Which one of these disasters affected you and your family the most?
a) the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York
b) the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean
c) the 2005 hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans
d) the 2008 stock market crash
The first three were certainly tragic in terms of the loss of life. And once people had got over the initial shock came the worries about terrorists, vulnerability to natural phenomena, and effects of changing weather patterns caused by man.
In the stock market crash no one died (there were a small number of suicides), so there was not the outpouring of grief and accompanying donations of aid as in the first three events.
But look at the question again:
Which one of these events affected you and your family the most?
There is only one answer to the question: the 2008 stock market crash.
It will have short, medium and long-term effects on all of us: from the purchasing value of the money in our pockets to the ability of pension schemes to provide for our third phase of life.
And look what has happened since the disasters:
a) an all out war on terror
b) vastly improved monitoring and warning systems
c) better defences for vulnerable cities