The Death of Lehman: Closing in on One Year

With the one-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse fast approaching, a debate begins on how it should be observed.

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Mark your calendars: September 15th is the one-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers's collapse, the first of a series of strokes that nearly brought American capitalism to its knees. While a BBC-produced TV movie recounting the last days of the storied investment bank isn't set to air until later in the fall, some of the leading econopundits have already begun to shape a debate about how far we've come since the seminal collapse, and how much regulation, soul searching and reform remains to be done.

  • Capitalism's Dark Day  Daniel Hoffman from Wall St. Cheat Sheet calls on Americans to rally and memorialize Lehman’s bankruptcy as a warning against unchecked crony capitalism. “I say fly the flag half mast. Let the younger folks ask why. Let it stand as a reminder that we’ve been fooled once on a colossal level and WE WILL NOT FORGET.”
  • Where's the Apology?  In a post for Baseline Scenario, Simon Johnson sees September 15th as good a time as any to press for apologies. “Who accepts any blame for creating our excessively crisis-prone system? Friends and contacts who work in the financial sector freely discuss their participation in activities they now regret. But where is the mea culpa, of any kind, from a public figure – our ‘leadership?’”
  • Lessons Learned  Focusing on potential reforms for money market funds, The New York Times’ Joe Nocera suggests seeing the Lehman anniversary as a chance to start anew. “A year after Lehman weekend, it’s time to begin limiting the need for the government to always ride to the rescue. It’s time to reduce moral hazard wherever possible.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.