As part of the BBC’s Aftershock season, we’re going to be on BBC World TV on Friday the 11th of September from 15:30-16:00 GMT and of course on the radio during our normal time. On Friday, not only do we mark the anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers but also take a look at a year where the world changed forever.
Have you lost your job or house? If yes, tell us what happened and how things are with you now. If not, has last year been difficult for you? How has your life changed with the financial crisis? Claudia and I have been planning for the past few days. Read on to see the line up of guests for Friday.
Charles Okwalinga , A restaurant and home owner: When we spoke to Charles last year his business was doing badly and he was on the verge of losing his home. Now he says ,Things have improved for them and after the programme his council contacted him with details of the mortgage rescue schemes. He says he’s barely surviving but remains hopeful. However he blames the banks for contributing to problems and doesn’t think they are doing enough to help.
Chris Cheshire, an executive travel service owner: His business is badly affected by the credit crunch as it is now seen as high risk. The bank took his credit cards and overdraft away from him and he’s now having to sell his boat business. Chris blames the banks and says they function out of pure greed. He was also shocked that he was able to borrow £400,000 to start his boat business when now he can’t even get a credit card.
Ronnie Fox , an employment and partnership lawyer.He’s representing bankers who want to sue their bosses over failure to pay bonuses. He says bankers have been scapegoated because of incompetency of governments. He also says that bankers were promised bonuses and have set their lives on this money, you can’t take that away.
Alan Miles, an ex-equity analyst at Lehman Brothers made redundant last year: Alan sent us an excerpt from his journal during that time. A year ago Alan wrote this:
“Thursday September 11th, 2008 7am – “7 years ago today”
So today I’m about to walk into my office in Times Square at Lehman Brothers, where I’ll soon be surrounded by people who were at work in the World Trade Center’s North Tower and across the Street at the World Financial Center where Lehman had its world headquarters and had just opened its new trading facility less than 24 hours before the September 11th attacks…Today, on September 11th, 2008, the Firm is literally in a struggle for its own life. It will be a very strange day indeed.”
Dr Dany Lang, economics professor at the University of Paris 13: He says that the main problem is deregulation, not the bankers. Bankers do what they are allowed to do by the government. He also thinks that France pulling itself out of recession isn’t real as far as people’s spending is concerned and job availability.
Julia Longacre is a friend of the program; we spoke to her last October when she’d just lost her job. She says she’s never been unemployed in her life and describes how difficult it is to apply for jobs and wait and no one gets back. It’s been a very difficult year and she doesn’t know what will happen.
Alpesh Patel, Hedge fund manager: Alpesh was a guest on our program about a month ago when we spoke about banks being good and thinks there’s nothing immoral about banks making money. He also thinks that bankers deserve their bonuses.
So, this is where we are so far, we’re hoping to get a guest out of Mumbai and Vegas and will update the page when they’re confirmed. Our guests will be discussing a number of issues like, the responsibilities of bankers in the crisis, regulation and the role of government and where normal people with businesses and jobs like Charles, Chris and Julia stand in all of this. If you have any questions for our guests post them here also post your own stories of last year, what has it been like for you and your family?