Sebastian Singh January 15, 2014
The Great Recession

Money is everyone’s problem, always, it is the only fungible thing in existence; it is in
everyone’s daily life and it allows us as a society to function. A financial collapse could cause
all of our money, which is really just credit, to disappear. In September of 2008 such a crisis
arose; Lehman Brothers, a global bank collapsed. This collapse nearly caused a complete decay
of the global financial system. The reason it did not was massive bailouts financed by taxpayers.
This collapse has many reasons including greedy Wall Street workers, the deregulation that they
lobbied for, and even irresponsible home owners. The movie Inside Job directed by Charles H
Ferguson, explores the causes.
First off, in the movie Palk Volcker a former Federal Reserve Chairman says that the
incomes on Wall Street are “Excessive”. Dominique Strauss-Khan says that “we were too
greedy” and the government should “regulate more, because we are too greedy”. Even Barack
Obama has said that “the…greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led
us to a financial crisis as serious as any that we have faced since the Great Depression. This
greed became so great that countless workers on Wall Street had to be charged with fraudulent
activity. This irresponsibility ensued as they had more money than they knew what to do with
and time as well, in fact “it was typical for [them] to go out, to go to strip bars, to use
drugs.”(Jonathan Alpert)
The deregulation of Wall Street has been a problem from the beginning of the collapse.
According to an article by David Lightman,”Those and many other federal laws stabilized the
banking and securities markets, but by the 1970s, a stumbling U.S. economy led to a change in
America's political-economic values” he goes further to say “faith in free markets and mistrust
of government. That conservative philosophy has dominated America for the past 28 years” and
Edward Kane, a professor of finance at Boston College said: “Had regulators questioned sub-
prime lending, they would have been harshly criticized”
Finally, homeowners, regular people trying to own and sustain a house, did not, in
general, think properly when buying these homes. "Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt
began to spread”(John McCain” . Charles Krauthammer says "For decades… there has been
bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had
been shut out for economic reasons...” and it’s these people who took out subprime mortgages,
not caring to understand what they were.
In summation, the 2008 financial collapse was a combination of quite a few things, from
the greed on Wall Street, to the deregulation of banks by the US government, to the idiocy of
homebuyers who took out subprime loans. If none of these had occurred there would have been
no recession at all and the entire economy would be hunky-dory.

Works Cited
Daniel Gross. "The Right Blames the Credit Crisis on Poor Minority Homeowners. This Is Not Merely
Offensive, but Entirely Wrong." Slate Magazine. Slate, 7 Oct. 2008. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
DAVID LIGHTMAN. "Wall Street Crisis Is Culmination of 28 Years of Deregulation." Wall Street
Crisis Is Culmination of 28 Years of Deregulation. McClathchy, 15 Sept. 2008. Web. 14 Jan.
Inside Job. Dir. Charles H. Ferguson. Perf. Matt Daemon. Wall Street Crisis Is Culmination of 28 Years
of Deregulation. N.p., 10 Oct. 2010. Class Dec. 2013.

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