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TitleLate-2000s Financial Crisis
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Table of Contents
                            Late-2000s financial crisis
		Subprime lending
		Growth of the housing bubble
		Easy credit conditions
		Weak and fraudulent underwriting practice
		Predatory lending
		Increased debt burden or over-leveraging
		Financial innovation and complexity
		Incorrect pricing of risk
		Boom and collapse of the shadow banking system
		Commodities boom
		Systemic crisis
		Role of economic forecasting
	Impact on financial markets
		US stock market
		Financial institutions
		Credit markets and the shadow banking system
		Wealth effects
		European contagion
	Effects on the global economy
		Global effects
		U.S. economic effects
			Real gross domestic product
			Distribution of wealth
		Official economic projections
	Government responses
		Emergency and short-term responses
		Regulatory proposals and long-term responses
		United States Congress response
	Media coverage
	Emerging and developing economies drive global economic growth
	External links and further reading
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Late-2000s financial crisis 1

Late-2000s financial crisis

The TED spread (in red) increased significantly during the financial crisis,
reflecting an increase in perceived credit risk.

World map showing real GDP growth rates for 2009. (Countries in brown were in

The late-2000s financial crisis, also known
as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) or the
"Great Recession", is considered by many
economists to be the worst financial crisis
since the Great Depression of the 1930s.[1] It
resulted in the collapse of large financial
institutions, the bailout of banks by national
governments and downturns in stock
markets around the world. In many areas,
the housing market also suffered, resulting
in numerous evictions, foreclosures and
prolonged unemployment. It contributed to
the failure of key businesses, declines in
consumer wealth estimated in trillions of
U.S. dollars, and a significant decline in
economic activity, leading to a severe global
economic recession in 2008.[2]

The financial crisis was triggered by a
complex interplay of valuation and liquidity
problems in the United States banking
system in 2008.[][3] The bursting of the U.S.
housing bubble, which peaked in 2007,
caused the values of securities tied to U.S.
real estate pricing to plummet, damaging
financial institutions globally.[4][5]

Questions regarding bank solvency, declines
in credit availability and damaged investor confidence had an impact on global stock markets, where securities
suffered large losses during 2008 and early 2009. Economies worldwide slowed during this period, as credit
tightened and international trade declined.[6] Governments and central banks responded with unprecedented fiscal
stimulus, monetary policy expansion and institutional bailouts. Although there have been aftershocks, the financial
crisis itself ended sometime between late-2008 and mid-2009.[7][8][9]

Many causes for the financial crisis have been suggested, with varying weight assigned by experts.[10] The United
States Senate issued the Levin–Coburn Report, which found "that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result
of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit
rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street."[11] Two factors that have been frequently
cited include the liberal use of the Gaussian copula function and the failure to track data provenance.[12]

Critics argued that credit rating agencies and investors failed to accurately price the risk involved with
mortgage-related financial products, and that governments did not adjust their regulatory practices to address
21st-century financial markets.[13] The 1999 repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 effectively removed the
separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks.[14] In response to the
financial crisis, both market-based and regulatory solutions have been implemented or are under consideration.[15]

Page 2

Late-2000s financial crisis 2

The immediate cause or trigger of the crisis was the bursting of the United States housing bubble which peaked in
approximately 2005–2006.[16][17] Already-rising default rates on "subprime" and adjustable rate mortgages (ARM)
began to increase quickly thereafter. As banks began to give out more loans to potential home owners, housing
prices began to rise.
In the optimistic terms, banks would encourage home owners to take on considerably high loans in the belief they
would be able to pay them back more quickly, overlooking the interest rates. Once the interest rates began to rise in
mid 2007, housing prices dropped significantly. In many states like California, refinancing became increasingly
difficult. As a result, the number of foreclosed homes also began to rise.

Share in GDP of U.S. financial sector since 1860[18]

Steadily decreasing interest rates
backed by the U.S Federal Reserve
from 1982 onward and large inflows of
foreign funds created easy credit
conditions for a number of years prior
to the crisis, fueling a housing
construction boom and encouraging
debt-financed consumption.[19] The
combination of easy credit and money
inflow contributed to the United States
housing bubble. Loans of various types
(e.g., mortgage, credit card, and auto)
were easy to obtain and consumers
assumed an unprecedented debt

As part of the housing and credit
booms, the number of financial agreements called mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt
obligations (CDO), which derived their value from mortgage payments and housing prices, greatly increased.[5] Such
financial innovation enabled institutions and investors around the world to invest in the U.S. housing market. As
housing prices declined, major global financial institutions that had borrowed and invested heavily in subprime MBS
reported significant losses.[22]

