Five Minutes to Midnight
by Michael Harrison
As the world struggles with the pandemic and the collateral economic damage, what lessons can we draw from the way the 2008 financial crisis was averted and Britain’s banks were kept afloat? This true-life thriller puts you in the room with ministers, mandarins, City watchdogs – and the disgraced bankers themselves – as they raced to save the country’s biggest lenders. They had to prevent the contagion spreading uncontrollably from the financial sector to the real economy. Then, as now, they had to discover a vaccine and they needed to find it fast. Drawing on exclusive and extensive interviews with Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Mervyn King and other central figures, including government ministers, Whitehall advisers, top civil servants, central bankers, regulators and bank CEOs,
Five Minutes To Midnight takes you inside Number 10 Downing Street, the Treasury and the boardrooms of Britain’s biggest financial institutions. It also takes you across the world into the White House and the chambers of the IMF and G7 as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling criss-cross the globe urging other governments to use the British rescue plan as a blueprint for their own ailing economies. Day by day, hour by hour, it recounts the mounting tensions, the personality clashes, the stand-offs, the bitter arguments and the brinkmanship as financiers and politicians lock horns with one another and sometimes with themselves. The future may look bleak but Five Minutes to Midnight shows that with the political will, a crisis does not have to turn into a catastrophe.