Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Revisiting the Stock Market Crash Of 2008

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The Financial Crisis of 2008 was an economic bubble that reached its limits and exploded. A bubble is simply where prices continue to rise beyond the true value. People buy, simply because they believe everybody else is going to buy. A bubble is based on speculation, expectation and ignorance. When these three elements collide it creates a crisis, which is often defined by irrational financial exuberance.

The causes of the economic crisis of 2008 are related to the Bush administration's attempt to finance the war in Iraq with, basically, inflation. The Federal Reserve cooperated by financing the Iraqi war, by essentially lending money to the American state. But printing new money out of thin air, actually devalues the national currency, this is called inflation. This cheap money went straight into the economy, particularly the residential housing market. As a consequence the demand for houses rose; and housing prices took off like a rocket in 2001. Thanks to inflation the prices further accelerated in 2004. More and more people took on mortgages based on cheap currency. The lenders then sold the mortgages as bundles to secondary investors, such as American banks. The American banks then sold their bundles to banks in other countries. This is how American debt spread around the world and became a real international financial crisis. European banks were selling and buying American mortgage as bundles. And all the while all of this was based on cheap money, with no value whatsoever behind it.

People expected housing prices to continue to rise, but the opposite happened. The steady decline began in 2005 and by 2007 the panic kicked in and house prices were crashing down. The collapse of the housing bubble dragged the secondary investors along with it. US debt had spread all around the world and the damage was truly on a global scale.

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