Winner 2009

The Day That Lehman Died

A Goldhawk Essential Production/BBC World Service

This radio docudrama about the financial giant’s collapse opens with a euphoric, in-house meeting/pep rally at which Lehman Brothers executives boast of their enormous profits and presumed invincibility. The program would almost be funny if we didn’t know Lehman’s collapse came close to wrecking the global banking system. Actually, it’s still funny at times because the ironies are unavoidable. But The Day That Lehman Died is also intensely dramatic and vividly instructional, updating the approach of the classic You Are There radio broadcasts of the late 1940s. Writer Matthew Solon drew his script from hundreds of hours of interviews with bankers, lawyers and U.S. government officials who were involved in Lehman’s last gasp the weekend of September 13, 2008. He places us behind closed doors, as Lehman employees in New York realize what a house of cards they’ve built and as the feds decide to allow the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history to commence. For putting a complex, globally significant story into gripping dramatic form, The Day That Lehman Died receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Tony Phillips (BBC commissioning editor), Jeremy Skeet, Marion Nancarrow. Producers: Chris Bannon, David Rapkin, John Dryden. Director: John Dryden. Writer: Matthew Solon. Casting Directors: Janet Foster, Kim Moarefi. Sound Design: Steve Bond. Research: Andy Blackman.