Ten years ago last week the greatest game of hide and seek was about to come to an end.
Banks had been lending money to people who had no way of ever paying it back to buy houses they would never be able to afford.
But rather than writing off the debts, they packaged them up into complex investments, pretended they were safe and selling them to investors who had no idea of what they were buying.
The bad stuff was carefully hidden among a few quality loans and everyone was happy – for a while.
It was insane. It was global. It was the financial crisis.
Then came the credit crunch where the grease that turns the wheels of economies dried up. Banks collapsed. Governments went bust.
Over the past week commentators have been recounting where they were and how they saw it coming. But they didn’t see it coming. Few did.
This week, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost offer up one of the best, honest and understandable accounts of what really happened after BNP Paribas shut down three hedge funds specialising in sub-prime mortgage debt, marking the beginning of the financial crisis when the global economy stared at the precipice.
This episode really is a must listen.