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Millennial Bankers: Crash Course in the Credit Collapse

Credit and lending professionals in my presentations on Credit Risk Readiness at banking associations, and in my training programs on Global Tax Return Analysis, often include Millennials, some of whom are under still under thirty.

Consider that in 2007/2008/2009, the run-up and worst years of the Great Recession, a 30 year-old would have been 19, 20 and 21 years of age. College age. Old enough to know about the recession, but not yet in banking to really feel the heat.

If you are over thirty, I recommend this as a refresher. I found a series of articles which bring me back in time and remind me what we are working so hard to avert; another credit crisis in America and the World. Sound dramatic? Well, did you really expect a recession as bad as the last one? I think not.

First: Time to Go Back to School to Learn the Lessons of the Great Recession

Not college, or even a seminar or conference. Although as a provider of credit training and a speaker at risk management conferences in lending and credit, I highly recommend them as well.

Read Anthony Carfang’s series of articles, Index and Timeline – “Retracing the Financial Crisis 2007 – 2008”, actually written in early 2007 through the end of 2008. They are as written at the time, occasionally with some ending commentary as to what actually happened with the banks and investment funds he was reporting on.

It will take about an hour to get through them, but it is worth the read. You will get a real feel for how surprised we all were, how fast things were moving, and the confusion in the credit markets, top to bottom.

Second: Sit at the feet of those who were there

There were lessons learned in the Great Recession. After you read this series of articles, take a seasoned lender or credit manager to lunch and pick their brains. What did they learn? If they could have a do-over, what would it be? In what ways are we ready for the next major credit disruption. Or not?

Third: Take the pulse of credit professionals across the country, right now.

My company commissioned the 2018 Credit Risk Readiness Study to gauge the country’s readiness for the next major credit disruption, as told by credit and lending professionals across the country.

Request the full report at You will find the results of the survey, and thoughts from the thirty Chief Credit Officers, Chief Lending Officers, Managers in lending and credit as well as those on the front lines. Their insights might surprise you. Or they might worry you.

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.