Page last updated at 07:15 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 08:15 UK

The year that shook the world

Man walks past shares board on 16 September 2008

On 15 September 2008, one of the world's oldest and most respected investment banks, Lehman Brothers, collapsed. It led to a global financial panic that has seriously damaged the global economy.

One year on from these pivotal events, the BBC is launching the Aftershock season - a major series across TV, radio and online investigating their impact across the world.

BBC News online's Steve Schifferes looks at some of the highlights.


The events that unfolded over just a few days last September spread panic among investors, bankers and the wider world over the stability of the financial system.

2008 CRISIS TIMELINE
7 SEPT: Fannie Mae nationalised
15 SEPT: Lehman bankruptcy
18 SEPT: Lloyds takes over HBOS
19 SEPT: $700bn US bail-out plan
29 SEPT: Bradford and Bingley nationalised
5 OCT: Bail-out plan agreed by Congress
12 OCT: UK bails out RBS and Lloyds-HBOS

When the dust had settled, stock markets were down 40%, major banks in the US and UK were surviving only on government support, and the world had entered a sharp recession, the deepest in 60 years, with rising unemployment and a collapse of house prices.

Now, as the leaders of the world's major economies prepare to gather at the end of the month at the G20 summit, it is still not clear whether the world economy is on the road to recovery - and debate still rages over the fundamental causes of the crisis.

BBC Aftershock season

To explore these questions, BBC News is launching a major season of programmes across television, radio and online.

BBC business editor Robert Peston will report from New York on how the collapse of Lehman Brothers changed the financial world forever, while BBC World News America presenter Matt Frei will report from Washington on how the crisis has changed the US.

BBC AFTERSHOCK SEASON
Lehmans staff in London 15 September 2008
The BBC reports on the first anniversary of the credit crunch across radio, TV, and online.
Read all about the G20 Summit and see how each G20 country has fared
See how the forecasters got it wrong during the crisis
Use our mood map to tell us how your world has changed

It is clear that two countries have been badly hit by the crisis - the US and the UK - as our interactive map of the size of the budget deficits shows. These countries face years of damage to their public spending plans as the rescue and the economic collapse has led to huge government deficits in both countries.

You can follow the money and see how the politicians have spent our money to rescue the banking system in our interactive guide. It shows that in the UK each household is on average £40,000 worse off.

And if you want to follow the course of events over this two-year economic crisis, which began with the collapse of world credit markets in August 2007 and the run on the Northern Rock bank in the UK in September 2007, you can use our interactive timeline where you can view video and online reports of key events.

You can also hear the sights and sounds of the critical days surrounding the collapse of Lehman Brothers in our audio slide show.

Get involved

We'll be inviting you to contribute to our interactive "mood map" made up of comments and video reports from BBC readers, viewers and listeners showing how the crisis has affected your life.

Later in the series our online reporter Paula Dear and photographer Phil Coomes will be reporting from a trip along the Great North Road in the UK on how people are coping in the recession. They will be looking for suggestions of where to visit along the route.

And we will look at how unemployment has risen across the UK through our unique interactive jobs map which allows you to find out the unemployment level in every Parliamentary constituency in the country.

G20 summit

We will report from leading financial centres, such as Washington, Beijing and Frankfurt, on how countries have responded to the crisis, and our correspondents at the G20 summit will track any progress towards a global agreement on the best way forward.

Former Lehman chief executive Dick Fuld and protestors
Public anger grew over how much staff at failed banks had been paid

You will be able to see what the each of the G20 countries has done to try and rescue their economies with our bail-out map .

We will analyse whether the G20 has worked together effectively to revive the world economy, as the UK Chancellor Alistair Darling urges countries to continue their stimulus plans , and whether enough is being done to curb excessive bank bonuses.

BBC World Service will ask whether recovery has begun in global debate with leading experts chaired by BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders.

Causes of the crash

And in special three-part series, the Money Programme on BBC Two explores the origins and consequences of the crisis, with big interviews with key participants which you will also be able to see online.

It is clear the causes of the crisis were complex, and included not just the excessive lending by bankers and borrowing by consumers, but also the global imbalances in the world economy caused by the rise of China to become the world's leading exporter and fastest-growing economy.

The season launches with a World Service radio documentary-drama on the collapse of Lehman and you listen to all the radio programmes in the season here .

You can read all the stories about the crisis in our special in-depth report section here at Global Recession: Aftershock .



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