Who Was to Blame for the Banking Crisis? Essay

1971 Words May 22nd, 2012 8 Pages
The banking crisis of the late 2000s, often called the Great Recession, is labelled by many economists as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Its effect on the markets around the world can still be felt. Many countries suffered a drop in GDP, small or even negative growth, bankrupting businesses and rise in unemployment. The welfare cost that society had to paid lead to an obvious question: ‘Who’s to blame?’ The fingers are pointed to the United States of America, as it is obvious that this is where the crisis began, but who exactly is responsible? Many people believe that the banks are the only ones that are guilty, but this is just not true. The crisis was really a systematic failure, in which many problems in the …show more content…
CDSs are used as an insurance against the possibility that the borrower could not repay his or her loan. In such case the issuer has to pay a specified sum to the buyer. Of course they are sold for a premium and if no credit events occur, the issuer makes profit. After the subprime mortgage crisis began, and many borrowers started defaulting on their loans, the pressure on the companies that had issued CDSs was rising. There were companies that simply did not have enough money to repay everything they owed. A famous example is AIG. The subprime mortgage crisis and the bankruptcy of big financial companies, like Lehman Brothers, meant that AIG had to pay much more money that it expected and made the company insolvent. The company itself had AAA rating shortly before this. This made the investors confident that even their high-rating investments failed, the insurer would certainly be able to repay them. A bailout from the US government followed. Generally, the issuers of these instruments can be held accountable for issuing them, without the ability to pay what they had to, when the credit events occurred. Of course many of them were mislead by the credit rating agencies and the overall conviction in the market that it was not as risky as it actually was. Many people argue that such instruments need to be regulated much better. They can create clear conflict of interests. For example, a

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