Its not often that one gets clear statements from central bankers. Today’s comment from the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor that the credit crunch was ‘an accident waiting to happen’ is truly remarkable for its clarity. She also gives the best one sentence summary that I have seen on the background to today’s credit crunch. :
‘The US housing crisis has acted as the trigger for an overdue correction in financial markets, after a long period of plentiful liquidity during which risk premia of all sorts had become unduly compressed, asset prices had become detached from reality, financial innovation had run ahead of risk management, and unsound business models had led to a deterioration in credit monitoring and, in some areas, underlying credit quality.’
She summarised it as ‘the largest ever peacetime liquidity crisis’.