Lehman Brothers and the financial crisis

Held on Monday, November 23, 2015, from 12.30-2.15pm


  • Oonagh McDonald CBE

  • Philip Augar



Jane Fuller, co-director of the CSFI, talks to Oonagh McDonald CBE about her new book, Lehman Brothers: A Crisis of Value.


I am sure most of you know Oonagh McDonald - a Labour MP from 1976 to 1987, and a front bench spokesman on financial issues from 1983 to 1987.  With a strong academic background (she also has a PhD in Philosophy), she has recently taken on a new role as chronicler of the post-2007 financial crisis.

A couple of years ago, she produced a comprehensive study of the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in developing the massive residential MBS market that underpinned the reckless expansion of the US mortgage market to demographics that clearly couldn't sustain the debt they had taken on. Now, she moves on to Wall St, with an equally comprehensive (and devastating) account of the fall of the house of Lehman - including a first look at the documents made available as Lehman itself emerges from bankruptcy.

Thanks to support from Manchester UP, we are delighted that Oonagh has agreed to walk us through her main conclusions, and to talk more generally about how the failings at Lehman were largely overlooked by the regulators, and what that means for the current regulatory infrastructure.

I am also delighted that Philip Augar has agreed to kick off the response - and to ensure that Oonagh doesn't get things all her own way. I am sure that most of you know Philip, a prolific author of books and articles on finance (including “The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism”).

This is an important issue, which still has resonance - particularly in view of the problems that we are currently having on both sides of the Atlantic in deciding how to handle the rescue and/or resolution of allegedly TBTF institutions.