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Showing posts from October, 2009

"Hell Week, One Year On" by Nick Murray

We recently observed the first anniversary of the most shocking and terrifying week in most of our financial lives: the economic cataclysm of September 15-19, 2008.

Even the greatest one-day stock market crash in history on October 19, 1987 did not shake us the way this Hell Week did, inasmuch as it was almost entirely contained in the equity market: the economy, the banking system, and the world at large, aided by a tsunami of liquidity from the Federal Reserve, rolled merrily along. The epicenter of the earthquake - at the corner of Broad and Wall Streets - turned out to be the whole earthquake.

And the terrorist atrocities of September 11, 2001, even as they forced us to confront a whole new global geopolitics - and our position in the world as the target of an unfathomable crypto-religious hatred - had, after the initial shock, no lasting economic effect.

But Hell Week 2008 shook the global financial system to its foundations. The previous week, the federal government had taken over …