Fifteen years ago, on September 15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers investment bank went bankrupt, a victim of the global financial crisis during which stock markets crashed.
Below is a reminder of the other major crashes in history:
- 1637: Tulip mania -
The first speculative bubble of modern history involves exotic tulips. Prices for coveted varieties of the flower soar in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century before the bubble bursts in 1637.
The blooms lost nine-tenths of their previous value.
- 1720: South Sea Bubble -
In early 18th century England, people are falling over each other to buy shares in the South Sea Company, set up to trade in slaves with South America and restructure the public debt.
When the shares crash, many investors are ruined.
- 1882: French crash -
The French economy suffers its worst crisis of the 19th century following the collapse in January 1882 of the share price of Union Generale bank which causes the Paris and Lyon stock exchanges to crash.
- 1929: Wall Street collapse -
October 24, 1929 becomes known as "Black Thursday" on Wall Street after a bull market implodes, causing the Dow Jones to lose more than 22 percent of its value at the start of trade.
Stocks recoup most lost ground during the day but the rot has set in: October 28 and 29 also see huge losses in a crisis that marks the beginning of the Great Depression in the United States and a global economic crisis.
- 1987: Black Monday -
Wall Street crashes again on October 19, 1987, on the back of large US trade and budget deficits and interest rates hikes.
The Dow Jones index loses 22.6 percent, causing panic on markets worldwide.
- 1998: Russian crash -
In August 1998, the ruble collapses due to speculation linked to falling oil prices and the ripple effect of the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Moscow declares a 90-day moratorium on the payment of its foreign debt and cannot borrow again on international markets for over a decade.
- 2000: Dot.com bubble -
The start of the millennium sees the deflation of the tech bubble caused by venture capitalists throwing money at unproven companies.
From a record 5,048.62 points on March 10, 2000, the US tech-heavy Nasdaq index loses 39.3 percent in value over the year.
Many internet startups go out of business.
- 2008: Subprime crisis -
The 2008 global financial crisis is caused by bankers in the United States giving subprime mortgages to people on shaky financial footing and then selling them off as investments, fuelling a housing boom.
When borrowers become unable to pay their mortgages, the stock market crashes and the banking system buckles, culminating with the dramatic bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
Millions of people lose their homes.
- 2015: Chinese boom-bust -
The popping of a Chinese stock market bubble in the summer of 2015 causes the benchmark Shanghai index to plummet by over 40 percent over several weeks, despite government intervention to try to stop the crash.
- 2020: Pandemic -
Global stocks crash in March 2020 after the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 a pandemic that will put much of the world under lockdown.
The Dow Jones loses 26 percent in four days, one of its biggest-ever drops.
But the rapid response by national governments, which dig deep to keep their economies afloat, helps most markets rebound within months.
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