Front Notes: Till debt do us part

Sep 1, 2012

Five years on since the global financial crisis first erupted, the reverberations have scarcely diminished.

While European nations wrestle endlessly with the future of monetary union, the continent’s banks continue to struggle as the region’s relentless debt crisis, along with more exacting regulatory demands, weigh ever more heavily on balance sheets.

A sharp withdrawal of credit by US and European lenders in 2008 brought the financial system to a grinding halt – and helped trigger a global recession. Reminders of those dark days resurfaced last year at the height of the eurozone crisis, when bank funding strains once again sparked fears of forced asset sales, frozen credit and sharply weaker economic activity.

The most acute fears may have receded for now, but a more insidious process is nevertheless firmly under way:...

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