Falling prices also resulted in homes worth less than the mortgage loan, providing a financial incentive to enter
foreclosure. The ongoing foreclosure epidemic that began in late 2006 in the U.S. continues to drain wealth from
consumers and erodes the financial strength of banking institutions. Defaults and losses on other loan types also
increased significantly as the crisis expanded from the housing market to other parts of the economy. Total losses are
estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars globally.[22]

While the housing and credit bubbles were building, a series of factors caused the financial system to both expand
and become increasingly fragile, a process called financialization. U.S. Government policy from the 1970s onward
has emphasized deregulation to encourage business, which resulted in less oversight of activities and less disclosure
of information about new activities undertaken by banks and other evolving financial institutions. Thus,
policymakers did not immediately recognize the increasingly important role played by financial institutions such as
investment banks and hedge funds, also known as the shadow banking system. Some experts believe these
institutions had become as important as commercial (depository) banks in providing credit to the U.S. economy, but
they were not subject to the same regulations.[23]

These institutions, as well as certain regulated banks, had also assumed significant debt burdens while providing the
loans described above and did not have a financial cushion sufficient to absorb large loan defaults or MBS losses.[24]

Page 17

Late-2000s financial crisis 17

Credit markets and the shadow banking system

TED spread and components during 2008

During September 2008, the crisis hit
its most critical stage. There was the
equivalent of a bank run on the money
market mutual funds, which frequently
invest in commercial paper issued by
corporations to fund their operations
and payrolls. Withdrawal from money
markets were $144.5 billion during one
week, versus $7.1 billion the week
prior. This interrupted the ability of
corporations to rollover (replace) their
short-term debt. The U.S. government
responded by extending insurance for
money market accounts analogous to
bank deposit insurance via a temporary
guarantee[159] and with Federal
Reserve programs to purchase
commercial paper. The TED spread, an indicator of perceived credit risk in the general economy, spiked up in July
2007, remained volatile for a year, then spiked even higher in September 2008,[160] reaching a record 4.65% on
October 10, 2008.

In a dramatic meeting on September 18, 2008, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
met with key legislators to propose a $700 billion emergency bailout. Bernanke reportedly told them: "If we don't do
this, we may not have an economy on Monday."[161] The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which
implemented the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), was signed into law on October 3, 2008.[162]

Economist Paul Krugman and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explain the credit crisis via the implosion
of the shadow banking system, which had grown to nearly equal the importance of the traditional commercial
banking sector as described above. Without the ability to obtain investor funds in exchange for most types of
mortgage-backed securities or asset-backed commercial paper, investment banks and other entities in the shadow
banking system could not provide funds to mortgage firms and other corporations.[23][78]

This meant that nearly one-third of the U.S. lending mechanism was frozen and continued to be frozen into June
2009.[163] According to the Brookings Institution, the traditional banking system does not have the capital to close
this gap as of June 2009: "It would take a number of years of strong profits to generate sufficient capital to support
that additional lending volume." The authors also indicate that some forms of securitization are "likely to vanish
forever, having been an artifact of excessively loose credit conditions." While traditional banks have raised their
lending standards, it was the collapse of the shadow banking system that is the primary cause of the reduction in
funds available for borrowing.[164]

Page 18

Late-2000s financial crisis 18

Wealth effects

The New York City headquarters of
Lehman Brothers

There is a direct relationship between declines in wealth, and declines in
consumption and business investment, which along with government spending
represent the economic engine. Between June 2007 and November 2008,
Americans lost an estimated average of more than a quarter of their collective net
worth. By early November 2008, a broad U.S. stock index the S&P 500, was
down 45% from its 2007 high. Housing prices had dropped 20% from their 2006
peak, with futures markets signaling a 30-35% potential drop. Total home equity
in the United States, which was valued at $13 trillion at its peak in 2006, had
dropped to $8.8 trillion by mid-2008 and was still falling in late 2008. Total
retirement assets, Americans' second-largest household asset, dropped by 22%,
from $10.3 trillion in 2006 to $8 trillion in mid-2008. During the same period,
savings and investment assets (apart from retirement savings) lost $1.2 trillion
and pension assets lost $1.3 trillion. Taken together, these losses total a
staggering $8.3 trillion.[165] Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007,
household wealth is down $14 trillion.[166]

Further, U.S. homeowners had extracted significant equity in their homes in the years leading up to the crisis, which
they could no longer do once housing prices collapsed. Free cash used by consumers from home equity extraction
doubled from $627 billion in 2001 to $1,428 billion in 2005 as the housing bubble built, a total of nearly $5 trillion
over the period.[89][90][91] U.S. home mortgage debt relative to GDP increased from an average of 46% during the
1990s to 73% during 2008, reaching $10.5 trillion.[92]

