Greed, reckless behaviour and the financial crisis: a timeline

Greed, reckless behaviour and the financial crisis: a timeline

Four years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and its devastating fall-out, we look at how weak oversight and a lack of transparency contributed to the financial crisis. This crisis was not just the result of a few rogue traders placing reckless bets. Corruption, in the form of fraud and a ‘no holds barred’ pursuit of profits, bonuses and growth, infected the whole financial system.

Transparency International believes that not enough has been done to change the culture of greed and reckless risk-taking. The collapse of MF Global, the huge trading losses suffered by JPMorgan Chase and the ever-expanding LIBOR scandal are witness to that. The financial system is still highly opaque, riddled with skewed incentives and dominated by “too-big-to-fail” institutions.

These are precisely the conditions that allow corruption to flourish. To counter this, we need more transparent and accountable financial institutions that are responsive to the needs of consumers, investors and the wider economy. The freedoms that the financial sector has enjoyed under the banner of deregulation have too often served the financial elite.

The challenge to policy-makers and civil society is to ensure that the current wave of “re-regulation” serves the greater public interest – otherwise the privatisation of gains and socialisation of losses that were the hallmark of the financial crisis could occur again and again. We are not there yet.

The following selective timeline highlights key moments in the past two decades when lapses in accountability caused financial havoc. Could this happen again? You judge.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

La Justicia española debe investigar el lavado de imagen de Azerbaiyán en Europa

Tres políticos españoles —Pedro Agramunt, Agustín Conde Bajén y Jordi Xuclá— se encuentran entre los delegados ante la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (APCE) sobre los que pesan sospechas de haberse beneficiado con la maniobra del “Laundromat”.

Clean up Spain – Justice for Azerbaijan’s reputation laundering in Europe

In Azerbaijan, critical voices are routinely suppressed. Meanwhile in Europe, politicians suspected of helping whitewash Azerbaijan’s record on human rights enjoy impunity. Join our campaign to urge authorities in Spain to investigate.

Everything you need to know about the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (#18IACC)

The #18IACC will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act. Get the latest info and updates here!

Risky business: Europe’s golden visa programmes

Are EU Member States accepting too much risk in their investor migration schemes?

Future Against Corruption Award 2018

TI is calling on young people across the globe to join the anti-corruption movement. People between the age of 18 and 35 are invited to submit a short video clip presenting their idea on new ways to fight corruption. Three finalists will be invited to Berlin during the International Anti-Corruption Day festivities to be awarded with the Future Against Corruption Award. Apply today!

The Azerbaijani Laundromat one year on: has justice been served?

In September last year, a massive leak of bank records from 2012 to 2014 showed that the ruling elite of Azerbaijan ran a $3 billion slush fund and an international money laundering scheme. One year on, has enough been done to hold those involved to account?

Right to information: knowledge is power

The right to information is vital for preventing corruption. When citizens can access key facts and data from governments, it is more difficult to hide abuses of power and other illegal activities - governments can be held accountable.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media