In an act of remembrance marking 25 years since the Big Bang, the Queen, members of the Royal Family and political leaders gathered at Canary Wharf to lead the Nation’s mourning for the financial casualties of that turbulent period of recent history.
At exactly 11 o’clock, there was a two minute silence which was broken only by the hum of traffic and the sound of traders purchasing futures in poppy derivatives at speculatively high rates in anticipation of continued European conflict. After the sounding of the ‘The Last Email’ played on a 1995 vintage Nokia 636, Her Majesty solemnly stepped forward under leaden skies and laid her wreath at the tomb of the unknown banker.
BBC commentator, Huw Jones, captured the thoughts of the assembled mourners, some visibly weeping, as they watched the traditional drive past by an Aston Martin and a Porsche. ‘This is a poignant moment to recall at the innocents who selflessly volunteered to make a killing in the City. Most of them survived the early skirmishes of Black Monday, the early nineties recession and the tragic loss of Barings Bank, only to be confronted by the horrors of the financial crisis of 2008 – 2011. A whole generation wiped out by the carnage of the banking crisis.’
Leading the ceremonial march past was former financier Jared Garforth, still proudly wearing his FSA campaign medal. He talked about his experiences. ‘I was one of the lucky ones,’ he said. ‘I was given my marching orders after being invalided out at Northern Rock. It doesn’t bear thinking about what happened to those poor souls at Lehman Brothers. They were like lambs to the slaughter.’
After prayers, the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, addressed the congregation saying. ‘This lost generation of money dealers will be forever young. They will not be forgotten. Their deeds will be remembered every time we do the most mundane act such as check our bank balance or finding the dustbins un-emptied for the sixth week in a row. They will be forever in our thoughts …. but never in our hearts.’