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The Banks are going down like ninepins. It's just over a year ago that Northern Rock went bust. That was the first time we heard of the 'credit crunch' - the fact that banks were nervous of lending to each other. Why? Because they realised the whole financial system was stood on an unstable house of cards of credit. The pyramid had been built up over years of mad speculation. They had got to the stage where they did not know which bits of coloured paper in their vaults were sound and which were non-performing toxins.