Page last updated at 10:19 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 11:19 UK

This week: Culture and the crash

Journalist and author John Harris, Times leader writer and former banker Oliver Kamm, comedian and writer Robin Ince, and writer and broadcaster Germaine Greer join Kirsty Wark to discuss the cultural response to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the banking crisis.

Lehman Brothers

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense by Larry McDonald

The BBC Aftershock season has taken the collapse of the US investment giant Lehman Brothers 12 months ago as inspiration for drama and documentary. The Last Days of Lehman Brothers imagines CEO Dick Fuld's attempt to save the bank in its final days, and his appeals to treasury secretary Hank Paulson for a bailout. World Service radio drama The Day that Lehman Died covers the same period, as does BBC documentary The Love of Money.

We hear from former trading vice-president of Lehman's, Larry McDonald, who has written an insider's view of the systemic problems within the bank in his literary apologia "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers". The book gives us a glimpse into the greed and misjudgements of the people in charge that led to Lehman's spectacular demise and the far-reaching consequences of the bank's collapse.

The Last Days of the Lehman Brothers, The Love of Money, The Bank that Bust the World, and The Day that Lehman Died are all available on the BBC iPlayer. A Colossal Failure of Common Sense is published by Random House.

Shunt and Enron

Enron
Enron at the Royal Court

Since the financial crash, theatres have responded with plays based on eye-witness accounts, and explored the larger picture of financial practices and capitalism. Currently in rehearsals, and with the scripts still being tweaked, David Hare's play The Power of Yes will seek to find out what caused the crash. It opens at the National Theatre next month.

We look at Enron, Lucy Prebble's play directed by Rupert Goold about the energy giant's collapse, and Shunt's new performance Money, performed in a three-storey warehouse, which is inspired by Emile Zola's L'Argent, a novel based on a 19th Century banking crisis.

Money is at Shunt's temporary home on Bermondsey Street, in London, until 31 December and Enron is on at The Royal Court until 7 November before transferring to the West End.


Credit Crunch comedy

We look at the ways in which comedians have reacted to the global economic crisis. Satirists Rory Bremner and his companions John Bird and John Fortune responded quickly to events as they unfolded, their biting sketches parodying investment bankers and exploring the absurdity of the situation as it spiralled out of control.

Stand-up comedian Stewart Lee dedicated a whole show to the global financial crisis and its effects on the British public, lampooning property programmes and their renewed irrelevance.

Meanwhile in the US, comedian Jon Stewart took on CNBC's financial adviser Jim Cramer, railing against his irresponsibility in a head to head on The Daily Show that shocked and delighted viewers. And South Park's episode Margaritaville explored the effects of the recession on the lives of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny.



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