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Essay on Financial Crisis of 2008 Analysis

528 Words
3 Pages

In 2008, the US experienced the traumatic chaos of a financial downturn, whose effects rippled throughout Europe and Asia. Many economists consider it the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and its alarming results are still seen today, a long six years later. Truly, the recession’s daunting size and formidable wake have left no one untouched and can only beg the question: could it have been prevented? The causes are manifold, but can be found substantially rooted in illogical investments and greedy schemes. Before any of the risky moneymaking endeavors, investors traditionally would have gone to the US Federal Reserve to buy treasury bills, a safe and profitable investment. Later, when interest rates were lowered to only 1% in

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The banks then created a new idea—linking investors to homeowners through mortgages. Ordinarily, a mortgage broker would connect a house-buying family to a mortgage lender, who would then supply them with a mortgage. In this system, everyone is happy—the mortgage broker earns a handsome commission, the mortgage lender earns a new mortgage, and the family is now a homeowner in a market of increasing housing prices.
In the new system, an investment banker buys the mortgage from the lender, borrowing millions of dollars to buy thousands of mortgages, and every month he gets payments from homeowners for each of the mortgages. The banker then consolidates all the mortgages and splits the final product into three sections: safe, okay, and risky mortgages, which make up a collateralized debt obligation (CDO). As homeowners pay their mortgages, money flows into each of the sections, with the safe filling first and the risky filling last, contributing to their respective names. Credit agencies stamp the top two safer mortgages with a triple A or triple B rating, which are then be sold to investors who want a safe mortgage, while the risky slice is sold to hedge funds who want a risky investment. The bankers make millions, pay back their loans, and investors also make a worthwhile investment. So pleased are the investors, however, that they want more. Unfortunately, back at the beginning of the cycle, the mortgage broker can no longer find qualified mortgagers

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