Personal memories of the 2008 Financial crisis…

by Bulldogmasterace

 

  1. I remember a lot of “oh shit”.. “what was going on?”. Sort of defeatist behaviour.
  2. Large CMBs and RMBs desks first got merged, then got smaller week by week. Until it was just a handful left as liquidity dried up and those products we’re not worth more than the toilet paper at your local supermarket so legal started to join them as lawsuits started to roll in..
  3. I remember questions, “why do we have these CDOs, CMBs and RMBs again?”.
  4. It was all hands on deck, suddenly senior management wanted to known “what was our exposure to these rotten products”, “and how do we diminish risk asap”. Emergency reports started to emerge out of nowhere.
  5. Firms were still living in lala land and when the shit reality hit, the majority of senior managers either gave a defeatist attitude (borderline criminal), or did shady (unethical) shit to solve issues as this stress broke them. Only a few were brave enough to set emotions aside and keep a rational/logical view at things.
  6. We received internal memos not to talk to the press or TV, even though they were standing right outside asking for questions.
  7. The regulator enforced a daily VaR of 95% for their trading desks as part of model validation rules. Some jerk thought, let’s suggest increasing VaR 99%, this will surely impress the government/regulator. It was announced internally as a “large methodical change in Market Risk for our FO traders”. I nearly shat my pants, these guys had no idea what was going on.
  8. I remember when the news came out Barclays were sleeping with the middle east to avoid government support. All across my colleagues we knew, this is going to bite them in the ass. We weren’t wrong..
  9. I remember a clown on TV. How this guy is still relevant, is beyond me. What he did here was borderline criminal, on national TV risking safety nets of millions of people as people’s biggest flaw is being gullible and naive and they blindly follow this leader into death. “Bear stearns is fine!” He shouted over and over.
  10. I remember applying for a hedge fund on Friday. The next Monday, their offices were empty, logos cleared, building vacated.
  11. People started to excessively drink, waste money, use drugs, whatever they could to cope with the symptoms of stress.
  12. Some people (below senior management, so without any tangible responsibility) retired literally on the spot, to never return. They used the cash to short the market to oblivion at home.
  13. Insider trading, not allowed to talk to colleagues at other firms was broken at massive rate.