Thursday 15 November 2018

10 years on from the Lehman Brothers collapse... so, what did we learn?

A decade on from the financial crash, Dan O’Brien assesses how the world has changed, and not changed

It was often remarked after the crash of a decade ago that it was a once-in-a-century event
It was often remarked after the crash of a decade ago that it was a once-in-a-century event
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

This Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank and the beginning of what came to be known as the Great Recession. Last week this column looked at the consequences and policy responses in Ireland. Today’s column looks at the wider international ramifications — for politics, economics, Europe, and the regulation of finance.

÷ Economic mismanagement and the politics of discontent

The deepest slump in living memory across most of the western world caused tens of millions of job losses and increased economic insecurity for billions of people. The huge declines in economic activity recorded at the time also caused tax revenues to fall. That, and multiple bank bail-outs, left many governments constrained in their capacity to mitigate the effects of the crash.

The darkening of the political mood in the western world, the fragmenting of voting patterns and this rise of illiberal parties over the past decade are trends that have almost certainly been hastened by the economic effects of the crash.

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