David Prosser: The true cost of the financial crisis

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The Independent Online

Outlook No doubt we should all be pleased to hear that the International Monetary Fund has lowered its estimate of the total cost of the financial crisis. It now thinks that the world's banks will have lost a mere $2.3 trillion when all the sums are done, down from its previous estimate of $2.8trn. In the UK, it looks likely that the taxpayer will make a small profit on its interventions in the financial sector, but the stunning scale of the IMF's estimated losses – whichever figure you choose to believe – is a reminder not to get carried away with that idea. A small profit on our bank stakes and systemic support will not begin to compensate for the total cost of the economic disaster this has been.

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