Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

Africa: How Close We Were to a Global Financial Meltdown in 2008? Now We Know.

analysis

There was a time not so long ago that America's federal financial 'uber-menschen' really were widely regarded as the masters of the universe - able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, and by sheer dint of their abundant grey matter, unscramble financial calamities almost before they happened.

Then, in 2008, such financial wizards were revealed for what they were - some really smart people caught up in fast-moving events quickly spinning beyond their control. J. BROOKS SPECTOR contemplates those newly released transcripts from the US' Federal Reserve Bank's Open Money Committee, just as the apocalypse seemed to be at hand.

Around fifteen years ago, Time magazine featured a group portrait of Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan, Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin and his deputy, Larry Summers.

The cover photo appeared with the sobriquet, "The Committee to Save the World". Pretty modest, eh? But what a difference a monstrous recession made, eh?

The threesome had originally been featured in that superhero-esque poster on 15 February 1999 for, among other feats of strength, holding the Asian financial crisis at bay in 1997 and then goosing the global economy into overdrive - moving into the slipstream of the great ...

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