LEHMAN/CAPITALRobert J. Samuelson

The question of just why and how Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail remains unanswered two years after the financial institution’s collapse. Lehman’s failure had profoundly negative consequences, such as tighter credit and higher unemployment rates. Its collapse gave the impression that the government had lost control. The ensuing panic might have been avoided had the government bailed out Lehman. Alternatively, such a rescue might merely have delayed an inevitable crisis. History has yet to answer this question accurately.

Samuelson is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on political, economic and social issues.

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