Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain
the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in
Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles
Ten years ago this week, the world’s economy came crashing down — a crisis encapsulated by the demise of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers, which filed for the largest bankruptcy in history on 15 September 2008. What followed is a familiar tale: a tightening of purse strings the world over, in governments, businesses and households, and broad uncertainty over how long the recession would persist.