If you’re finance minister of a G7 country, the last place you want to read about the start of the gravest financial crisis in modern memory is in the FT. That’s how the UK’s Alistair Darling heard five years ago of the unprecedented central bank effort to shore up the financial system: at the news stand of a Majorca supermarket where he’d gone to buy rolls for breakfast. When he called his office, he wrote later, “it took several hours to find someone with any idea of what was going on. It was infuriating. Why hadn’t I been phoned?”
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