Global disputes: Responding to crisis
For 10 years or so, the global economy grew. Lenders were free with their funds, especially in the US, where billions of dollars worth of mortgages were sold to people with weak credit ratings. The US banking sector packaged these subprime home loans into mortgage-backed securities known as collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), which were sold on to hedge funds and investment banks around the world. When borrowers started to default on their loans, the value of these investments plummeted, resulting in huge losses for banks globally.
The credit crunch is a global problem, but that does not mean every country has responded in the same way. Anthony Maton gives an overview of the main cases to date
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