The Great Recession – Causes and Effects of the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis

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The Great Recession is the name commonly given to the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis that affected millions of Americans. In the last few months we have seen several major financial institutions be absorbed by other financial institutions, receive government bailouts, or outright crash. So what caused the financial crisis of 2008? This is actually…

The Great Recession is the name commonly given to the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis that affected millions of Americans. In the last few months we have seen several major financial institutions be absorbed by other financial institutions, receive government bailouts, or outright crash.

So what caused the financial crisis of 2008? This is actually the perfect storm which has been brewing for years now and finally reached its breaking point. Let’s look at it step by step.


Market Instability

The recent market instability was caused by many factors, chief among them a dramatic change in the ability to create new lines of credit, which dried up the flow of money and slowed new economic growth and the buying and selling of assets. This hurt individuals, businesses, and financial institutions hard, and many financial institutions were left holding mortgage backed assets that had dropped precipitously in value and weren’t bringing in the amount of money needed to pay for the loans. This dried up their reserve cash and restricted their credit and ability to make new loans.

There were other factors as well, including the cheap credit which made it too easy for people to buy houses or make other investments based on pure speculation. Cheap credit created more money in the system and people wanted to spend that money. Unfortunately, people wanted to buy the same thing, which increased demand and caused inflation. Private equity firms leveraged billions of dollars of debt to purchase companies and created hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth by simply shuffling paper, but not creating anything of value. In more recent months speculation on oil prices and higher unemployment further increased inflation.
This video explains the economic crisis:

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

How Did it Get So Bad?

Greed. The American economy is built on credit. Credit is a great tool when used wisely. For instance, credit can be used to start or expand a business, which can create jobs. It can also be used to purchase large ticket items such as houses or cars. Again, more jobs are created and people’s needs are satisfied. But in the last decade, credit went unchecked in our country, and it got out of control.

Mortgage brokers, acting only as middle men, determined who got loans, then passed on the responsibility for those loans on to others in the form of mortgage backed assets (after taking a fee for themselves originating the loan). Exotic and risky mortgages became commonplace and the brokers who approved these loans absolved themselves of responsibility by packaging these bad mortgages with other mortgages and reselling them as “investments.”

Thousands of people took out loans larger than they could afford in the hopes that they could either flip the house for profit or refinance later at a lower rate and with more equity in their home – which they would then leverage to purchase another “investment” house.

A lot of people got rich quickly and people wanted more. Before long, all you needed to buy a house was a pulse and your word that you could afford the mortgage. Brokers had no reason not to sell you a home. They made a cut on the sale, then packaged the mortgage with a group of other mortgages and erased all personal responsibility of the loan. But many of these mortgage backed assets were ticking time bombs. And they just went off.

The Housing Market Declined

The housing slump set off a chain reaction in our economy. Individuals and investors could no longer flip their homes for a quick profit, adjustable rates mortgages adjusted skyward and mortgages no longer became affordable for many homeowners, and thousands of mortgages defaulted, leaving investors and financial institutions holding the bag.

This caused massive losses in mortgage backed securities and many banks and investment firms began bleeding money. This also caused a glut of homes on the market which depressed housing prices and slowed the growth of new home building, putting thousands of home builders and laborers out of business. Depressed housing prices caused further complications as it made many homes worth much less than the mortgage value and some owners chose to simply walk away instead of pay their mortgage.

The Credit Well Dried Up

These massive losses caused many banks to tighten their lending requirements, but it was already too late for many of them… the damage had already been done. Several banks and financial institutions merged with other institutions or were simply bought out. Others were lucky enough to receive a government bailout and are still functioning. The worst of the lot or the unlucky ones crashed.

The Economic Bailout is Designed to Increase the Flow of Credit

Many financial institutions that are saddled with risky mortgage backed securities can no longer afford to extend new credit. Unfortunately, making loans is how banks stay in business. If their current loans are not bringing in a positive cash flow and they cannot loan new money to individuals and businesses, that financial institution is not long for this world – as we have recently seen with the fall of Washington Mutual and other financial institutions.

The idea behind the economic bailout is to buy these risky mortgage backed securities from financial institutions, giving these banks the opportunity to lend more money to individuals and businesses, hopefully spurring on the economy.

What? Credit Got us into this Mess! Why Give More?!?

