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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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Not Just Paris! Mongolia Is Also Battling Bedbugs (And Cockroaches... And Centipedes...)

Public extermination services were halted during the pandemic. Residents have embraced cheaper DIY solutions — but there are risks.

Photo of a bed bug

A bed bug photographed in the Biology Institute at the Technical University (TU) in Dresden, Germany

Khorloo Khukhnokhoi

ERDENET, ORKHON PROVINCE, MONGOLIA — Oyuka dresses for domestic battle. Mask. Gloves. Hair shrouded under a black hood. A disposable white gown reminiscent of a surgeon. It’s 2 p.m. on a Tuesday; her husband is at work and their two young children are at school. She shoves the oven, freezer and washing machine away from the kitchen walls and grabs a lime-green spray can from behind the bathtub, where it’s out of the children’s reach. “Magic Cleaner,” the bottle says in Chinese. A pesticide.

Oyuka — who asked to be referred to only by her nickname, out of fear of being criticized by her neighbors — lives on the eighth floor of a 10-story building in Erdenet, Mongolia’s second-largest city, where towering apartments cram together like subway riders. Lots of people means lots of trash, which means lots and lots of bugs. Cockroaches. Bedbugs. Centipedes. And what Mongolians call black bugs, speck-like insects that Oyuka fears will bite her children and make them sick.

Over the past year, Oyuka started noticing them in corners, under furniture, on windowsills. She increased how often she sprayed Magic Cleaner, from occasionally to every three months — even though the smell makes her stomach lurch. “Because I don’t know any other good poison, I use this poison often,” she says.

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