Chasing Alpha: How Reckless Growth and Unchecked Ambition Ruined the City’s Golden Decade by Philip Augar - review by Jeremy Warner

Jeremy Warner

When the Music Stops

Chasing Alpha: How Reckless Growth and Unchecked Ambition Ruined the City’s Golden Decade

By

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‘When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.’ This was Chuck Prince speaking in July 2007, weeks before the first tremors of the earthquake that has since shaken the financial markets and the world economy to their core. He was then boss of Citigroup, the world’s largest bank.

Even the perpetrators of the financial boom of the early twenty-first century, it seems, knew by the summer of 2007 that the mad, credit-fuelled party of the previous ten years was out of control and heading for a showdown, but nobody knew how to stop it, or even

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