US President George W Bush has pinpointed the exact cause of his country's financial market turmoil: "Wall Street got drunk."
Captured by mobile phone video at a private fundraiser in Houston last Friday, the President used a colourful analogy to lay blame on US financial institutions for the damaging credit crisis.
“There's is no question about it. Wall Street got drunk,” Bush, the self-confessed reformed alcoholic, says.
“That’s one reason I told you to turn off your TV cameras. It got drunk and now it’s got a hangover.
“The question is how long will it sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments.”
US press secretary Dana Perino says the President’s summarisation is similar to many market observers, albeit with much more “candor”.
“I actually haven't spoken to him about this, but I imagine what he means, as I've heard him describe before in public and in private, is that Wall Street let themselves get carried away and they did not understand,” she explains.
“The markets did not understand the risk that these newfangled financial instruments would pose to the market, and now we're having to deal with this.”
Wall Street institutions have been hit hard since the onset of the credit crunch, with Citigroup reporting $42.9bn in losses and write-offs – followed by Merrill Lynch’s $37bn.IFAonline
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From 6 April 2019