Ironic isn’t it? Yes, it is true that credit got us into this mess, but it is also true that our economy is incredibly unstable right now, and being that it is built on credit, it needs an influx of cash or it could come crashing down. This is something no one wants to see as it would ripple through our economy and into the world markets in a matter of hours, potentially causing a worldwide meltdown.

As I previously mentioned, credit in and of itself is not a bad thing. Credit promotes growth and jobs. Poor use of credit, however, can be catastrophic, which is what we are on the verge of seeing now. So long as the bailout comes with changes to lending regulations and more oversight of the industry, along with other safeguards to protect taxpayer dollars and prevent thieves from not only getting of the hook, but profiting again, there is potential to stabilize the market, which is what everyone wants. Whether or not it works is to be seen, but as it has already been voted on and passed, we should all hope it does.

What is Quantitative Easing?

What is quantitative easing?There are a number of tools that policymakers have at their disposal in order to try and boost economic activity. One of the most common is to lower interest rates. You lower interest rates, and debt becomes cheaper. More people borrow to buy stuff, because they can “afford” it, and economic activity increases. However, the Fed’s benchmark rate has been near zero for years, so it needs to do something else.

Quantitative easing is a sort of “non-traditional” way of stimulating the economy. It involves pumping quantities of money into the economy. The Fed is doing it by spending money to purchase mortgage backed securities and bonds. This essentially increases the money supply, making money cheaper to get, and encouraging consumer behaviors that supposedly boost the economy and result in hiring as businesses try to keep up with demand.

What are the Results of Quantitative Easing?

What does this mean for you, though? In practical terms, it means that money remains cheap. Mortgage rates, debt rates, and other costs related to money are likely to stay down. This means you have a chance to pay off your debt quickly, take advantage of it. You have a chance to pay off your debt in the next three years, and do so at relatively low rates.

Another possibility is that inflation could be an issue. When you have an increase in the quantity of money in the system, it becomes less valuable. Purchasing power is reduced, and it takes more money to accomplish the same thing. While we’re told that inflation isn’t a big deal right now, it could really kick into high gear later as a result of QE3. If that happens, then you can expect to pay more.

In terms of your investments, it’s worth it to note that markets tend to like quantitative easing. Bernanke’s announcement was greeted by huge jump in the Dow. Gold prices surged as well, as did oil prices. While the gains may not last, markets tend to respond enthusiastically — at least initially — to quantitative easing. Long term, though, the economic effects may not be as positive. The idea that we have to keep promoting growth for the sake of growth, and basing it all on trying to encourage consumers to borrow, is one that seems to have led to greater instability in the economy overall.

Costs of the Great Recession

A lot of the cost of the Great Recession is found in the loss of wealth. For many people, this loss of wealth came largely through falling home values. The number of home owners who suddenly found themselves underwater with their mortgages was huge. And, even though there are indications that the housing market is recovering, it’s been a long, slow slog.

Another consideration is the drop in wage income. The Great Recession prompted cutbacks at many companies. Even if you didn’t lose your job, there’s a possibility that your hours were cut, or that you lost some benefits. Underemployment is, perhaps, a lesser problem than unemployment, but it’s still a problem. The Dallas Fed looked at the loss of wages during the Great Recession, but also tried to factor in future lost wages as a result of continuing employment issues.

It’s also interesting to note that the Dallas Fed report takes into account the potential cost of reduced opportunity. This might include the fact that the Great Recession limited the chances for career advancement and raises. Upward financial mobility was hampered by the Great Recession in ways that are subtle and hard to quantify.

When you think about the long-term impact of the Great Recession, it’s easy to see why some people still feel as though they are fighting a losing battle against a recession that is over. Even though there is nominal economic growth, the reality is that the labor market hasn’t returned to the “normal” seen prior to the Great Recession. Home values are still down from their trends. My own home’s value took a couple of years after the Great Recession to drop. In my area, the effects were somewhat delayed, and it’s only now that my home’s value has plummeted enough that I have slipped into negative equity.

How has the Great Recession impacted you? Are you seeing the costs in your life still? How have you worked to combat the impacts of the economy on your situation?

Related Post: How We Manage Our Money on a Daily Basis

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of Cash Money Life. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started Cash Money Life in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about military money topics and military and veterans benefits at The Military Wallet.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free account here.

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  1. ToughMoneyLove says

    Ryan – I agree with your analysis but you left off one other factor. The government (starting with the Clinton administration) decided in the 1990’s that more folks needed to own their homes, even if they were not financially ready. The government created no-money down initiatives and threatened banks who refused to give credit to these people. As a result, home ownership rates rose 6% to record levels. On top of that, many legislators were bought and sold by money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which were backing these crazy loans.

