A year ago, the noted investment analyst, Jeremy Grantham, described the credit crisis as a 'slow motion train wreck'. The Financial Times has now updated the metaphor to describe what has happened since. It notes that train crashes happen more quickly than economic ones, and that there are pauses before the next carriage hits the one in front. It believes this explains how we have since 'moved from crisis to crisis, with rallies in between, as participants persuade themselves that the worst is over'.
Its conclusion is not encouraging for chemical companies. It expects that the problems in banking, housing and consumer markets will continue to play out 'in very slow motion'. As a result, it warns that 'we may have much longer to wait until the final impact has juddered through the train'.