Of course, the joke going around is, Sean Connery took his money out of the Royal Bank of Scotland in cash, causing it to collapse outright. But that's not even close to the real truth.
Six or seven years ago, our monetary elites were out of control. Completely and utterly insane with greed, and they began to leverage themselves into positions whereby they could bail and stick everyone else with the bill. When the bill came due, they believed that they would not only land on their feet but that the impact of their transgressions wouldn't be too bad.
Well, it's going on four years now, and we are, as Paul Krugman says, in a Depression. It doesn't look or feel like the Great Depression, but it is a period of stagnation, desperation, and unregulated greed nonetheless. Austerity has killed economic growth and condemned millions to a state of permanent joblessness. Millions of productive workers have given up looking for work. And few, if any, credible modifications have occurred in the financial sector (in Britain, in the United States, or anywhere else for that matter) that would ensure that another speculation bubble couldn't happen.
There's a very real danger that the unregulated markets throughout the world right now are going to spawn a super-predator, one who has no hesitation about screwing people mercilessly and creating massive economic damage to the world's economy. That could be in the form of a person, a business, or some other such entity. But, make no mistake about it, we're headed for the days of the walled private compound brimming with well-paid guards and people living in fantastic comfort well beyond the reach of any bought-and-paid-for judge.
This is the banana republic era, and we are all plantation workers now.