What Caused The Financial Crisis? I think we can sum up the cause of our current economic crisis in one word — GREED. Over the years, mortgage lenders were happy to lend money to people who couldn’t afford their mortgages. But they did it anyway because there was nothing to lose.
These lenders were able to charge higher interest rates and make more money on sub-prime loans. If the borrowers default, they simply seized the house and put it back on the market. On top of that, they were able to pass the risk off to mortgage insurer or package these mortgages as mortgage-backed securities.
Easy money! and what went wrong with our financial system? The whole thing was one big scheme. Everything was great when houses were selling like hot cakes and their values go up every month. Lenders made it easier to borrow money, and the higher demand drove up house values. Higher house values means that lenders could lend out even bigger mortgages, and it also gave lenders some protection against foreclosures. All of this translates into more money for the lenders, insurers, and investors.
Unfortunately, many borrowers got slammed when their adjustable mortgage finally adjusted. When too many of them couldn’t afford to make their payments, it causes these lenders to suffer from liquidity issue and to sit on more foreclosures than they could sell. Mortgage-backed securities became more risky and worth less causing investment firms like Lehman Brothers to suffer. Moreover, insurers like AIG who insured these bad mortgages also got in trouble. The scheme worked well, but it rverses course and is now coming back to hurt everyone