Late-2000s financial crisis
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The late-2000s financial crisis, also known as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) or the "Great Recession", is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market also suffered, resulting in numerous evictions, foreclosures and prolonged unemployment. It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in trillions of U.S. dollars, and a significant decline in economic activity, leading to a severe global economic recession in 2008.
The financial crisis was triggered by a complex interplay of valuation and liquidity problems in the United States banking system in 2008. The bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, which peaked in 2007, caused the values of securities tied to U.S. real estate pricing to plummet, damaging financial institutions globally. Questions regarding bank solvency, declines in credit availability and damaged investor confidence had an impact on global stock markets, where securities suffered large losses during 2008 and early 2009. Economies worldwide slowed during this period, as credit tightened and international trade declined. Governments and central banks responded with unprecedented fiscal stimulus, monetary policy expansion and institutional bailouts. Although there have been aftershocks, the financial crisis itself ended sometime between late-2008 and mid-2009.
Many causes for the financial crisis have been suggested, with varying weight assigned by experts. The United States Senate issued the Levin–Coburn Report, which found "that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure...