In September 2008 Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, the global insurance giant AIG was taken over by the United States Government and a failing Wall Street icon Merrill Lynch was absorbed by the Bank of America in a deal brokered and financed by the US Government. Panic set in, credit stopped circulating and the world plunged into recession.
Three years on, global markets are once again bracing for the worst as US president Barack Obama and a bitterly divided Congress struggle to negotiate an end to the debt ceiling crisis. With the 2 August deadline just days away, House Republicans and Senate Democrats are formulating debt-limit emergency fall back plans in hopes of reassuring world financial markets.
Many economists believe a default could push the US economy back into recession and cause chaos in the global economy. Others in the art world will also be wondering whether the international art market is about to be caught up in a new economic storm prompting another round of boom to bust.