The threat of impending financial disaster concentrates political minds wonderfully. On Thursday a group of Congressional leaders heard Hank Paulson, the Treasury secretary, and Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, paint a dire economic scenario if they did not approve a more sweeping remedy for the financial crisis. Student and car loans, not just mortgages, would all be harder to get. The economy would sink into a severe recession.
For this reason, ad hoc responses will still be critical, such last week’s federal guarantees for money-market funds, Fed loans to banks to purchase asset-backed commercial paper and, on Sunday, approval of the remaining two big independent investment banks, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, to become Fed-regulated bank holding companies whose investment bank units can now borrow from the Fed on the same terms as other banks.
It could be some time before the Treasury is able to purchase mortgages en masse, and longer still before that starts to affect the broader financial system and economy. In the meantime, the crisis could claim other victims.
The financial crisis金融危机
A break in the clouds黑云裂日，曙光显现
But questions abound over a $700 billion rescue plan for Wall Street.
Mr Paulson’s plan is stunning in its brevity (two-and-a-half pages) and audacity.
What Caused The Financial Crisis?
I think we can sum up the cause of our current economic crisis in one word — GREED. Over the years, mortgage lenders were happy to lend money to people who couldn’t afford their mortgages. But they did it anyway because there was nothing to lose. These lenders were able to charge higher interest rates and make more money on sub-prime loans. If the borrowers default, they simply seized the house and put it back on the market. On top of that, they were able to pass the risk off to mortgage insurer or package these mortgages as mortgage-backed securities. Easy money!
and what went wrong with our financial system? The whole thing was one big scheme. Everything was great when houses were selling like hot cakes and their values go up every month. Lenders made it easier to borrow money, and the higher demand drove up house values. Higher house values means that lenders could lend out even bigger mortgages, and it also gave lenders some protection against foreclosures. All of this translates into more money for the lenders, insurers, and investors. Unfortunately, many borrowers got slammed when their adjustable mortgage finally adjusted. When too many of them couldn’t afford to make their payments, it causes these lenders to suffer from liquidity issue and to sit on more foreclosures than they could sell. Mortgage-backed securities became more risky and worth less causing investment firms like Lehman Brothers to suffer. Moreover, insurers like AIG who insured these bad mortgages also got in trouble.
The scheme worked well, but it reverses course and is now coming back to hurt everyone with a vengeance.
Lasting more than one years, the American housing market crisis gradually extended to the whole financial system to be a financial crisis all over the world, in which progress every conuntry is included.
Being customed by market economy, most western countries are not convenient to rely on the government input to survive this crisis, but they have no other alternatives.
Basicly, there are at least two things for governments to do in this crisis. First, enough fund should be prepared to ganrantee the stablity of the whole financial system. Maintaining the steady of the financial system is becoming one of the most important things in today’s economic system because a healthy fiancial system is the basic of healthy financing and investment. It is difficult for the growth of the substantial economy with the lack of the financing support.
Second, there must be some changes in the whole financial system which should be organised by governments. If the traditional investment method is proved to be inefficient in current economic situation, the old financial system would require some improvement. For example, when the investment banks bankrupted in the financial crisis, the American government gave this organisation up soon to protect the investors as well as other financial institutions.
Moreover, many other measures thould be taken by governments including maintaining the stability for the commercial market and the normal life of residents referring to low unemployment.