If there is a crumb of comfort to be had from all of this risk-taking, then it is that things won't be quite as bad this time when the music stops as in the last great crash, according to Dario Perkins of economic consultancy TS Lombard.
"The sub-prime crash was particularly deadly because the world's largest banks had leveraged themselves up to record levels using toxic collateral. When the value of these securities plunged, it triggered a nasty spiral of falling asset sales and forced deleveraging," he said.
"If the 'buy-side bubble' bursts, it would not have the same devastating macro consequences - though we would still expect a large decline in asset prices and probably a recession," he concluded.
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