Spreadsheets and the Financial Collapse

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The authors briefly review the well-known risks, weaknesses and limitations of spreadsheets and then introduce some more. They review and slightly extend the previous work on the importance and criticality of spreadsheets in the City of London, introducing the notions of ubiquity, centrality, legality and contagion. They identify the sector of the financial market that they believed in 2005 to be highly dependant on the use of spreadsheets and relate this to its recent catastrophic financial performance. They outline the r?le of spreadsheets in the collapse of the Jamaican banking system in the late 1990's and then review the UK financial regulator's knowledge of the risks of spreadsheets in the contemporary financial system.