Those are the words of former Credit Suisse head of investment banking Ian Marcus, who spoke in a wide-ranging interview on the Property Week Podcast to mark the five-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.
Marcus, who was chair of the Bank of England’s Commercial Property Forum at the time, and is now a senior adviser to US bank Wells Fargo, said the industry had an “obligation” to see what lessons could be learnt from the downturn.
He said: “We’ll never get rid of the cyclicality, but hopefully we can avoid some of the excesses by smoothing it.”
Looking back at the culture of over-exuberant lending in the banking crisis, he said that that “there were words of caution and warning signs but it was in a typical low-key British way”.
“It was about being invited for cucumber sandwiches and maybe hinting that things were perhaps moving too fast,” he said.