|Street lock on Hammarby Quay|
|"Feuilles mortes" at Luma Park|
|At mid-point of my daily walk|
|Ducks among the reeds along Sickla Quay|
|Sofia Church after "Götterdämmerung"|
Being eager to bring this blog to its well-deserved conclusion, I almost forget that there is another autumn day to remember. I sorely missed the 25 years' jubilee on 24 September, of the Great Crisis Nadir of 1992. For those not familiar with Swedish history, or those who have suppressed the sad event, let me freshen up your memory by citing myself from a report I once wrote about it.
"On a sunny day in late September 1992 (24 September) I arrived at the office early, to work on an article on capital adequacy in banking. I did not get a chance to do any work that day, however. The phone started ringing as soon as I entered my room (at 7 AM) and did not stop during the day. The calls came all from foreign bankers and financial experts/journalists and were all about the same theme: How solid is the position of the Swedish Banks, Mr. Ems, how long can they hold out in the onslaught of credit problems and exchange risks. Being a Central Banker I could do little else than utter vaguely encouraging mumblings. But the frequency and intensity of calls indicated that the end was near for interbank lending to Swedish Banks. Fair enough, the same afternoon, Government held an urgent press conference, telling the world that it felt obliged to guarantee all of Swedish Banks' liabilities and that it would undertake a general scheme for bank support to counter the on-going banking crisis. This was without comparison the most demanding and challenging day of my life – it was the nadir of the Swedish financial crisis."
The world has gone on since then, and even experienced a comparable crisis on a global scale 15 years later. We are still suffering from its aftermath. This brings me to the question, whether there could be a repeat of such a sad event in near future. The question is far from futile, since both the BIS and IMF both have recently been making noises about the great indebtedness of nations. Sweden is no slouch in this respect and asset prices have been rising steeply the past few years, a sure sign of a financial crisis being imminent. In my mind, I can see some similarity between the year of 1991 (the build-up year of the great crisis) and the present year.
Most notably, real estate prices have ceased rising and are on a downward trend. Minor building companies are already in difficulty and some even under receivership. So, keep your fingers crossed, lest we will be sliding into bad times. Let's all join in an incantation to be repeated over and over again: "This time is different! ... This time is different! ... This time is different! ... ... ..."
Best not to think about such sad things. Let's get back to where we started and invite a famous French singer to phrase the poem mentioned at the beginning of this blog!