It’s hard to identify a system-wide implosion, much less be able to call one. But India may currently be having its own “Lehman Brothers Moment.”

India’s Lehman Brothers is Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), a massive “shadow lender” to infrastructure projects across the country. Almost exactly a decade after the global financial crisis that Lehman’s crash triggered.

Why Lehman? Well, there are three stark similarities that also mirror as fundamental differences.

Debt, ratings and credit rating agencies.

Let’s start with debt. The defining term of the 2008-era subprime bubble was collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) – complex debt instruments packaged with individual fixed income assets.


Sidhartha Shukla

In his earlier stint at Moneycontrol, the website owned by the Network18 group, Sid wrote on cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity, business, and finance. Born in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, Sid has spent most of his life in Jalandhar, Punjab. He has a BSc in Mathematics from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Sid is a comic book nerd and a big fan of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Brian Azzarello. He can be reached at sidhartha at the rate

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