When the music stops

Now that the party is over, a crisis of confidence will lead to a crisis of credibility for many of the world's high-flying bankers.

ôWhen the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, youÆve got to get up and dance. WeÆre still dancing,ö Chuck Prince, chief executive of Citi, the worldÆs biggest bank, said in July 2007, three months before he was sacked.

There have been plenty of occasions in the past 25 years when the music has paused and bankers, brokers, traders and fund managers have sat down for a rest. This...

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