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It is now over two years since the September 15, 2008 bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers sent shockwaves through an already tremulous and jittery financial and political world. In the dark days of the ensuing months, in the United States (U.S.), in Britain and Europe, and in many other parts of the world, markets crashed or severely slumped, commercial and investment banks failed, credit froze, trade and commerce slowed dramatically, profits evaporated, businesses tightened belts, and unemployment figures skyrocketed. In most major economic zones, including the U.S. and Europe, governments and central banks, often in consultation with each other over appropriate courses of action, stepped in with packages of bailout measures of various kinds, usually involving substantial loans to shore up credit at major banking institutions, as well as a potpourri of other initiatives aimed at providing public sector relief to private financial and commercial institutions and businesses. More than two years later, with the benefit of hindsight, the measures appear to have worked in large part. The floodwaters of financial catastrophe have substantially receded, and, while the many scars are evident, and much clean-up work remains to be done, the global financial scene looks a lot brighter, as do the prospects for international business generally. In sum, both in the U.S. and in Europe, the financial crisis is for the most part over, and the challenge now is to fuel the recovery at the same time as addressing critical vulnerabilities which became apparent as a result of the pressures created by the financial meltdown.

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Symposium: International Finance after the Crash: Regional Responses to the Global Financial Crisis