On September 15, 2008 – on an otherwise untypical day – an American bank called Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. While most of the rest of the world didn’t realise it at at the time, the bank’s collapse would have catastrophic knock on effects for both financial centres and the wider public throughout the next few years, in what has come to be known as ‘the crash’.
Photographer Stephen McLaren was at the frontline of the financial crisis in the City of London, living just down the road in Bethnal Green at the time. Taken between 2008 and 2012, his harrowing-with-a-hint-of-humour images show everything from anti-capitalist protests in its immediate aftermath, to grinning bankers carrying boxes of champagne after their bonuses were reintroduced in 2012.
As McLaren releases a new photobook to mark the 10th anniversary of the crash, he talks about having a sense of humour amid all of the chaos, and whether lessons have been learned…
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