Summer 2007: When the music stopped

8. Credit crisis

It became apparent that all was far from well in the US subprime market at the start of 2007, when HSBC announced heavy losses on its US mortgage business. A steady drip-drip of troubling news followed, but it was in the summer that the global tremors intensified. In June, Bear Stearns announced that it had spent $3.2 billion bailing out two of its hedge funds that were heavily exposed to the subprime market. And the following month, the US Federal Reserve chairman announced that subprime lo