DealBook Briefing: Reliving Wall Street’s Near-Death Experience

September 13, 2018

Good Thursday morning. Welcome to a special edition of the DealBook Briefing, where we relive the turmoil of the weekend that marked the inflection point of the 2008 financial crisis and what followed in its wake. (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)


 Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

It changed the world
Ten years ago today, the C.E.O.s of Wall Street’s banks were huddled at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in a mad scramble to save the financial industry and the economy. They were playing out arguably the most consequential period in modern economic history.
We’ve spent the last decade debating the crisis. Could Lehman Brothers have been saved? Were bank bailouts the best way to protect Wall Street? Could the government have helped ordinary individuals more directly? Did the response widen inequality? Did the crisis create today’s populist politics? And, perhaps most important, are we any safer today?
I covered the crisis for the NYT and DealBook in the midst of my own crisis: My grandfather died ten years ago today. There was no way he would have wanted me to miss chronicling this important moment. And so I did, which culminated in writing “Too Big to Fail.” (It was rereleased this week.)
My colleagues and I have put together a brief recap of key moments of the crisis, from that meeting at the Fed to the government’s rescue of Wall Street. At the end, I’ll be back with a little analysis and some highlights from an interview I conducted yesterday in Washington with Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, who all played instrumental roles during the turmoil.
For many of us, it is painful to relive those moments. But they are instructive if we hope to avoid another crisis.
— Andrew