Normality is finally being rewritten - the world is waking up to the fact that the past decade or so was extraordinary and bred extraordinary folly.
Accompanying this awakening I hear the phrase "no one could have seen this coming" so often of late. I may have used the phrase myself.
So, I thought it might be fun to point to two foreseers in particular (not including Warren Buffett) that have gained a near cult following having been proved in different ways to have been exceptionally prescient (or, perhaps, exceptionally lucky).
No one could ever be expected to get the every detail absolutely right in their forecasts but there were many that warned of the dangers we now face and in essence are being proved pretty well right.
With regard to the crazy world of banking (and indeed beyond just banking) Nassim Nicholas Taleb has been warning for some time of what he describes as a "black swan" event.
He believes that we fail to understand or take sufficient account of randomness and we build models that are destined to collapse over time. He railed and continues to rail against the clever-clever mathematicians (and indeed against a host of people, such as tie-wearing economists) that produced or endorsed a financial system that carried the hallmark of the White Star Line.
If you can get through the wall of contempt and his idiosyncratic style of communication as displayed on telly (for those who saw him on Newsnight last Friday) he has some very powerful points to make.
I was recently introduced to Taleb and leant a copy of his book Fooled by Randomness. Interestingly the person who leant me the book was a very bright and exceptionally pleasant former Goldman Sachs managing director who enthused about the book. From this I assumed there would be many in the City who are sensitive to the views of Taleb. Certainly, I have heard others since my introduction to Taleb similarly enthuse.
It has some great thought provoking passages - well I thought so.
With regards to economics and more particularly house prices, checking out Fred Harrison may be worth the effort.
He has been saying for some years that we were heading for a house price crash in 2008 and a depression in 2010 (fingers crossed, please no). What is more he predicted the spurt in prices before the bust last autumn.
But just to show that you don't have to be super smart to see disaster looming. Closer to home, here is some advice for those councils who amazingly suggest that no one could reasonably have foreseen the collapse of Icelandic banks - I suggest someone in their finance departments starts reading the FT or the Economist in a little more detail than looking for their next job.
I have to come clean, I had cash in Icesave (and tempting rates they were too). But looking back at my successive withdrawals from Icesave over the past year or more, they seem to map the risk implicit in the articles I read.
I am not quite sure how the councils and for that matter the Chelsea Building Society appear to have misread "basket case" for "sound place" to invest.
Anyone who can reasonably be expected to read the financial and economic press should have been aware of the grave risks faced by Iceland as long ago as this spring if not earlier.
I would argue that if someone like me (who absolutely loathes anything to do with personal finance and is intensely lazy to the point of near indifference when it comes to managing my money) can manage to get cash out of a tottering bank, I feel sure that the professionals engaged by local authorities have no real excuse.