Spare a thought for staff affected by US giants’ fall

I read with interest the cover feature about the US Federal Reserve\'s rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in last week\'s Mortgage Strategy. It put me in a positive mood about the future as I began the working week.

Then I looked at the breaking news headlines on Mortgage Strategy Online. Just when it looked like the end was in sight for the credit crunch following the Fed bailout, the market was hit by Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch’s $50bn sale to Bank of America.

When such events happen it’s easy to get caught up in finger-pointing but it is important to remember that a number of good staff have lost their livelihoods.

They will have worked hard only to have the rug pulled out from under them by circumstances they could not have foreseen.

For all of us still in gainful employment, let’s be thankful that we’re still here and while business may not be brilliant there are still opportunities to grasp.

Last week’s drama in the US teaches us that if a collapse can happen to companies of that size and stature it can happen to anyone.

This is why as an industry it is vital we continue to innovate and diversify to keep the worst of the credit crunch at bay.

Phil Whitehouse

Head of The Mortgage Alliance

By email