Ten years after the financial crisis..

Good series of articles in the Weekend FT magazine marking 10 years since the start of the financial crisis.

The commencement is recorded as the day the chairman of Northern Rock, Lord Ridley, went to the Bank of England to beg for money from the Governor, Mervyn King. Ridley (5th Viscount Ridley & Baron Wensleydale) resigned later that year but was rewarded with a life peerage in 2013. He is a keen Brexit supporter and climate change sceptic…

Adam Applegarth was chief executive of Northern Rock also quit in 2007. He received a £785,000 “golden handshake” and a pension of £2.6m…

Northern Rock had distributed £235.8 million to charitable causes in the North East through its foundation – mostly funded from its profits. The new owners Virgin Money stopped making donations so the foundation closed…

Sub-prime mortgages which contributed to the crash worldwide are alive and well and are now called “nonprime”.  There is pressure from investors who want yield, skewed incentives on Wall Street and the Trump government who want to relax the restraints introduced by President Obama.

No one has been held accountable for the crash.

My favourite story is from Alistair Darling who was Chancellor of the Exchequer. A CEO of a UK bank tied to reassure him and said, “From now on we’ll only take risks we understand.” So what was he doing before that?

A reminder – the most dangerous words anybody in finance can say are, “this time it’s different”.

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