Easy Chair — From the September 2013 issue

If Memory Swerves

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September 15 will mark five years since the beginning of the economic slump that defines the world we live in. Disaster was in the air already by that day in 2008: real-estate values had been falling for some time, Bear Stearns and several big commercial banks had failed, and the government had taken over the mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the previous week. But that Monday morning in September was when the larger economy went over a cliff — after Lehman Brothers, the nation’s fourth largest investment bank, finally succumbed to the effects of the noxious securities on which it had gorged itself for years.

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  • Felix brooks

    The Problem with ugly truths is just that ,they are ugly . Most Americans hold dear to the notion that Capitalism and the invisible market are our salvation. They refuse to see the truth of 2008 even when it was happening to them right before their eyes. When faced with reality it has become much to easy to Blame Washington. In doing so they abdicate any power to change the equation forgetting that this was the very notion that established this Republic in the first Place

  • Tom Franke

    I object to only this one sentence: “The industry would supervise itself, we were told — and we believed it. ” I never believed it, nor, I suspect, did many others. Nor, I suspect, do most of us who put President Obama in office with our votes believe the historical revisionism that has taken place. (no relationship to the author, in spite of our similar names)

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