2008 will undoubtedly be the last year of light-handed regulation of our financial institutions, and the end of no regulation of investment banking products. In fact, investment banking as we knew it is dead. Their unregulated products have collapsed in value, as investors came suddenly to turn from prizing their relatively high return, to fearing their toxic consequences. The investment banks that might survive have had to rapidly become regulated banks, or seek the protection of a takeover from a main-line bank. New Zealand finance companies are facing stringent new regulation, if they have managed to survive the carnage of the last 36 months. Bernard Hickey reviews a tumultuous period, heralding the end of banking and finance as we knew it, and the beginning of a new period of back-to-basics banking. Credit will no longer be as freely available, even it it might cost less.