The Lost Decade?
It’s hard to believe that the credit crunch that led to the downfall of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing melee in the economy was almost a decade ago. You would be forgiven for thinking that the time has passed quite quickly, perhaps because we have become used to switching on the news to more tales of woe, instability and uncertainty in world markets.
We’re told that the slow and steady recovery continues, but world events, Brexit, political wrangling and foreign affairs mean growth looks set to remain slow and still vulnerable to hiccups. So, it’s fair to say that we may look back in years to come and remember this period as our ‘lost decade’, similar to that experienced in Japan at the end of the last century.
Thankfully the recession and stagnation faced in the West since 2008 was not as deep or as prolonged as that in Japan from 1991 onwards, but such was the scale of the crash and the impact on credit, lending, finance, personal and commercial banking that the ripples have continued for many years – and will undoubtedly extend beyond the decade.
Speaking to clients and reflecting on the last decade, it seems that British resilience has seen us through. For a number of businesses though the impact was simply too great to survive, or has fundamentally changed the outlook for their business forever.
Some may argue with the concept of a lost decade – after all new business registrations have continued, unemployment is down and the rich have reportedly got richer. But sitting in on a Bank of England update the other day, it was clear from the analysis presented that the last 10 years has, at the very least, been extremely turbulent and will demand at least a chapter in the history books, – whether the official title contains the word ‘lost’ or not!