It’s hard to believe, but we’re 10 years removed from the greatest financial meltdown this country has seen since the Great Depression. I remember being in Washington D.C. for a wedding the weekend that Lehman Brothers was in the process of collapsing, watching TV and wondering what the future would hold.
After a series of false starts and dead cat bounces, the economy finally seems to be on solid footing. Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto may not be a fan of President Donald Trump — he’s made that clear on a number of occasions — but he’s certainly a fan of the economy. Remembering the 10-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse, he looked back at where we’d been and where we are today.
Cavuto took a look back at coverage of the Lehman collapse from Sept. 15, 2008 — an event which has become the symbolic start of the Great Recession — and the ripple effects that it triggered in the days and weeks ahead.
The video highlights what happened in the chaos of the intervening months. It includes comments from a lot of people who are still in the news today — it’s heavy on Trump, but Mark Cuban and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, then a representative — as well as stunned former Lehman employees and the usual vox pop interviews. There was plenty of talk about the government’s bailouts, of course.
10 years ago today I appeared on @CNBC to report the federal government was working on a bailout of @AIGinsurance the first of many to come. I was on air w several others including @davidfaber who said no such bailout was in the works. He was wrong. Some things never change.
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) September 17, 2018
After all that, Cavuto summed up the experience.
“It all started 10 years ago today,” Cavuto said. “The Dow falling more than it had since the 9/11 events — four-and-a-half percent, more than 450 points.
“You know what happened after that?” he continued. “We stormed back. It took a while, but we stormed back.
“We’ve been in and out of records since. It is a reminder as well; no matter what we go through in this country’s incredible history, be it financial storms or, well, real mother nature storms, we come back.
“It’s this stuff that reminds us of that,” Cavuto said, showing a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and how it had shot through 26,000. “We pick ourselves up and we find a way to claw ourselves back.
“Democratic administrations, Republican administrations. Spending congressmen, not-so-big-spending congressmen. CEOs who come and go. But throughout, this nerd here, I like to call myself Fox’s chief nerd, sees it and admires it.
“What I just showed you there is real,” he concluded. “The comeback, the historic comeback, is real. It’s real. It’s palpable. It’s us.”
Of course, there are plenty of people who don’t want to embrace it or apportion any responsibility of it to anyone but Barack Obama (chief among the the people in the latter camp is Obama himself.)
There will also be those who use this anniversary as one for blatant politicization. I hope that I’m not one of them, although quipping about Obama probably doesn’t make the best of cases for that. These are merely my personal thoughts on the matter.
I remember the absolute terror I felt in Washington as I watched the Lehman Brothers mess unfold, culminating in the bankruptcy that Monday. That week began a nationwide panic attack, one that took years to be resolved.
A decade on, we still feel some of the pangs of the anxiety that event created — but we’ve clawed back. That’s the point.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.