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Research*eu Magazine
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A decade since disaster: Lessons from the economic crisis

It has been 10 years since the collapse of global financial services firm Lehman Brothers, an event that ushered in the worst global economic crisis for 70 years. In Europe, the financial crisis quickly proceeded into the Euro crisis with many devastating social consequences. In this issue, we introduce 14 projects that have made positive contributions to understanding the causes, consequences and lessons learnt from the crisis and how we may work to mitigate the effects of a future conflagration.

Stepping out from the long shadow of the economic crisis

In September 2008 the world watched as Lehman Brothers, one of the largest global financial services firms, spectacularly collapsed. Even though the economic clouds had already begun to darken as of 2007, Lehman’s demise is now popularly perceived as the ‘true’ beginning of the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression, as described by the former head of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke. Indeed, the unfolding crisis battered almost all major advanced economies into a deep recession. Europe was especially hard hit and out of all EU countries, only Poland managed to achieve positive year-on-year growth in 2009. Then, in 2010, as the tide of the original disaster began to recede, the Euro crisis erupted beginning with the troika’s bailout of Greece, followed swiftly by similar financial rescue plans for Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. The politics of austerity became entrenched across Europe as governments attempted to grapple with unsustainable debt piles, with the consequences being a big spike in unemployment levels and widespread social distress. Since the dark days of 2008-2010, the EU has made good progress in effecting a sustained recovery. However, the crisis casts a long shadow and many deep social and economic challenges remain, from tackling persistent youth unemployment to enacting a fairer tax system, from confronting the recent surge of populist politics across Europe to soothing that lingering fear that we’re not really prepared for another major conflagration that could be just around the corner. With this issue of the research*eu Results Magazine, on the 10th anniversary of Lehman’s collapse, we wanted to showcase 14 finished or soon-to-be-finished projects that have delved deep into the causes, consequences and lessons learnt from the crisis. Many of the projects express their hope that their findings can be positively used by policymakers to help address the social challenges still left unresolved by the 2008-2010 crisis, whilst others have devised innovative solutions that will help regulators and policymakers to predict and/or mitigate the effects of a future downturn. The magazine then continues with our nine regular thematic sections, as well as a list of upcoming events hosted by or involving EU-funded research projects. We look forward to receiving your feedback. You can send questions or suggestions to:

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