    • Sluggo says

      ToughMoneyLove – I’m not sure I understand your point. It is true that home ownership did go up about 5% (64% to 69%) during this period in the 1990’s and then leveled off. Isn’t that right? Are you proposing that this 5% increase in the 1990’s was a major contributor to the housing bubble and credit crisis in 2008 and 2009? Where is your evidence the government “threatened banks”? Banks are pretty grown up when it comes to being greedy. I might agree that unintended consequences of government “meddling” in the real estate industry made things worse. But deregulation allowing combination of products from commercial and investment banks produced hedging, collateralized debt obligations, and credit default swaps. Ryan is right – there were a lot of factors but at its core, this was good old fashioned greed.

      • klg1956 says

        In their own words, Youtube “How the Democrats Caused the Financial Crisis Cuomo….Cuomo threatened Accubanc in Texas (and that’s just one Bank–the reason Cuomo sued was because an illegal alien was trying to buy a home and had no down payment, no credit history, no legal status within the U.S.) with all the weight of the Community Reinvestment Act Legislation and also Attorney General Janet Reno behind him, he threatened every mortgage lending bank in America…to cough up subprime loans or else…..that they would suffer consequences and/or Clinton Admin would come in and shut them down…Accubanc gave $2.1 Billion in subprime loans which were sold to Fannie and Freddie (aka taxpayers) first, then they were bundled together (all the crap loans) and sold to pensions, to unsuspecting investors here in the US and worldwide. Liberals always cried that hard working Americans who couldn’t get a home, would be able to make it if the down payment was taken away, if the credit check was taken away, if the interest rate was made low (interest only for the first five years)… what happened? All the checks and balances were taken out of the picture and they got the loan….then the interest rate had to rise because the loan would never be paid back on interest only…All their liberal good intentions put families in their cars, living on the streets, broken marriages, broken families, kids yanked out of their schools, away from their friends..their pets euthanized ….I’m sure jobs were lost too…..Homeless instead of where they were before liberal good intentions created a crap heap of people’s lives. In “The Hours” by Kate Chopin, “A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime”……as we look upon it in this moment of illumination what a horrible idea it really was….and the people responsible point the finger everywhere but where it belongs, at themselves….and during this time, in 1998, when this was all set in motion, now I ask you, how was G. W. Bush responsible for this when he was Governor of Texas? Also, Andrew Cuomo ran for Attorney General of New York and sued banks operating in New York for creating the subprime mess. What a heap of crap.

      • Ben says

        ToughMoneyLove is correct. The Clinton administration put pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give out loans to pretty much anyone who wanted one. The purpose of this was to increase home ownership, and it worked (it went up 5% according to you). However, many people who got loans were not financially ready to own a home. The government threatened to fine banks $10,000 if they didn’t issue these loans, thus putting pressure on banks to loan. Yes, I agree that greed and other factors contributed to the collapse, but it’s fairly obvious that government intervention was a major factor.

        • Sunil says

          Please read Krugman Chapter Ch 3 and 4 of “End This Depression Now” and you will get the evidence of to what extent the Government was responsible.


      R1. Banks were forced to make home loans to people with negative debt ratios who were known bad risks. This came about due to “Social Justice” policies instituted by the Clintons, and Congress. Banks that didn’t comply would be and were being harassed and punished by government regulators into making very- very risky loans.
      2. When failure rates became high, confidence in bank returns on investment and mortgage values dropped. There was a resultant rush to “un-load” mortgage-backed securities as fast as possible. This caused the Securities’ stock market to crash worldwide.
      3. Asset bubbles. If you can’t see what’s holding the market up, chances are nothing is.

      4. The market was supported by high returns for mortgage-backed loans. When they collapsed due to political government meddling it took down the rest of the security-loan structure that were once thought to be the safety-nets and all went down. So-called “do-gooder” motives brought financial ruin throughout the world that used American mortgage-backed paper for shot-term asset protection. This spread the collapse to most other countries that used them for short-term cash holding thus causing a worldwide financial meltdown. Small Countries and cities were forced into bankruptcy or forced to issue high interest notes to survive. Most didn’t know what happened. But they learned no to trust American financial institutions because of our government meddling.

