Anyone who has recently tried to obtain a mortgage or loan will have known Northern Rock long before the current crisis broke - it was a byword for favourable rates.
The company's spectacular demise has sent shockwaves through the money markets, government, investors and general public, who all look on in amazement as something supposedly so good has become so bad.
No one can remember queues outside a British bank as investors struggled to remove their savings. Those scenes seem reminiscent of Weimar Germany or the US Depression of the 1930s. They seem to presage worse economic news to come.