The Great Recession

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Introduction The U.S. economy is currently experiencing its worst crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis started in the home mortgage market, especially the market for so-called “subprime” mortgages, and is now spreading beyond subprime to prime mortgages, commercial real estate, corporate junk bonds, and other forms of debt. Total losses of U.S. banks could reach as high as one-third of the total bank capital. The crisis has led to a sharp reduction in bank lending, which in turn is causing a severe recession in the U.S. economy. This article analyzes the underlying causes of the current crisis, estimates how bad the crisis is likely to be, and discusses the government economic policies pursued so far (by both the…show more content…
Lenders began foreclosure proceedings on about 1.3 million properties in 2007 which increased to 2.3 million in 2008 (an increase of about 81% from 2007) - Wikipedia. Problems for home owners with good credit surfaced in mid-2007, causing the U.S.'s largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, to warn that a recovery in the housing sector was not expected to occur at least until 2009 because home prices were falling "almost like never before, with the exception of the Great Depression." Most economists agree that the primary cause of the current recession was the credit crisis arising from the bursting of the housing bubble. Why did the housing bubble occur and why did its bursting cause such a severe and widespread recession? Financial Crisis In 2008, a series of bank and insurance company failures triggered a financial crisis that effectively halted global credit markets and required unprecedented government intervention. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were both taken over by the government. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on September 14th after failing to find a buyer. Bank of America agreed to purchase Merrill Lynch and American International Group (AIG) was saved by an $85 billion capital injection by the federal government. Shortly after, on September 25th, J P Morgan Chase agreed to purchase
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