Literary responses to the Global Financial Crisis, 2007-09
Capitalism came to a grinding halt as the financial firm Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy during September 2008. Stock market prices imploded, banks stopped lending to each other, and banks tried to sell off their assets, which depressed prices. But other financial institutions were bailed out by several governments, including Hypo Real Estate in Germany, Dexia in Belgium and France, and UBS in Switzerland. The Irish and Spanish governments had to ask for support from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to avoid further economic disarray.
Since the 1980s, capitalist revolutions occurred under leaders such as Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, America’s Ronald Reagan, China’s Deng Xiaoping, India’s Manmohan Singh, Russia’s Mikhail Gorbachev, Canada’s Brian Mulroney, Ireland’s Bertie Ahern, Mexico’s Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Brazil’s Fernando Henriques Cardoso and Argentina’s Carlos Menem. The ideology of privatising public services, deregulating the financial markets and prioritising profit over regulating markets became a transnational phenomenon. Light-touch regulation became the predominant economic approach across the globe and is one factor that led to the 2008 financial crisis.