CapeTalk Celebrating 20 years
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2009: Bruce Whitfield recalls the financial crisis

This October, CapeTalk is celebrating its 20th birthday by reliving some of the most impactful stories of the past twenty years, as told by some of our favourite personalities. Click here to view the rest of the stories.

In 2008, the collapse of US investment firm Lehman Brothers flung the international banking market into a crisis - the impact of which is still felt in certain segments today.

The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield joined Kieno Kammies this morning as part of CapeTalk's 20th birthday celebrations to recall what was the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

He remembers a trip to the "great boardrooms of some of the most powerful banks in America" in June 2008, and getting a sense that "there was very clearly something wrong". By October, Whitfield recalls, things were unravelling.

Banks were defaulting on their debt, banks were going down, people were losing their jobs ... And it was spreading like this wave around the world.

Bruce Whitfield, host of The Money Show

The financial system froze, and the world slumped into a recession. The JSE halved in value in a six-month period.

A view of Lehman Brothers' offices in New York.

There were real fears that this was 1929 all over again.

Bruce Whitfield, host of The Money Show

Whitfield recalled the steps that then-chair of the US Fed, Ben Bernanke, took steps to make money "incredibly cheap" in an effort to relieve the crisis, and the impact of that effort.

All it's done for the last 10 years is make everything more expensive.

Bruce Whitfield, host of The Money Show

Whitfield and Kammies also discussed South Africa's current financial state, and the impact of "bad policy-making and bad decision-making".

Anything that happens in the world, we're going to get hit harder than anyone else.

Bruce Whitfield, host of The Money Show

Watch Bruce Whitfield recall his experience of the financial crisis below.


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