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Our most academic publication offers research and surveys on monetary policy, national and international developments, banking, and more. The content is written for an economically informed readership—from the undergraduate student to the PhD.

Vol. 90, No. 5 (Posted 2008-09-01)

The Credit Crunch of 2007-2008: A Discussion of the Background, Market Reactions, and Policy Responses

by Paul Mizen

This paper discusses the events surrounding the 2007-08 credit crunch. It highlights the period of exceptional macrostability, the global savings glut, and financial innovation in mortgage-backed securities as the precursors to the crisis. The credit crunch itself occurred when house prices fell and subprime mortgage defaults increased. These events caused investors to reappraise the risks of high-yielding securities, bank failures, and sharp increases in the spreads on funds in interbank markets. The paper evaluates the actions of the authorities that provided liquidity to the markets and failing banks and indicates areas where improvements could be made. Similarly, it examines the regulation and supervision during this time and argues the need for changes to avoid future crises.

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