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Alistair Darling on the worst moment of the financial crash
The US has filed a civil complaint against Swiss bank UBS and some of its affiliates alleging that the lender defrauded investors and caused them to suffer "catastrophic losses" related to the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2006 to 2007.
“Investors who bought residential mortgage-backed securities from UBS suffered catastrophic losses, which not only caused direct harm to those investors, but also contributed to the financial crisis of 2008," the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
"The complaint alleges that instead of ensuring that their representations to investors were accurate and transparent, UBS affirmatively misled investors and withheld crucial information from them about the loans in its deals."
UBS has said it will contest the complaint.
For the first time, Radio 4 tells the thrilling story of the bank bailout from inside No 10, in a dramatic blow by blow account from then Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Along with Chancellor Alistair Darling at the Treasury, Governor Mervyn King at the Bank of England, and BBC Business Editor Robert Peston, we piece together the race against time to deliver a bold plan to stabilise the financial system before the banks go bust. Taking us inside incredible scenes: in the Oval Office where Gordon receives a fax saying Bradford and Bingley has gone bust whilst trying to persuade President Bush to recapitalise; bank Chief Executives being bundled in the back door of the Treasury for secret meetings that are immediately leaked; Alistair trying to keep a straight face at a boring Finance Ministers meeting in Luxembourg whilst RBS goes belly up; heretical invitations from President Sarkozy for Gordon to attend Euro Group meeting at the Elysee Palace when Britain isn’t even in the Eurozone; phone calls from bankers saying they just need a bit of spare cash to tide them over, and their inevitable downfall. This is the story of what happened as the drama unfolded, without analysis, interpretation, or hindsight; because at the time nobody knew whether the biggest injection of cash into banks in British history would be enough to stave off Armageddon.