By Alistair Darling
In the summertime of past due 2007, stocks of Northern Rock went into free-fall inflicting a run at the financial institution - the 1st because the nice melancholy. Northern Rock used to be simply the 1st: within the resulting months, Alistair Darling stood company within the eye of this excellent hurricane - world wide monetary associations proposal 'too immense to fail' have been falling prey to the deadly toxicity of the U.S. sub-prime loan marketplace. again from the threshold tells the gripping tale of 1 thousand days of difficulty. As Chancellor, Alistair Darling sanctioned the GBP37bn bailouts of RBS and HBoS simply mins sooner than their funds machines could have ceased to operate; on the eleventh hour, he avoided Barclay's from buying Lehman Brothers, telling US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson that he would not let British banks to import America's monetary melanoma; he used arguable laws to prevent Icelandic banks from retreating cash from the united kingdom. From all evening conferences on the White condominium, to confrontations with the titans of foreign banking and fractions family with Gordon Brown, Darling areas the reader within the rooms the place the destinies of thousands weighed seriously at the shoulders of some. again from the edge is a gripping and rapid account of an extraordinary worldwide monetary disaster. Alistair Darling's wisdom and figuring out make this not just a special standpoint at the occasions that rocked worldwide capitalism, yet an essential and interesting old record.
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Additional resources for Back from the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11
This must be the first department you’ve turned up in that’s actually not a mess,’ he said. I replied that the same thought had struck me. ‘This is the complete opposite. ’ What complacency! ’ This, at least, proved to be an accurate forecast. Looking back on that interview, neither I nor the editor mentioned banks, or anything approaching the subject. Yet just over two months later, savers would be queuing up outside Northern Rock, desperate to withdraw their money – the first obvious signs in the UK of a global crisis that would bring the world banking system, and our economies, to the brink of collapse.
I wanted to know which of our banks could be in trouble and how we were going to deal with it. I asked that the Bank of England and the FSA, which is responsible for the supervision of banks and building societies, work along with the Treasury to identify potential problems. A few days later, back home in Edinburgh, I was told the FSA was worried about Northern Rock. Northern Rock’s business model was heavily reliant on raising funds from financial institutions, mainly in the US, rather than from individual savers, and the cost of its borrowing was rising sharply.
That day, 14 September 2007, is seared in my memory. I had been Chancellor of the Exchequer for seventy-nine days. The echoing venue, then, was a grand Moorish hall in the Palacio da Bolso in Porto where European finance ministers and central bank governors had gathered for a meeting of the European Union’s economic and financial affairs council, Ecofin. The palatial surroundings made rather less of an impression on me than the scene displayed on a giant TV screen in the hall. What it showed was long, snaking queues of people waiting to make the first run on a British bank in more than a century.