In: Business and Management

Submitted By modeus
Words 1178
Pages 5
2008 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 (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) were both taken over by the government. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on September 14th after failing to find a buyer. Bank of Americaagreed to purchase Merrill Lynch (MER), and American International Group (AIG) was saved by an $85 billion capital injection by the federal government.[1] Shortly after, on September 25th, J P Morgan Chase (JPM) agreed to purchase the assets of Washington Mutual (WM) in what was the biggest bank failure in history.[2] In fact, by September 17, 2008, more public corporations had filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. than in all of 2007.[3]These failures caused a crisis of confidence that made banks reluctant to lend money amongst themselves, or for that matter, to anyone.
The crisis has its roots in real estate and the subprime lending crisis. Commercial and residential properties saw their values increase precipitously in a real estate boom that began in the 1990s and increased uninterrupted for nearly a decade. Increases in housing prices coincided with the investment and banking industry lowering lending standards to market mortgages to unqualified buyers allowing them to take out mortgages while at the same time government deregulation blended the lines between traditional investment banks and mortgage lenders. Real estate loans were spread throughout the financial system in the form of CDOs and other complex derivatives in order to disperse risk; however, when home values failed to rise and home owners failed to keep up with their payments, banks were forced to acknowledge huge write downs and write offs on these products. These write downs found several institutions at the brink of…...

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