  2. Ryan says

    TML, That’s a good point, and to be honest, I’ve probably left out several factors – an entire book could be written to cover this financial crisis and I’m sure there are several books already in the making. These problems have been well over a decade in the making.

    Ron from The Wisdom Journal recently wrote about the legislators were bought and sold by money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This list also points out how much money each Presidential Candidate received over their tenure in the Senate. It is worth noting.

  3. Dividend Growth Investor says


    Thanks for the nice overview. I hope that as a result of the crisis we don’t make the process of purchasing a home too complicated and burdensome.
    The main problem is not legislature, its greed. You can’t outlaw it no matter what.
    What do you think is the next step in the crisis?

  4. Ryan says

    DGI: You’re right, the problem isn’t legislation, although it could be written to simplify the mortgage and lending rules and outlaw some of the forms of loans that are either predatory or irresponsible on the part of the lender (for example, giving mortgages without verifying income).

    The next step in the crisis is the bailout which was just agreed upon. We will still see some volatility in the markets, and a few more banks and financial institutions will likely be bought and sold, and possibly even crash. Hopefully the markets will stabilize soon.

    • klg1956 says

      What’s coming is that FDIC is broke and as more foreclosures happen (going way up) banks will default and what will the FDIC do?

  5. Jarhead says

    I made some poor financial decisions in the past why isn’t the government bailing out the little guy and not corporate America.

    • klg1956 says

      When the little investor finally figures it out that the government will choose the “too big to fail” over the small investor (look at Corzine and MF global–they took the smaller investors money to pay off the big investors)….if they can do that with the help of the FED, your money is not safe in the market…and when more people figure this out….things will get dicey.

  6. Until Debt do US part says

    Good Post.

    Too many people got sucked in by the promise of an easy life built on rising home values and easy access to credit. It was like a giant ponzi scheme.

    Unfortunately the chickens are now coming home to roost.

  7. deepali says

    I think the problems are much deeper and more troubling. One of the reasons credit was loosened up was to address the growing divide between haves and have-nots. Some people saw injustice in the inability of people of lesser means not being able to access credit. In and of itself, that’s not a problem (loosening credit) – microfinance works incredibly well for the bottom billion, for example. And we also know that how much you make doesn’t say much for how responsible you are with money.

    I think the more troubling issue is not greed, but entitlement. Our entire societal perspective on what we are entitled to is all wrong. And I think we see this rebounded in all aspects of our life, not just with credit.
    I don’t have a solution, though. 🙂

  8. Scott @ The Passive Dad says

    The teaser rates and HELOC really impacted some of our friends and made it easy to buy a large house with no money down. When any little setback occurs, it can devastate a family and get them late on home payments. I think we might not see 100% or 110% home financing for a very long time. It’s hard to believe people bought homes and also were able to take more money out and buy new cars, boats, and shop for furniture. Kind of like being a kid in a candy store with a free credit card.

  9. Ryan says

    Scott, I don’t think we should have seen 100% or 110% loans in the first place. That is irresponsible on the lender’s part and wishful thinking on the borrower’s part.

    It looks like the Senate just passed a revised version of the bill. Hopefully it includes some provisions to prevent these mistakes from happening in the future. The next few days will be interesting.

  10. Stephanie says

    These are very good points. And yes, Greed was the main issue in this financial crisis we are now going through, BUT the banks AND the government are to blame for. Because the gov’t should control this economy issue AND the banks should not be lending out money when they see that people are not going to be able to pay them back.

    • klg1956 says

      Listen in their own words……..Youtube “How the Democrats caused the Financial Crisis”……and yes, Republicans too, Phil Graham was a Republican who helped Lawrence Summers (Clinton Treasury Secretary–Obama Financial advisor) overturn parts of the Glass Steagall Act which kept parts of financial sectors from commingling…..which if the mortgage sector failed, at least the insurance and securities would be safe…if the insurance sector went, at least the mortgage and securities would be safe..if the securities sector went bad, at least the mortgage and insurance would be safe….but all the walls were torn of the Glass Steagall act that kept financial sectors apart were repealed, passing Congress with a Republican majority and signed into law by Clinton (google New York Times Clinton Signs Legislation Overhauling Banking Laws–New York). All this started happening even before GWBush was Governor of Texas and yet he gets blamed for everything. What a bunch of critical thinking losers Americans are today.

  11. John Goodrich says

    Your analysis of the current crisis reflects that of most commentators. It is missing three elements.

