The Credit Crisis and Its Impact on the Financial World

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The Credit Crisis &

the Resulting Effects on the Financial World

Introduction

The financial crisis of 2007 until present is a financial event that borders on what many say is as bad if not worse than the great depression. It has caused repercussions that cannot be afforded to be forgotten going into the future. One of the major events that kick-started the decline of the banking system as well as causing major liquidity issues in debt markets was the housing bubble burst. This forced many of the banking leaders in the U.S. to realize losses in the upwards of several hundreds of billions of dollars. At the same time, banks' stock market capitalization was cut in half. This of course set off a chain of events that rippled through the financial realm. Financial Institutions were now realizing losses because of the defaults on mortgages which then when they tried to make claims on their credit default swaps (CDS) there was not enough liquidity by firms such as AIG to pay these claims. This of course led to the bailouts, however we will get to that shortly. All of these events are what has led to what analysts have said to be a recession. This paper will attempt to explain the causes that credit issues had on the financial crisis as well as show how liquidity played a major role in throwing debt markets into panic and in some cases failure. I will also give some insight into how the debt markets became inactive because of these issues. We will also take a look at how interest rates affected this crisis as well as how the stock market and initial public offerings (IPO's) were affected.

The Beginnings of the Bubble Burst

After the internet bubble burst of 2000 the Federal Reserve Bank was worried about a serious deflationary period. Because of this fear they did not want to counteract the housing bubble. The Federal Reserve Bank actually lowered the federal funds rate from 6.5% to 1% in the period from 2000 to 2003. This was done in order to soften the blow from the internet bubble and was encouraging people to borrow at faster rates. During this time period, banks also went through a serious transformation period where instead of holding onto debt, they used new financial innovations to bundle them and sell the risk off onto other investors. This process was named "originate and distribute". In this banking model loans were put together, tranched and sold via securitization. To tranche means to slice up the pool of debt into say slices of a pie. Each pie slice has a different risk involved, credit rating and thus different amounts of interest paid. Securitization is where these "slices" are then sold to different investors as bonds or Collaterized Mortgage Obligations (CMO's). The principal and interest on the debt, underlying the security, is paid back to the various investors regularly. These types of new innovations led to new investors and thus access to more liquidity for banks. Banks began to thrive with all the new opportunities for them to create more liquidity. As you can see from this chart, Securitization was being exploited at alarming rates.

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This in turn, allowed them to be able to lend more money. The problem was not the increased amounts of loans that banks gave out, the problem lied with whom these banks were lending money. Of course the added pressures growing in the market from the government and financial institutions weren't helping matters.

As I mentioned earlier, The Federal Reserve Bank was lowering the federal funds rate in the years of 2000 through 2003 which encouraged people to invest in real estate. At the time the real estate market was on a tremendous upswing. However in the years of 2004 through 2006 they started increasing the federal funds rate (FFR) which made 1-5 year adjustable rate mortgages more expensive to reset for homeowners. There was another side effect of the rising FFR, generally when interest rates...
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