History corner (guest writer: A.Pedant)
The airwaves are full of the 5th anniversary of Lehman Brothers going under, with people like Peston lazily saying that it marked the "start of the banking crisis". He really, really ought to know better.
The latest possible candidate for the start-date is a full 12 months earlier. On 14 September 2007, Northern Crock went cap-in-hand to the Bank of England: and even before that a handful of German Landesbanken had gone under. Each case was different, but only in detail. And of course they were smaller: but when the canaries are dropping off their perches, the poison gas is already there. We needn't bore you with a string of links to C@W posts of the time - but we could.
Why does this matter ? Because no-one should be allowed to get away with either of these two fallacies, which we may justly term 'Brownite':
(1) Lehmans came like some bolt from the blue; and/or (2) it all started in America. The Brownite fallacies are an attempt to deflect blame from UK banking regulators and from, errr, Brown. And of course Balls.
As I said, if you want the C@W links they are plentiful. But for now, 'nuff said.