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The next financial crisis may be coming soon

Fears of a credit crunch have already hit business confidence and worried banks.

Banks are not the source of this year's economic shock. They are also much better capitalised in the US and most of Europe than in 2008. "Large US banks entered this crisis in strong condition, and the Federal Reserve has taken a number of important steps to help bolster banks' resilience," Randal Quarles, a senior Fed official, has said.

WHAT probability do you give that there might be a new financial crisis? This month, the number crunchers at Oxford Economics, a research group, asked 162 global businesses this question. Their average answer was 20 per cent over the next two years.

That is twice as high as the perceived...

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