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If you are interested in how the asset, or value, bubble which is now bursting got so big in the first place, you might want to watch this clip. It is with a journalist called Bethany McLean. Bethany reported on the business activities of an energy corporation called Enron in the USA in the early 1990s. From the outside, Enron appeared a fantastic economic success story with massive growth, massive profits and huge acquisitions of smaller firms as it grew. However, its complex trade in energy derivatives was hollow, it did not actually make anything and eventually, someone asked how it made its money with the resulting and mighty collapse of its business. The parallels with human behaviours inside the financial sector are stark, lending credit (or, money which does not exist) is a sure path to what Mr Micawber would have called misery. Apologies again to Mr Dickens.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery.