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Causes of the Global Financial Crisis 2008


Write an essay on "Global Financial Crisis 2008".

Global Financial Crisis 2008 has been defined as the worst hits to the economies of various countries across the global post the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The Crisis was such a dangerous pest that it shook almost all the financial markets worldwide. The intensity of the crisis was such that its effects are still felt by many economies. The outcome of the sub prime mortgages in the United States of America also infected various developed and developing nations simultaneously. Suddenly the banks stopped trusting each other even though there was intervention from the US Federal Bank. Nothing could stop the crashing down of the stock market and within no time the economies broke into shatters. The arrival of such a crisis was being felt from 2007 itself and all efforts to fight the same was futile and towards the end of the year 2008 , Lehman Brothers declared itself bankrupt which gave shock waves across the globe and the typical notion that big banks cannot ever fail was questioned by the public (Jones, 2009).

After 78 long years the economies worldwide faced financial difficulty in the year 2008. The housing market was at a boom before 2008 when suddenly the prices dipped much below the purchase price also which first affected United States and then the fire spread to various economies globally. The sectors that were hurt the most was the investment banking, insurance, mortgage lending companies. The injuries of the crisis was not only felt by the financial hubs but also by the businesses who ran basically on credit. The loans were made available so cheaply that it raised the demands to an extent that people started living debt owned lives. The banks and the institutions made home loans so lucrative that lay men who were unaware of the policies and the terms agreed to take such loans in lieu greed to buy houses beyond affordability. These loans were sold to banks and two Chartered Accountant Institutions which in turn gave them more money to lend further. This way the bubble was built up  and gradually and slowly it burst out (Elliot, 2011).

The final tremors were felt in Sept 2008 however the trailer of the tremor had started to release since January 2008 when Bank of America completed its purchase of the Countrywide Financial Corp , the largest mortgage lender of USA. The next trailer was released after two months in the month of March when JP Morgan Chase saved the bankruptcy of Bear Streams- A Wall Street Investment house. Even the Federal Bank had to chip in $30 Billion to save Bear Streams (Mathiason, 2008). Then the final earthquake was felt across all countries. America tried to absorb the shock alone but could not two most preferred investment bankers Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers faced a market downsize of their shares. Bank of America again moved ahead and at 50 percent of its value bought Merrill Lynch which saved it from declaring itself as bankrupt. However to the unfortunate luck of Lehman Brothers who could not find a buyer for itself declared bankruptcy the very following day after the buy out of Merrill Lynch. Thus it led to tumbling down of the strongest of the financial pillars of USA in some few days time. The speed was so rapid that the government did not get time to react. But the crisis did not halt in USA only. It marched down across all the continents (Havemann, 2010).

Impact on the Global Economy

Thus very soon this fire burnt the hands of many economies and the financial viabilities of individuals, entities, business houses and even economies were totally snapped off. The waves of the financial crisis was so strong that it did not leave a single stone untouched globally. 

It would be very unfair to blame the Sub-Prime Mortgages the only reason for this catastrophe. There were other contributories also which should not be ignored and safeguarded. The other contributions that led to this fall are mentioned as under:

  1. Lust : Greed or lust to earn more is not a very bad thing but if the same greed takes a negative turn then it can be harmful for the economy also. Similar was the situation in 2008 when people wanted to become rich by investing into real-estates without even conducting proper surveys before such investments. Rising volumes of easy loans and the incorrect credit rating which rated these loans as investments and corruptive politicians who forced banks to give loans to people who were not worthy of it all fuelled up this crisis (Davies, 2014).
  2. Securitization: Providing a pool of investment instruments nd wealth creating assets as collateral to the investment bankers and similar financial hubs is termed as securitization. During this time frame many loans were distributed without taking proper credit worthy calls When the financial down surge hit then these investments and loans which were unworthy all failed to liquidate. This also aggravated the said financial crisis (Maxfield, 2015).
  3. Credit Rating Agencies: In lieu of making undue profits three most worldwide recognized rating agencies namely S& P, Moody and Fitch classified the subprime securities as investments. Partly this is said to be due to incompetency of classification whereas the other part defines that they were bribed by these issuers of the securities. Thus these agencies misutilized the trust that the general public has on them.
  4. Off Balance Sheet Risk: The non-recognition of the risky assets in the balance sheets of the financial institutions because of increasing securitization made the financials statements look rosy to the investors. This also fuelled the occurrence of the mishap.
  5. Regulatory Framework: The institutions and the financials analysts were new to such kind of financial products loaded with such easy guidelines and rules that led to the financial instability of many firms and thus contributed to the economic crash. 

The financial crisis in the year 2008 was very aptly termed as the Global Financial Crisis as it took a toll over all the economies across the globe. There was withdrawal of support from banks, corporations, investing agencies and the financiers which aggravated the situation further down.  People were al trying to safeguard themselves from the effects of this crash rather than pulling back their economy. The effects were so steep in nature (Naude, 2009).

However it is a very amusing fact that the impact was varying amongst countries. The fact that the economies would not have been affected is a misconception as to flourish it is important to have economic linkages across boundaries (McComick, 2009).

The first bolt was felt in the employment sector.  All the sectors had cut down their production or had to shut down industries due to slipping down of demands for the products because of low purchasing power. This in turn led to jobless situation and a fear into the minds of the job class as to how long is there job secured. People were not sure how long will they be able to feed their families, the depression was dug so deep (Nissanke, 2009).

