The New York Times has an excellent feature today that aims to explain how ‘US sub-prime mortgages could take out the whole global financial system’. I know that many readers found the Bird/Fortune video on the subject very useful last December. So I thought you might like to know about this new analysis.
The Times reporter called a number of senior figures on Wall Street, asking them the simple question ‘Can you explain this to me?’ After they had finished, he often then asked ‘Can you try again?’ He concludes:
• The US had a housing ‘bubble’, which is now going ‘bust’
• Massive leverage meant that even small losses led to equity wipe-outs
• All ‘busts lead to panics’, which can cause ‘long, deep, economic downturns’
• ‘Unprecedented’ actions are now being used to try and restore confidence