We have learned this week how millions of pounds of council taxpayers’ money in Oxfordshire were invested in Icelandic banks a matter of days before their collapse.

One could argue this was plain unlucky. Authorities and individuals across the land were caught out by the collapse.

Our investigations have revealed that there were voices suggesting as far back as March that the Icelandic banks were more risky than most others in the developed world.

Word had got round because some authorities, notably Cherwell District, were trying to extricate themselves as long ago as March.

If that is the case, we have every right to wonder why others, including the city, county and Vale councils were putting money in as late as September.

The banks’ ratings were low in March and, while the full impact of the credit crunch was yet to hit us, there were enough worrying signs.