To offset this decline in consumption and lending capacity, the U.S. government and U.S. Federal Reserve have
committed $13.9 trillion, of which $6.8 trillion has been invested or spent, as of June 2009.[167] In effect, the Fed has
gone from being the "lender of last resort" to the "lender of only resort" for a significant portion of the economy. In
some cases the Fed can now be considered the "buyer of last resort." Economist Dean Baker explained the reduction
in the availability of credit this way:

Yes, consumers and businesses can't get credit as easily as they could a year ago. There is a really good reason
for tighter credit. Tens of millions of homeowners who had substantial equity in their homes two years ago
have little or nothing today. Businesses are facing the worst downturn since the Great Depression. This matters
for credit decisions. A homeowner with equity in her home is very unlikely to default on a car loan or credit
card debt. They will draw on this equity rather than lose their car and/or have a default placed on their credit
record. On the other hand, a homeowner who has no equity is a serious default risk. In the case of businesses,
their creditworthiness depends on their future profits. Profit prospects look much worse in November 2008
than they did in November 2007 (of course, to clear-eyed analysts, they didn't look too good a year ago either).
While many banks are obviously at the brink, consumers and businesses would be facing a much harder time
getting credit right now even if the financial system were rock solid. The problem with the economy is the loss
of close to $6 trillion in housing wealth and an even larger amount of stock wealth. Economists, economic
policy makers and economic reporters virtually all missed the housing bubble on the way up. If they still can't
notice its impact as the collapse of the bubble throws into the worst recession in the post-war era, then they are
in the wrong profession.[168]

At the heart of the portfolios of many of these institutions were investments whose assets had been derived from
bundled home mortgages. Exposure to these mortgage-backed securities, or to the credit derivatives used to insure
them against failure, caused the collapse or takeover of several key firms such as Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill
Lynch, and HBOS.[169][170][171]

