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Causes of the Financial Crisis

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The financial crisis of 2008 rocked the global economy. As one major investment bank went bankrupt, other American financial services institutions were in poor health due to their own banking practices. However, these practices occurred due to the failure of government regulators. Ronald Reagan’s plan to stimulate the American economy in the wake of the 1980s recession led to sweeping deregulation in the financial services sector (Komai) (Inside). This deregulation and the failure to properly enforce regulatory powers by those in the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department led to increasingly risky behavior by banks (Inside) (Das) (Rajan). The repeal of The Glass-Steagall Act in the late 90s meant that the banks engaging in these risky operations were larger than ever before and were using depositors’ money in order to trade for the benefit of the firm rather than its clients (Roubini) (Rajan) (Sorkin) and it is that risky behavior that ultimately led to the near collapse of the world’s economy. Although banking leadership must be held responsible for the practices that many institutions in the financial services sector engaged in (Sorkin), the failure to adequately regulate the banking industry gave banks the opportunities to engage in the behavior that caused the crisis (Inside) (Rajan) (Taylor). In the years since the crisis, and as the global economy continues in its efforts to recover, many have called for strict reform of Wall Street regulations (Acharya). Legislative efforts have resulted in the Dodd-Frank Act and the Volcker Rule, which aim to ensure that the risky financial practices that caused the 2008 financial crisis will not be repeated (Acharya) (Johnson). While the recent financial crisis may have occurred in 2008, the seeds of the disaster were sown in the decades before. Regulatory acts intended to keep Wall Street behavior in check were…...

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