Money and the financial markets, as reflected in the television or radio news or the financial pages of a newspaper such as the Financial Times, may often seem to be a different world, something well beyond the experience of most people. But the global movement of capital, the constant shifting of what are often vast amounts of money, does have a connection with our daily lives. Everyone has some contact with the financial system: through having a bank account; through contributing to a pension fund; through buying an insurance or life assurance policy; or through taking out a mortgage or running up an overdraft.

And with the onset of the credit crunch in the summer of 2007, its explosion into the global financial crisis in the ...

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