The housing market crash of 2008 is said to have sparked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The collapse of global banking, mortgage lending and insurance institutions led to worldwide housing foreclosures, widespread layoffs, and prolonged unemployment. This has led to a public outcry for a reevaluation of the policies and regulations created to protect consumers and businesses from financial ruin. In the United States, the question is: what is the role of the government within our financial system? Some advocate for a strict monetary policy and market regulation, others argue for less regulation and government intervention. This guide was created as a starting point for undergraduate students interested in investigating the 2008 global financial crisis.
Notable Organizations and People:
- U.S. Presidents -- George W. Bush (2000-2008), Barack Obama (2008-Present)
- U.S. Federal Reserve -- Alan Greenspan (1987-2006), Ben Bernanke (2006-Present)
- U.S. Department of Treasury -- Henry Paulsen Jr. (2006-2009), Timothy Geithner (2009-2013), Jacob J. Lew (2013-2017)
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) -- Federal financial regulators
- Fannie Mae -- Mortgage guarantees via mortgage -backed securities; now under government conservatorship, (Dept. of Treasury)
- Freddie Mac -- Mortgage guarantees via mortgage -backed securities; now under government conservatorship, (Dept. of Treasury)
- Lehman Brothers -- Investment bank, greatest bankruptcy case in history (2008)
- Bear Stearns -- Investment bank, defunct, bought by Merrill Lynch in 2008
- American International Group (AIG) -- Insurance corporation, major recipient of bailout funds
Content contributed by Christopher Diaz (cdiaz25[at]illinois.edu), 7/19/2012.