OPINION13 November 2019

Perfect vision in hindsight

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Finance Impact Opinion Public Sector

Lorna Tilbian, Impact’s finance columnist, reflects on the benefit of hindsight and ponders what the next major turning points for the markets will be. 

Hindsight reflection prediction past_crop

It’s funny how momentous events that surprise us in real time become major turning points in hindsight.

9/11, which shook the world on 11 September 2001, marked – in hindsight – the beginning of the loss of America’s unshakeable political leadership of the world. The twin towers of the World Trade Center, emblems of America’s leadership and the bedrock of capitalism, came down as a series of coordinated terrorist attacks killed nearly 3, 000 people, injured more than 6, 000 others and caused at least $10bn of damage to infrastructure and property. It was the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the moment America lost its global political leadership. 

On 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest US investment bank, with 25, 000 employees worldwide, filed for bankruptcy, with $619bn of debt. It was the largest victim of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis and its collapse was a seminal event that wiped nearly $10tn off the market capitalisation ...