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I’m not entirely convinced this is true

Here:

Let’s be clear: the international economy almost stopped dead last autumn. We were within days of cashpoints throughout the Western world refusing to cough up money and of automated transactions, including payments of wages, simply freezing.

Really? Anyone? Davies?

  1. Richard J
    June 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm | #1

    I have a vague memory of an unsourced leak [1] a few months back of Alistair Darling supposedly admitting that the UK financial system was days from collapse before the bail out, but can't find a version on a quick google.

    [1] You can just tell my confidence in my memory, right?

  2. June 24, 2009 at 12:23 am | #2

    I was paraphrasing, from memory, the events as described in the recent Paul Mason book. Or at least I think I was since I've lent the book to a friend and can't immediately check.

    But I have been back to his various blog entries last autumn and he repeatedly makes reference to the crisis in terminology such as,
    "the world is on the brink of a system-wide economic meltdown"; " its an economic Krakatoa";"the world's governments are facing the following challenge: to stop a global banking crisis on a scale the world has never known."etc

  3. Neil
    June 24, 2009 at 4:23 am | #3

    Hyperbole from an economics journo? Surely not.

  4. dan
    June 24, 2009 at 4:46 am | #4

    I don't recall reading that in Mason's book, but it is apparently in Gillian Tett's:
    http://delong.typepad.com/egregious_moderation/20

  5. June 24, 2009 at 8:56 am | #5

    Doesn't the new Banking Act say quite a bit about keeping critical IT systems running after going into administration, rather like railway administration?

  6. Neil
    June 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm | #6

    ISTR that a massive depression triggered by an IT failure was the major plot point in one of those god-awful Rama sequels.

    Wonder if that was old Arthur C's idea? Eerie if it was.

  7. Pete B
    June 27, 2009 at 6:47 am | #7

    This is the Deputy Governor talking to Robert Peston:

    But several of our large banks, and I mean I don't want to go into names, were, were in real difficulty and you know were having hour by hour minute by minute to balance the books at the end of the day,

    (Don't know if we can do tags, here's the raw link:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/news

    And, to be clear, had they not "balanced the books" at the end of the day – they would have shut.

    Alex, Neil – I think you misunderstand. There was never a suggestion of problems with IT systems, the reason ATMs wouldn't dispense cash was that the bank owning them had no way of getting cash to put into them. (Their doors would have been locked for the same reason,)

    Pete B

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