In another financial crisis we would have far less wiggle room | Larry Elliott

After the 2008 meltdown, there is limited scope for monetary policy, nations are divided and populism is on the rise

Nobody really knew it at the time but 10 years ago the world was sitting on the edge of the precipice. It seemed like a normal sleepy August but the calm was illusory. The global financial system was seizing up. The collapse of Lehman Brothers was but a month away.

Eventually policy makers finally understood the enormity of what was happening. They responded swiftly and decisively as the crisis spread from the banks to the rest of the economy. They needed to. During the winter of 2008-09, trade and industrial production were collapsing more quickly than they had during the Great Depression.

Related: Interest rate rise: lack of dissenting voices came as a surprise

One of the small comforts from the crisis of 2008-09 was that it generated a sense of international solidarity

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Fears of a ‘car-crash Brexit’ make life difficult for Mark Carney

The Bank of England governor’s slow and steady approach failed to stop the pound falling further against the dollar

There may be times when Mark Carney regrets extending his stint at the Bank of England by an extra year. Had things gone as originally planned, Carney would have handed over the keys to Threadneedle Street a month ago and someone else would have had the task of steering the economy through what is certain to be a fiendishly tricky period.

That would be the case even without Brexit. The UK economy has recovered more slowly and more unevenly than Carney envisaged when he took over at the Bank from Mervyn King in 2013. It was only last week that the Bank’s monetary policy committee felt confident enough to raise interest rates above the 0.5% emergency level that they reached in March 2009.

There was a time when plain speaking from the Bank of England would have raised eyebrows in Downing Street

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