chapter  10
41 Pages

Networks, Risks, Liquids

In early 2008, the credit markets and global economy started haemorrhaging. Share markets around the world went into freefall, as the value of many stocks plummeted. Against a backdrop of growing economic uncertainty, things quickly went from bad to worse – with write-offs by various large international banks and a further decline in the asset value of many leading companies and fi rms. Horror sessions unfolded on Wall Street. Banks reported multi-billion dollar losses. Fears of a recession in the United States were quickly overshadowed by talk of global economic meltdown. One indication of the seriousness of this economic crisis was that the price of gold – a traditional safe haven for investors – became volatile. Another was the announcement that the Bush administration would provide a massive stimulus package of up to US$150 billion to resuscitate the ailing economy.