SINGAPORE (Sept 10): A decade ago, Rob Carnell was enjoying a much-needed respite in France — away from data-crunching and economic forecasting in London. But it was not long before his idyllic retreat was interrupted by disconcerting news out of the US banking industry. On Sept 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings — then the fourth-largest investment bank in the US — filed for bankruptcy.

The unexpected collapse of the 158-year-old bank sparked panic in markets across the world. A fortnight later, on Sept 29, the financial markets were in meltdown, after US lawmakers rejected a bank bailout deal and the major US stock market indices slumped; the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a record 777 points in a day’s trading.

“I would get a text from someone in the market saying: ‘So-and-so has gone bust!’ And I would reply with something I can’t really repeat here,” Carnell, now chief economist and head of research at ING Group in Asia-Pacific, tells The Edge Singapore via email. “This was a slow train wreck, but that did not make it any less horrific to witness.”

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