    First, an understatement of real inflation rates (see “core inflation,” the BLS measurement formulae, the “chained” CPI), enabled the Fed to offer credit at terribly low rates, while saying that inflation was contained. (It did not account for the inflation in housing (15-20% per year), fuels (30-50% per year), and used distorted measures for other inflation rates.

    Second, this made bankers wildly successful, as banks could take Fed loans at 1% interest and loan those funds to mortgagors at 6%; promptly thereafter selling the loans, and lend to credit card debtors at up to 18% interest (that’s why there was a new credit card in the mail every week).

    Third, it created the hedge fund industry, where 10:1 borrowed leveraged was used for commodity investments. As inflation was truly raging, and loans were available at below these inflation rates, hedge fund profits were enormous and almost guaranteed.

    These events drove the economy to an explosion of credit.

    But it also destroyed savings. No one was going to forego consumption if the rates paid on savings accounts were below the rate of inflation.

    As a consequence, other than as a consequence of the inflated assets purchased on credit (e.g., houses), the balance sheets of the citizens quickly deteriorated.

    Today we do not have a crisis of liquidity…we’ve had a flood of liquidity. We have a crisis of solvency. People cannot afford to borrow, and banks cannot afford to lend.

    There will need to be fewer banks…there’s an easy way to accomplish that…don’t bail them out. There will need to be increased savings, with decreasing consumption. That will be recessionary, and that’s the cost of having gone so far into debt.

    You cannot blame greed. People did exactly what government (Fed and fiscal policies) caused them to do. Now, dispite the cost of the cure, government will be unable to fix the problem otherwise. Regrettably it will try. The Paulson plan is a typical mistake. It will weaken citizens’ balance sheets by $700B, and will put this money in places where it actually has no benefit.

    Regardless of the heresy involved, the unsuccessful banks need to die. We do not need them, they could not manage themselves, and they will not help us to recover from this.

    John B. Goodrich

    • tayo mosuro says

      Thanks for the comment, my final year project is on “THE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF THE RECENT FINANCIAL CRISIS: A CASE STUDY OF THE USA” I will like to know your view on that. Was the crisis cause mainly by sub prime lending or are there other factors that influenced the crisis…you can in box me your reply ……thx

  12. Triple Witching says

    I totally agree with the article above. My article is very similar but far more detailed. Have a read at my site. Furthermore, as for there being less banks – well I dont think that is the answer, unless they ‘cant make it on their own’. I do believe the people – the home loan writers need better training and should be given more stringent lending guidleines. After all – we’ve been here before in the 1980s to a lesser degree with regards to copious amounts of debt.

  13. Tyrone says

    Hi, I agree! I was really hoping that the economy will start its recovery soon as my investments in stocks were all losing big.

    Furthermore, I would like to add about the issue of inflation and leveraging or hedging.

    Companies before hedge against the price of oil when it was reaching its peak price thinking that they can profit from it since they expect a lot more increase in price. Unfortunately, as a result of the financial crisis, the oil price fell because of the slow demand and their hedge against oil price led them to huge losses.

  14. Emma Preston says

    All i wanted to say is that this economy needs to stop doing so bad and get the people who are bring us down out of the chair. Also neoptism needs to stop. And i would like to give a special shoutout

  15. Alaa says

    i have read the article but non of the replies,
    i agree with all what have been addressed but i think one factors was left behind,,
    Globalization,open market ,which lead to wealth reallocation over nations.
    when US companies start to produce in Asia markets like china,India etc due to the low cost, and export-import agreement among countries,less shipping cost,free customs imposed on the imported goods. cause transforming of job opportunities to these economies which left more unemployed and less quality jobs in US.

    • RolloMartins says

      I think you are right as far as it goes, but you have made an error that almost everyone makes: there are no US companies anymore. Companies trade worldwide–as you noted. Thinking a company is “US” gives it some quality of patriotism that companies do not have. Companies are international and hold no allegiance to any nation.

  16. Ryan says

    Alaa: I agree, there is more to the economic crisis than is listed in this article. What I have written is a very simple explanation of how the debt market in the US grew exponentially over the previous few years. There is, of course, much more to the equation. Reallocation of wealth to other nations is definitely part of the situation. In the coming years I think we will see an even greater distribution of wealth throughout the world.

