The financial crisis occurred in 2008, where the world economy experienced the most dangerous crisis ever since the Great Depression of 1930. It started in 2007 when the prices of homes in the United States dropped significantly, spreading quickly, initially to the financial sector of the United States and subsequently to the financial markets in other countries throughout Europe and Asia. Truly, the recession’s daunting size and formidable wake have left no one untouched and can only beg the question; could it have been prevented? In the documentary ‘Inside Job’ is a detailed analysis of the crisis which cost over $20 trillion and millions of people lost their jobs and homes. Through research, interviews of politicians, and financial insiders, the film explains the root causes of the financial crises. The downturn in the economy in 2008, can be blamed mostly on the deregulation that allowed CEOs and top executives of the largest investment banks and corrupted the financial and political system for their own personal gain.The main contribution to the Financial crisis was the deregulations in the 1980s and 1990s to Financial Institutions. In the 1980s, change in monetary policies enabled banks to make risky loans and investments with the saving deposit of public, seeking their own ways to get maximum personal benefits. The process led to an increase in money supply which in due course increased the rate of spending.
Eventually, the increase in spending over and beyond the capacity the economy to produce goods and services led to inflation and create the bubble. By the end of the 1980s, many of the loans and investments failed this cost taxpayer $124 billion. In the late 1990s Financial Institutions combine into few gigantic firms, as a result, the economic system was correlated with the decision of these large firms.In 1999 Citicorp and Travelers merged together to form Citigroup, which violated the Glass-Steagall act. The act prohibited banks from making a risky investment with customers deposits. However, in the same year Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley-Act, which allowed the merger, but because of this new act, many other mergers took place. As result companies and investment banks became really big gaining monopoly power, knowing that if they were to fail they would be bailed out. With advancements in technology financial products were created the major innovation was derivatives.
Derivatives are basically betting on stock prices, the bankruptcy of companies and interest rates. In 2000, the law was passed and derivatives were unregulated, furthermore, the derivatives market boomed. After 2001 the financial institutions were more powerful, profitable and concentrated. Lenders started to make mortgage loans to home buyers and they sold those mortgage loan to investment banks and the investment banks make a new product called CDO (Collateralized Debt Obligation).
the investment banks paid Rating Agencies for rating CDO and these CDO received AAA rating, the highest possible rating, the investor invested huge fund on these CDO because of their highest ratings.Another ticking tomb was credit default swap, these were derivative issued by AIG, Security Insurance Company to the investor who purchased CDO, in other words, the company insured CDO, due to this investor felt more secure, however, the AIG also issued these derivatives to those who did not own CDO. Those financial institutions which were selling CDO were also betting against them because they knew that they will be unable to pay them back. So the CDOs were actually a fraud to the real investors and these CDO were shown as a safe investment, whereas in actual, they were very risky.In conclusion, deregulation allowed the financial industry full freedom to do as they pleased. As a result, they acted in their own interest and made millions of dollars at the cost of taxpayers and general public investment. So It is recommended that strong actions are needed to be taken against those who are responsible for this crisis, but it is unfortunate to see that those people and institutions are still in power.
The government needs to bring reform to in these financial industries.