Anyway, I liked this quote in the Guardian attributed to Declan Williams, a banker, aged 50. It confirms something another friend told me after a few too many XO Cognacs. Put simply, banks are fucked and currently it's all just a devil-take-the-hindmost, dead-cat bounce of a last-ditch money grab dressed up as business as usual (I think that's what he said. I may have overlooked the odd mathematical model and occasional drunken rationalisation – but hey – XO cognac).
Here's how, the presumably more sober, Williams put it :
"There's definitely been a reaction (to lending) by the banks. If you really drilled in hard enough, a lot of the banks are basically bust. They can't afford to crystallise their own losses. They've got a huge amount of debt underwater. They cosmetically keep these companies alive, but downstream, the SME community has their money sucked out. If you're an SME and you're very asset rich they'll still pawn-broke you. And if you're an entrepreneur, they'll entertain you, because they have to be out there saying 'we're open for business' but you won't see any money."