Former chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling talked to Property Week about the 2007-08 banking crisis, his conversations with US treasury secretary Hank Paulson, and what it was like to be woken up with an “unbelievable” call about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
In a 25-minute audio interview at Portcullis House (listen below), marking the launch of a Property Week Recovery multimedia extravaganza, the Labour MP told Property Week Podcast presenter James Max about being “within hours of going over the edge” before Royal Bank of Scotland was nationalised in 2008.
Darling reflected in detail on what went wrong with the 2006-07 global property bubble, saying: “There was a collective reluctance to think: what are we trading in? What are these products we’re buying? What are they worth?”
He also spoke about his hopes and fears for today’s economy, expressing worries about the government’s help-to-buy sheme, proposed Scottish independence, and the perils of getting infrastructure spending wrong – specifically High-Speed 2.
Property Week is marking next week’s five-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers with a week-long Recovery special at PropertyWeek.com and in Property Week magazine.
We’ll be bringing you exclusive content each day, including interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Patrick Vaughan, Kevin McCabe and former HBOS property head Nick Robinson; exclusive online features looking at the worst excesses of the boom; a personal recollection of the Lehman collapse from those inside the company; and a digital ebook, A History of Modern Property, charting the last six decades of boom and bust in the sector.
Next Friday’s Property Week includes a 20-page special on the fast-emerging national property recovery, what the next few years have in store for the sector, and an interview with the world’s biggest investor.
Recovery starts here.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 25:22 — 34.8MB)