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The Credit Crisis & Gold - 2008
We only realised in 2010 that we had not created a page specifically about the recent credit crisis, and realised we should remedy the omission.

First the Banking Crisis, then the Credit Crisis
The banking crisis which rumbled on from 2007 to 2009, lead into the credit crisis. Although the Federal Reserve provided emergency support to the US banking sector, as did the Bank of England in the UK, and other central banks in many countries, helping banks to survive and begin to rebuild capital reserves, the interbank lending market almost completely dried up. Many banks and other lenders had become over-reliant on wholesale money markets. When these failed, banks access to fresh capital stopped, and many were in danger of defaulting.
It was far from clear at the time, and still not completely resolved, which financial institutions had the greatest exposure to sub-prime risks. Largely because of this uncertainty, most banks simply stopped lending to other banks, and were themselves unable to borrow from fellow banks. These interbank loans would not have been guaranteed to governments or central banks, except in the special cases where takeovers or bail-outs were made, and not even in all these cases.
To conserve their capital ratios, banks sharply reduced their lending, and increased the equity percentages required from borrowers.
Private individuals were reluctant to leave cash deposits in banks, many seeking safety by buying hard tangible assets such as gold.

Spot Gold Chart in US Dollars - 2nd November 2007

Spot Gold Chart in US Dollars - 2nd November 2007
Image Source - The Bullion Desk London

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