Global Financial Crisis 15 Years On: What Have We Learned?


15 years ago the world’s financial system hit a crisis point off the back of years of regulators, banks and ratings agencies allowing unsafe lending practices to grow and fester. Practices of lending to people with little or no credit or income created a housing bubble that was set to burst. The aptly named Global Financial Crisis was to become part of the lexicon.

On 15 September 2008 came the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, the largest bankruptcy in US history. This set off a chain reaction and had a massive impact on the Australia financial system and economy. Across the northern hemisphere the GFC became known as the Great Recession. But in Australia the economy was spared the large rises in unemployment that occurred in the USA and Europe as well as the collapse of major financial institutions.

Join Hon, Wayne Swan, National President of Australian Labor Party, Australian former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, and Greg Jericho, Chief Economist, Australia Institute, to discuss the 15th anniversary of the Lehmann Brothers collapse and the financial crisis that followed.


Wayne Swan is the National President of the ALP and the former Labor Member for Lilley, as well as the former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia. For nearly six years Wayne was Treasurer of Australia, three of those years as Deputy Prime Minister. His adept steering of the Australian economy through the Global Financial Crisis was recognised with the 2011 Euromoney Finance Minister the Year award. Wayne’s three-decade career in federal politics included being one of the longest-serving and most influential finance ministers in the G20. Wayne is a Commissioner on the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation and a Director of Diatreme and Stanwell Corporation. In June 2018 Mr Swan was elected President of the Australian Labor Party, and in 2022 Wayne also joined the Board of Industry Super Australia.

Greg Jericho is the Chief Economist at the Australia Institute and the Centre for Future Work. He holds an Honours Degree in Economics from Flinders University. Greg also writes a weekly column on economics and politics for Guardian Australia – a position he has held since 2013. In 2016 he won the Walkley Award for Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique, and in 2018 he was a Walkley Award finalist with Gareth Hutchens for their report on the crisis of wages in Australia in the Best Industrial Reporting category. He has also written for ABC, SBS and Meanjin with a focus on policy and journalism coverage of Australian politics. Prior to working at the Australia Institute, Greg lectured in journalism and political communication at the University of Canberra and from 2006 to 2011 he worked in the Australian Public Service predominantly in the arts and film portfolios. In 2012 his book The Rise of the Fifth Estate: Social Media and Blogging in Australian Politics was published by Scribe.


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