Last week, Alan Greenspan penned this article in the Financial Times discussing the current mood on the economy and calls for regulation in the lending industry. Below is an excerpt from the article.
“The surprise of recent months is not that global economic growth is slowing, but that there is any growth at all. The credit crunch of the past year has not followed the path of recent economically debilitating episodes characterized by a temporary freezing up of liquidity – 1982, 1989, 1997-8 comes to mind. This crisis is different – a once or twice a century event, deeply rooted in fears of insolvency of major financial institutions.
This crisis was not brought to closure by the world’s central banks’ injection of huge doses of short-term liquidity. Only when sovereign credits were substituted for private bank credit, first in the case of the UK (Northern Rock) and subsequently in the case of the US (Bear Stearns), was a semblance of stability restored to markets. But the London Interbank Offered Rate spreads on overnight index swaps and credit default swaps of financial institutions have not returned to the modest pre-crisis levels. Fears of insolvency have not, as yet, been fully set aside. There may be numbers of banks and other financial institutions that, at the edge of defaulting, will end up being bailed out by governments.