Lehman collapse: One year on
Today we're launching several weeks of coverage across radio, television and online to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the largest financial bankruptcy in US history.
The sudden and shocking collapse of one of the most well-known financial institutions in the world marked a seminal moment and triggered a dramatic meltdown in global finance which has left the world a different place from the one it was 12 months ago. Its aftershocks have had implications for all of us.
After Lehman's, the global economy ceased to expand for the first time in 60 years with poor countries severely hit by the fall in commodity prices and remittances. The crisis is estimated to have thrown an additional 100 million people into absolute poverty (earning less than a dollar a day).
In the UK household, wealth has fallen by around £1.1 trillion - or around £40,000 per household. Government debt is expected to reach £1 trillion in a few years, an increase of £600 billion, and unemployment is expected to top three million, or 10% of the workforce. The crisis has also led to unprecedented international co-operation at the G20 summit in London and later this month in Pittsburgh, which could lead to stronger regulation of the world's financial markets, including bankers' bonuses.
So what are we hoping to achieve in our coverage over the next few days and weeks? Firstly, with the perspective of a little time, we will ask what caused the crash and whether it's possible to design a system to prevent a future repeat. We will look at the current state of the global economy, at whether the crisis has fundamentally altered the power balance within that economy away from the US. And we'll also ask whether we are now in a recovery and what that recovery will look like.
A specially created area on our site will aggregate all the best of the journalism we are creating. There will be opportunities for you to participate in the discussion and debates, and you'll hear from our most authoritative voices including business editor Robert Peston and economics editor Stephanie Flanders, who will be speaking to all the main players from the world of business and finance. There may be no easy answers but we will do our best to ask the difficult questions.