The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 will forever be remembered as a pivotal moment in the global financial crisis. TV pictures flashed around the world of staff carrying their belongings out of their offices as their employer filed for bankruptcy. But few observers watching at the time foresaw the tumultuous events that would be unleashed in the weeks and months that followed. And the consequences endured: for policymakers, academics and market participants alike, the world was never quite the same again.
In this special series of posts, we turn the clock back to 2008 to look at how the crisis unfolded and what those events revealed about the economic and financial system. This week, we’ll publish four posts, each focussing on a different aspect. Today’s opening post explores how trouble in the subprime US mortgage market ended up creating a global emergency. Subsequent posts will look at the sharp contraction in cross-border lending, the turmoil in money markets, and knock-on effects on the global economy.
The authors take a diverse range of approaches- some draw on earlier academic work, some focus on the evolution of the data, others try to piece together the mechanics of the system. As ever, we welcome your discussion of our work- either using the comments facility at the foot of each post, tagging @BoE_Research on twitter or best of all – via by writing a response on your own blog!
John Lewis, Managing Editor