More than anything else, this post is designed to bring to as many people's attention as possible this "magisterial" (as one of the FT journalists, Robin Wigglesworth, called it) essay on how close the developed and wealthy nations' financial systems came to collapse at the end of March 2020 and the dangers that still lie ahead for the developing world.

The themes running through this crisis are familiar and recur on an almost weekly basis during the years since the Great Financial Crisis a decade ago: the reliance of Eurozone countries on the ECB; the real differences in fiscal resilience between Eurozone countries like Germany and the PIIGS; the speed with which some countries react to crises; the shifts in the geopolitical landscape; and the ability of the unguarded and quickly corrected words of one person (albeit a very important person, such as the head of a central bank) can lead to huge swings and volatility in the markets and have material and lasting impact on the real economy.

In this context, the extension today of the short-selling bans by France, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Greece is no surprise but disappointing nonetheless, especially as the equities markets affected have seen spreads widen and volumes fall at a time when funds and investors are looking for reassurance as well as the ability to shore-up their cash balances without having to choose between selling their most liquid (and therefore valuable) assets, such as government bonds, and selling their least liquid assets (which carry the largest hair-cuts or the widest spreads).