  17. Elithrion says

    Greed is a constant. Saying greed is to blame for the crisis is perhaps as void of meaning as a statement can be. Might as well say “humans are to blame” – yes, indeed, if there were no people, there would certainly be no crisis. “Carelessness” could be a more reasonable claim.

  18. Ryan says

    Elithrion: Isn’t carelessness as abstract as greed? Carelessness also implies that what happened was an accident, which in a large sense, it is – certainly no one intended for the economy to crash. But many of the actions leading up to the crash were wanton examples of greed and fraud. I’ll stand by my answer.

  19. omar says

    I agree with all what you have said, this crisis has been due to greed and now we suffer the consequences. Now what I think is, that credit is good, it is money supply chain that keeps the economy working so thus if more money is lent to people with a reasonable interest rate then this would keep the economy stable, moreover people should now know that it is not advisable to get into buying houses and selling them to make money, because for example i do agree that there should be legislation that stops bankers lending big sums of money to people on certain annual salary for instance England has been very bad when coming to give mortgages of 9 or 10 times your annual salary, it is this that has mainly caused the problem. How can a person that’s annual salary of £25,000 pay back £250,000 back in their life time they would still be paying it at the age of 70 or still unpaid after death. Banks therefore have to limit what they give out and this would lead to stability. in conclusion government should create laws that limit banks on their loans, banks should still lend money to keep the economy flowing at a set and reasonable interest rate, and government should also cut down on vat o most things as well as create a savings plan for when situations as such occur.

  20. Samson says

    Alaa :I think that was really selfish of you to mention. the truth is globalization hasn’t caused any havoc in USA as it has in many countries particularly African countries. US net capital inflow has been on the rise in a geometric progression. for instance from 100bil (usd)in 1994 to about 700bill(usd) in 2004. In a nut shell, its true outflow of capital may cause financial crisis in a country but for us current situation, its not a factor. unfortunately developing countries will bare the most of this crunch. not to mention the damages done by brain-drain and negative net capital inflow.

  21. Prakash Sharma says

    Since we are spreading the blame around here (and there is plenty to spread), I would like to add that the entertainment industry has certainly played their part. Just look at all the shows on television (from reality shows to moronic sitcoms); how many are set in main street America? Very, very few. In movies, and on TV, everyone drives big cars, lives in big houses, wears flashy clothes, etc, etc. We quickly became a culture chasing bigger and better. Average home sizes have nearly doubled in thirty years. Nothing is ever enough

    • Ryan says

      Prakash: You’re spot on. The American economy is built on consumption and consumerism. The problem is that the bill came due and many people simply can’t afford to pay. We, as a country and as taxpayers, will be paying for this for a long time.

  22. Meleah says

    Excellent post! All very true, and all very sad. Deepali – you are also very right about entitlement. I believe the root of this problem lies in the idea that people are entitled to certain things (such as home ownership) even if it’s beyond their financial capabilities. Honestly, if individuals learned to live within their means, and use credit for large purchases like houses (when financially ready) and cars, we’d be in much better shape. Therefore, I believe we’re in this financial crunch because people want more than they can afford, and firms are too focused on short term gains.

    • Ryan says

      Meleah: I think you hit the nail on the head. I hope this economic crisis causes more people to live within their means. It may slow down economic growth due to less consumption, but we will all be better off in the long run.

      • LEOBARDO RANGEL says

        The banking crisis of 2008 has been blamed for many of the ecomony’s woes. What exactly happened?, why did it happen?, and what steps has the government taken to prevent the financial markets from collapsing again? Please answer asap. I need this for my final project. thank you!

  23. Summer says

    Great point ! Every coin has two sides.
    From this, we could have an overall view that little thing make big difference. All of us should hang together and change something to some extent.

  24. Gossay says

    I agree with all what you said, this crisis is due to greed and we all now suffer from it is consequences. There is no doubt that credit is very important to the economic growth,
    so more money supply that lent to people with reasonably interest rate then these could
    lead to stabilizing the economic. But this shoud be followed with very closed control,
    monitoring and legislations by governments to all banks and also the banks should be
    more regirous in the loans’ oblegations and mortgages insurances, also the people
    should bear resposibility of not taking loans over their financial ability, but the more
    important thing is to fight GREED. How Do You See The Future?

  25. YaJane says

    One positive effect of the crisis is more people became interested in economics and finance.
    We hope that our Big Bosses will find the right way to resolve the crisis that further will remain on historical book!

