Magazine article The Spectator

It's No Coincidence - a Fortune Has Been Lost So Someone Must Have Lost It

Magazine article The Spectator

It's No Coincidence - a Fortune Has Been Lost So Someone Must Have Lost It

Article excerpt

CITY AND SUBURBAN

Goldfinger said it: `Mr Bond, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but the third time is enemy action.' He could say as much to Mr Greenspan. One morning the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is relaxing in his bath when it occurs to him that the American economy is slowing down. So he reaches for a towel and the telephone, rings round his fellow governors, and knocks half a point off interest rates by lunchtime. Well, what a happy happenstance. The markets cheer, and far away in London a trade union leader compares him to the driver of a high performance car. A couple of days later, trading in the shares of Bank of America is suddenly suspended. The market has picked up a rumour that this bank is overexposed to the flickering power companies of California. Rubbish, says Bank of America. Switch those share dealings on again, immediately. …

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