[QODLink]
Meltdown

Meltdown: A global tsunami

How an epidemic of fear caused the world's major banks to stop lending, triggering protests and industrial action.

Last updated: 18 Jul 2014 13:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

On September 17, 2008, the world's financial system went into cardiac arrest. The failure of Lehman Brothers, the biggest bankruptcy in US history, sent financial markets into a tailspin.

The New York Stock Exchange had its biggest one day drop since the 9/11 attacks; markets from London and Paris to Shanghai fell in lockstep; Russia suspended all trading.

In an epidemic of fear, the world's major banks stopped lending money and accepting collateral from each other.

The next morning President George W Bush made a statement and tried to reassure the public. Bush convened an emergency meeting in the White House with his economic advisers. According to notes, in that meeting, US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told the president the US was on the edge of total financial meltdown.

Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, played a leading role in the early days of the crisis. He was supposed to be the main free enterpriser in the Bush administration but ended up overseeing the greatest government intervention in the economy since the Great Depression.

But it was only later that the hard questions were asked, and the key players held to account.

In part two of our investigation into the orgy of greed and recklessness that drove the world into financial collapse, we look at how the financial tsunami swept the world.

We explore a renegade executive who nearly destroyed the global financial service, and the treasury secretary who bailed out his old friends.

Meltdown is a four-part series on the secret history of the global financial collapse.                       

More Meltdown

300

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.
join our mailing list