The collapse of Lehman Brothers didn’t cause the Great Recession
I recently published an article (here is the reprinted version) in which I analyze 5 lesser known economic downturns of the 20th century. The article starts like this:
A decade has passed since the collapse of the Lehmann Brothers investment bank, triggering the worst recession since the stock market collapse of 1929.
However, the original version of the article (i.e., prior to being edited) said something different:
A decade has passed since the 2008 Financial Crisis, which triggered the worst recession since the 1930s.
The edited version conveys an idea that doesn’t appear in my original article and with which I completely disagree, namely: the bailout of Lehman Brothers would have prevented the Great Recession. The causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis and subsequent recession have been extensively studied over the last decade. Deregulation in financial markets, low interest rates during the 2000s or the monetary policy decisions of the Fed during 2008 are some of the hypotheses put forward to explain the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.
Because my article doesn’t deal with the causes of the Great Recession, I deliberately abstained from entering the above debate. Instead, I just mentioned that the Financial Crisis somehow contributed to triggering the Great Recession. Yet one thing is clear: the collapse of Lehman Brothers did NOT cause the Great Recession. When Lehman went bankrupt, the economy was already contracting!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing the fantastic editing work that editors do with my articles. I’m sure I give them more work than most writers due to English not being my first language. I just wanted to clarify my position on such a relevant episode of the recent history of the United States.