14 Oct 2011
In the final episode of Al Jazeera's must see documentary, Meltdown, we hear about the sheikh who says the crash never happened; a Wall Street king charged with fraud; a congresswoman who wants to jail the bankers; and the world leaders who want a re-think of capitalism.
The financial crash of September 2008 brought the largest bankruptcies in world history, pushing over 30 million people into unemployment and bringing many countries to the brink of insolvency.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum calls himself Dubai's CEO. He claims to run his government according to strict business principles, but now many are quietly questioning his judgement and his leadership.
In the years before the meltdown, Dubai had the biggest real-estate bonanza in the world. During the crash, the market tumbled, losing 50 per cent of its value, leaving Dubai virtually insolvent. But this did not deter the sheikh.
In January 2010, Sheikh Mohammed threw a massive party to mark the opening of the world's tallest building - the Burj Khalifa - using PR strategies to suggest that the real estate crash was a good thing for the emirate.
As one world leader handles the crisis through denial, other leaders try to re-think capitalism. Even though the causes of the 2008 meltdown are now clear, there is no magic formula to stop it from happening again.
The world has to start planning for the next crisis, even as we recognise that this one is not over yet.
© Al Jazeera
Find other episodes of Meltdown via the links below:
Meltdown - Part One: The Men Who Crashed the World
Meltdown - Part Two: A Global Financial Tsunami
Meltdown - Part Three: Paying the Price