“Why didn’t anyone notice?” The day the Queen spoke for all of us when she called bankers and city experts to account about the credit crisis
The Queen has passed away, marking the end of an era for Britain and an end to a remarkable 70-year reign in which she has seen the country’s economy change dramatically.
During that time Her Majesty’s insight into Britain’s financial life was astute, here we recall one of the famous moments when she asked the question many wanted to know when the financial crisis hit.
The Queen visits the London School of Economics at the height of the 2008 financial crisis
Not for the first time, the Queen spoke on behalf of the nation when she asked economic experts in 2008 why the credit crunch had surprised so many.
At an event at the London School of Economics at the height of the financial crisis wreaking havoc across the country, she asked, ‘Why hasn’t anyone noticed?’
It was a question that resonated with ordinary families baffled as to why politicians, bankers and city pundits have all failed to see the financial storm on the horizon.
Professor Luis Garicano told the Queen, “At every stage someone relied on someone else and everyone thought they were doing the right thing.”
The queen then described the situation as ‘terrible’. Four years later, in 2012, when the Queen visited the Bank of England’s gold vault, Sujit Kapadia, an economist at the Bank, told the Queen that he was eager to answer the question.
“Oh,” she said, as Kapadia went on to explain that as the global economy boomed in the pre-crisis years, the city was “becoming complacent” and many thought regulation was unnecessary.
The Queen replied: ‘People have become a bit lax, perhaps a financial crisis is hard to foresee.’
Kapadia told Her Majesty that financial crises were a bit like earthquakes and flu pandemics in that they were rare and difficult to predict, and assured her that the Bank’s staff was there to help prevent another.
“Is there another one coming?” the Duke of Edinburgh joked, before warning them, “Don’t do it again.” Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey led the city’s tribute to the Queen last night.
He said, “It is with deep sadness that I learn of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.”
Tony Danker, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “During her unprecedented 70 years on the throne, HRH Queen Elizabeth II has served the nation with distinction as a steadfast example of British values of honour, dignity and resilience.
She dedicated her life to the people of the UK and Commonwealth, providing compassionate and inspiring leadership through the many challenging times of her long reign.
“These are difficult times right now – made worse by the loss of our beloved Queen – and our tribute should be to work tirelessly for a better future for the people of this country in memory of Her Majesty.”