  26. Bakhtior says

    I think current global crises has bad effects on highly industrialized countries. Through these countries, agricultural coumtries

  27. djakna moksia says

    i don’t have anough to say just to thank everybody for his or her comment.i realy benefited from it.djakna chad

  28. John Kiyenze says

    i do think that economic crisis will spread all over the world because of well strengthed globalization

  29. iliya says

    financial crisi is a leverage “effect” to the global insdustralizationin the and period where the cheif operating officer of most company resigned their appointment, staff lay off,defoulting in share prises,bankrutcy of firm, and in increase in debt and where criditors gain.

  30. boyd says

    I’ve paid off 80% of the mortgage I took out 20 years ago, but lost my job in the recession; so even those who used credit responsibly are very vulnerable in the current economic crisis. Other family members who had AIG and BOA stock also lost disproportionally – and none of us are particularly ‘greedy’ – we worked hard for our money and just ended up being unfortunate victims of circumstance.
    Hopefully we can stick together and find our way through this mess, but it’s going to take some time. The S&L crisis of the early 1990’s cost over $160 billion, it’s dwarfed by what this will end up costing…

  31. shanaz says

    can someone tell me whether if the solution for the current economic crisis of the WORLD (which resulted from the economic crisis of the US) is IMPORT CONTROL???
    im having a hard time understanding the whole economic crisis-thing…and i really would appreciate some help…………

  32. khem Raj Gaire says

    I like to know that what are the main causes of this global finincial crisis and what are the main effects of crisis , point wise . I will be very happy if sombody give me solution.

  33. p.satheeshkumar says

    The financial financial crisis, especially that began in the fiancial sector of U.S. The financial crisis, which a year ago, it seemed to be localized in one part of the financial sector in U.S, has exploded into systematic crisis, spreading through highly interconnected financial market of Industrial countries and has had its effects on other markets as well.
    what happened in U.S. was that, fianancial institution or bank borrows money from investors,and agrees to pay them 5% interest rate. Bank uses that fund for expands its martgage backed securities (MBS) which is paying 8% interest rate. The 3% difference between amounts is called ‘spread’, which provides an incentive to borrow and invest and it is know as ‘leaveraging’, with increasing delinquencies and forecloser during 2006-2007. The value of MBS was declined as the borrower failed to pay instalment. resulting many financial institutions and mortgage companies suffered huge losses or bankruptcy. That’s what happened in U.S.

  34. Jessica says

    I can’t seem to able to watch the video..

    Anyway, the information is really helpful for my research assignment.

    Thank u..

  35. Bakhtior says

    Financial crisis… it is not a crisis, it is only business cycle. According to theory of Milton Friedman, to develop more and more every country must face an obstacle. Let’s take the economy of Japan. After WW2 its economy began expanding largely. That’ s, proportion of capital and labor increased and it attained more economic growth. Hence, that financial crisis may lead to develop the world economy.

  36. Paras says

    The financial crisis still continue this year 2011..countries are going in debt and ppl trying to save it as well also giving out signs of future weakness..lets see how it all goes till 2012 lolz if the world ends then no worries abt economy buhaha.

  37. Bernard says

    That’s part of the story!!! What is missing is the “why!” Why did credit expand? Why did the Fed turn a blind eye to what to most was an unsustainable credit cycle? The Bush Administration knew what was going on…….and condoned it!!! Why? Why? Why?
    Here’s my take on it!!
    The U.S. economy underwent two important structural changes in the 1980s and 1990s, namely factory automation and outsourcing, both of which hampered the growth of income-based purchasing power in the economy. In the face of weakening product markets and growing unemployment, successive administrations, not wanting to up government expenditure, turned to financial deregulation in an attempt to stimulate houehold debt and in the process, stimulate the economy. And guess what? It worked……beyond all expectations. soon household credit, not personal income, became a leading indicator of economic health.
    In retrospect, finanical deregulation was a form of “private” fiscal policy aimed at stimulating the economy.
    The only problem……sustainability!!! The crash of 2008 made this abundantly clear!!!
    The problem in the world…..yes, the world… weak purchasing power…relative to nominal GDP. Years of oursourcing manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries combined with factory automation have led to weak fundamentals.
    Prediction: To return to full employment, governments will have to up expenditure….massively……and on a permanent basis.

