On 11 November 2008, Tessa Jowell, then the British Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, addressed a group of chief executive officers from the leisure industry at a private dinner.1 As part of her assessment of the progress being made towards preparing the sites for London to become the ‘Olympic City’ for 2012, she turned to the broader, troubled macroeconomic context of the time, especially the threat posed by impending global recession. ‘Had we known what we know now’, she mused, ‘would we have bid for the Olympics? Almost certainly not’ (Osborne and Kirkup, 2008, p. 1).