Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Depression-Recession: How We Got Here

In a negative feedback loop, job loses and falling corporate profits are creating new loan defaults, hurting banks beyond the original damage caused by the home mortgage crisis. The banks' falling stock prices together with the loan defaults make it harder for them to raise capital and more reluctant to lend. All of this saps spending by consumers (which makes up 70% of the US economy) and business which results in more job cuts, more loan and mortgage defaults, ... and so the negative feedback loop spirals down. The government keeps threatening to step in to save the failing banks, which raises the specter of nationalization which would wipe-out bank stock holders, who become even more reluctant to buy bank stocks and makes it harder again for the banks to raise capital for loans... And so it goes.

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