The crisis though had hit almost all the countries yet some had to suffer deeper cuts. The under developed and the developing nations were the worst affected. The economies of countries like India, China, Japan have still not been able to come out of its effects fully. The inflation index has soared up since then and is still rising so much that people are unable to cope up with it. The purchasing power dipped thus the standard of living got a thud(Institute of International Finance,2008).

Apart from United States , Europe was another advanced continent which jad to also face the brunt of the crisis. Many big corporate houses, investment banks, and other lending institutions came down and were into ashes. The government could only extend its helping hand towards bailing out the better firms and thus many smaller ones collapsed under this pressure (Shah, 2013).

Africa was one continent which felt the least of tremors. It is one continent which has least interactions globally. It has always stayed isolated in comparison to other continents. But the fire had touched Africa too even if not as deep as in other parts of the Universe. It had disturbed the Balance of Payment situation of these countries which overhauled there growth (African Development Bank,2008). 

Consequences of the Global Financial Crisis 2008

Australia felt the least of the tremors of the Global Financial Crisis . Amongst the developed nations it could easily sail through the effects of the GFC. Its economic graph tilted slightly towards the negative only in one quarter but it immediately moved in the green channel in the very next quarter of March 2009. The banking sector continued to report profits with no significant failures. However the bad debt levels had increased tremendously. The country is said to be fortunate enough to sail through it because of its stringent policies and economic management (Edey, 2009).

There were many reasons which prompted that Australia could have been the worst hit countries amongst many others. The reasons were the highest number of asset backed securities issued by the country, the largest hedge fund share in Asia with no regulations governing the working of this sector, heavy dependency on the foreign inflows by the biggest four banks of the country. The stock exchange fell down by 40 percent (Berg, 2014).

The most appreciated outlook of Australia was that it had learnt from the 1990 crisis which led to failure of its two government banks. It is this incident which improved the manner in which banks are to work.They had also raised funds abroad but not for buying these risky securities but for its own country. The banks were already in a zone of high income via there loan models which made these highly risky securities less attractive to them. Australia was not much affected also because of its low interest in the sub prime mortagges. The continent was however exposed to a huge current account deficit which also it walked through easily due to government surpluses (Brown, & Davis, 2010).

There is no doubt to the fact that Australia had also felt the slaps of falling housing prices yet the effects were minimal because of the policies that were framed by the regulatory authorities. The economy of Australia is however still facing the risks of bank loans failures and goof ups which may take place due to leveraging of the housing loans. Pension funds have been eroded to some extent due to falling stock exchange. The investors both small as well as big had to face the situation because of there risk taking appetite which had forced them to buy risky investment products. However even after all these after effects which the continent had to suffer its economy is still in a very decent shape as compared to the other developed economies such as that of European Countries and the United States of America. The government of Australia has taken a lesson from there past and this is what enabled them to have huge reserves and enough surplus to enable its continent to survive hail and hearty (Alexandar, 2013). 


Thus on a summarizing note it would not be fair to say that GFC 2008 had shattered all the economies across the globe. Some have been able to sail through successfully. But nonetheless we cannot deny this fact also that the affected countries are still reeling under its effects. The consequences have been such that recovery is still at its nascent stage.

It is to be understood that the present scenario is posing a picture of yet another crisis soon to happen. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have released predictions that the growth rate of the developing countries will slow down even further. There is a sudden upsurge in the economy of China which is like an alarm bell to rise the eye brows of many countries again. There is again a housing bubble being noticed in the sky , not as strong as it was in 2008 but if not taken care of in the near future then there are high chances of such a repetition. The increasing dumping activity needs to be controlled at its earliest else we are foreseeing another storm of crisis which may destroy the future forever. 


Elliot, L., 2011, Global financial crisis : five key stages 2007-2011, viewed on 25th May 2016, 

Havemann, J., 2010, The Financial Crisis of 2008: Year in Review 2008, viewed on25th May 2016,

Jones, C.I., 2009, The Global Financial Crisis : Overview, A Supplement to Macroeconomics, Norton

Mathiason, N., 2008, Three Weeks that Changed the World, viewed on 25th May 2016, 

Davies, J., 2014, Global Financial Crisis – What caused it and how the world responded, viewed on 25th May 2016,

Maxfield, J., 2015, 25 Major Factors That Caused or Contributed to the Financial Crisis,  viewed on 25th May 2016, 

Edey, M., 2009, The Global Financial Crisis and its Effects, Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, vol.28, no. 3, pp. 186-195

Alexandar, D., 2013, How Australia weathered the global financial crisis while Europe failed, viewed on 25th May 2016, 

Brown, C., & Davis, K., 2010, Australia’s Experience in the Global Financial Crisis, viewed on 25th May 2016,

Berg, C., 2014, The Cold Calculations of the GFC stimulus, viewed on 25th May 2016,

Shah,A., 2013, Global Financial Crisis, viewed on 25th May 2016, 

Nissanke, M., 2009, The Global Financial Crisis and the developing world : Transmission channels and fall outs for the industrial development, United Nations Industrial Development Organization: Vienna

Institute of International Finance,2008, Capital Flows to Emerging Market Economies, Institute of International Finance, Inc, Washington.

African Development Bank,2008, The Current Financial Crisis and its Impact on African Economies, Briefing Note 1, presented at the Ministerial Conference on Financial Crisis, , Tunis.

Naude, W., 2009, How will the Financial Crisis Impact on the Developing World and What Can be Done About it?, viewed on 25th May 2016, 

McComick, L., 2009, 8 Countries Hit Hardest by the Global Financial Crisis, viewed on 25th May 2016,

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