  38. Concerned says

    Aside from the staging of the crisis by government meddling, look at the trigger events. In 2008, there was a huge spike in short sales of the big bank stocks, like Citigroup and Wachovia, the survival of which was seen as critical to the stability of the financial system. In Lehman’s case, the short selling of the naked variety, led to a huge number of trades that failed to settle. The short selling originated from a few small brokers through sponsored access agreements.

    Who has the ability to obtain sponsored access agreements? Who has the financial where with all to pull off short selling on that scale? Who would have the motivation to push the economy over the edge? Who would consciously manipulate finance for the purpose of moving the economy, and therefore influence politics? Perhaps someone should pay George Soros a visit.

  39. annthony says

    Your assessment is high school at best, and your answer to the U.S. digging its way out of this mess is completely off track. We do not need to spend more, we do not need a cash influx, and we do not need to bail out the very organizations that created this problem. We need to let them go through bankruptcy, and allow for other companies to pick up where they have failed. When things go wrong, you fix them, you reform, you eliminate – but you certainly do not double, triple, or quadruple down, using the same tactics that brought on the problem, and then use it as an opportunity to create more regulations, when it is clear the regulators that were already in place didn’t do their jobs. We do not need to be further tied to the global economy, we need to be less involved in the global economy, worrying more about getting our house in order, rather than bailing out some ailing nation that is suffering from the effects of too much government intervention. Capitalism takes care of itself, and those who act criminally within our system need to be brought to justice.

  40. leviette says

    Let us not forget alot of lenders/banks did not want to work out negotiations with the borrows, the manipulated situations and banking documents to make some home owners get evicted, so the bank owned homes could be sold immediately so the investors could make what ever money they could immediately. Investors didn’t want to wait on the homeowners to pay, they didn’t want to work anything out,…according to a youtube: BREAKING NEWS! AMERICAN TRAGEDY 2012: SETTLEMENTS TOO LATE! BANKSTERS JAILED OR.

    • leviette says

      I also wanted to add, that, while Fanny and Freddie were sitting on the side line b/4 9-11 b/c of scandals, it was Wall street who greedily said now that the big dogs are out of the way, let us tap into this market and make more money. It was Wall street who gave money to banks/commercial banks, to loan out to borrowers. It was Wall street who collaborated with Mortgage lenders as a middle man. Wallstreet created a demand so big, that other countries wanted in on it, b/c they too wanted a big return, and trust Wallstreet. So, Wallstreet hounded the Mortgage Lenders to meet their numbers (by any means necessary). The key was to generate more revenue thru more loans volume. So these, Lenders went on a recruiting frenzy, advertising and targeting ppl they new didn’t qualify, but it was okay b/c Wallstreet said it was okay. Wallstreet believe it was a win win. If homeowners can’t pay, we will take their house and just resale it and still make money off the next buyer, but they didn’t count on ppl not buying, and investors pulling out, and credit lines freezing, and panic spreading from the top bankers and elite business. It is the investors in Wallstreet that make up the bulk of Wallstreet. Their very own credit system the created backfired, and I don’t see how they didn’t know that. One of the basic rules of economics 101 is something goes up and peaks and them it starts to come down. Tell me why, CEOs of business made billions of dollars, while there businesses were going out of business. Someone made money off of this, don’t be naive to think the buck stops at the government, don’t u know the Government is a business itself, working for the ppl that employ them. People better wake up!

  41. RT says

    The great recession has actually been great for me. I continued investing through the downturn, so investments I purchased near the bottom have more than doubled now. I purchased a house near the bottom of the market, and the value of that is up now 33% since 2010. I was able to get a super low 5% mortgage on that, and then refinanced last year to a 3.5%.

    If you want to make money, do as Warren Buffet says, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearfull”. This market crash may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity. I encourage others, if we have another great market crash in our lifetime, keep buying stock in well run companies.

  42. MoneyAhoy says

    Wow, great for you! Let’s just say I had a little less luck than that. We bought our house at the end of 2005 and I was one of the ones that panicked and sold some investments near the market bottom. I hope to not make the same mistakes next time 🙂

  43. Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone says

    Yours would be one of the rare stories during the recession. I have heard of many that have lost a great deal, even friends in Canada, because of our financial difficulties. Did you have a safety net in place or did you just let it go and risk it all?

  44. dojo says

    This has been the best time for me. It prompted me to start my business (after losing my job – well, this part wasn’t good :)) and it really turned my life around.

  45. Charmaine says

    Great comments. Thanks to everyone .This has definitely helped me for my preparation of my Masters Finance and Financial Law assignment paper.

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