In the second half of this special two-part Dispatches, economist and author Will Hutton continues the definitive insider’s account of how Britain’s economy went from boom to bust.
Hutton reveals how those who tried to warn of the impending financial disaster were shouted down, ignored or fired. As a result, the repercussions of the collapse of Lehman Brothers hit an unprepared and vulnerable UK, and left the government frantically trying to prevent a banking collapse from turning the UK into an economic wasteland.
Despite the collapse of Northern Rock a year before, the government, the regulators and the banks had largely ignored the warning signals that more collapses would follow. Hutton looks at the weeks that followed Lehman’s collapse: weeks that will go down as some of the most crucial in Britain’s economic history.
Nationalizing key banks, and then underwriting the banks’ bad loans, prevented meltdown, but at a terrible cost that will haunt us for years to come. Dispatches reveals the mistakes that lead to the current crisis and asks: what will it take to lift the UK out of the biggest recession in living memory?