The Derivatives That Sunk Banks In The Global Crisis

Mortgage-backed securities played a significant role in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. These securities had attractive interest rates and were given next to perfect ratings by credit rating agencies such as Moodys and Standard and Poor. Large amounts of funding were put into the housing market through the mortgage backed securities and this funding became a cycle. People were looking to buy homes so mortgage companies sold mortgages to banks, which led to banks packaging the mortgages with other investments, and the mortgage-backed securities were sold to investors. The investors’ money created more money for mortgage lenders to offer. 

Since lenders were contributing funds to subprime mortgages, people who have lower credit scores, many of these homeowners began to default on their mortgage payments. In April of 2007, New Century, a U.S. Financial Mortgage Corporation, filed for bankruptcy because of poor mortgage lending decisions. Soon after, Countrywide, the largest U.S. subprime mortgage lender, filed for bankruptcy. Following these two mortgage lenders filing for bankruptcy, U.S. banks’ balance sheets decreased.

While subprime mortgages and mortgage back securities were instruments that …

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How Do American Mortgages Work? Part 1

Looking at an American mortgage from the outside can seem identical as a mortgage you would obtain in Ireland. You sign a contract, you’re given the keys to your new home in exchange for monthly payments for a set amount of years. But behind the scenes is where things get a little more complicated. The United States has created a secondary mortgage market after the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Since then, the secondary mortgage market is a multi-billion dollar corporation that has the single biggest taxpayer corporation in the US.

In simple terms, the secondary mortgage market includes Government-Sponsored Enterprises that act as the middle man between the mortgage lenders and the investors. They will buy residential loans off of lenders then securitise and trade them to investors. When the Government-Sponsored Enterprises buy a loan off a mortgage lender it returns the loan amount so the lender can turn around and lend to a new family. This allows more capital to be freed to help more families reach their goals of becoming a homeowner and invest in their future.

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