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Lehman Brothers: 10 years on

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

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Bank of England and Financial Times Schools blogging competition: And the winner is…

….Tyler Curtis from Hall Cross Academy, Doncaster, whose winning post, How lab-grown burgers could feed the world, is published today on Bank Underground and in the FT. You can also read the post selected by our judges as the runner-up, Facebook bank anyone? by Nicola Medicoff of St Paul’s Girls School, Hammersmith.

We had almost 200 entries from schools all over the UK, spanning an enormous range of topics. We had an enjoyable but tough task in whittling down the entries down to a final shortlist of 5.  The winner was picked  by our expert panel of Chris Giles (Economics Editor, FT), Martin Sandbu (Author of Free Lunch, FT), Silvana Tenreyro (Monetary Policy Committee member) and Sonya Branch (General Counsel at the BoE).  Sonya commented “I was enormously impressed by the number of innovative and thought provoking entries we received from students. The top two entries were particularly inspiring and challenge those of us who deal with these issues as part of our day jobs to think differently.” And Silvana added “It was thrilling to read so many insightful, thoughtful and well-crafted pieces.

A big thankyou to all those who took part. It was brilliant to read so many blog posts from the policymakers, commentators, business leaders and journalists of the future.  Whatever the future holds for the economy, we will have some very smart economists to help us understand it!

John Lewis

Managing Editor

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Our new home on twitter: @BoE_Research

We now have a dedicated staff-run twitter handle for Bank of England Research, @BoE_Research. From now on, this will be the main place for all our research related tweets, including those about Bank Underground. This gives us space to cover blog posts and Staff Working Papers in more depth, plus conferences, journal publications and other news involving Bank of England research(ers). As with Bank Underground and Staff Working Papers, it’s staff-run rather than representing official views of the Bank.

Please follow @BoE_Research to keep up to date with all our research news.

John Lewis, Managing Editor

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The Bank Underground Christmas Quiz 2017

As the blog hangs up its stocking and takes a well-earned festive break, we leave you with our annual Christmas brain-teaser. Perhaps the greatest only central bank themed festive quiz on the planet.  Have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and we’ll see you in January… Continue reading

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Our top 10 posts of 2017

As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take a quick but nostalgic look back at the past twelve months on the blog. It’s been our best year to date in terms of hits, and in September we notched up our one millionth view.  Here are our ten most popular posts of 2017, as measured by number of views, just in case you missed them first time round…

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The Bank Underground Christmas Quiz

Bank Underground is about to take a hard-earned festive break.  But before the blog goes off on its Christmas holidays, it’s time for the now annual tradition of the Bank Underground Christmas Quiz.  Test your knowledge on our ten festive themed questions on economics, finance and all things central banking…

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Christmas special: Financial Crises in the 19th century

John Lewis.

Today we begin a 3-part series of posts telling the story of a period of financial boom and bust in British economic history, when crises hit with almost clockwork regularity:  1847, 1857 and 1866.  We delved deep into the Bank’s archives to reveal letters exchanged between Governors and Chancellors of the Exchequer temporarily suspending the law, read the diary entries of the people at the heart of the turmoil, and perused the Bank’s ledgers of the time to bring the crises to life.  Together these three episodes were crucial in shaping the evolution of the Bank’s role into what we now think of as a central bank; the lessons learned during this time resulted in half a century of financial stability and are as relevant now as they were then.

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Bank Underground is a year old!

John Lewis.

Today Bank Underground celebrates its first birthday!  We took our first steps into the blogosphere at 8:24am on Friday 19 June 2015.  In our first year, we’ve published almost 100 posts and recorded over 400,000 views.   So which posts have been most popular with our readers?

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The Bank Underground Christmas Quiz

The blog will be taking a well-earned rest over the festive season, so to keep you amused over the break we are pleased to unveil the inaugural the Bank Underground Christmas Quiz!   The ten yuletide themed questions will test your knowledge of a variety of economics, finance and central banking related subjects…

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Commenting on Bank Underground posts

Since we launched the blog, we’ve valued the fact that readers have responded to posts either by blogging in response, tweeting about them, or emailing us.  I’m pleased to say we are now taking this engagement a step further by allowing you, our readers, to post comments on the blog itself.

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