And so it carries on seemingly ad infinitum. Investors speculate, Citizens object, Bankers threaten and Politicians talk words of sweet nothing.
Firstly we must learn to live within our financial means. The the so called boom of the last 12 years was based on 2 big bits of fiction. The "boom" in financial services was a fraud built upon rising asset prices artificially inflated and financial shenanigans. Honest financial reporting was muzzled by greedy investment bankers, complacent credit agencies and lazy journalists and regulators. Banks are but "shops for money" and when the become something else then its time to watch out. The 2nd bit of fiction was the housing price boom where people got wealthier by living in their homes than by working. The generation to come will be left out of the housing market but as they cannot vote (yet) the politicians don't care. Silly prices fooled everyone and still do.
Secondly we must invest for the future in education, infrastructure and promoting an entrepreneurial spirit. UK education standards are declining in comparison with the rest of the world. Our infrastructure in tiring and improvements logjammed in bureaucracy. Decades of EU policy have failed to secure a single cross country patent law for EU. We remain a fragmented market on important issues.
Thirdly our banks must be split into boring high street and investment high risk if that is what they want to do. Allowing banks to leverage highly for the purpose of speculation such as UBS and its "rogue" trader on the back of high street assets and government guarantees is silly. Both businesses should be properly capitalised with share capital of 10% and not 4% as some banks have done. Skin in the game is a lovely expression to encourage financial responsibility.
Fourthly the worst performing countries should have a debt restructuring ie a write down and lengthening of terms along with a realistic interest charge, now and not in 3 months. They must collect the taxes that their laws say they should, but they should avoid big cuts in spending that force the economy into recession. But public sectors need to be reformed now.
Finally Central Banks should intervene not by QE but by ensuring liquidity to good banks and managing the closure of bad banks of which there are too many. Stress tests should be genuine and not false deceiving flattery. We need new banks too.