Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thur Post #1: Meltdown Part 1 - The Men Who Crashed The World

The latest attempt to cover the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 is this excellent offering by Al Jazeera and the CBC.

Titled Meltdown, the series is a four-part investigation that takes a closer look at the people who brought down the financial world.

In the first episode of the series, 'The Men Who Crashed the World', we hear about four men who brought down the global economy: a billionaire mortgage-seller who fooled millions; a high-rolling banker with a fatal weakness; a ferocious Wall Street predator; and the power behind the throne.

The crash of September 2008 brought the largest bankruptcies in world history, pushing more than 30 million people into unemployment and bringing many countries to the edge of insolvency.

It was as if the clock was turned back to when the world teetered on the brink of the Great Depression.

How did it all go so wrong?

According to 'Meltdown' it was primarily a lack of government regulation. Easy lending in the US housing market meant anyone could qualify for a home loan with no government regulations in place.

Also, London was competing with New York as the banking capital of the world. Gordon Brown, the British finance minister at the time, introduced 'light touch regulation' - giving bankers a free hand in the marketplace.

All this combined with key players making the wrong financial decisions, saw the world's biggest financial collapse.

Well worth your time to check it out.

And for those of you out there who enjoy chronicling the Vancouver Housing Bubble, there are some excellent quotes in Part 1 relevant to our current situation.

The complete series with Part 1, 2, 3 & 4 will be posted tomorrow at 12:01 am PDT.

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