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THE MODERN GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

 

In 2008 the world suffered a financial crisis that nearly caused the complete collapse of the global economy.  The crisis came from severe problems inside America.

Unfortunately, it is not at all clear that this crisis is over.  The US Government, and others around the globe, launched multi-trillion dollar rescue programs designed to prop up the financial industry.  In other words a whole new wave of debt has been run up to pay off old bad debts.

The figures are staggering.  For creditor nations like China, they are manageable.  However,  America, the world's leading debtor nation, was in deep trouble before the crisis.  Now it is even deeper in debt.  Some defenders of huge new deficit spending plans cite the New Deal of Roosevelt.  These people forget that America was the world's leading creditor nation at that time, and the New Deal was not a great success in ending the Depression.  In 1939 unemployment was still disastrous.


General

Global bailout for the financial industry would have been enough to end world poverty for 50 years. Click here. (Oxfam, 4/01/2009)


Global

Click here for a BBC timeline representation of the crisis and here for access to the main page of a comprehensive BBC report on the subject. See below for more articles.

Almost $11 trillion have been spent on bailing out the banks. Click here to see further statistics. (BBC, 9/10/2009)

The rich countries spent $9.2 trillion on their financial sector, while the poor only spent $1.9 trillion. Click here. (IMF, 7/31/2009)

Click here for a map showing the various governments deficits and stimuli as a percentage of GDP geographically. (BBC, 2009)

Click here to view graphs correlating countries' GDP growth to their current account deficits. (IMF, 2009)   Note how America to continue to run up huge international debts.


United States

See WFF Chart on cost of bailout.

The costs of the government bailout was so large, estimated at around $15 trillion, that it is tough to put it in perspective. Click here for a visualization. (RGE Monitor, 6/07/2009)

The United States bailout cost could mount to $ 23.7 trillion due to additional guarantees and backstops for the financial industry. Click here. (Bloomberg, 7/20/2009)  Click here for a PDF copy of the latest report filed by the Special Inspector General for the TARP, laying out all the U.S. bailout costs in detail, including the support monies for banks, automotive industries and otherwise. On Page 138 you will find a chart listing the financial support granted by government agencies to banks amounting to 23.7 trillion dollars.

During the November 2008 bailout Treasury Secretary Paulson misrepresented the financial state of the banks and is accused by some of lying. Click here. (Foxnews, 10/06/2009)

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general of TARP, opens 20 criminal investigations and six audits into potential misappropriations of taxpayer money. Click here. (CNN, 4/21/2009)

The private-public partnership is tilted in favor of private investors and creates potential unfairness to taxpayer, says special inspector general. Click here. (CBS, 4/21/2009)


Miscellaneous

Q&A with Martin Ravallion, the World Bank's director on Development Research, on Global Poverty. Click here. (World Bank, 8/26/2008)

The financial crisis has been seen by some as a milestone marking the end of capitalism as we know it. Click here for an interesting piece on that subject. (BBC, 9/24/2009).


 Links

U.S. Department of the Treasury  Official Crisis Site

U.S. Federal Reserve

Congressional Oversight Panel on Bailout

Office of the Special Inspector General For the Troubled Asset Relief Program

U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services