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The economic and political causes of the U.S. 2008 financial crisis

Les causes économiques et politiques de la crise financière de 2008

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1
Marie Daumal

Abstract

In 2008, the financial system of the United States teetered on the brink of collapse. Major banks failed or would have failed had it not been for financial support from the U.S. government. A vast literature composed of official reports, books, and academic papers cites multiple reasons why it occurred: inappropriate deregulation, weak supervision, excessive risk and leverage, growing inequality, etc. Reviewing the report by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and other research, my purpose is to list and to synthesize the most commonly cited major causes. In a first part, this paper gives a short overview of the economic causes of the U.S. financial crisis. The second part deals with the political causes of the financial crisis. Indeed, since the 1980s, there was a remarkable bipartisan consensus in Washington in favor of deregulation, which, in turn, led to the financial crisis. I provide a few hypotheses and qualitative data to explain this consensus. Ideology, campaign contributions by private firms, lobbying, and the system of revolving doors between Wall Street and Washington might explain the past and current political decisions in favor of deregulation. This paper shows that the financial crisis was partly due to inappropriate deregulation, which might have been the result of flaws in the political system of the United States.
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Dates and versions

hal-03261070 , version 1 (15-06-2021)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03261070 , version 1

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Marie Daumal. The economic and political causes of the U.S. 2008 financial crisis. 2021. ⟨hal-03261070⟩
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