Margin Call On Morality: An Analysis Of The Role Of Morals In The 2007-2008 Financial Crisis

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2019-05-01

Authors

Mackey, Edward S. IV

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Abstract

The causes of the 2007-2008 US financial crisis that nearly brought down the largest economy in world history are both complex and numerous. While the eventual bursting of the housing bubble that precipitated the collapse is the ultimate force that pushed the economy over the edge, the root causes extend all the way back to the Great Depression and the resulting government legislation passed in its wake. This legislation combined with future government intervention into the housing market and the rise of securitization from the private sector primed the economy for an apocalyptically catastrophic collapse, forcing millions of Americans out of homes, out of jobs, and into bankruptcy. While many suffers claim that the greed-fueled investment banks on Wall Street and their political counterparts in Washington are the ones to blame, the scale and scope of the crash are far too expansive to allow for any single individual, firm, or decision to be the sole source of blame. Ultimately, in order to answer the question of whether a lack of morals was what truly dismantled history’s largest ever economy requires revisiting nearly a century’s worth of build up. The following sections will attempt to do just that.

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