Page 33

Article Sources and Contributors 33

Article Sources and Contributors
Late-2000s financial crisis  Source:  Contributors: 155ws, 164CL, 1ForTheMoney, 84user, 87h23BS87g, A. B., AaThinker, Acegikmo1,
Acropolis now, Adambro, Alansohn, Alex Bakharev, Alex1011, Alexius08, Algotr, Alison, All Is One, AllGloryToTheHypnotoad, Amadís, Americanninjamaster, Anaxial, Ancheta Wis, And
quin, Andreworkney, Angel ivanov angelov, Ankit Maity, Anshuk, Antandrus, Anthon.Eff, Anthony Appleyard, Aridd, Arla, Arnoutf, Artichoker, Artoasis, Arwen III., Asim samiuddin, Asthma
bronchiale, Athkalani, Atrix20, Auntof6, Aussiereader4, Avicennasis, AxelBoldt, B.karthee, BD2412, Backslash Forwardslash, Badams5115, BajaaS, Barbara1948, Barek, Bathrobe, Baybeeh. g,
Beland, Ben Ben, Bender235, Benlisquare, Bethan.wolfe, BigK HeX, Bigblind88, Biscit, Bkwillwm, Blahblop, Bleacherdave, BlondSvetlana, Bob Hu, Bobmack89x, Bobrayner, Bobstatton11,
Boffob, Bondwonk, BoomerAB, Borgx, Boyd Reimer, Bryanwxup, Bsadowski1, Bsimmons666, Burnte, Byelf2007, Bình Giang, C-3PO, C0ex1st2004, CBM, CMBJ, CWenger, Cablehorn,
Capmo, Capricorn42, Carolmooredc, Carroll272, Catdude, Cbrodersen, Cchow2, Cdgig, Cenarium, Censoredchinese, Charvest, Chasingsol, Chensiyuan, Chickenlickerman, ChildofMidnight,
Chillowack, China Dialogue Net, Chris Howard, Chris the speller, Chumchum7, Ckatz, ClassTripDotOrg, Cliff Racer, Clovis Sangrail, ColinHogben, Conti, Cowebd, CreatingAnArticle, Cretog8,
Ctrautvetter, Cuthbert29, CuttlefishTech, Cybercobra, DBaba, DTMGO, Dale Arnett, Daniel E. Romero, DanielRigal, Danieloxl, Dark567, Darrell Greenwood, Darxus, Davehi1, Davemck,
Davers1, David Shankbone, DavidReyAlvite, Davidgelman, Davidsaied, Dawaegel, Dawnseeker2000, Dayewalker, Dcljr, Deacon of Pndapetzim, Deamon138, Decltype, Deetdeet, Delusion23,
Demonburrito, Dffgd, Diannaa, Dick Shane, Dicklyon, Didero, Diligentdave, Dimorsitanos, Dlazzaro, DoubleBlue, Download, Dr.K., DriveMySol, Drm310, Dt.Mariner, Dtplovell,
DubaiTerminator, Duncan7670, Dvink, Dymondog, EarthForPeace, Eastlaw, EconoPhysicist, EddyVanderlinden, Edward, EivindJ, Ekem, Elambeth, Elliskev, Enemyunknown, Epbr123,
Equilibrial, Ermengol Patalín, Eubulides, Eumachia, EuroRIP, Ews23, F.Pavkovic, FRBSTLWIKI, FT2, Faradayplank, Farcaster, Farmercarlos, Favonian, Fayenatic london, Financestudent,
Flatterworld, Florentyna, Flowanda, Flyte35, Fran Six, FrankSz, Fratrep, Fred Bauder, Friedfish, Friends007, Frysun, Funandtrvl, Funnyfarmofdoom, Future2008, Gaa47a, Gabriel Kielland, Gary
King, Gaytan, GazMan7, George Richard Leeming, GeorgeLouis, Georgeloy, Geregen2, Gfcvoice, Ghaly, Ginsengbomb, Giraffedata, GlebX, Goethean, Gogino, GoldRingChip, Gonzy,
Goodhart, Gospelnous, Gourdie, Grafen, Greatspacesllc, GregorB, Ground Zero, Grrr81, Gsarwa, Guaca, Hadrian89, Hairy Dude, HalJor, Halsteadk, HappyInGeneral, Happyme22, Harizotoh9,
Haslaki, Hebrides, Heitor CJ, Helena srilowa, Helmoony, [email protected], Hephaestion, Hereford, Hestall, Highground79, HisHighnessDog, HkQwerty, Hmains, HobitMuncher, Hochung4,
Holme053, Hon-3s-T, Honbicot, Hu12, Hugh16, Humbugger, Hut 8.5, Hydrogen Iodide, Ian Pitchford, ImperfectlyInformed, Impy4ever, Inertiatic076, Insommia, Invest in knowledge, Ipatrol,
Ipigott, Ithaka84, J.delanoy, JCDenton2052, JForget, JM124, JRSB, JRSpriggs, JaGa, Jafol, Jamesinderbyshire, Jazzcat2283, Jbradley904, Jedgeco, Jeff G., Jem147, Jensks, Jer ome, Jesse
Viviano, Jmh649, Joel7687, John M Baker, John Vandenberg, John of Reading, Johnnie ong, Jojojava, Jondoig, Jonterry4, Joseph Solis in Australia, JoshuaKuo, Js2081, Juancahoyos, Judycc,
Juhachi, Julesd, Juristiltins, JustinRossi, Justinc, Jwojdylo, Jyosna, Jza84, K. Annoyomous, K.boroshko, KP-TheSpectre, Kaleeyed, Kateshortforbob, Kazvorpal, Kbrose, Kcbryantuk, Kencf0618,
Kendrick7, Kenny Matthews, Kenrick95, Keraunos, KeynesianLeninistCensors, Kgrr, Khoikhoi, Kidburla, Killervogel5, Kintetsubuffalo, Kittybrewster, Kmarinas86, Koavf, Komiska, Ksnow,
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Nakakapagpabagabag, Narutocharacters, Nataev, Nbarth, NerdyNSK, Neufast, Neurolysis, Newyorkgame9, Nihilozero, Nomistakes, Nonamer98, Nopetro, Nopira, Norm Cimon, Nthep,
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Popescuradhoo, Postdlf, Poxnar, Pregedu, Prix082004, ProfessorPaul, Prologger, Prowriter16, Prufrock24, Psinu, Puente, Pwnage8, Qajar, Quebec99, QueenCake, QueenofBattle, Quest for
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Reggilbert, RekishiEJ, Rich Farmbrough, Richard1990, Richieru, Rickyjames, Rinconsoleao, Rjwilmsi, Rlbarton, Rmarsden, Rob827, Robert K S, Rockfang, Rod57, Rogimoto, Ron Paul...Ron
Paul..., Ronnotel, RoyBoy, Rreagan007, Rricci,, Rumiton, Rusnak1987, S Marshall, S.e.atkinson.25, S.Örvarr.S, SE7, SMaykrantz, SNIyer12, SPat, Sadads, Saforrest, SaintNULL,
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TerraFrost, Texasholdsem, Thatguyflint, The Devil's Advocate, The Inedible Bulk, The Magnificent Clean-keeper, The PIPE, The Thing That Should Not Be, TheFreeloader, TheTrojanHought,
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Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
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Image:GDP Real Growth.svg  Source:  License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported  Contributors:
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Image:TED Spread Chart - Data to 9 26 08.png  Source:  License: Creative Commons
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Page 34

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File:Flag of the United States.svg  Source:  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Anomie
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User:Nightstallion, User:Funakoshi, User:Jeltz, User:Dbenbenn, User:Zscout370
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