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A crowd flowed over London Bridge: September 2008 was the cruellest month

When I was a bank regulator (among other things) from 1995 to 2003, an in-depth knowledge of the Basel Capital Accord was not an asset at dinner parties. Every now and then someone would be incautious enough to ask what it was I did all day in Canary Wharf. Being a literal-minded fellow, I would begin to wax lyrical about “risk-weighted assets” and “loss given default rates,” but my wife, who had powerful antennae in this area, would quickly rescue my unfortunate interlocutor. “He’s just being polite, dear,”…

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