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This Happened

This Happened — September 15: Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy

Lehman Brothers, a global financial services firm, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on this day in 2008. This event was significant in the 2008 financial crisis and had far-reaching implications for the global economy and financial markets.

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What is Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a legal process in the United States that allows financially distressed businesses to reorganize their debts and operations while continuing their operations. It gives companies the opportunity to develop a plan to repay their creditors over time, potentially helping them recover from financial difficulties and avoid liquidation.

Why did Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy?

Lehman Brothers faced severe financial challenges due to its exposure to subprime mortgage-backed securities and other complex financial instruments. As the housing market collapsed and mortgage defaults increased, the value of these assets declined sharply. Lehman's inability to secure additional funding and its deteriorating financial condition led to its decision to file for bankruptcy.

What were the consequences of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy?

Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy had profound consequences on the global financial system. It triggered a crisis of confidence in financial institutions, causing severe disruptions in credit markets and leading to a credit freeze. The bankruptcy contributed to a wider global economic downturn, resulting in job losses, housing market troubles, and government interventions to stabilize financial markets.

How did the Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy impact financial markets?

The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers had a domino effect on financial markets, causing panic and uncertainty. Stock markets around the world plummeted, and credit markets froze as banks became wary of lending to one another. The event exposed vulnerabilities in the interconnectedness of financial institutions and led to a crisis of confidence that required unprecedented government interventions to stabilize.

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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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