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Business news has helped the market to recover

MERRILL Lynch. Lehman Brothers. HBOS. These three once mighty institutions were among the big-name banks we set out to cultivate when this newspaper launched four years ago. The names may live on in one form or another, but all three are now consigned to the history books as independent entities. Who would have thought the likes of the &ldquo;thundering herd&rdquo; would disappear from the City&rsquo;s lexicon?<br /><br />This sometimes shocking pace of change has fuelled interest in business news, while the flexibility and resilience of this great City amid the storm has helped London bounce back quickly from the slump.<br /><br />The shock reaction to the crunch was a pervasion of anxiety. Everyone from City veterans to interns experienced previously unknown levels of fear. &ldquo;People became circumspect, conservative and frightened,&rdquo; one veteran commentator confided. &ldquo;Since then the recovery in terms of morale and sentiment has been dramatic.&rdquo;<br /><br />But one thing has changed very little in four years &ndash; the level of London&rsquo;s benchmark FTSE 100 index. When City A.M. launched on 5 September 2005, the index stood at 5,326 points. Last night, and 1,000 editions of the paper later, it closed almost flat on that level at 5,207. In four years the boom and bust has seen the index slump to a low of 3,450 before surging back by more than 55 per cent. One key reason for this swift turnaround is undoubtedly the ability of modern media to swiftly disseminate news and information &ndash; a stunning recovery in which this newspaper is proud to have played a key role.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />ben.griffiths@cityam.com<br />