Credit CrunchAug 9 2017

How the world has changed since the financial crash

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How the world has changed since the financial crash
ByHannah Smith

Exactly 10 years ago the world suffered the worst financial crash since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A decade later, and the effects of the global financial crisis are still being felt. Here are a few ways the world has changed since the credit crunch.    

Equity markets

Stock markets have recovered from the heavy losses suffered during the crisis, with US markets in particular setting a series of fresh record highs in recent months.

Mark Taylor, chief executive of Selftrade from Equiniti, said many investors have benefited from the recovery of stock markets since the low point, and subsequent sell-offs that made stocks appear very cheap.

“The stock markets have recovered, albeit many stocks that have risen are not the stocks that fell in the first place.

"The investors who bought index-tracking funds have been the beneficiaries,” he said.

“So if we believe that stock markets broadly operate in cycles of every 10 to 20 years (think the crash of 1987, the financial crisis starting in 2007) can we expect another stock market fall? While the probability of a correction is somewhat likely, it is far from certain.

“Unless you are an investor that has indefinite staying power and an ability to time markets, our view remains to invest regularly, to smooth out the peaks and troughs and leave timing of markets to those that have crystal balls.

"The world is now a very different place post 2008 and new companies and growth opportunities have arisen."

Quantitative easing  

Central bank money printing and record low interest rates have supported flagging economies in the decade since the crisis.

The effects of this unprecedented monetary stimulus will be long-lasting, said Philip Smeaton, chief investment officer at Sanlam Private Wealth.

“By artificially flooding money back into the financial system, central banks kept interest rates low, and the global economy above water,” he said.

“Ten years on, and we’re finally seeing signs that the central banks are positioning themselves to move away from their loose monetary policy, giving way to a more normal environment of higher inflation and higher interest rates.”

We are all still waiting for the next market crash to come along.Martin Bamford

The US Federal Reserve is starting to set the road map back to normality, and other central banks are watching it with interest, said Mr Smeaton.

Meanwhile, monetary stimulus in Europe has had the desired effect of encouraging global investment and holding the Eurozone together.

“Today, there is renewed economic confidence in Europe, and the European Central Bank has tentatively nodded towards a less accommodating monetary stance.

"We’re expecting it to end, or taper, its quantitative easing when the current programme concludes towards the end of the year.