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.