed and JP Morgan Chase.
It was America's Northern Rock moment. One of Wall Street's biggest names had all but gone under.
Venezuela opened oil contracts in euros to hedge against the dollar - a canny investment strategy - and the market started fearing for other big names.
They would not have to wait very long. The goal was to secure a saviour for Lehman Brothers, America's fourth largest bank, ahead of the opening of Asian markets that evening. There was just one problem. The two suitors edged away.
Lehman had spent the last five years amassing a huge commercial property loan book. It was a kingpin in securitising sub-prime debt. Its abrasive chairman and chief executive, Dick Fuld, had attempted to finesse a merger with the Korean Development Bank.
But the Koreans walked. So began one of the most tumultuous weeks ever seen on Wall Street. Glued to their BlackBerrys all weekend for the latest news, Lehman's 5, London staff turned up to work on Monday to find administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers handing out leaflets at reception.
They announced that their employer was bankrupt. Lehman's London traders found they could not do business with counter-parties.Since , as part of its "staple foods" ordinance, Minneapolis has required licensed grocery stores, corner shops and convenience stores to stock a variety of healthy foods from 10 categories.
In a global economy based on credit and trust, this was an extremely troubling sign, and prompted concern among policymakers that the global financial system faced a . challenged communities, there has been little research on the economic impact of the NMTC in terms of jobs created and tax revenue generated.
Rapoza Associates, on behalf of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, retained Novogradac & Company, a public accounting firm, to analyze data on NMTC projects between and Eco Project The Effect Of Credit Markets On The Economy Market Equilibration Process Eco/ Market Equilibration Process Hair care is very lucrative business.
With member countries, staff from more than countries, and offices in over locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. lating artiﬁcial credit markets we can explore, for example, how the interaction of heterogeneous agents might impact the stability of the system [68,49,53,