The 2008/9 Global Financial Crisis in Perspective : Financial Bubbles and Other Factors
The 2008/09 global financial crisis has its roots in global macroeconomic imbalances which pro- duced a period of historically low interest rates and created an appetite among fixed-income investors for riskier, higher yielding securities. This was partly satisfied by the use of securitization to create ever more asset-backed securities. Many of these were based on the cash flows of U.S. residential mortgages which had grown in importance as a result of the expansion of subprime and Alt-A loans. The traditional 'originate and hold' business model of credit intermediation was increasingly replaced by the 'originate and distribute' model, but this model contains many inherent agency problems that have contributed to the scale of the crisis. The current crisis has similarities with past crises in that it arose as a consequence of the bursting of a speculative bubble, in this case in the U.S. property market. However, the ongoing crisis is unique in a number of ways. Principal among these is the fact that the growth of financial innovation, in the form of increasingly complicated forms of securitized credit intermediation, became a critical driver and resulted in the crisis magnifying in scale and becoming global. Proposed changes to financial regulation by the G20 nations are likely to curtail the excessive risk-taking that has been engendered by the OAD business model and see financial institutions return to more traditional forms of credit intermediation in which credit risk is properly priced.(original abstract)
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