Key Points:

Wow. What a week. I am writing this in my fluffy duck jarmies. I can't tear myself away from Fox and Squawk Box to take a shower. It's terrible. And the awful thing is not that the world's banking system is tottering on its foundations like a coked-up model in hooker shoes. The truly shameful thing is how much I am lovin' it.

I am a deeply bad person, like a granny-flogging journalist who gets a kick out of doing death knocks - I have been rubbernecking past the financial wreckage with a perverse fascination.

It has never been so thrilling to be a business journalist. The Nikkei down 10 per cent in a day - no way! Governments buying banks - shut up! One minute I am obsessed with capital adequacy, the next I want to know all about Neel Kashkari, credit default swaps, tier one capital and how interbank lending works.

So far it has been possible to remain emotionally disconnected from the carnage, down here in New Zealand at least. Everyone is asking when the crisis will end. But it is quite likely it hasn't even started. The reason is that despite the outrageous figures - major markets down 20 per cent in a week, the worst crash since 1987, the trillion-dollar bailouts and all that - the worst is yet to come.

We are in the middle of the financial crash but we haven't even started on the crash proper. That is, rich people have been hurting so far, but the rest of us have just been spectators at the car crash. No doubt it has been grisly if you are a merchant banker - but let's face it, as a breed they're a hard sell to drum up sympathy for.

Journalists don't get paid enough to have great personal exposure to the equity markets - and on the upside, for once we feel useful; people are interested in what we have to say.

Meantime, flights are still full, people are still shopping, driving, drinking. It takes time for the financial crash to filter down to the real economy - for ordinary people to lose their jobs and stop spending.

Part of what has made the financial crisis such a spectacle has been the great unknowns about if, when and how that will happen. Even commentators have had their gobs well and truly smacked and can only ask questions rather than tell us what is happening.

Not all banks are equally toxic. Which ones are most exposed and which aren't? Are some going to opt out of the government re-nationalising plans?

How useless will governments be at micro-managing banks? What happens to confidentiality when the government has access to your bank accounts?

How come hedge funds, the least regulated part of the finance industry, have proved more stable than the supervised institutions? Do emerging economies now have the influence to determine the direction of the world: the "Mumbai, Shanghai, Dubai or bye bye" syndrome?

Does anyone care what S&P or Moody's say now? Are governments installing fire alarms after the house has burnt down?

I had better get up and have a shower. If I have been watching the car crash, the least I can do is put on clean knickers for the funeral.

deborah@coneandco.com