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Meltdown

Meltdown: After the fall

Some responded with denial, others by rethinking capitalism, but who is preparing for the next crisis?

Last updated: 15 Feb 2014 09:17
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In the final episode Meltdown, we hear about the sheikh who says the crash never happened; a Wall Street king charged with fraud; a congresswoman who wants to jail the bankers; and the world leaders who want a rethink of capitalism.

The financial crash of September 2008 brought the largest bankruptcies in world history, pushing over 30 million people into unemployment and bringing many countries to the brink of insolvency.

And the search for the causes of the meltdown led to some evidence of fraud and corruption.

In London, for example, there were claims of widespread immoral and even criminal behavior in the city's financial world. And in the US, the Goldman Sachs Group was charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its marketing of a subprime mortgage product.

And in the UAE's Dubai, the crash was like a game of musical chairs coming to an end.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum calls himself Dubai's CEO. He claims to run his government according to strict business principles, but after the crash many were quietly questioning his judgement and his leadership.

In the years before the meltdown, Dubai had the biggest real-estate bonanza in the world. During the crash, the market tumbled, losing 50 percent of its value, leaving Dubai virtually insolvent. But this did not deter the sheikh.

In January 2010, Sheikh Mohammed threw a massive party to mark the opening of the world's tallest building - the Burj Khalifa - using PR strategies to suggest that the real estate crash was a good thing for the emirate.

As one world leader handled the crisis through denial, other leaders tried to rethink capitalism.

Even though the causes of the 2008 meltdown are now clear, there is no magic formula to stop it from happening again. The world has to start planning for the next crisis, even as it recognises that this one is not over yet.

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

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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