Mortgage financing has slowed to a trickle on both sides of the Atlantic. Banks and insurers have had to write off the best part of $500 billion of mortgage-related investments, and have been forced to raise almost as much in new capital.
More than a few have gone out of business. The value of the transatlantic financial sector has shrunk by two-fifths, or $3 trillion, from its peak.
In more than two decades I have rarely seen...
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